Struggling With Infertility? Get Out the Measuring Tape

Jeanne Sager

measuring tapeThis just in from the "infertility is NOT always a woman's problem" file. There's a simple way to tell if your man is going to be a good babymaking partner. Just get out the measuring tape, and tell him to spread 'em. 

It turns out the length between his, ahem, balls and anus -- aka the anogenital distance (or as we learned it on the school bus, the "taint") -- is a good indicator of how good his swimmers are. No, really. Size does matter!

According to scientists, anything shorter than 2 inches and there's a pretty good chance he's going to have problems getting you preggers. They say this makes a guy about seven times more likely to be "subfertile." To which I want to say, "Gee, thanks science, should this be the new flashpoint of every relationship? Tell him you won't take the ring until he gives up his anogenital distance?"

I jest, but there's nothing funny about going through infertility. And anytime science devotes extra energy to determining signs in the male portion of the equation, it's a significant boost to humankind. Because although you read a lot about women and their infertility issues, the statistics bear out that men and women share this burden pretty equally. About one third of the time, it's the woman's "fault," about one third of the time it's the man's "fault," and the other third is a mix of the two members of a couple.

But sit down and talk face-to-face with people, and at the risk of painting all mankind with the same broad brush, the majority of men still tend to be more defensive about what their body brings to the table. They're emotional creatures too. And that's what the defense mechanism is about: emotions.

This test is a relief -- not only because it's easy for doctors to do but because it supplies a man with definitive numbers. Two inches. Seven times more likely to be subfertile -- or produce 20 million sperm per liter, which makes him half as likely to be able to get a woman pregnant. It takes emotions out of the picture, and it makes the next part of the fertility journey about facts.

He's got a size issue. Now what can be done about it? That's up for the fertility doc to determine, but the first step is getting to his (or her) office. And now you've got the measurements to get you there.

Have you been struggling with infertility? Have you measured this?


Image via blmurch/Flickr

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