So then they made me get a fertility test…

Hey, do you know what most people don’t seem to talk about? Male fertility tests! Maybe men are bashful. Maybe it’s too personal. Maybe big gruff manly folks don’t want people knowing they had issues with their wiggly munchkins. That’s all a bunch of silly. It’s just wiener science in action. And like any science, wiener science can be all unpredictable and unique – and worth discussing.

As I always say, wiener science is interesting science!

Well, I don’t always say that. I might start.

There are a lot of preconceptions about male fertility tests. Everyone wonders what goes on in those mysterious little rooms. What sort of stuff do they have in there? Is there really stuff in there at all? Let me tell you, internet people. Let me tell you about my experiences with wiener science.

Side note: Back in high school, my friends and I used to challenge each other to sneak little “easter eggs” into our papers on Homer or Twain or whatever. We’d try to do things like use the word “doobie” four times in a paper about the blindness motif in the Oedipus plays, or see how many times we could call Tituba “buxom” when discussing The Crucible. Today’s game: keep repeating “wiener science.”  It’s the most adult way to talk about the subject anyway.

Laura and I haven’t succeeded at making baby people, so we’ve both been put through the battery of tests to figure out what’s going on. After soiling two plastic cups, having my blood extracted and receiving a finger in the bum, I’m more or less cleared of terrible issues.

The first test didn’t involve a lot of mystery. It was done at a hospital not too far from home, so I was able to bring my sample to the office, drop it off, and leave. That analysis was followed up by an appointment with a urologist who decided I’d get my first prostate exam early in life, then ordered me to get some blood taken and do a second swimfan analysis. This one would be done at a bigger, baby-making hospital and they’d collect on-site.

On-site?! How exciting this news was! I’d get to find out the truth of what goes on in those little rooms. I was jazzed. Even though I had to leave work early for the appointment, drive all the way into the city, get out of the city and hopefully not get lost or stabbed or mugged in the process, I was excited to find out how this really went down.

My co-workers had plenty of questions and comments, which they verbalized with a great deal of reluctance:
“I’ve always wondered what was in those rooms.”
“How long will you, you know, stay in there?”
“Do they give you… materials?”
“Won’t it be weird knowing that the nurses know you’re in there, you know…”

Most ideas people have about these facilities are based on TV or movies, which are seldom accurate representations of anything. Turns out, this time they weren’t too far off.

I arrived at the fertility office, checked in and sat down. After a couple minutes of being forced to watch The Doctors on TV perform some sort of weird eye surgery, which grossed me out completely, they called my name and I was supposed to go get aroused.

“You’ll fill this out once you’re done. You’ll put your collection cup in the bag. One label on the cup, one on the bag. Turn the light off and leave everything in there. All you’ll bring back to the front is this.”

She handed me a key.

“Go down the hall. Make a right at the end, it will be the second door on the left. It’s labeled Private A.”

The hallway was about a mile long. There was office after office and exam room after exam room. There is a lot that can go wrong with a lady’s baby-making bits, and they had enough rooms here to check two dozen women at once. As I walked down, the only man in sight, I knew that every person there was aware of where I was headed.  Finally I made it to the end of the hall and made a right. This hall was also long, and the second door on the left was another 50 steps. They really tuck us gents away to do our thing.

I visually checked Private B to see if the light was on. It wasn’t. This made me happy. I didn’t want to be that close to another… occupied room. A nurse was coming down the hall just as I was keying my way into Private A. I looked at her and half-smiled a friendly acknowledgment, unsure of what facial expression was appropriate to don as my mind scrolled lighted banners of “SHE KNOWS WHAT YOU ARE ABOUT TO DO IN THERE.” I decided to focus my attention on the door handle instead. Unlock, turn, enter, close, lock.

And then all questions about wiener science were answered.

There’s a sink and a toilet, like any room in a hospital. Then there’s a small couch, a table with a clock, a television, and a stack of not-so-literary publications. Also, a semi-erotic painting hung on the main wall for men most aroused by restaurant-quality acrylic art prints.

The idea of touching any of these items was horrendous. Who knows how many wiggle-covered fingers had made contact everything in there. A giant couch-sized paper towel was provided for me to cover the seat, but the previous visitor’s cover was still in the garbage can. This disturbed me further. The rest of the room looked appropriately turned-over since the last guest checked-out, but I didn’t understand why that was still there. Despite not wanting to touch anything or breathe too deeply, I touched everything. I decided it was all important to the experience. And for the blog. That’s right. I’m a germophobe and I touched lots of stuff with penis all over it just for you. YOU. And wiener science. (Getting tired of it yet?)

After taking the lid off the cup, I turned on the television. A DVD immediately started spinning but nothing appeared on-screen. I realized the last user was TV illiterate and had it on the wrong input source. I changed it to DVD input and quickly saw several individuals copulating with rather audible vigor in what looked like an industrial warehouse with lots of yellow and pink lighting. At this point I heard talking coming through the wall and realized I wasn’t in the most soundproof of rooms. The volume was turned down.

They had the Lindsay Lohan issue of Playboy and a couple Penthouses.

Here are some photos I probably wasn’t legally allowed to take:

When the wiener science is done, you’re instructed to put your collection cup in the provided paper bag like you’re preparing a field trip lunch for a cervix. You leave everything in the room and bring only the key back to the main desk. Once I made it back through the labyrinth of rooms to return the key, as my luck would have it, there were about 15 women all standing in the reception area having a staff meeting. They stopped their discussions when I walked up to return my key to Private A, and my mind began scrolling lighted banners of “THEY KNOW WHAT YOU JUST DID IN THERE.”

I set the key on the counter and tapped it with my fingers, hoping I didn’t have to say anything.
“Thank you!” the girl said cordially, firing the key into a little box as if I’d just done her a favor. Oh, you’re welcome darling. You’re welcome.

You be good to my children now, ya hear?

So that’s the reality of wiener science. I took the elevator back to the first floor with a mixed sense of shame and pride, validated my parking garage ticket, went back to the car and headed home. Now I wait for results.

Oh, and if you’re ever in the area and have some free time, it costs $4 to masturbate into a cup in Pittsburgh hospitals, provided you’re in and out in less than an hour. A little tip from your friend Jeff Saporito.


2 thoughts on “So then they made me get a fertility test…”

  1. First off, once I got to the part where you took pictures, I just about choked laughing.

    Second, we also had issues but my husband didn’t want to “do” anything about it not just for himself but he wasn’t going to let us as a couple do anything he considered extreme. Which at first made me angry and seemed unfair but made it easier to just move on. I only ever got checked for one thing and that was fine.

    In the end, it took us four years to have our first and three years to have a second. We still have no idea why any of that took so long. Especially since the third came too quick.

    Good luck and thank you for touching stuff with penis all over it in the name of wiener science.

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