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OH is very nervous about having to produce a sample

Now that I've hit another birthday and am nearer to 50 rather than 40, and we've tried 2 yrs for a second child with no success, I decided to book into a private clinic for consultation and maybe eventually IVF. Hubby is very nervous about giving a sperm sample as he hates the pressure of having to do so and have had problems before.

The private consultation involves having sperm analysis (for him) and ultrasound (for me) in the same day but before the consultation. Apparently if OH cannot produce a sample they could still go ahead with the consultation. I know the clinic is happy to do just the sperm analysis on another day BEFORE the consultation and I think OH ought to go for it, but he is so nervous he just doesn't want to. This is now making me feel that we could be wasting our money going for a private consultation with only half the test results that presumably they must have to have before they can give appropriate advice.

I know I may have to have lots of injections if having IVF and suffer horrible side effects, and I am already a bit worried about it (but can't tell OH). So I don't feel very sympathetic towards OH - all he's got to do is produce a sperm sample. It does not hurt, does not require needles, does not require anaesthetic, does not produce nasty side effects, so why all the fuss. I am getting more and more annoyed and upset about it. I don't understand why it should be a problem for him. I am trying not to lose my temper but as I type this, I can feel the steam coming out of my ears.

Has anyone been through this? What can I do?


  • Well he really has no choice, he does it and you have the consultation, he doesn't and you have no hope. I think you may have to be brutal to him ...
  • Hi

    Just a thought - is there any chance you could pick up a sterile pot from the clinic (or your GP surgery) in advance, then he does the deed at home before taking the pot of swimmers in for testing? You need to deliver the sample within an hour, so it depends how close you live. The nurse at my hospital also advised me to tuck the pot into a woolly sock to keep the temperature steady, and I have read stories of women tucking the pot into their bra to keep it at body temperature (although putting the pot into the microwave for a few seconds as one lady's OH did - I kid you not! - is definitely not advisable...). If the sample can be delivered at any point during a day before your consultation, then even better as that takes the pressure off.

    If, on the other hand, your OH has to produce the sample at the clinic, then I would speak to one of the nurses. They must be used to dealing with shy men who are concerned they not be able to perform.

    I know exactly what you mean about men having a much easier time of it - I struggled to bite my tongue when MrD complained of feeling all dizzy and sick when he had to have a blood test ("They stuck a needle in my arm!!!"). Buddy - I have been having blood tests and injecting myself on a daily basis since August, and don't even get me started the indignity of the dildocam!!!

    Best of luck
  • My OH has to produce a sample Tues but thank god is ok about it and has turned it into a bit of a joke. Like Mrs D says it's ok for them, their little bit is actually pleasurable!! However I can see where they are coming from, re: embarassment etc.

    We had a tour around our clinic yesterday and the talk about the man's bit was treated very clinically and didn't have that 'seedy' side to it, it was just seen as a necessity and a way of getting the little fellas from the man, rather than anything too sinister.

    Let me know how you get on, xxxx
  • OH has finally made an appt to get his sample tested a few days BEFORE the consultation. We will have a go at home and he thinks my being around will help him, then he'll take it in within an hour. I just hope he'll manage to produce a sample, otherwise I can't see how he'll be able to do it at the clinic on the day of the consultation.

    I think my saying something about using a sperm bank has done the trick!
  • Hi, maybe I can offer some words here being a man. The clinic where my wife and I went to had a room which was used for men to produce samples. The thought of producing a sample in a room where lots of other men had done the same before was not great. To top it, the room was absolutely freezing (December) which again did not help. The room was very plain and not a place where anyone could be comfortable. Having said all that, they had left some magazines in the room I guess to help those along who needed visual stimulation. If I can be honest with you, it wasn't my most pleasant experience but I kept focussing on why I had to do it and what I felt for my wife and that did help.

    In terms of whether you can have a consultation without the sample. The answer is yes. As far as the sperm sample is concerned it can only have three possible outcomes:
    1) The sperm quality is good as in high sperm count and good motility and low number of abnormal sperm in the sample. In this scenario they would probably suggest IVF.
    2) The sperm sample is not great and low count and poor motility and higher number of abnormal sperm. In this case they would probably suggest ICSI (where individual healthy sperm are injected in to the eggs.
    3) Sterile as in zero sperm. In this scenario you would need a donor. So in terms of what treatment they suggest for you, it will not necessarily change. Besides on the day of the egg collection they would again look at the sample produced on that day and test for all of the above. If the count is low or the motility is low they will suggest ICSI.

    Therefore in my opinion you only have problem if your husband has zero sperm count, or is not able to produce a sample on the day of the egg collection.
  • I guess the main problem would be that to have a consultants appointment with only the ladies results, its a wasted appointment frankly as they are still going to insist on having her husbands results. Waiting for a consultants appointment is stressful and time consuming enough without having to go back all over again to get his results.
  • As a male im in the same boat right now and a little paranoid that I my suffer performance anxiety.

    Im absolutely amazed that the most logical and natural solution has not been recommended. Is it not aloud?

    I intend to take my wife in to give a, helping hand. Pun intended.

    If I was an IVF baby id be much more comfortable knowing I was not the result of my father getting hot and sweaty with himself. As much as kids hate the thought of their parent's doing the nasty, I think its by far the lesser of 2 evils.

    Im amazed that its not just common practice and expected that the process be shared by both parent's. Its not like its a sperm bank paid donation...


  • Hello Rallyant,

    I am shocked to hear your surprise that most men give their sperm sample unaided.

    You say you, "intend to take my wife in to give a helping hand" - this, on the day of egg collection when your wife is possibly under sedation is asking and expecting a bit much, not to mention extremely selfish.  More fool your wife!

    The expectation of your wife, whilst recovering from the effects of anaesthetic, to relieve you is shocking.  I'm struggling to see how you can "perform" with your wife in both her condition and in a clinical environment.

    I understand it can be a pressurised situation for men but perhaps you can take advice from other men who come prepared on the day.  The other man on the forum said he, "focused on why he had to do it and what he felt for his wife" to help - perhaps you too should do the same.

    I wish your wife and you luck.

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