Male Infertility

by An Ordinary Man (the novel)

We hardly need more fuel on the misogyny fires but ABC News reported on a new book by Liberty Walther Barnes, Conceiving Masculinity, under the headline Male Infertility: Guys Deny It; Wives Carry the Burden anyway. While every doctor-patient relationship is different, this headline runs directly counter to my experience in the mid-to-late 80s when my wife and I battled infertility.

After passing through the Clomid stage, we consulted another specialist who told us that close to half of the infertility cases he dealt with were due to problems with the male and he instructed me to take “a sample” to the lab at my first opportunity. It’s not quite as invasive as what the females go through, but it IS a bit embarrassing to masturbate into a cup, keep it warm under your jacket, and hand it to the friendly young receptionist at the lab, who smiles and, you’re certain, winks, as she says “thank you” with you wondering if other guys leave more.

Even scarier is the post-coital, where you have sex with your wife and then haul her down to the lab so that the techs can see how well your sperm cells are doing in her reproductive tract, exposing you to the very real possibility that if she was sleeping with a real stud, she’d be pregnant by now – and what will that do to your sex life if it can’t be fixed? But our doctor insisted on both before he went forward with treating her, and I submitted to both – as I suspect did every other man involved with his very active practice. The guys did not deny it, and we carried the burden right there with our wives. This headline is sensational and unwarranted.