Fertility clinics are where we have conversations that don't necessarily want to have and perform tests that we would less than likely not want to perform.
Below, people share their strangest experiences at a fertility clinic. Check them out!
(Content has been edited for clarity.)
Hand Gestures And Magazines
“I worked for a fertility clinic and regularly had to ask men for samples. The most awkward times were when the man spoke little or no English and didn’t understand the things I was trying to tell him. The last resort was hand gestures, but more than once we had guys come back and try to hand us cups of urine.
Oh, and the one guy who came back from the bathroom to inform us our Playboy magazine selection was inadequate and started to describe what sort of magazines he preferred. That was a fun one.”
We Can’t Pay You
“I’m a donor. I started when I was broke in college; asked if they paid.
Her: ‘Unfortunately local laws do not allow us to pay you. Assuming you meet all quality criteria and we retain your assistance, we’re only legally allowed to compensate you for ‘travel and reasonable expenses.’ As long as you’re with us, we’ll send you a monthly bus pass AND pay any parking fees, a $100 prepaid debit card to cover your lunch when you come visit us every two weeks; we also offer free dry cleaning and childcare and a selection of free vitamin and protein supplements. You’d also gain full access at no charge to our private gym and spa, and special discounts on a range of services that may help you remain in optimal health and guarantee the…’
I cut her off ‘Hey, had me at the bus pass, but I appreciate the extra mile you guys are willing to go to to make this work in full compliance with the spirit of the law.’
She didn’t even blink and had a ‘nurse’ bring me sandwiches and tonic in the waiting room. It’s been 10 years now, and I still go. Half for the perks, half to satisfy a weird biological craving to reproduce without having to deal with, you know, kids.”
Really Killing The Mood
“I had an awkward experience while trying to produce a sample for artificial insemination while we were trying to get my wife pregnant.
We go in to see her doctor. She was the ‘patient.’ I was not checked in or anything. I could’ve been some guy off the street, and they didn’t care or ask any questions. They lead us back to an exam room, and the nurses ask her a few questions and leave. This looks like a normal general practice doctor’s office exam room – exam table with tissue paper covering, a workstation computer, a place to wash up and a bunch of drawers containing miscellaneous medical supplies. The only difference is all the walls are COVERED in Christian posters with motivational messages and pictures of people’s babies.
I was expecting they come and get me and take me to a small closet sized room or bathroom or something to ‘collect my sample.’
Apparently, that’s not how this works. The doctor finally comes in. She doesn’t say a word, she just awkwardly hands the collection cup to me and leaves, shutting the door behind her. My wife and I exchange glances, then stare at the cup, then back at each other, equally surprised and a little bit unsure of what had just happened.
Finally, she breaks the silence. ‘Do you want… help… I guess?’
‘I was expecting a more clinical process… but… sure.’
So we get the job done, clean up, get dressed, and cap off the cup, then I set it down on the exam table. My wife slowly opens the exam room door. The doctor runs in nervously and says ‘OH! OH, YOU HAVE TO KEEP IT WARM!’ and picks up the cup and covers it with both her hands and pulls it close to her body then runs out of the room.”
It’s NO JOKE.
“A friend of mine and his wife were having some trouble conceiving. One of the first things they test is the guy’s seed, so they sent him to give them a ‘sample.’
He filled out his paperwork, was given his cup and told to enter a room. As he was walking there, embarrassed because everyone in the room knew what he was about to do, he jokingly said to the nurse, ‘Do you give help?’
She stopped him in his tracks, called for someone else, and they sat him down and went over a list of protocols regarding proper etiquette. They said he had harassed her and he had to go through a 30 minute class on how to act like a grown up in that situation. He tried to tell them it was just a joke because he was nervous and the supervisor said to him, ‘That type of proposition is no joke, sir!’
This happened about 10 years ago. To this day, if he flips me off or anything like that I will say to him, ‘That type of proposition is not a joke sir!'”
Basic Etiquette, Please
“I work in In vitro fertilization, so we get to see some of the same things.
I’ve had a patient that cracked the specimen cup not once but twice in a row with the specimen in it. Those cups are not easy to break, they bend and go back to the original shape when squeezed.
I’ve also witnessed a patient who came out of the collection room with pants around his ankles to say that he missed the cup. That one got some screams from the females in the office.”
“Once, my best friend had to go to a fertility doctor because he and his wife were having difficulty conceiving. I asked him to provide details on the ‘sampling room.’ He was the only person I’ve personally known that ever had to do this, so I was curious.
He shook his head and said that when he walked in he was stunned that it was a small six by six room with a sink, clean surfaces, and NO magazines or assistance of any kind. That was the moment when he realized that he left his iPhone in his car as well. Being too embarrassed to go out and be all, ‘I, uh, left something in my car,’ he handled it like a trooper and managed to complete the task standing in a cold room with nothing to help him.”
Please, Keep Out
“I was a nurse that had to deliver fluids to the fertility bank wing of the hospital. This creepy looking guy was there to donate. I was wheeling the trolley containing the tubs of fluids, and I passed him in the hallway. The guy stood in front of the cart and leaned over it.
He took a big sniff then ran his finger along the lids. I was telling him to leave when he whispered to me ‘Shhhhh, the babies are sleeping’ so definitely one for the history books.”
Signed To A Contract
“A close friend of mine used to make donations at a fertility clinic. I signed up and donated the screening sample and was ready to start but couldn’t handle the idea of having kids out in the world. My friend, however, had no such reservations.
