Updated: Dec 23, 2020
I recently contacted my GP regarding requesting a Semen Analysis. The very helpful receptionist advised me that, while they were not taking routine appointments, I could put my request in writing and they would probably process it that way.
So, I did.
Within a few days, I had a call from the GP to say that a test kit was available for me to collect. I collected the test kit and asked when it needed to be returned. The nurse said I could return it first thing the following morning! Good job I had abstained for the last few days just in case of this eventuality! However, I was not expecting the GP to be able to perform such an analysis at the practice clinic.
When I returned home, I unpacked the test kit and started to read the guidance. It all seemed very straightforward. You start by completing the request form to include the date of collection, time, etc. It tells you how long you need to abstain before “doing your business”. A phrase which I have seen/heard a lot recently. I suppose it's better than being told to “have a wank in a cup and try not to spill it!”. Question: Did you collect the whole sample? Not sure if that’s an in-joke with the Andrology Department, considering the size of the collection cup!
But wait, in big bold red writing “Call number to book an appointment” with Nevill Hall Hospital (Abergavenny).
So, I contact the GP once more, just to make sure. I explained that the documentation stated to make an appointment with one of the local hospitals. She puts me on hold. “Hello, Sir”. “Ring the number and they should be able to assist going forward”. Right! It was a good job I hadn’t already done a good job!
So, I ring the number for the hospital. It rings for a minute and a half before the answerphone kicks in. “We’re sorry but we are not taking appointments for the foreseeable future”. Bloody COVID-19! There is an alternative number to call but the lady states it's for URGENT inquiries only. She emphasises this at least 4 times before the line goes dead. For a moment, It feels like the breaks are on in regards to the Semen Analysis. After all, is it really that urgent considering the current circumstances?
So, I rang the number! After all, urgent is subjective. Is my fertility important? I think so. I asked to speak to one of the andrology staff (as per the request of the previous voicemail) and was soon put through to the laboratory. I was told that appointments were on hold for the time being. Perhaps organising this on the NHS at this time will have to wait… But then I had a thought. The Wales Fertility Institute!
So, I ring the WFI. I spoke to a lovely lady who initially said that I would need to have the test done at Nevill Hall due to my location. I explained that the department was currently closed. She put me on hold in order to get some advice from the lead Andrologist who was on site. When she returned, I was informed that bookings were now beginning to start again at the WFI and that they expected this would also be the case at the other local hospitals in the next few weeks. Unless I wanted to go privately. I inquired as to the cost of a private test, to which she informed me it would cost £75. Not a king’s ransom. never the less, if Nevill Hall was going restart appointments soon, I may as well hold on for a week or two.
So, in the meantime, I intend to make contact with a few fertility clinics to discuss creating embryos using anonymous egg donation. The chances are I will probably have to repeat the Semen Analysis with my chosen clinic anyway!
Until next time, thanks for following my journey so far. Keep the Dad dream alive!
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