So sad - husband's libido disappeared after male infertility diagnosis

(5 Posts)
ArmchairActivist Sat 23-Jul-16 08:36:35

I am so down and would love some reassurance, help or advice about this.

My husband and I have been trying for a baby for a couple of years. We found out he has very poor motility and after a round of ICSI where we had very poor fertilisation (managed one embryo but very poor quality which didn't implant), it seems he has further issues/abnormalities with his sperm too.

It has hit him really hard. He comes from a very 'fertile' family and has apologised and says he feels like a failure.

Of course I just hug him tightly, tell him I don't care about his infertility and that he is all the family I need. I mean it too. Of course, I'm privately really sad about us not being able to have kids, but life deals you that hand sometimes and I'm grateful at least that we have each other.

I make sure to tell him it's not his fault and he has nothing to apologise for. I tell him how much he's loved. We now have a puppy which we've both nurtured and loved and who had brought us some happiness. We may look at adoption next.

The problem is that our sex life has now died. When it first happened, he explained that he didn't feel good about himself. I totally understood and have tried not to put any pressure in him.

It's now been about a year and a half though of very infrequent sex. I am lucky if I get it once a month. When he does start to show interest (rare) I almost feel resentful - as if a. I should be grateful of his crumbs of intimacy, or b. wonder if he's forcing himself.

It is devastating me. He is very affectionate, thoughtful and loving in other ways. I sometimes cry in bed silently and he holds me and says he loves me and he's sorry and it will get better. He insists it's not me and that the problem is his.

That's happened a few times now though (reassuring me that it will get better), but it never does.

I don't know what to do. I am late 30s, only married a few years, and my sex life is non existent.

I understand he's had a shit time and has had a knock to his masculinity. I love him so much and he's such a kind and loving person I just want to know if there's any hope, or how I can make things better. And whether I will ever have sex again!

I worry for our marriage, if he gets used to never having sex with me, then what happens if someone comes along who arouses (literally!) his interest. It will be very tempting won't it, given the complete sex drought at home.

I did try the nagging for sex approach early on, which of course didn't work. Then I tried the waiting patiently approach, which didn't work either. Hence me now just crying silent tears in bed occasionally. So now I'm wondering if I just need to develop some hobbies or even start meditating! Just so I can accept my situation and occupy myself with something so I don't think about it.

Am worried the occasional tears I shed will be yet more 'pressure' for him even though I can't help it.

Just feel so down about this and am worried I'm starting to get really depressed. I don't want to lose him as he's lovely. I can't make him have sex with me though! If anyone has experience of this (have desperately googled, but not found much advice on the internet) or just words of wisdom to help me see how I can improve this, I'd be so grateful.

ArmchairActivist Sat 23-Jul-16 08:48:09

Sorry - just read back over my post and it's a huge long essay! Just feel like I'm at breaking point and it's all come flooding out. (I should maybe also point out that I know once a month would be adequate if you've got young children and are exhausted. But we have no kids and have all the time in the world. And once a month is if I'm lucky! Sometimes two months pass and just - nothing, unless I make 'overtures'. My self-esteem is really starting to take a battering. sad)

MehMehM3h Sat 23-Jul-16 10:44:34

Hi armchair I'm sorry you're going through this...it is really tough! Could it be that Mr Armchair is depressed? Men apparently lose their libido when depressed. This is a MASSIVE hit to his masculinity, one that I don't think we fully understand. We have MFI too and two cycles of ICSI both of which have failed (the second one didn't even get to ET).

Sorry if I am stating the obvious, have you spoken to him about all of this and how you feel?

We've hit a rough patch in our sex life, part of that is because of me...I'm not in a happy place. In the past we struggled a lot - I would instigate stuff but he would reject me, so I totally understand the effect on your self esteem! At that point Mr Meh had put on a lot of weight which meant he was developing oestrogen and it reduced his libido.

I'm rambling now I think! Is it possible for you to get away? A change of scenery etc?

celerysparkle Sat 23-Jul-16 11:13:30

Hi there, not sure how much help I will be but I have some experience of how infertility affects the male ego after 3 failed rounds of icsi so thought I'd reply.

Firstly I think it must be very hard for your husband to have the ivf failure/infertility diagnosis placed solely on his shoulders. I hope this doesn't sound harsh but I think this is very unfair as ultimately whilst you can know he has poor test results it is impossible to know that he is the sole problem. Many people with normal test results have unexplained infertility, and many people with poor results do go on to be successful. Basically what I am saying is there is no way to know for sure if you are truly fertile or not, and by the late 30s many previously fertile women are struggling to conceive with older eggs so it is certainly a possibility you are not. In our situation we have problems on both sides but my clinic ultimately think the thing that is stopping us is sperm issues however I have made very sure not to let my dh feel responsible. The truth is you just don't know for sure, and you may have had problems if you had married a different man - he also may have succeeded with someone elses eggs (my clinic finds younger donor eggs can correct for a lot of sperm problems). Ultimately its you as a couple/team that is infertile, not him. Making him solely responsible is a huge cross for him to bear, and I am not surprised it has affected his sexuality. I don't know if this is something you could turn around at this stage but I would certainly try.

Secondly - all too often clinics will not investigate or treat male infertility other than with icsi. Has your dh had any investigations or treatment? There are a lot of cases of male infertility that showed a dramatic improvement with a simple course of antibiotics and supplements. We are considering seeing Dr Ramsey a urologist in London that is very highly regarded, you can read about his successes on fertilty friends. Apologies if you are long past this point, I see you are considering adoption and may prefer to continue along this path.

Thirdly - is your DH having erectile dysfuntion or is he just not interested? If the former there could be other issues and it may be worth seeing a Dr. If the later its probably a case of improving his self esteem, and making sex about fun rather than conception, easier said than done.
Just asked DH for advice - he recommends hotel rooms or watching porn together (! we've not done this lol). I personally feel that might be a bit too pressurised, I'd go with a sexy series (The girlfriend experience on amazon is worth a look blush) One other thing that helped us - dh was taking maca at one point and one month couldnt buy the usual stuff and ended up getting it with horny goat weed. Our sex life improved dramatically after a few months on that! (Disclaimer I have no idea if there are any health risks)

blue2014 Tue 26-Jul-16 19:54:14

Sadly I think this is a really common part of infertility. I wonder if it would help to take sex off the table and do everything else instead. I'm going to be direct here but it he is ejaculating inside you there will be that reminder that's how babies are made for people without difficulties. Our sex life got a million tunes better once we stopped actually having sex

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