Fertility treatment

Pregnancy doesn’t always happen as soon as you decide to have a baby and start trying for it. Sometimes it just takes time, and succeeds after a few months. But some couples don’t succeed on their own.
There can be many reasons, and they are usually clarified at a fertility clinic. Around 8-10 per cent of all children in Denmark are currently born as a result of fertility treatment.

Did you know that…
• About a third of the couples having fertility treatments do so because of reduced sperm quality.
• In about a third, treatment is due to a combination of reduced sperm quality and another cause in the woman.
• In about a third of cases, the cause is found in the woman.

You will probably wonder why your sperm quality is reduced, what you can do about it and what the consequences will be if nothing is done. However, with existing treatment methods at fertility clinics, it is often possible for you to have a baby even if you have a very low sperm count.

"I'm very frustrated by the fact that my sperm quality is reduced, and I can't do anything to change it or find out the cause of the poor sperm quality. The stigma of being told, let’s face it, that I have poor sperm quality is something I'm working on with myself and my partner, but it's difficult."

In the clinic

In fertility treatment, you can feel you are left on the sidelines in a woman-centred universe. Often the woman is seen as the patient, even if it’s your sperm quality that’s the problem, and the clinic staff are predominantly female. But remember that you are there because you and your partner want to become parents together, and if you are ready to be more open about personal aspects of infertility, it is a good idea to put your own wishes and needs into words during treatment. Talk to both the staff at the clinic and your partner.

Relationships put to the test

There’s no doubt that fertility treatment often puts pressure on even the most successful relationships. The biggest burden is that the ideal of being able to have a child naturally is not possible after all.

It’s important that you also focus on what the process and situation means to you. And that you talk to others about it – your partner, friends and, if there are any in your region, psychologists and other counsellors linked to the fertility clinic.

“We've had to consider a lot of new things that you don't normally think about. So far it has only strengthened our relationship, but in the long run, if the treatment is not successful, it might have a negative effect.”

Other options

For some couples, fertility treatment is unsuccessful and they may consider a sperm donor or adoption as a solution.

The idea of a sperm donor is difficult for some to accept, and you may need to discuss the questions that arise at length with professional advisers. The same applies to adoption. To avoid doubts later, it is really important to resolve all the speculations that arise.

Fortunately, research shows that most men and women can love and bond just as strongly with a donor child or an adopted child as with a child conceived in the usual way.

“Our first priority is clearly our own biological children, but if this is not possible, we have to look at our options and other recommendations from the clinic."