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daddies hurt, too

article from

Mayo Clinic: Infertility and Men

Abstinence is not the answer 

Notes from Dr. Anna Dolopo

As of July 2021, I have been a mother for over 17 years. I've been blessed to have given birth to 3 beautiful children at ages 30, 36 and 43. I started practice in 1999, which makes this 22 years of practice. 

I've made many fertility videos, one of them regarding miscarriages. I held off on the miscarriage video for so long. I posted one in the past year after 2 men told me on the same day that I need to make a video regarding miscarriages.

Here are some concepts to consider regarding men and fertility.

1. Men deal with stress, anxiety, and sadness differently than women do.

2. Men do suffer emotionally and oftentimes their pain goes unheard, and we dismiss their feelings or do not even acknowledge that they have feelings.

3. Men are often surprised when I ask wives to ask men how they feel. Some of my female fertility clients realize that they have rarely taken the time to consider how their husbands/male partners feel. 

4. Satisfying men - usually is interpreted as a sexual message. How about emotionally? At first, men would respond with sexual thoughts, but then they do realize that they would prefer to not hear their wives/partners nagging at them, and would prefer that they be spoken to in a more respectful manner. In other words, oftentimes, men hear their wives NAGGING - they hear their mother, not their lover. 

5. Women - take the time to listen to your man.

6. Have sex with your man 2-3 times a week, not just during the week of ovulation. Many men have shared with me that they FEEL LIKE A TOOL just to make a baby. That makes them sad. Many women do not understand that. Men want to feel the pleasure of sex throughout the month, not just during ovulation and not only to have a baby. Men want to feel intimate with their wives/partners, and they want to feel this joy and intimacy not just for procreation. A man wants to feel this intimacy with the woman he loves throughout the month, not just during baby making time.

7. Women: make time and allow the space for men to share verbally uninhibitedly and without judgment. Just allow men to talk and do not interrupt them when they are sharing their vulnerability. Give them the respect to share their hearts and not tell them that how they feel is wrong.

8. Give men the opportunity to share their opinions without us (women) feeling hurt. So often, men stay quiet because they do not want to sound mean or hurt our feelings. 

9. Make men feel like they are the king of the castle. 

10. Leave them alone when they ask to be left alone. Men oftentimes need ALONE TIME.

dad man-alone-on-a-swing-looking-at-empty-seat-picture-id1132312676.jpg

Take Aways from the Video

We watched together.

Men’s emotions and feelings matter.

Men handle their stress differently.

Women should give men space to share without being judged.

Ask men how they feel.

My wife and I just watched this video.  It was interesting and enlightening and sparked some healthy discussion... thank you.

Hi Anna, what resonates for me from your video is the way you ask your questions.

I always asks my husband if he is stressed out and his response is always, "No."

I need to ask the way you said to quantify his stress level.

When our first IVF failed, I asked him how he felt when I was struggling so hard emotionally.

He cried and all, but he was very quick to get over it.

Since then, I always thought he was ok, but when we started the cycle again, he later then told me how he had to cry for 10-15 minutes by himself when he saw the bruises on my abdomen from the needles; it broke my heart so much.

He wants to stay strong for me because I cry easily, but just remembering that conversation always tears me up.

In the recent months, I have been trying to pay attention to his feelings more because I know he does not express it ever, but I know well enough to know that everything we go through pains him too.

The upside is definitely bringing us closer together.

I just know that he is always going to be there for me no matter what will happen in our future. 

Hubby says I nag a lot. I am trying not to do that as often.

I learned that men hurt emotionally and can express their emotions differently from the way women do. 

I realized I need to ask my husband from time to time how he's doing emotionally with direct questions instead of asking, "How are you and how was work?" kind of questions. 

I think my husband and I have a great relationship.

We are on the same page about the role of man and woman as a couple since we grew up with similar family backgrounds but also grew up to be working professionals. We treat each other respect, love,  kindness, and get each other plenty of space. 

He is very grounded and balanced as person.

He is rarely sick, sad, mad, stressed, but just steady with no strong emotions although I've asked questions about his stress levels at home and at work, his feelings regarding our fertility journey, etc.  

Despite all this, I think I need to work on making him feel like the King and satisfy his sexual and emotional needs.

I learned that I am not listening enough ….

And that I am not asking him how he feels and really hearing him….

Also that I need to give him more respect ….

Thank you this video was extremely helpful and I am going to watch it again tonight ….👍

I am going to watch it with my hubby tonight

I think it would benefit us both to watch it together and talk about how we can communicate more thoroughly and with respect and love instead of anger.

The video was really good Anna, does make me think men and women aren’t too different as generally perceived.

Things I learned from the video:

- providing a safe space for my husband to express his emotion

- understanding there are different ways to ask questions for more insight into what my husband is dealing with

- understanding that my husband needs his time to decompress

- understanding that I need to follow his lead and trust his decisions for our family 


Hubby has also watched 💕

I particularly liked the concept of asking about stress level from 1-10.

So I want to ask questions that way to have a more accurate answer.

Anna - great video, good reminders of a lot of what I love about our relationship.  We have very open communication, We’ve been the happiest since my wife left her job.  She’s my best friend and it’s hard not to feel like a KING 👑 when I have amazing meals everyday.

Insightful video. 

Spent the weekend doing a staycation.

Got a chance to finally listen to the video.

Good video. 


Learn to let the man lead.

Let him speak openly and without judgement.

Take time for ourselves.

Ask how he’s feeling.

No abstinence.

And much much more.

Most people do not do the inner work.

They just live with what they have absorbed over time and how they have been programmed.

And men have been socialized to be YES men and passive aggressive pussies, especially in California.

Lacking boundaries and True Masculine energy.

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