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New Book Lifts Lid on the Male Experience of Fertility Problems

There’s a new book for any couple who has ever heard ‘just relax and it will happen’. Swimming Upstream addresses the issues couples face with a down-to-earth male perspective, helping both members of the couple: men who wish to understand themselves and the women who want to understand what is going on inside their man’s head. Its unique approach brings together the ‘consumer’ and the professional view: the everyday experience in real language with common sense advice from the counsellor.

Adelaide, Australia, May 16, 2006 --( This Mother’s Day, one in six young women will struggle more than celebrate.

Problems in conceiving will affect one in six couples who try to get pregnant this year. It’s a significant, growing social issue and an issue that can cause emotional confusion and turmoil – particularly in a time when the focus is on the joy of motherhood.

One of the greatest challenges for any couple who are struggling to conceive is communication. And when a couple is faced with a life-changing issue like infertility, this is where things break down. This is when a woman cannot get her husband to talk about what most men fear is the biggest failure – infertility.

That’s where Swimming Upstream comes in – a new book that lifts the lid of the male experience of fertility problems and helps women understand what’s going on behind their man’s often silent façade.

And according to co-author David Rawlings, a man who with his wife resorted to IVF to have children, the book is already receiving significant interest from women who are reading the book so they can understand their partner’s silent emotions and know how to discuss them.

“Men have a 50% interest in a couple’s situation when they have trouble having kids, yet on the surface they seemingly don’t care about it,” Mr Rawlings said.

“We find two things in our book: that men are impacted by this experience and women desperately want to know what their partner is thinking.

“If this communication breaks down, it can cause significant relationship problems during a struggle which is one of life's great curveballs.”

Co-authoring the book with Mr Rawlings is one of Australia’s leading infertility counsellors, Karen Looi.  Its unique approach brings together the ‘consumer’ voice with the counsellor.

Swimming Upstream discusses the issues with humour, insight and honesty and also offers down-to-earth, practical advice to couples.  The stories of fifteen men, the author’s own experience and years of experience of a fertility counsellor come together to provide an easy-to-read and reassuring reference.

Some of the key issues faced by couples and covered by Swimming Upstream include:
· Why men don’t talk about problems conceiving
· The difficulties of living in a social circle where everyone is having kids but you · Putting on a brave face in a child-centred world
· Dealing with unhelpful comments like ‘just relax’ or ‘so when are you two going to have children?’
· The fertility myths in society and how they build an expectation of conception that is wrong
· The effect on a couple’s sex life
· Anger, particularly at injustice
· How a struggle to conceive affects your ability to plan for the future
· Coping with occasions that produce pain rather than celebrations – Christmas, Mother’s Day, births and christenings.
· Issues that are particular to a man’s experience, such as taking sperm tests, how fertility problems may impact on his career and understanding the woman’s experience from a male perspective.

The book also discusses issues that have never been discussed in literature before:
· The effect of infertility on the ‘grandparents in waiting’ and the relationship between the couple and their parents.
· How men deal with their own father while unable to have children.

Sandra Dill, of international patient support networks iCsi, endorses the book.

“Finally, a book to not only help couples, but also the thousands of women who are desperate to know what their man is thinking when they struggle to conceive,” she said.

“It’s one of the most accessible books on the subject I've read and it was very well-researched, something that I've found lacking in most other personal books on the subject.”

The book is available from and can be ordered online through a secure credit card facility, by phone or mail order.

Contact Information
Landmark Media
David Rawlings
61 8 8325 3035

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