Updated: Jul 25
Many women joined our fertility seminar back in March as part of our 2021 International Women’s Day Scramble Seminars special project. Many of the survey responses we received from that seminar expressed concerns over how women were to work with their male partners when it came to fertility.
From the survey
Next time, I’d like to hear about infertility with my partner. I think it’s something men don’t really know about
I want to learn about what to keep in mind when communicating with my partner
I’m worried that I don’t a chance to talk about fertility with my partner
According to a World Health Organisation (WHO) survey, 48% of infertility is caused by men. The participants of our seminar were all women and in Japan, there are many cases where only women are forced to undergo fertility treatment. We decided to hold this seminar because there are many cases where men can’t go into female clinics and even if they want to be involved in the fertility process, there are few places where they can participate.
The purpose of this seminar was to make it easier for men to participate even if it was just one man or one couple we could reach out to. With Lumirous Sdn Bhd, located in Kuala Lumpur, the two seminars were divided into two languages, English and Japanese. The English version was held on 21st August and the Japanese one on 22nd August.
Table of Contents
What the seminar was like on the day
The English version was delivered by Malaysian reproductive specialist Dr. Navdeep and the Japanese version by midwife coach Mizuki Ikenaga.
Japanese version: Participants included women, men and couples living across Japan and Southeast Asia. It seems to be difficult to get information about fertility in Japanese, especially overseas. English version: Participants from various countries of residence, including Malaysians, Australians and Japanese who have international marriages participated. Although attendees didn’t have to show their face during the seminar, it was very lively with many questions from the participants via the chat.
Participant thoughts on the seminar
Participants were 100% satisfied with both the English and Japanese versions. Many people answered the questionnaire which we will share below.
How did you feel about the management of the seminar?
A：Coach Ikenaga spoke gently with a smile so it was very easy to listen to even though the content tended to be serious. It was great to be able to ask questions in the chat.
How did you feel about the content of the seminar?
B：It was nice to listen to with my husband because it was like an introduction to fertility. Due to the title being ‘What Women Want Men to Know about Fertility’, I felt I was more able to invite my husband. I also liked the instructor’s personality. It was also easy to participate and freely send comments rather than an atmosphere where the audience had to express their opinions.
C：Not only did I learn from my husband by broadening what the male side can do but I also learned about what to keep in mind when preparing meals and recommending supplements.
D：I participated with my partner. Thank you for today. It was very helpful. I currently live overseas and there are few people who I can talk to so I thought that if I had the opportunity to join a seminar online, I’d be able to participate with less hesitation from my male counterpart. Listening to the seminar, I felt that early identification of the cause can reduce mental stress for my partner and I and create an environment where it would be easier to move forward.
For this seminar, we tried anonymous participation for the first time and used the chat as a way for participants to ask questions in real-time.
For online seminars, we can see participants; reactions if we talk face-to-face. Since this was our first attempt with an anonymous participation arrangement, we were concerned about participants’ satisfaction but were able to find out their reactions to the questions in the chat. We were able to create a seminar along with the people who participated.
■ Q&A during the seminar ■ Q1:The number of eggs can be determined by AMH (Anti-Mullerian Hormone) but can the quality of eggs be measured? A1：At the stage of in vitro fertilisation, the grade is known.
Q2：Should I start taking folic acid when I get married? A2：It’s best to take it when you start trying to get pregnant. Since it is necessary to store nutrients in the body before pregnancy, it is recommended to take it several months before pregnancy.
Q3：How do I find a good hospital for fertility treatment? A3：What are your values? (Do you want to proceed in a natural way? Do you rely on the power of medicine? Including costs, to what stage will fertility treatment progress? I recommend you find a hospital that suits your needs by having a good discussion and sharing your values.
Q4：Should men avoid excessive exercise as well as women during pregnancy? A4：It depends on how much exercise you do but it is true that excessive exercise produces reactive oxygen species and has a negative effect on cells.
Seminar Outline (Japanese Version)
For our Japanese version, Coach Ikenaga spoke very well! A 49-page document was prepared based on the experience and knowledge of a midwife and the seminar incorporated case studies and questions and worries of people who have actually worked on fertility went for an hour but ended in a blink of an eye.
Current status of couples suffering from fertility and infertility
What is infertility? How to approach infertility
Causes of infertility (female and male infertility) and real-life cases
In order to understand my own body, what kind of body gets pregnant easily?
What does fertility treatment do?
How do you get your partner to cooperate? Men are hard to work with on fertility. What if I get pregnant?
Cases studies of people who get pregnant
Thinking about life, career and health
There was a lot of content about male infertility which is rarely heard at seminars on fertility. The seminar outlined what men should be careful about, the importance of communication between the couple and the food and nutrients they should take into consideration.
For those who feel troubled because their partner is not active or doesn’t go to the clinic with them, try buying a sperm self-test kit?
A message from the organisers
Among the participants, there were women who commented in the chat that their partner doesn’t examine the situation or that they aren’t aggressive enough. Others were relieved to hear this as they realised they weren’t the only ones struggling.
We think men tend to escape reality. There’s less urgency for them to want children and there’s a long way to go for fertility treatment.
It’s also important to build a relationship where you can talk to your partner in order to get pregnant.
We will improve and add topics that participants would like to see based on the survey. In the meantime, our IKIGAI workshop will be held next month!
We’re also planning one-off seminars on career advancement, language learning and enriching life. Click here for the latest event information. Stay tuned!