While Nicole has had to deal with WAAAAAAAAAYYYY more testing and doctor visits than I did, there were still a couple of test that I had to go through as part of the Infertility diagnoses. First off we both had to take a full complement of STD tests. This was pretty standard, pee in a cup and have some blood drawn. This was no biggie and after a few days, we heard back from the doctor that there are no secret STDs causing our infertility.
Now for the much more awkward test. I needed to provide a sperm sample so they could count how many I was producing as well as how good of swimmers they are (motility). To do this test you have to have the sample at the lab within 30-45 minutes of ejaculating. Because we live a fair distance from our doctor and LA traffic sucks, there is no way for me to drive between my house and the doctor in this amount of time. This means that I would have to provide my sample at the doctors office.
The first step is to get the empty sample container from the lab and make sure it has the right name (they are very concerned about mixing these up). Now, I’ve generally had problems at Kaiser before because while the offices are all housed in one building, the staff has no idea what other departments do. So when I go to the lab and the terrifying unattractive lab worker gives me my specially labeled container I ask, “So where do I go next?”
Her response, “I don’t know, but if you want there is a bathroom down the hall”.
I’m pretty sure this is wrong so I say, “I’m pretty sure there is a room specifically for this”.
“We’ll if there is I sure haven’t heard of it”. She says.
I leave, and wonder how many people she’s convinced to jerk off in the lobby bathroom.
I go up the stairs from the lab and into the office that our fertility doctor is in. There the nurses are much more helpful and tell me, yes, there is a room on this floor and where to go. I go into a room that is just a small office type room with a chair and and some magazines. There is also a DVD player that looks untouched for years. OK, time to get down to business. And then! Laughter! apparently the room door is not particularly sound proof and I can totally hear all the nurses talking in the hallway about someones birthday party. Once that dies down I “provide my sample” and go to the lab to hand it in. I hand it over to the terrifying unattractive lab worker and get the F out.
A few days later we get the results. It turns out they are a little low. Nothing terrible, but lower than average and not what our doctor wants to see. Our doctor then proceeds to tell me that its common that the first sample is low. Apparently our bodies can know masturbation vs sex and will not send out as much sperm when masturbating. Also, stress at time of ejaculation lowers your count. So masturbating combined with the terrifying unattractive lab worker and the nurses talking hurt my sperm count. Because of this I had to retest.
This next time I went in like a pro. I avoided looking directly at the terrifying unattractive lab worker. I brought some headphones. I was ready. And my count reflected that 40+ million sperm in a cup later. Our doctor was happy with how the second test went and I was done with my share of the testing.
Not typical waiting room material