It may be that your man is embarrassed, worried or just nervous about having his sperm tested. The actual test itself is a doddle.....one simply masturbates into a sterile cup. The process can be done at home or at a hospital with an andrology lab and yes, it is true… they do provide FREE pornography for those requiring some extra visual stimulation.

Along with millions of unlucky bastards worldwide, having personally done the test several times, for me it was definitely  one of the most surreal experiences of all time when I conducted the process in a hospital.   As a representative of the unlucky bastards, I showed up for my appointment, was led to a room (that locks from the inside – which as a note to myself, is a very good idea, as they say that the organ that works the hardest whilst masturbating is your ears…). I was then shown where the ‘reading material’ is located and told to try not to spill any or use lubricants or saliva whilst milking the snake of its venom.  As a fan of late 70s styles, the reading materials were excellent.  No articles.

Matching the 70s feel was the unavoidable idea that I was replacing Chevy Chase starring in an unreleased sequel to Fletch. Once the feeling of awkwardness had passed, I quickly contemplated my situation.  This was a fully sanctioned wank.  Not just by my wife – but surreptitiously by my family, my friends, even the Federal and State Governments of Australia.  This was to be no ordinary wank.  Not that I wank of course.  This would be one for the ages.  If there was a baby rattling around somewhere in my plums, by gum, I would flush the little fella out.  I was not doing this act of self gratification for myself.  This was for the country.  This was for the Wallabies.  I could practically hear  John Eales urging me on.

Locking the door, with Advance Australia Fair ringing loudly in my ears, I leafed nonchalantly through some softcore 70s (or very cheap 90s) porn, I put in a seriously entertaining performance.  I was tender.  I was loving.  I was finished.

Handing the specimen jar back to the lab technician, the suitably attractive attendant treated it like a wine connoisseur would a glass of Penfolds Grange Hermitage.  Honestly, she held it up to the light, gave the jar a swill and made a minor little comment under her breath.  I’m sure it was complimentary.....With great interest, I noted that she neither smelled nor tasted it (I’m certain she would have spit not swallow)....at least while I was in the room.

So the initial test itself simply isn’t that bad, although some men do report that it can feel somewhat degrading. But that’s all in the mind.  I say go for it.  Where things start to get tricky is when he goes in for the results – so enjoy the wank, lads – the tough bit is next.

The results

The first reaction for most men when they find out they have managed to get someone pregnant is “Oh Crap” and the second reaction is one of pride “I always knew I had good swimmers” blah blah.  I’m sure glad those bastards have jumped to the next Chapter.  It was a very serious dent to my sense of masculinity when I was told that I had problems with my sperm. Many infertility issues can be treated, such as blocked tubes, however there isn’t much that can be done for us lowlifes that have low sperm counts, poor mobility (how well they can swim) or poor morphology (the shape of the sperm).   Every man and his dog would tell me that it wasn’t my fault, that it happens to everyone and that it would work out in the end.  Not one of them stopped me from feeling like a failure, though.  Yes there are sperm washes, artificial insemination and IVF that can help you still get pregnant but that doesn’t fix the problem that your sperm are hopeless duds,a dying race or just too plain ugly to get a run with Charles Darwin’s theories.  The medical processes certainly don’t help your mindset that you and your boys are just not quite up to scratch.

If he receives news that his little fellas aren’t such great swimmers he may experience:

A feeling of a loss of masculinity

Loss at the prospect of not being able to become a father

Guilt – he may feel that you think of him as less of a man & that you can’t have children because of him.

Depression – if he doesn’t feel like he can talk to anyone about it

We are all different and have different coping mechanisms but what is important is that you recognise that infertility issues will affect him, as they would you.

See more in Dads talk: Sex & Relationships

Read more on conception here