Our mission is to achieve equity in fertility by providing access to male fertility care for every couple trying to conceive.
Even among couples who enjoy an equitable, non-gender-biased balance of roles in their relationship, when it comes to the Trying to Conceive journey, the female most often carries the heavy load. This is true for many deeply entrenched reasons, including unequal access to high-quality fertility care due to low availability of male fertility providers, misperceptions of male and female roles in becoming pregnant, inconsistent insurance coverage or reimbursement for male care, and of course, the societal stigmas around male fertility problems. While we all celebrate the gains made in gender equality in the workplace and in parenting, we also see a huge opportunity to raise awareness of the inequalities that persist in the discussion of male fertility and the unspoken challenges and fears men face when trying to have a baby.
Access to Male Fertility Care
A male fertility specialist is a physician who trains as a urologist and has specialty fellowship training in male fertility. This is similar to an OB/GYN who has fellowship training to become a Reproductive Endocrinologist (REI) to treat female infertility. A male fertility specialist offers treatment to optimize sperm health to achieve successful fertilization of the egg.
In the U.S., we have:
<200 Male Fertility Specialists
We aren’t surprised by the lack of accurate information about male fertility or the extremely limited access to experts in the field, but we are working to change it. We are increasing access by offering full-service telehealth and in-person evaluations to guys across the country in a timely manner and on your schedule. Our physicians are nationally recognized experts in all things sperm. Male fertility is all they do.
Sperm as Part of the Equation
Getting pregnant requires optimal egg AND sperm. We believe in providing the resources and opportunities for men to engage in and address their part of the equation.
With the spirit of ‘knowing better, doing better’ we are raising awareness and acceptance of the role male factor fertility plays in achieving a healthy pregnancy.
First, let’s normalize male fertility care and ask ourselves how we can take a proactive role in our journey to parenthood. Posterity Health helps you:
- Brush up on sex ed. When was the last time you looked at a diagram of the male reproductive anatomy? Yeah, it’s time.
- Understand why your partner is undressing while showing you a smiley face on her ovulation app and what you can do to prepare for that moment.
- Map out a personalized plan to parenthood including things you can do today, things to avoid, and how to have your best shot at getting pregnant.
Did you know that the female has a Preconception Consult appointment with her OB/GYN when she stops birth control? She gets a refresher on her reproductive anatomy, how to track ovulation, nutrition advice and most importantly – an opportunity to ask questions about what to expect when trying to get pregnant. Don’t you deserve the same opportunity?
We educate, engage, and encourage couples to approach the conception process together as an integrated unit. We promote the proactive and concurrent evaluation of the male partner early in the process and we want men to understand that if there are any male factor issues they are often treatable or reversible with specialized care.
Social Stigma #1: It’s always a female problem
One out of 6 couples struggle with infertility, not being able to get pregnant within a year of having unprotected sex or 6 months if over 35 years old. For the 15% of couples that cannot get pregnant, at least half the time there is a male or sperm factor! Research repeatedly shows for couples having difficulty ⅓ of the time the cause is solely sperm-related, ⅓ of the time it’s solely egg-related, and ⅓ of the time it’s both sperm and egg-related. When a couple has difficulty, it’s seen as a female problem, so she turns to her Ob/Gyn for answers. The male on the other hand, despite what we know about sperm contributing equally to getting pregnant and difficulty getting pregnant, probably hasn’t seen a doctor since his last pediatrician appointment.
An equitable approach would be for both partners to be checked simultaneously to get the whole picture and identify and treat underlying issues together.
Social Stigma #2: Masculine men aren’t infertile
Although male fertility issues are incredibly common, discussing the topic with a doctor means overcoming deeply-rooted associations of fertility and masculinity. History is littered with examples of how men avoid blame when they are unable to father children, and yet, despite the progress in gender equality, many of the myths associated with male fertility have persisted for centuries. The pharmaceutical industry made it ok to talk about – and more importantly, treat – erectile dysfunction and hair loss, but the topic of male fertility eludes mainstream discussions and awareness. Infertility isn’t an issue of masculinity or virility, it is a health issue that we can help you address.
Social Stigma #3: I don’t want to masturbate in a doctor’s office
Many individuals feel awkward, uneasy, or embarrassed about the idea of providing a semen sample. Sometimes this stress even affects your ability to produce a sample on demand. It’s not unlike females in exam stirrups with a speculum in their vagina, but hey, at least you get to orgasm.
Today, there are options – you can produce a sample in the office or you can complete an at-home test. For those that provide a sample in the office, rest assured that the medical team is busy treating patients and not fazed by masturbation. Don’t worry, the staff doesn’t think twice about what you’re doing in the collection room. If masturbating in an office collection room or bathroom is not for you, consider an at-home semen analysis kit.
For some men, anxiety about providing a semen sample may go beyond just embarrassment or being self-conscious. Whether related to your religion, culture, history of abuse, trauma, or any reason, if providing a sample for a semen analysis is a serious concern, please know you deserve to be compassionately supported and informed of your options.
Today’s male is more interested in playing a proactive role in building a family and won’t play by the old rules. He is excited and expects to be a proactive partner in the journey to parenthood and he recognizes the importance of understanding his own reproductive anatomy and the role of fertility testing for men. He feels empowered to understand his fertility and how to optimize his sperm health to have the best chances for a healthy pregnancy.
If you’ve ever thought about or been affected by male fertility stereotypes and stigmas, give yourself grace and permission to recognize these thoughts for what they are – unequivocally false, not rooted in science, and not reflective of anyone’s worth as a human being, but regardless, part of the society that we live in. Once you accept that it is OKAY to talk about male fertility, we hope you will call us. We’re here to help.