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Confessions: Stress from my infertility is driving me deeper into drinking

Readers Lounge By Simon and Boke
 I really want a complete family of my own (Photo: Shutterstock)

I am 27 and have been in three serious relationships but have not managed to sire any children. I sought medical assistance and, apparently, doctors say I cannot make a woman pregnant. I really want a complete family of my own but it seems that dream is no longer valid. At this rate, I don’t see the importance of life. I have been under a lot of stress and don’t know how to deal with this. It only gets me into alcohol and other things and, when I am high, I feel OK and relaxed. I want to know how to deal with this or any options I may have because, as of now, I don’t seem to have many options left. 

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{Dennis} 

What the readers say:

Dennis, if your problem is being caused by low sperm count, this can be addressed through proper nutrition and counselling. You may also want to consider adopting children. Many have done it and are living happy lives. Do not lose hope, brother.

{Onyango Outha} 

There are many options to give you a smile. One such option is adoption. Identify a woman who shares the same vision as you so you can raise the adopted children together. Keep off drinking as it has ruined many lives.

{Arthur Omuse} 

Life is not all about children though it is an important part of marriage. There are people who even choose not to have them and lead normal lives. Accept your situation and remain sober to moral and practical options. Alcohol and multiple sex partners will only kill you faster.

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{Tasma Saka} 

It’s good you have sought medical advice regarding your situation. It is important to understand that it is a medical problem and not your own doing. If your situation cannot be cured, I am sure there are many alternatives that can work for you.

{Kevin Moen} 

Dennis, that is not all what life has for you. I advise you to avoid alcohol and seek professional counselling.

{Ouma Ragumo – Sifuyo}

Boke says: 

Dear Dennis, 

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Having children and raising a family, is among major reasons why people get into marriage. The survival of the marriage therefore becomes dependent on how high this reason ranks for you. Clearly it is top on the list for you.  

Your strong desire to have children is in order because children are perceived to be the future and a continuation of our lineage. But before you despair, I would encourage you to seek a second, third or even a fourth opinion on this matter just in case there is something that can be done. Ensure that your wife is involved in every step because you will need all her support. We pray that, with medical advancements, your condition can be remedied. 

If the medical experts find that there is nothing they can do, all is not lost. You can still experience the joy of parenthood through adoption. That is why you need to involve your wife in all this. There are thousands of children who have no parent and, the same way you need a child, is the same way they need a parent. If both of you can view adoption as a second chance, given you to become parents, then it will be an exciting journey. Visit various adoption centres to help you understand what the process entails. Adoption is a legal process so be sure to enlist the services of a lawyer. 

As you do this, remember that parenting is more about raising a child than fathering one. Otherwise, we would not have thousands of children languishing in the streets. So go ahead and ignore the negative talk from people who do not understand. 

Hilda Boke Mahare has a background in Counselling Psychology 

Simon says:

Dennis, indeed, there are many other people like you out there only that they are not as bold as you to talk about it and seek help. Infertility occurs in both men and women but only your doctor can tell you the cause based on your specific condition. However, I understand your frustration and worries against your very desires in this life. Even if you cannot sire children of your own, there is still hope of raising a complete family and living a fulfilling life but you have to remain focused and be willing to try a host of different things to make this happen. 

For starters, there are women out there who also for one reason or the other cannot bear children. This is usually a reasonable channel to pursue since if you find someone who is in a similar situation then you can easily work out a solution with many available options such as adoption and, if you can afford it, in-vitro fertilisation. The other option is to be a father to someone else’s children. There are many men out there who impregnate women and leave them out in the cold. You can get involved and there are many people who are living such lives and they are happy. There are also many children out there who do not have parents. You can be that other parent. 

The other option is rather generic to us Africans but this requires a lot of patience, courage and understanding. In this, you would marry a woman of your dreams and then things can be worked out to create a win-win for everyone. 

However, I am somewhat concerned about your indulgence in alcoholism. You are already taking the wrong path and, with this, it is going to be very difficult for you to find a solution. Get someone you can talk to and do not carry this load alone. Even without children of your own, you still have a life to live. Live this to the fullest and be happy that you are in good health. Keep it in mind that a solution to this is not very far away. 

Simon Anyona is a relationships counsellor 

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