Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The inspiration for my book - The Sperm Competition

Here's an excerpt from my book, which also describes the night I decided to write it.

Years ago, Jack and I were out at a nice dinner with some friends who had been through some fertility challenges, but were blessed with a set of twin girls conceived through the magic of IVF. I don’t know how it came up (maybe it was the fact that the shrimp in our appetizer somewhat resembled sperm), but Jack was boasting about his larger than normal (not just a little more than average, but thirty times what’s considered normal) sperm count, when our friend Mike, the most competitive person we know, said that he was quite sure that his was even higher. Always looking for a good opportunity to bet, he and Jack agreed that the one with the higher sperm count would get a “congratulatory” dinner from one of the best restaurants in town.

Jen, his wife, and I laughed over this ludicrous challenge. It seemed so absurd, yet so hilarious and just one more moment of levity during our quest to natural parenthood.

In order to find out what his sperm count number was, Mike actually went in to the andrology lab office to ask in person (mind you, his girls were two years old, so his sperm test was at least three years before). Needless to say, the woman working at the front desk was not too pleased about looking up this non-essential information, but she did. And, much to everyone’s surprise (except Mike), his sperm count was about six thousand more than Jack’s. In most cases, you’d think that six thousand would be a landslide, but when the average sperm count is around one hundred million per milliliter, it was a near photo finish.

To only make matters worse, the sperm competition continues to live on for some strange reason. Mike recently e-mailed us an article from The Economist, of all places, with the headline “Balls and Brains.” According to the article, a British researcher, a woman no less, has determined that there is a correlation between intelligence and high sperm counts. It says, “Brainy men, it seems, do have better sperm.” So, now, in addition to having an off-the chart sperm count, I have to deal with the “big head” Jack has as a result of a researcher with nothing better to do than study sperm count. I bet the same can be said for large egg production, too.


  1. Too funny! I can't wait until your book comes out!

  2. This is hysterical..and how fun you can laugh together as couples and infuse some humor into it all.
    Here for ICLW

  3. Funny how things like sperm count make their way into dinner conversations when you are at that point in your life. Surprisingly sperm comes up in our dinner conversations with friends but it is for a less positive note, my husband only has 3000 per ML... now I can personally prove that British woman wrong! My Husband is an engineer!

  4. I think this is a hilarious scenario that sheds some light on why some men fear the SA and feel culturally inadequate about low sperm counts. As long as Jack doesn't demand a re-match! I do love how you and your friends were able to find humor together through IF. Congrats on the book!

  5. lol very funny!!!

    I look forward to your book!!

    ICLW #93

  6. Awesome story and it`s awesome that you have friends that you can discuss sperm counts with. I wonder if I can use that study about intelligence and sperm count to convince my husband to go for testing. (ICLW)

  7. Hehehe! Now you have me wondering about egg production and brains. Maybe a study examining PhD graduates and the correlation to conception methods?
    ICWL #9