Tuesday 15th June 2010
Gestation: 37 weeks, 4 days
One year ago.
Never before have I had such reason to take care of my health.
I mean, I know that must sound weird, being a doctor and all, but it’s true. I guess it’s kind of natural to take our health for granted until it is questioned. Case in point: Through all of the health issues that have beset Suse in the last year, I’ve never considered the fortune of my own good health.
We’re like that, us humans. We take health for granted. It’s like we expect it to be ours forever, when it is really only ever on loan.
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We’re certain of its infallibility, until it’s put to the test. And mine is to be tested, on the 2nd of July at 9.30am. That is the appointment time of my semen analysis. The spotlight has turned on me.
According to the World Health Organisation, as a Western male, my sperm concentration ought to be at least 15 million per millilitre, and preferably closer to 60 million per ml. That, being the average for a male growing up in the modern Western world. And while that may sound impressive – it still sounds impressive to me – it is a pitiful number compared to our parents and grandparents. Sperm concentrations have dropped 1-2% per year over the last four decades, so that they are now about half the number that they were in 1950. Meantime, there has been an increase in the proportion of useless fibrous testicular tissue in that time.
Yes, our balls are lighter. Our manhood is actually in question here.
Hey, I didn’t fill this world with the plastics, pesticides, environmental estrogens and industrial chemicals. Don’t blame me.
Blame my grandpa, he can take it.
He’s got bigger balls than me.
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According to the World Health Organisation, my total sperm count per ejaculate needs to be at least 39 million to avoid a label. That label, oligospermia, is not a freaky looking sea urchin, nor is it a new type of face lotion. It is a serious medical condition. Because the number should really be in the hundreds of millions. The numbers have been dropping every decade for the last half a century. You can’t have below average sperm count when the guy next to you is the same. It’s just that gramps had more. Along with the balls thing.
And as of 2010, only 15% of my sperm need have normal morphology to pass. Only one in six sperm need to look normal, for me to be called normal. Is five out of six duds really normal? I mean really?
Can my grandpa make me feel any worse right now?
Beyond this, my volume should be somewhere between 1ml and 6.5ml, thereby proving the patency of my seminal vesicles. They’ll check fructose levels, that the pH level is between 7.2 and 7.8, the liquefaction (which is both a sea urchin and a new face lotion) as well as a few other things that are really a bit too technical for my infrequent, retarded sperm to consider right at this moment. I just hope they perform okay on the day. I don’t want them getting stage fright when they are, literally, under the microscope.
So, as of today, I am not taking it for granted. I am not thinking of my sperm as infallible. As per Dr Fleischer, I have ordered my multivitamin, my vitamin D, and my fish oil. Meantime, Suse and I are going on a holiday to Fiji. And relaxing holidays can’t bad for sperm.
They have to be performing at their optimum, come game day. I’m choosing to ignore the fact that it takes 72 days to develop sperm, considering that it can’t do any harm to give a little supercharge in the last two weeks. It’s like a sugar hit at the end of a marathon. I want plenty of players, I want at least one in six of them to swim straight, and I want them to have plenty of sugar on board.
With the two weeks of super-juicing and a week on the beach, they should be in ship-shop shape on the 2nd July.
That is, unless radiation from long haul flights effects on testicular function.
Like I said, I’m under the spotlight.
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