February 8, 2011

No ice cube tray?

Andrology is the brother to gynecology, making andrologists specialists in male reproductive (willy bits used to make babies) and urological (willy bits used for peeing) health. Andrologists are very good at storing and analysing sperm and hang out in places called Andrology Units. This is important to know because the terms Spank Bank and Wank Bank do not appear on hospital floor plans or directories.

My clinic would use these as a joke, to relax men and lower stress

The Room

After finally finding the reception desk of the Andrology Unit yesterday, we (I take people with me everywhere) made jokes about a small room 1.5 m away that was probably 'The Room'. We laughed that off because the room was so central, exposed and obvious. I stopped laughing when handed a cup and told to go to The Room.

The waiting room is next door to The Room. After locking myself in The Room I realised I could still hear everything going on outside The Room and that people must therefore be able to hear everything going on inside the The Room. Hmmmm.

The Room looks like it has been decorated using a 1939 issue of Nursing Home Digest. The chairs were old fashioned and cheap. The walls were Hospital Beige and bare. A laminated A4 sheet (everything in the room, it appears, must be wipeable and washable) thumbtacked to a cork board told me what to do and in what order. A sad looking set of drawers contained old male and female porn mags.

The only feature manufactured after 1970 was a DVD/TV in the corner, but it had no laminated A4 sheet telling me what to do and I spent most of my time in The Room trying to get it to work.

It's done, what now?

Afterwards I had to fill out forms and answer questions like 'In the case of your death, what do you want us to do with your sample?' and give information to questions like 'How much of the sample missed the cup?' and 'When did you last ejaculate before providing this sample?'.

My semen will now be measured. They will look at how many sperm I produce (a normal sperm count is around 15 million per milliliter) and how well they swim (in normal semen about 60% of the sperm should be good swimmers). The semen is stored in 5 to 10 thin straws that hold about half a milliliter each and kept at -196 C. They can be kept that way for at least 10 years.

As one friend put it 'I cant seem to get the idea of you going off into an ice cube tray out of my head'. For the record, at no point during the process did I see or was I handed an ice cube tray.

Analysis is needed because not all sperm are the same


  1. Because those straws are designed (at least in animals) for ease of artificial insemination - I now can't lose the image of some poor woman being inseminated by an icecube

  2. I kinda like the double body. it looks really carefree, like it'd be extra fun at a party. not all anxious like the abnormal middle piece.