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The funny side of sperm analysis





If you're trying to conceive or experiencing fertility problems, the Internet is chock-a-block with resources and forums for women looking for support. It's not often we hear from the men, though.

It's not like I haven't been "interfering" with myself regularly for the past twenty years. I'm not embarrassed by it, never have been. But desperately sweating on myself while galloping the final mile of the Fertility Cup has got to be a personal low.

To prepare, I had to abstain from any sexual activity for three days, which for me is quite a lot. But there you go and there I was - brimming.

I arrived. A quiet nod of the head from the unimpressed receptionist led me up the stairs to a technician in blue rubber gloves who ushered me into a "specimen collection room". Six by eight of stainless steel complete with two litres of disinfectant hand wash, a hazardous-waste bin, a doctor's examination table, and a TV.

Very erotic altogether.

Yes, I was full of sperm and no, I didn't bring it in a cup.

House rules:

• Lock door.

• Try not to spill any. If there is spillage please notice the percentage lost.

• Wash hands.

• Fill out form.

• Find designated technician.

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The technician left and I took in more of the room.

In one corner, a wicker basket with three magazines placed carefully and neatly inside. Sure, it’d be rude not to, wouldn’t it?

Thanks to the invention of the Internet, girlfriends, and wives, I’d not picked up a stroke mag since I was a young teen.

Clearly these ones were sourced by someone’s thoughtful mother - two out-of-date Playboys and a jaded Mayfair (potentially the stickier of the three). To the uninformed, I’d have had a better chance with an Argos or a M&S Christmas catalogue.

The TV, though. No channels tuned in, but sure what station would I watch? Oh, there was a DVD slot in it all right, but not a disc in sight. Not even a shelf for it to be on.

A horrible thought. Are there men out there wandering around with pornographic DVDs on their person?

Nobody said anything to me about films. But maybe that’s the idea, that’s what the table was for - bring a movie, put the feet up and spend the day at it?





I quickly glanced at the form. "Did I have problems producing at the clinic?" Well, that's not going to be a problem, I thought, I'm practically bursting.

And so, down to business.

I decided to use the iPhone to search for sexy videos - you know, just to speed the process up, like. Alas, it wasn’t to be. I was so far into the guts of this place, there was no reception. No problem; I'd have an "old fashioned" and use the imagination.

Now, I have a spectacular imagination, I really do. And in it I have what we men call a "w**k bank", which my wife helps top up from time to time, bless her.

So there I am, eyes closed, trousers around my ankles, bare arse leaning on the examination table with my left hand bracing it to stop the squeaks and my right hand choking the chicken that I'd brought with me, when the hilarity of the whole thing got to me and it all got a bit … soft.

Not to worry, a quick breather and we'll start again.

And so, once more with feeling.

Stress can do funny things to a mind and mine began to wander.

 "How many men have been in here before me?"

"How many men's bums have been where mine is?"

"Am I having problems producing at the clinic?"

"Why would one need so much hand soap?"

"Why is the hazardous-waste bin so big?"

"Am I having problems producing at the clinic?"

"How long have I been at this now and will they notice?"

"Am I having problems producing at the clinic?"

“Businessmen with blazer pockets filled with porno movies.”

"Am I having problems producing at the clinic?"

Amongst these scattered thoughts I realised that the din I had been hearing was my neighbour in the other room, who was now rutting his way to a noisy crescendo.

Everything screeched to a halt, the bank foreclosed, and so I popped my headphones on and took another break.

My final attempt was Herculean in effort and I wasn't taking no for an answer. Let me say no more, except I'm generally not too worried about my aim in those final moments, so scrambling for a specimen cup with my "other" hand while trying to finish things up was a trick worthy of Penn and Teller.

I cleaned myself up as best I could, but as I searched for my technician, with hair slick in sweat, my face more sunburnt than flushed, and my right hand as vascular as Hugh Jackman's, it was quite obvious what I'd been at.

In closing, do I have any advice? No, no I don't. What can I say: BYOP - bring your own porn? It's pocket billiards on a surgical bench! But I will leave you with this. With all the discomfort my wife has had to go through, all I was really asked to do was just have a w**k!

This blog first appeared on Parent.ie. You can follow them on Twitter or on Facebook.

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