Once, during this period, I was over at a friend's house. He was drinking and asked if I wanted a drink. I said no, because we were trying to have a child.
Having had a couple of losses by that point, we were trying everything we could to have a healthy pregnancy, including abstaining from alcohol. My friend looked at me and said, “Every weekend all over the world people go out, get drunk, have a one-night stand, end up pregnant, and have a kid.”
Of course, he was joking when he said this (although that surely isn’t something to joke about). But there's actually an important lesson in that story.
My friend, like most men, I suspect, didn’t know that drinking alcohol can be harmful to male fertility. I didn’t know any of this when we first started our pregnancy journey, either. In fact, six years into that journey I was still learning.
Even our doctor didn’t know everything. He told us to see a sperm donor, but we kept researching. We later learned, after taking a test measuring toxins, that I had high levels of phthalates, which are linked to reproductive issues. One of the ways we overcame our struggles was by getting rid of anything that contained phthalates.
But prior to learning about this, I had no idea what a phthalate even was, much less what to do about them. Just like my friend and his thoughts about the effects of alcohol on fertility, I would never have thought that the soaps, lotions, shampoos, and that we use every day could contribute to problems.
Overall, it seems like men tend to think things will simply work out. The reality is that we have to take control and make them work.
Infertility and pregnancy loss aren't solely a female issue. The female in the relationship might have to go through more of the pain, but that doesn't let the male partner off the hook.
We owe it to ourselves and to our partner to do everything we can in this process.