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16% of Canadians will experience infertility in some way, shape or form. 

This is a space where we will share their stories, to let others know they are not alone, and to let the healing begin. 

Bradley's Story

Bradley's Story

We created The 16 Percent community in hopes of sharing stories from both men or women. We are always thankful to ANYONE who decides to share their story with us because we know how hard it can be to do. We love our brave community! 

Although both sexes are almost equally affected by infertility, men are rarely willing to talk about their own experience with it. We hope that in by sharing Bradley’s story, more men will come forward with their stories to help remove the stigma and shame around male infertility. Thank you, Bradley, for being so open about your experience with infertility.

If you know anyone who would like to share their story with The 16 Percent, please email the16percent@gmail.com. 

To learn more about the work Bradley does, please check 
out his Instagram: @bestrongstayfit

You can also read about him in Time Magazine (GREAT article that really sheds light on male infertility):
http://time.com/5492615/male-infertility-taboo-society-shame/

Now it's time for the interview! 

xo,

Ariel

1) What is your personal experience with infertility/miscarriage? 

I’m the one who’s infertile so it’s been interesting to say the least. My wife and I knew there was a chance of infertility many years ago, since I was a competitive bodybuilder and former steroid user. Never did we think it’d be this bad though. Between having to “get off” into a cup every 3 months so my semen can be tested, to taking daily injections for months on end, to dealing with the psychological and physical side effects; it’s been quite the experience. 

2) How has it made your life worse? How has it made your life better? 

Better? I think it will only better when we have a successful pregnancy. Worse? Financially, it’s draining. Emotionally, it’s exhausting. Physically, it’s emasculating. 

3) When & how did you realize that you were going to be able to carry on after infertility/ miscarriage? 

We try to communicate as much as possible and we have to constantly remember that we are a team. We’ve beaten hardship together before and we know we can overcome this too. 

4) What have you learned through this experience? 

So much. I’ve learned more about pregnancy, infertility, and hormones than I ever thought I would have to in my life. Most importantly though, I’ve seen the true strength of my marriage and love that my wife has for me and me for her. We do a really good job of trying not to let the “bullshit” of this seep into our day-to-day life. With that being said, no one knows how hard it is behind closed doors. These drugs are no fun. They mess with you mentally. They break you down physically. My wife has been there with love, strength, and support every single step of the way. 

5) What do you hold on to for hope/courage/strength on your bad days? 

The possibility of a family. There really isn’t much else to get you through when the bad hits. 

6) How do you feel about your experience with infertility on your good days? 

I still don’t wish it on anyone. I’ve tried to speak up about Male Factor Infertility (MFI) in hopes to help others that will, or who are currently experiencing this. I will say though, if you can make it out to the other side, your relationship become MUCH stronger. 

7) In what ways has your experience with infertility/miscarriage changed you as a person? 

I’ve spent the better part of a decade focusing on myself. Building my physique, my career, etc. This has to be the hardest thing I’ve put myself through with full awareness of how it’s going to affect me negatively in the process. I’ve grown a new respect for ANYONE who goes through this and a much greater appreciation for all the women that have endured any negative effects that come along with pregnancy. 

9) How have others responded to your infertility situations? Has it impacted your relationships? What are some things you’ve been told that have been helpful/harmful? 

You can read through the lovely comments that I received from readers of Time Magazine (50/50 negative and positive). As for people I know personally, there has been an OUTPOURING of love, encouragement and support. As for my relationships, not so much, but it’s hard sometimes. I don’t really like to be social anymore, it’s hard to hear when others are pregnant and it’s really hard for me to continue to do what I love (workout) since my body is currently catabolic due to the immensely low testosterone levels since I can’t be on TRT while on fertility treatment. 

10) What is your favourite quote? 

My morning mantra that is posted to my story daily is#TTGSD .. time to get shit done. Usually it’s work that I ’m referring to or achieving your fitness goals but lately it applies to everything in my life. Work, fitness, and lately this infertility journey. Doesn’t matter how badly I don’t want to take another injection, or go to another appointment, or pay for another round of meds... it’s just time to get shit done and make things happen. Keep your head down, stay in your lane, and have a relentless mindset to achieve what you want to achieve.

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