Fertility Network UK
14,239 members23,430 posts

Struggling to support my partner

Hi all

This is my first post and I want to know how everyone supports their partner if they are 'the cause of the infertility'

We went for one of those fertility checks after 4 months of trying, fully expecting them to say that everything was fine and we should just keep trying.

Obviously they didn't and while I'm fine my partner had a sample with no sperm at all in it. He's obviously freaking out and we're now waiting for the results of his Fsh and lots of genetic tests to come back to see if there is even any point in doing sperm retrieval.

I keep telling him that we're in this together and that we'll work through whatever the result is but he doesn't seem to be accepting that and keeps saying that we'd be pregnant but for him😔

It's just heart breaking, any advice would be welcome

14 Replies

Hi we have a similar situation my partner has a low sperm count and low mobility he always says that but we've just stuck together there are loads of different options it just depends how comfortable you would both feel doing them! Just take it as it comes and I'm sure you'll get there one way or another best of luck! Xxx


Hey welcome on here.you will gets lots of support. My husbands first sa came back with a concerning result and I was so surprised to see how upset he was however two more samples later all was well. There are options too I believe if sperm quality is an issue. I guess you just have to continue to support him and say that you are in this together. .I suspect some men find this so much harder to take as it impacts how they may view them self as a man however if you are a strong couple you will find a way through this xxxx

1 like

It's always a difficult one, with us the issue is my age & I feel very responsible for us not having a baby.my partner tries to support but it is hard.all u can do is reassure & remind him that if the situation was reversed u know he'd bthere for u so y would it be any different now. I'm no expert but I sure with sperm count there's different things they can try first to improve things.also each test can vary! My partner had a bad test and then a good test!! Hope it all works out for u both xxx


It's tough. I was the original "broken" one and my husband had to do all the reassuring. His GP results came back fine but the clinic redid them and said there was an issue but icsi would solve it. I thought he was going to cry when the dr told him even though the nurse warned me of the result and I'd broken the news before.

This kind of thing rocks you to the core. I know I've felt like the worst female and feeling less womanly. Keep talking and take some counselling if you can.

My oh is an introvert so clammed up and dealt with it in his own way. Think it helps that we're both a little broken x


And one more thing I forgot. When I tell women that I only have one ovary etc I get a lot of people telling me they know someone like that or they've had problems with fibroids, pcos etc. Lots of sympathy and sisterhood reassurance that I'm not the only one.

Going to bet that no man admits to sperm problems to his mates which probably feels more isolating. There's a search forum on here try to find some people with male infertility issues and see what the outcomes were. Might help to know he's not the only one and there are options x


Hey there

We have a similar issue as our problems are with DH motility. We had been given false hope by our GP for a year, saying his results were fine and we would conceive naturally. We then saw a fertility specialist who said we had virtually no chance of conceiving naturally and that ICSI was our only chance. My DH is naturally a very optimistic person (I am more of a realist/pessimist) and I saw a very different side to him. I could tell he felt guilty but have just assured him this is a team effort.

When our first cycle failed he struggled much more than I did after. He got quite upset and then we had a month of horrible arguments, as he was clearly bottling everything up and then exploding. We have since decided that the most important thing in this whole process is to talk to one another and support each other. We ask each other most nights how we are both feeling about things, so it's not just about me.

Hope that helps.




I've had the same situation with my parter. Our infertility is due to his low sperm count and low mobility.

He blames himself and tells me that it's all his fault and like you I remind him that we're in this together and that no matter what I'll stand by him.

I don't really have very much advice, but I know how you feel.

All I do is when my partner feels low or tells me it's all his fault I continue to remind him that we're together and we'll take this on as a couple. It's so heartbreaking to know that's how they feel and all we can do is continue to remind them that we don't blame them and we love them no matter what.

My partners first sperm sample was so poor (it did contain sperm but very little) they said that ivf wouldn't have even been an option. He made some changes which were no longer having baths and showering only, cut down on alcohol and caffeine he also started taking wellman fertility tablets. The second sample there was an improvement and the next few improved too. Your partner could possibly try some things to see if the next sample has improved?

Also try not to worry too much, sperm retrieval is an option if no sperm is present in samples



I know this probably sounds like a silly thing to say when your partner doesn’t produce any sperm, but that doesn’t mean you’d be pregnant if it wasn’t for him. It’s quite likely that is the case but he can’t know for sure. We tried for over 10 years and never got pregnant once (until we had IVF). All tests for me came back perfect, but my husband’s tests all came back perfect as well. In fact his results were way above average. If his results had come back awful it would have been easy to assume that was the problem – but it obviously wasn’t.

