June 16, 2013 7:41 pm
Updated: September 18, 2013 1:44 pm

Many work to erase infertility stigma on Father’s Day

SASKATOON – Nearly half of all infertility cases involve men, yet it’s often perceived as a woman’s issue according to local patient advocacy groups.

“I think that women are maybe more comfortable discussing issues like this with their physicians, they’re more likely to be seeing their physicians on a regular basis,” said Dr. Allison Case, Aurora Reproductive Care co-director.

Anna Baker experienced infertility five years ago and had to seek treatment.

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“I felt so alone. I felt like nobody understood this. I didn’t have anybody to talk to,” she said.

Baker started the Regina Infertility Support Group and sees firsthand how men often deal with the challenges of infertility.

“Men and women do tend to cope differently, mostly it has been women who come to the group, it seems to be women who want to reach out and talk.”

Case said men often suffer in silence and are reluctant to seek treatment.

“There may be some embarrassment, about providing semen samples for investigation and other issues such as that,” said Case.

Patient Advocacy Group ‘Infertility Saskatchewan’ said advances in treatment mean 99 per cent of male factor cases are treatable.

“All around education is very important, so education of the community, and of patients, but also of physicians,” said Case.

Dr. Adrian Gamelin with Aurora Reproductive Care said it’s important for physicians to tell patients about what can cause infertility.

“Smoking can reduce the likelihood of getting pregnant with fertility treatment by up to 50 per cent,” said Gamelin.

She also said age can be a factor.

Local doctors said infertility used to be a much bigger challenge but modern technology has now given hope to anyone struggling to conceive.

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