The mental shift from avoiding to achieving pregnancy.
By: Barrett Cowan, MD
Co-founder and Chief Medical Officer of Posterity Health
From the time cis-gender straight guys learn how intercourse works and that it involves a partner who can get pregnant by having it, we start looking for loopholes.
You can’t get pregnant underwater.
You can’t get pregnant on your period.
You can’t get pregnant if I pull out.
Hopefully, we learn in a junior high health class that these loopholes are garbage. From that point on, we spend the rest of our forseeable sex life finding ways to have it without getting someone pregnant and we do it without much guidance.
We don’t have annual check-ups to assess the health of our reproductive anatomy.
We don’t go to our doctor and get on a pill, or get a shot, or an implanted device.
We don’t have a conversation with a doctor specialized in our reproductive health.
Instead, we go to a drug store by ourselves, avoiding all eye contact and praying we don’t see someone we know, and we buy condoms that we have very little idea how to use and we feel uncertain how well they work. When a guy is in a relationship with someone who is on birth control, condoms may not be needed, but the bottomline is always this: DON’T GET HER PREGNANT!
But then… all of a sudden…it’s time to GET HER PREGNANT!
We have to shift our mental gears from AVOIDING to ACHIEVING a pregnancy. It’s a psychological 180 and it can feel like whiplash. By the time our reproductive anatomy is needed for its full purpose, we have never spoken to a doctor about our family building goals, our sexual function, or our semen health.
If this sounds familiar, give yourself a minute to recognize the seismic mental shift you are asking of yourself emotionally and physically. Then, complete a home semen analysis and schedule an appointment with a male fertility specialist to talk through your questions and concerns about what happens next. Keep doing your research and know we’re here if you want to talk through your options.