Years ago when my wife and I were first starting to address our infertility issues we attended several all day seminars and multi-session seminars. As expected the attendance at the requisite insurance and female infertility sessions were packed but the male factor sessions were more sparsely attended (by the men anyways) and tended to be more focused on the highly technical issues instead of the emotional aspects of male factor infertility (MFI) issues.
I recently sent an email to a male counselor that works with the AFA who again confirmed that getting men to seminars is a tough sell but that he is part of an effort to put on a MFI seminar this coming May 6, 2006. Similarly Olivia Montuschi of the UK Donor Conception Network also asked for advice as to how to get men to attend more meetings.
Part of me wants to say the answer is actually simple but I don't think it is. Getting men to talk about their own infertility much less to get them to discuss donor conception appear to be impossible tasks. I think in the end for men to be active in addressing their infertility their desire for a child / family must be greater than their discomfort and the pain of acknowledging the issue.
My question to any men suffering from MFI reading this post is what would you want to see in the way of live programming that would enable you to proactively address these issues? To those wives reading this please ask your spouses this same questions and let me know their answers.
The Yahoo DI Dads groups appears to allow the men that are members the anonymity or remoteness of contact to allow them to participate openly regarding their feelings that perhaps in person some of them could not.