Male Infertility – "Everyone Masturbates" A Story Retold By An Andrologist
Male infertility sometimes gets a bad rap.
There’s this idea that going into a fertility clinic to masturbate and produce a semen specimen for analysis is no big deal. Well, maybe it is and maybe it isn’t. Consider that masturbating in a private place, but in a public facility is not necessarily what makes your engines rev up. (Women out there, would you want to have to do this?) Still, without a semen analysis, only one side of the reproductive potential is being considered. Fertility treatment cycles cannot proceed without a semen analysis.
One of Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut’s (RMACT) own andrologists talks about what can inhibit a man from doing his part of the clinical work up. Luke Jenusaitis shares the most common concerns that he hears on a daily basis about male infertility. ~ Lisa Rosenthal
Everyone Poops might be one of the most iconic books for young children around the world, leading to the realization that defecation is a part of life and it is nothing to be ashamed of. I would like to propose another novel, or in this case a blog, for adults who are faced with infertility, called Everyone Masturbates. While defecation may be an involuntary necessity, I would argue that masturbation is a voluntary necessity in life and should not be something to be ashamed of. Who doesn’t need a little time to oneself every day? Man or woman, young or old, everyone can enjoy the simple pleasures of pleasuring yourself. If you aren’t tuning your reproductive engines, now might be the time to start.
My hope is that this guide will be able to quell the common misconceptions, provide a sense of relaxation and answer any and all questions one might have when coming into the “Production Room” to provide a semen specimen.
Male Infertility & Semen Analysis Misconceptions
For those of you who are nervous about coming in to a fertility clinic to masturbate into a cup, and are wondering what to expect, here are a couple common misconceptions about a semen analysis I receive on a daily basis that I’d like to address:
- Amount: “How much do you need?” or “Do I have to fill the whole cup?”
Let’s be real here, can you actually control how much you eject? The answer is no. Unless you are Spiderman and are monitoring the amount of web coming out, in which case you belong in the Guinness Book of World Records. Just do your normal thing, like you would at home. Almost every time a patient will tell me “I thought there would be more” or ask “Is that enough?” The Andrologist really only needs a small amount to do an analysis. We will let you know if we need more, and it rarely happens. The more relaxed you are, the easier it is and the better the sample.
- The Andrologist: “Is he or she judging me?”
Again another common worry is regarding what the Andrologist is thinking about. The answer is no, we are not judging you. Don’t flatter yourself. We have so many other things we need to do/want to do besides worrying about what you are doing in there. We are there to make sure we can give you a proper analysis and do whatever we can to help you have a child. Our pride comes from our successes with you. When you win, we count it as a win for ourselves!
Have a question or concern you want to address? Shoot me an email: Ljenusaitis@rmact.com – chances are, you are not the only one.
About Luke Jenusaitis
Luke works in the Andrology and Endocrinology lab at Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT). He received his undergraduate degree in Biology and Near Eastern Studies from Johns Hopkins University. Originally from Branford, CT, Luke aspires to attend medical school and continue working in patient care. His experience includes working in the Autopsy Program of Pathology at Yale University. A recent contributor to PathtoFertility, he hopes to alleviate some of the tensions that arise from a misinterpreted social taboo.