Father urges men to speak out on fertility issues

A Yorkshire father has urged men to be open about their fertility struggles

Ciaran Hannington, of Pontefract, Yorkshire is now a father-of-two but for ten years he and his wife, Jennifer, underwent seven rounds of IVF to become parents. They also suffered two devastating miscarriages along the way.

Ciaran, 35, told the BBC he did not share what they were going through as a couple and it had a detrimental effect on his mental health.

He said the couple was aware that Jennifer’s polycystic ovarian syndrome would make it more difficult to have children, but he was devastated to learn that he had fertility issues as well.

He said: “Men need to know it is okay to talk about it.

“I wasn’t expecting any issues. It was the first I’d heard of it. I was in a bit of shock for a while.”

He said he was reluctant to discuss his issues

“Although friends and family tried to help, it was difficult for them to understand what we were going through.

“During our first four rounds, I was reluctant to discuss my issues with anyone, despite wanting to very much.

“I didn’t feel there was a safe place to do so, and I was worried about what others might think and say.”

Ciaran decided to get some counselling to help him deal with the mental health issues the fertility struggles caused him.

He now does charity events to help raise funds for Fertility Network UK to support more men.

He said: “Male infertility is on the increase, men need to know it is OK to talk about it and they don’t have to suffer in silence.”

To find out more about Fertility Network UK and its work, click here.

Learn more about male fertility here:

Male fertility explained


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