It’s like a doctor’s office. There’s a waiting room as well as a bunch of individual small rooms. They have magazines, but everybody uses their phone. The room has a chair, sink, and small table. Once you’re in the room, no one disturbs you until you’re out. You give them the full cup and walk out. It’s painless. However, it’s not a one time spur of the moment type of thing. You sign up for a six-month period with a certain number of deposits.
You can’t do anything for at least four days before donating, and they can tell when you have. Plus you get paid more the bigger it is so it’s good business not to. You have the option to be anonymous or not. If you give your identity, you get paid more. Anonymous donation is roughly $100 to $200 per load depending on what you’re packing.”
Do Not Disturb
“My wife and I used a fertility specialist to have our first child.
The first day of our ‘procedure’ I go in and am supposed to be the first person in the room to deposit my specimen for insemination.
The nurse walks me back and tries to open the door, and it is locked. She complains about how the door always somehow locks itself and gets the keys. She never knocked.
Luckily for me, the door swung out towards me instead of away because as soon as she unlocked it all, I can hear is a guy yelling ‘Excuse me!!’ over and over.
The nurse’s face turns red; she says, ‘Oh my, I am sorry,’ and closes the door. She looks at me and covers her mouth, and I start cracking up. She tells me that no one was supposed to be in there and has me wait in a chair down the hall.
A few minutes later a guy comes out and walks past me. He is blushing bright red and out of sorts. I just sit there and say nothing as he exits and the nurse come back and say ‘oh my gosh, that has never happened before.’ They go in and do whatever cleaning they do and take me in there.
Before she closes the door, I made sure to tell her to remember that I was in there and to knock before unlocking the door.”
I Didn’t Mean Like THAT!
“A guy that worked for me in the military had a follow-up appointment after a vasectomy at the base hospital to ensure he was shooting blanks.
He comes back an hour later quite frazzled, and I asked him what was up. It seems he was given a cup and a paper bag at the lab and told to go into a small room and make his deposit. He does so and then walks up to the counter and hands over the cup. The lab tech proceeds to chew him out for being stupid. ‘It goes in the BAG!’
He goes back into the little room, grabs the bag, opens the cup, and dumps the contents into the paper bag. Then he returns to the counter.
He wasn’t a bright guy, as evidenced by his willingness to tell me and others of the stupidity. He had to go back later that week to try again.”
Out Here Trying To Make Cash
“I volunteered at a fertility clinic during college for service hours.
I had one guy come up to the counter, very nice looking man, and all he said was, ‘I heard that you can make some cash for doing this now instead of getting your couch gross.'”
“I once had to go to a clinic to have a test done. The nurse led me to a little room and handed me a cup. There were no magazines, so I found it a bit of a letdown, but I was able to pull it off regardless. I left the little room and handed the nurse the cup, and she gave me to most wicked look.
It was a urine test.”
There Is A Long Process
“A fertility clinic isn’t a place where wacky and crazy things happen. I walk in, make small talk while they get my cup and money, I step into a room, do the deed, and leave.
It isn’t as easy as any guy can come in and donate; you have to go through a screening process to make sure that you’re up to snuff. So the nurses and workers get to know all of the donors, and there probably aren’t any crazies that get through the screening.”
Prank Calls And Stupidity
“I’ve worked at a fertility clinic now for two years and have had few awkward experiences with the donors. Usually, it’s the phone calls that are weird. We had a regular prank caller that would ask if we provide specific items in the rooms. Once he wanted to know I we had nurses to help. The last time he called, he asked if we offered radios in the rooms.
As far as weird donor experiences go it usually comes to guys trying out for the first time, when we have an extensive screening process, and they’re acting stupid. We explain to new guys what to do and where to place the specimen cup when done. About half of the time the guys try to hand them to any worker they see or have to ask again where to go.
I do make jokes to the guys I know better. I like to tell them to have fun while walking to the rooms.”
Didn’t Need To Know That
“I worked at a fertility clinic. I would say that probably the most awkward it got was when we surveyed the guys to see what magazines they preferred. I had to sort through all the responses to figure out what stuff we should buy next to out into the rooms.
I learned about every weird preference of these guys that I had a pretty good rapport with.”
“When my wife and I were having trouble conceiving, I had to submit samples for testing at a fertility clinic. I had the option of doing it at the hospital or doing it at home and quickly getting the sample back to the hospital. I chose the second option.
The drive to the hospital was pretty awkward, as I had to speed to get there and worried what I would say if I got pulled over.”
“I’m a former long-term seed donor. It was a great way to make money when I was younger.
Well, I become a preferred client, and I signed a contract to donate for long periods of time. I want to say they started me out at six months and then 18 months. Well several years down the road and a few banks later, I’m walking in to donate as usual, and I get asked to sit down in this conference room with an administrator and a doctor. I had no idea what was going on but had it explained to me that there had been an oversight with my contract and that they were willing to buy me out on the spot.
After a bit more talking I learned that apparently my sperm had been used so often they said that while they were under no legal obligation to stop me from donating or taking it from that matter, they had an ethical responsibility. I could never get an exact number or even a remote figure, but I got an idea, and it frightened me. I made a joke about having 200 children, and the doctor made an upward gesture with his hand before the administrator shoved his hand down. It wasn’t so much the gesture as it was the manner in which he did it and the serious look on his face. Then it was explained to me that they could use one sample multiple times, so the potential was massive. They bought me out on my contract, for three times the agreed upon amount (for 18 months of donations) up front with the agreement I would not donate again, anywhere in the US.”