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SuperSperm, Guilt and Unexplained Infertility Blog Feature
Lisa Rosenthal

By: Lisa Rosenthal on August 21st, 2014

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SuperSperm, Guilt and Unexplained Infertility

Feelings | Unexplained Infertility | Semen Analysis | Sperm

SuperSperm - A New Phrase Coined at Ladies Night In

supersperm drawing by lisa rosenthalA new phrase coined last night at Ladies Night In. Said with a sense of humor. With a sense of irony. With a definite sense of affection.


It’s said by the men in some of our lives when they find out their sperm count is just fine. Better than fine. Super even. I wonder if any semen analysis count has ever really said that. Super sperm.


How come these normally rather sensitive men, who really love us don’t get it?


How come they don’t get when they proudly announce they are in possession of SuperSperm, that we then feel the finger pointing right at us about whose fault it is that we are not conceiving? We know they aren’t necessarily saying that. But if they have SuperSperm, then whose fault is it?


It’s not that we’re not happy for them or that we wished that the results were different. It’s just that if they’re ok, then even if a fertility doctor can’t find the problem with us, we still know it’s us. Because it’s not them. They are in possession of SuperSperm.


I kind of like it. SuperSperm.


Shouldn’t we have an equivalent for our eggs? A few ideas:


  1. Wonder eggs
  2. Eggs Supreme
  3. Excellent Egg


I don’t really think any of them have the same ring that SuperSperm has, maybe that’s why many men have come up with that phrase independently of one another. They are rightly relieved and even proud to know that their fertility is intact. We’re happy for them. Really, we are.

Unexplained Infertility and Relief from Guilt

We just still don’t want it to be us. And especially with unexplained infertility, we really don’t know what tiny, little piece of ours doesn’t quite fit with some tiny, little, indecipherable piece of theirs. We don’t know who it is exactly when all the testing comes back that everything is fine. SuperSperm and Excellent Egg still sometimes don’t create a pregnancy or a baby that emerges nine months later.


Very frustrating. Yes, maybe it seems like there should be relief in knowing that nothing major is wrong. And there is. We don’t want anything to be wrong, yet with no answers as to what’s wrong, there’s a feeling that there’s less that can be done because there’s nothing to fix.


Is it comforting that with an IVF cycle so many potential small problems are bypassed? That problems that can’t be detected won’t matter because the cycle is being handled, one step at a time?


I don’t know. Maybe all this is comforting in some moments and not in others. Maybe we can be happy when SuperSperm is elated that there’s no detectable problem with him without immediately blaming ourselves.


It’s great when there’s one less problem to worry about. No doubt about it.


I just wish it didn’t immediately make us point the finger at ourselves.


The compassion we would show our partners if SuperSperm turned out to be SubFertileSperm could be the same compassion we could show ourselves if the problem does lie with us.


Couldn’t it?


If we were half as kind and considerate to ourselves as we are to our partners, friends, colleagues and family members, we would be far better off.


Don’t you deserve that? Don’t we all deserve that?


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About Lisa Rosenthal

Lisa has over thirty years of experience in the fertility field. After her personal infertility journey, she felt dissatisfied with the lack of comprehensive services available to support her. She was determined to help others undergoing fertility treatment. Lisa has been with RMACT for eleven years and serves as Patient Advocate and the Strategic Content Lead.

Lisa is the teacher and founder of Fertile Yoga, a program designed to support men and women on their quest for their families through gentle movement and meditation.

Lisa’s true passion is supporting patients getting into treatment, being able to stay in treatment and staying whole and complete throughout the process. Lisa is also a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, which is helpful in her work with fertility patients.

Her experience also includes working with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and The American Fertility Association (now Path2Parenthood), where she was Educational Coordinator, Conference Director and Assistant Executive Director.