What support is there for men dealing with infertility?
It was a bleak and dreary day.. .Kate and I connected with Eleanor Stevenson, Professor of Nursing from Duke University, North Carolina USA and Kevin McEleny, Consultant Urologist at Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Trust to discuss a brilliant new initiative to support men struggling with infertility.
Together Kevin and Eleanor have created All about fertility an evidence-based resource providing couples with up to date articles, webinars and videos created by experts from the field of fertility. But they didn’t want to just stop there. From their research Kevin and Eleanor identified that men didn’t want to engage with support from counsellors and so they created a support forum just for men to access support in a way that was accessible to them and on their terms.
In the future, Kevin and Eleanor hope to roll out other versions of this platform to include support forums for same-sex couples and women. In the US, Eleanor is seeing that professionals are becoming more aware of male fertility but as yet, US men aren’t opening up. Whereas conversely, in the UK men are beginning to talk and there are a number of men that are leading the way, some of who have been recent guests on the podcast.
Educating medical professionals
Kevin talks about the need for greater awareness and sensitivity among professionals. The evidence that has come out of their research shows that what men are told at the very start can have enormous consequences on their emotional wellbeing. Eleanor tells us that while men continue to feel that their problems are not real. It reinforces stigma and men get further silenced.
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Source: The Fertility Podcast