Why Tammy Hembrow and fiancé Matt Zukowski won't be having kids together.

For countless women, fertility is their Roman Empire. It’s a topic that is constantly at the forefront of our minds, and a lot of it is because, from a young age, we’ve been taught to believe that life’s biggest purpose is to reproduce. As we inch towards our 30s, we get told that our biological clock is ticking, then once we’re in our 30s, we’re told to get cracking otherwise we’ll miss our chance.

Then there are the women with chronic illnesses such as endometriosis or PCOS, who are in and out of doctor appointments, or trying their luck with IVF in the hopes of one day having a child of their own, all while battling pain, exhaustion and other debilitating symptoms. The point is, we are always worrying about our fertility.

Watch: Australia's biggest fertility dilemma. Post continues below.

Video via 60 Minutes Australia.

However, it takes two to make a baby, and for many men, fertility isn’t something that’s ever discussed. In fact, whenever a couple struggles to conceive, we automatically assume that the problem lies in the woman. So when Love Island Australia star Matt Zukowski – who recently got engaged to fitness influencer Tammy Hembrow – opened up about his infertility in a podcast, we were, frankly, taken aback.

Infertility has almost always been discussed by women and about women. Rarely has a man entered the equation. Aside from being refreshing, Matt’s honest admission was educational, because while women are regularly thinking about their chances of having a child, for men, it’s not something that crosses their mind until it’s time to start a family. 


“I think it’s taboo for men to talk about infertility and I feel like a lot of girls cop the blame because people assume that if you’re trying to have a child or you’re taking part in IVF, then it’s the girl who is infertile. The truth is, men are affected by this too,” Matt told Mamamia.

Matt was diagnosed with infertility at the age of 25, after his doctor told him he had no sperm. Image: Instagram @mattzukowski.

According to Family Planning Australia, 16 per cent of Australian couples face fertility issues, and one-third of those problems arise because of the man. Matt’s journey with infertility started from the day he was born, however, it came to a head 25 years later after his then-girlfriend pointed out that the consistency of his semen was similar to a man she used to sleep with who had had a vasectomy.


“I went home and told my mum, and she said, ‘Oh well you know when you were born, you had undescended testicles?’” said Matt, sharing that it was that moment that prompted him to get his semen checked.

Undescended testicles is a condition where either one or both testicles are missing from the scrotum, and are instead situated in the groin or lower abdomen. If left untreated, there is a risk of testicular cancer, torsion, hernia and reduced fertility.

“I went and did all the tests, and then the doctor called me and said, ‘Just to let you know you have no sperm’,” he recounted. “So I replied saying, ‘Oh I’ve got low sperm count?’ and he said, ‘No sorry, you have no sperm.'"

The diagnosis was hard to digest, but for now 28-year-old Matt, it wasn't the present that concerned him, instead, he couldn't stop thinking about his future.

“When I found out about my infertility I wasn’t in a relationship that I saw going anywhere – and what I mean by that, is that I didn’t plan on marrying my then-girlfriend or having kids with her. I was in love but I didn’t see kids on the horizon anytime soon,” he said.

“So I wasn’t exactly upset, but I did feel for Matt in the future, who is 35-40 and doesn’t have kids of his own. My sisters all have kids, everyone around me all have kids, and I might not ever get the opportunity to be a dad.”


Three years on, Matt – who's set to become a stepdad to Tammy's three kids, Wolf, Saskia and Posy – has learnt to navigate through his infertility. But he says, at the time, he did have concerns about his dating life — especially when he shared his diagnosis publicly on his podcast.

He's engaged to Australian influencer, Tammy Hembrow, who has three children of her own. Image: Instagram @mattzukowski.

“I was single at that point and I was putting the news out into the universe, but I spoke to my mum about it, and she said that I don’t owe anyone that I’m dating anything,” he said.


While that rings true, keeping his diagnosis from the women he was dating didn’t sit right with Matt.

“I’m an honest person and I wouldn’t want to date someone and then tell them about my infertility six months later. I actually told my ex-girlfriend on the second date. I said, ‘Just so you know, I’m not sure if you listen to my podcast but I am infertile’.”

Ever since Matt shared the story behind his infertility, the response has been overwhelming, with many men coming out of the woodwork thanking him for talking about a topic that is considered ‘taboo’.

After seeing the impact he’s had on other people, he now wants to raise further awareness about male infertility, saying: “If there’s even one guy that’s going through this, or someone shares a podcast or article where I’m talking about infertility to their brother, boyfriend or any other man in their life, and it helps them feel less alone, then I’m happy.”

When Matt was first diagnosed, he was fortunate to be surrounded by friends and family who were understanding and compassionate. He was also at an age where he wasn’t trying to have a child, so he empathises with those who get diagnosed later on in life.

“I think if I were trying and then found out, that would be a lot more brutal. So if I can help people at that stage then I’ve done my job.”

Feature Image: Instagram @mattzubowski.

This article was originally published on December 8, 2023 and has since been updated.

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