Many people believe infertility is solely a women’s issue, but a Windsor father is trying to raise awareness about male factor infertility. He’s sharing his journey with the hope of helping other men becoming dads just like him.
Anthony Edwards is getting brutally honest – telling his personal story he knows many men would never dream of sharing - his struggle with male factor infertility.
It’s the founding topic of his brand new podcast – No Guru Ish - speaking directly to men who want to be dads.
Fatherhood has been his lifelong dream, so when he and his wife Yaneeke spent years trying to conceive with no success, he struggled to believe test results showing he, not his wife, had a fertility challenge.
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“Growing up, I always wanted to be a dad,” said Edwards.
The Cleveland Clinic said male factor infertility is a major contributing cause of half of couples struggling to conceive.
But as a young, otherwise very healthy man, Edwards always thought fertility issues were women’s issues and he had no one to talk to about his new reality. He is 33 now, but learned of his challenge at the end of his twenties.
“What’s male infertility? I had no idea what this was. I felt embarrassed. I was hurt and when you’re hurt, you don’t think clearly,” said Edwards.
Edwards said he lived in that darkness and denial for another year, before eventually following the advice of doctors and turning to in vitro fertilization. When they did, the conceived Anthony Junior, who was born last November.
Beyond unconditional love, his son’s birth sparked something else in Anthony Sr.
“I literally look at my son and now I feel like I can do anything. One day I was looking at my son and was like, 'I want to talk about my journey.' That was my form of therapy, the podcast," he said.
Recorded in his home studio, the podcast was the very first time Edwards publicly shared his challenge with anyone outside of his inner circle. He said the response to his honesty and vulnerability has been overwhelming.
“The response was crazy. It was amazing. People started reaching out to me. Couples saying they’re going through the same situation, or, 'I went through the same situation. Thank you for sharing. We don’t talk about this topic enough.' The messages poured in," Edwards said.
His new role as “Dad” is one he’s waited for his entire life. Now sharing his journey, he’s hoping other men will drop the shame and stigma and get help to make their dreams of family reality, too.
“My journey as a man is to kind of bring the awareness to the fathers.
Edwards wants No Guru Ish to be a platform for all fathers and fathers-to-be. He wants men to become more involved in all aspects of birth and parenting, so new episodes will include conversations with doulas, midwives and other new parents sharing their birth experiences.
You can listen to the podcast on all major platforms and follow the podcast here.