On Tuesday June 18th Tom Arnold did something that few men have the balls (no pun intended) to do. He came out about his 23 year struggle with infertility on Katie Couric’s show. On top of that he showed the emotion that comes with infertility from a man’s perspective.
Sure some people might say he is a big baby for crying on National TV, I disagree. Unless you’ve gone through with it you have no idea what it’s like. You have no idea what it’s like to be told that you will never be able to conceive a child with your partner. You have no idea what is like to watch other couples be able to conceive children with ease while you will never have that experience. You have no idea what it’s like to know you’ll never have a genetic connection to a child that you parent. These are concepts society doesn’t understand about infertility an especially male infertility.
The common myth is that infertility is a female problem which couldn’t be further from the truth:
It surprises most people to learn that infertility is a female problem in 35% of the cases, a male problem in 35% of the cases, a combined problem of the couple in 20% of cases, and unexplained in 10% of cases.
The bottom line is infertility and male infertility isn’t talked about enough in society. When a couple is childless it is assumed that they are so by choice. It is not assumed that there might be fertility issues and its even less likely it’s assumed that they are dealing with male infertility issues. Over the last six months I’ve had many people ask whether K and I are going to have children and most are shocked to learn what we are going through. I don’t blame them for not knowing because our society is ignorant when it comes to infertility.
The significance of Tom Arnold coming out is that a celebrity has come out to educate the public on a topic that is not talked about nearly enough. For that I thank Tom Arnold and Katie Couric for bringing attention to something that has deeply impacted my life.