Why sperm analysis and storage is important

Decades ago, when sperm banks began more actively soliciting volunteers, college-aged males used to joke about donating in exchange for a nominal, but useful, fee. Until the inevitable questions arose: How, exactly, do I make my “donation”? Does that happen with anyone else present? Someone said something about attaching electrodes…is that true?

Similar concerns can sometimes prevent men from storing their assets for use at a later date (as opposed to any form of donation) – either because they might undergo medical treatment that could impact the quality of sperm, or because they want to wait until later in life to start a family.

Before we go any further: When using Legacy’s services, the collection of your assets happens safely and comfortably within the privacy of your own surroundings. No one else has to be present. And no, electrodes aren’t involved.

Neither are a lot of intrusive questions about your personal history, though Legacy can provide an analysis of your sperm along with recommendations for improving its quality for future use.

The fact remains, though, that many men become uncomfortable with the idea of collecting their sperm for purposes of analysis and/or storage.

Indeed, according to Legacy advisory board member and acknowledged fertility expert Dr. Allan Pacey, men often prefer to collect sperm at home for testing or storage purposes – if that choice means avoiding a trip to a clinic.

Pacey recently told The Independent newspaper of London that various attempts to bring male-targeted infertility products to market have frequently missed the mark or outright failed, possibly because of “male shame”.

“I have never sensed that they have taken off,” he said. “I wonder if this is because men are too embarrassed to buy them, or whether or not they are simply not interested in this topic until fertility becomes an issue in their lives.”

For the Legacy man, of course, the topic of fertility has likely arisen for an important reason. Even then, though, any man can experience difficulty in clearing the necessary, often self-imposed hurdles involved in making the leap to address his health issues.

After all, it can be hard enough to convince a man to see a doctor for a routine checkup. But to collect and analyze sperm – even without a doctor’s visit? Don’t the majority of fertility problems lie with females?

Not by a long shot. Sperm counts among Western males have dropped by 50 per cent over the past four decades. And males are estimated as contributing to fertility problems in as many as one in three cases, according to WebMD.

Add to that the notion that many men can feel as though they are somehow a failure if fertility is somehow found to be “their fault”, and it’s perfectly understandable that men routinely balk at collecting and testing their assets.

The good news is that, in addition to the above protocols established by Legacy, there are other avenues that can be pursued in order to ease a man’s concerns in this area.

One involves an age-old remedy that men avoiding medical treatment of any kind find to be a powerful motivator: The concern and support (sometimes involving well-intentioned prodding) of their partner.

According to a survey conducted by the American Academy of Family Physician (AAFP) , only 50 per cent of men said that they had completed a physical exam or a cholesterol test within the past year.

However, 80 per cent of men having a spouse or significant other reported that their partner exerted a degree of persuasion when trying to decide whether to see a physician – particularly when it came to the issue of preventive care.

Men also can be motivated to take more proactive measures regarding their health when their primary physician is a woman.

Psychologist Katherine Krefft, PhD, recently told Everyday Health, "Their fathers probably didn't go to the doctor, and it was their mothers they looked to for care. Some men may also prefer being touched by a woman to being touched by a man.”

Women can also influence their male partner to better take charge of their health because women tend to see a physician more routinely than do men – at a rate that’s roughly 3 per cent greater, excluding pregnancy-related checkups.

The message is clear: Not only should men make more of a proactive effort to take charge of their health issues, but they should also rest assured that when it comes to the collection and storage of their assets, Legacy’s services provide the best quality, security, and privacy.