Male vs. Female: Viva la Differance

The differences between men and women seem to be never ending, even when it comes to infertility.

A new study from the University of Iowa indicates that a couple’s level of participation and openness in the world of social networking can depend on their infertility. Couples facing male infertility are more closed to talking about their struggles in the world of social media. On the other hand, couples facing female infertility seem to be more open.

Author Keli Ryan Steuber interviewed 50 couples going currently going through infertility during the study and explained that the social media fluctuation has to do with typical male and female behaviors. While infertility is likely a difficult subject for both genders, Steuber explains that it is more difficult for men to talk about while women more commonly seek support. According to the study, men are often fearful about how people will perceive their inability to have children.

"It aligns with the idea that couples do more work to maintain the husband's public persona," Steuber said in an article appearing on Newswise.com.

For women specifically, Steuber explained openness about infertility stems from a need to prove they really do want children.

“There's an expectation that women want children, and sometimes those who are voluntarily childless are labeled as selfish or too career-driven,” she said. “We wonder if that stigma overrides the stigma of infertility, to the point that women and their husbands feel compelled to clarify: 'We're not choosing to not have children. We can't have children.'"

Steuber next plans to research the outlets couples struggling with fertility most often use focusing on blogs, message boards or other social media communities. Social media outlets such as DailyStrength.com offer online groups for both men and women seeking support.

Other online resources discussing alternatives to help fight infertility are also readily available online. The Embryo Adoption Awareness Center is on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Adoption-Share, YouTube helping to share information about embryo adoption with couples struggling with infertility.

As always, comprehensive information on Embryo Donation and Adoption can be found at EmbryoAdoption.org.

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