Also I know people with horrendous SA results, who were told there was absolutely no chance of conceiving naturally. They all have multiple naturally conceived children so for those of you whose partners just have bad results, it doesn’t mean that natural conception wouldn’t ever happen.


Agree. Because against all the odds for us I did fall naturally (that was just after the first sample which was the worst sample) I did have a miscarriage however but it still does prove that it can happen 😊 xxx


Thank you all for the replies, it's good to know that things aren't quite as bad as they first seem.

I see a few of your OHs have had a few sperm samples but mine has only had one, presumably because there was no sperm at all in the sample.

I'm a big believer in the power of positivity, he however is not 😊


Ask your partner if he would hold it against you/ resent you if you 'was the cause' ofcourse (I would like to think!) he will say 'ofcourse I wouldn't- were in this together' sometimes I think that helps - to see things from a different perspective. Unfortunately I myself am 'the cause' and I often have to remind myself that nobody chooses this, and nobody is to blame. Just try stay strong. X


Hi Kyell - I'm sorry to hear about your results, I'm sure you have already started to read but there are things that can help improve sperm count which can then be used for ICSI treatment.

Before we had all of our tests we were aware that there was an issue with DH. For approx 10 years we thought there was only an issue with him so I appreciate that it is difficult. It's hard for them because they feel at fault, even though there is absolutely nothing they have done to get those results. It's difficult for you because you want to reassure him but they're very good at not listening when they don't want to! He used to say 'I can't have children' and I always used to say 'we can't'. As it turns our 'we' really can't naturally as, in medical terms, we're both knackered haha In one respect it makes that whole issue much easier as there's no longer that divide (not that there ever was for me). However now we realise that it really doesn't actually matter. We are where we are, we're in this together and we need to work together to make our dreams come true.

You'll have your good and bad days through this process. The most important thing is to not lose sight of what you have together that is so strong you want to make your two into a three. Wishing you the very best of luck with everything x x x

1 like

My dh has low motility and mobility and it's degenerative due to varicose veins in the all important area. We've been living with this for over 4yrs now and only just started our icsi treatment a couple of weeks ago. My dh is definitely one to bottle it up, and refuses to talk even when prompted. At least a couple of times a year,my dh gets moody and withdrawn for a couple of weeks (he turns into a moody teenager!) At first I didn't know how to handle it but eventually, when we'd gotten to the point I was talking about divorce, he admitted the guilt he felt because he was "the problem". I was genuinely (stupidly) shocked, as I never thought about it like this, and haven't ever brought it up in anger etc. I just said it's not his fault, he's done nothing to cause this. Its just one of those things and whatever happens we'll get through it together. We now talk fairly regularly, especially at the moment, about how we're feeling, and we admit if we're having a bad day and what/who we want to tell and when. It seems to be helping as we're closer than ever now. I think he's in awe of what i'm doing and tells me how proud he is of me! I suppose everyone is different and you have to find your own way...just keep talking and take on board his feelings (its sometimes too easy to dismiss them as "he's not going through it like you are"

All the best...and apologies for the essay!



Hey Hun, my husband also has azoospermia. He was diagnosed in September 2014, after a year of trying. It was heartbreaking news for both of us but it hit him the hardest. I just tried to stay as positive as possible. My husband then went on to have blood tests which all came back with normal results except for a slightly elevated fsh and a second 0 sample.

He had M-tese in December of last year and they retrieved 5 vials of sperm from one testicle and nothing from the other. I was over the moon but he slumped into the worst head space I had seen him in. Although we had both set ourselves up for the worst and ended up with good news it all really messed with his head.

He also says if it wasn't for him I would have had a baby by now. He says he hates himself for not being able to give me what I've always wanted.

I did try and stay as positive as possible and would try and bottle my feelings up so as to not hurt him even further. That ended up with me either breaking down at work or getting drunk and then trying to start an argument with him. It was a very horrible and hard time but I do think it has made us even stronger than we were. After this I know we can get through anything together.

All you can do is be there for him but to remember to look after yourself. Always here if you need to chat to somebody who has been where you are.

It's not over yet x


You may also like...