Why I auditioned my new man with a date at a FERTILITY CLINIC (and thank God I did)

After reading a study that claimed sperm counts had plummeted by nearly two-thirds since the 1970s, Tracey Kiss, 30, from Buckinghamshire, decided she needed to check everything was okay 'down there' – because having a baby in the future was "non-negotiable".

Concerned that she was approaching 31 and her fertility declining Tracy decided to be "brutally honest" and ensure both her and Freddy Shaw, 27, were fertile – so they could decide if they needed to plan for babies sooner rather than later.

And she's glad she did because the results revealed while she was OK, Freddy's sperm count was low.

Tracy admitted: "If you don't know that information you can miss that window. You take for granted you will be able to create life as and when you choose.

“It's important to audition someone or yourself so you can get the information to help you as a couple."

“I wanted someone able to a family and have a third child. To have a baby in the future is non-negotiable [for me]. I need a five or 10-year plan. To know its possible to have children is very important.”

Now the couple are rethinking their future timeline and taking preventive action to ensure Freddy's sperm is in the best shape possible.

Tracy is helping him reduce stress and he is taking vitamins.

But she has never considered ending their relationship.

She said: "The fact my Zeus-like man has a flaw makes him more human."

"Now that we have this information it has made us consider trying for a baby sooner rather than later into our relationship.

"If we wait a few years until we’re more financially stable to try to conceive or get this information we may have also had to deal with IVF costs as well.

"The experts told us we're both super fit and healthy, we both eat clean and if we do things like keep Freddy's groin area cool, have him wear looser trousers and avoid alcohol and fatty foods his sperm count will be healthier."

Freddy added: "The earlier you do these tests the better.

"I have things I can do now [to help]. I'm glad I know. We hear so much about fertility being the woman's problem and it's almost taboo for blokes to even talk about their problems.

"I felt shocked and a bit scared but now I can properly plan.”

Freddy, 27, is urging other blokes to “man up” and go on fertility dates, like he did.

“I was dubious about fertility clinic dating,” he admitted. “It wasn't as romantic as I'd hoped but I’ve realised with romance comes some real life wake up calls.

“I reckon have a fertility MOT. Man up about your fertility and even if your cup doesn’t runneth over there are ways to increase the flow."

Tracy explained, despite only having dated Freddy since the start of the year, she convinced him to have his sperm count monitored.

Meanwhile, she had a cervical scan and AMH blood test, a type of assessment which checks egg reserves.

Freddy is happy with it – although he agreed with wasn’t your traditional romantic date.

He said: “It wasn't like we went out for a lovely meal, flower, dancing and a movie.

“Fertility dating is a little more intense than that especially when you are handed small cup and the nurse shows you to a room.”

Tracy, a personal trainer, added: “We both want children. So I thought let’s have fertility dates. When you are a woman and you are about to turn 31 you have to be brutally honest.

Why has sperm count plummeted so low?

Sperm counts have plummeted by nearly two-thirds since the 70s, a major study reveals.

Humans could become extinct, experts warn as they blame modern living for damaging male fertility and warn the shocking findings are a “wake-up call”.

Scientists claim chemicals in plastics, pesticides, poor diet, smoking and obesity are all harming men's sperm.

Researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem reviewed 185 studies involving 43,000 men.

They found men in Europe, the US, Australia and New Zealand have seen their sperm concentration fall by 52 per cent in the past four decades.

And sperm counts have dropped by 59 per cent in the same period.

It means growing numbers of young Brit men are now infertile – and more couples failing to conceive naturally.

One in six UK couples struggle to get pregnant.

And more than two per cent of babies in the UK are conceived annually through IVF – around 13,000 in England and Wales alone.

But researchers found blokes in South America, Asia and Africa have been unaffected.

The findings are published in the journal Human Reproduction Update.

Study lead Dr Hagai Levine said: “If we will not change the ways that we are living and the environment and chemicals that we are exposed to, I am very worried about what will happen in the future.

"Eventually we may have a problem, and with reproduction in general, and it may be the extinction of the human species.

"This study is an urgent wake-up call for researchers and health authorities around the world to investigate the causes of the sharp ongoing drop in sperm count.”

“I wanted a good bloke, someone who is fit, healthy and fertile. A younger bloke should mean better options for me.”

Tracy told how, despite already being mum to Millie, 10, and Gabriel, six, from a previous relationship she started worrying about her fertility after hitting 30 earlier this year.

She said Freddy, who does not live with her, was also “bloke broody”.

Tracy said: “Freddy’s great around my kids. We are not living together but women can't afford to be stand-offish these days.

"In fact I reckon when you have an STD check before you start sleeping with a new man it makes sense to also get a fertility MOT.

“Or, like Freddy and me, you could do it together.”

And surprisingly, Freddy agreed with Tracy that it is a great idea to have a fertility test.

He was swayed after she showed him scientific research about male fertility.

In July 2017 Researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem reviewed 185 studies involving 43,000 men.

They found men in Europe, the US, Australia and New Zealand have seen their sperm concentration fall by 52 per cent in the past four decades.

And sperm counts have dropped by 59 per cent in the same period.

Freddy said: "Tracey showed me research about male fertility. I was super shocked to learn sperm count had more than halved in the past 40 years.

“I have always just assumed I had top-notch swimmers. I didn't know that a man’s average sperm counts drops off by 1.4 percent each year.

"I want kids. I know I'd be a great dad and it's not just women who feel their biological clock ticking. I felt sure I would pass the test with flying colours.

"It's a real matter of male pride. When Tracey suggested the 'date' I thought, ‘why not?’

“It's unusual but I was up for it. It's unorthodox and many blokes might run a mile but I wanted to know how powerful my sperm was.”

The pair admitted they have had a chat about having children and are both on the same page.

Seven months may seem fast and not the time to be 'fertility dating',” admitted Tracy.

“However I cannot afford to sit around and wait

Tracy, who had a miscarriage in between her first and second child, currently uses the coil for contraception.

Ahead of their visits to the fertility clinic, they overhauled their lifestyle.

“We both upped our vegan-eating plan, cut out sugar and bad fats ahead of our fertility date,” explained Tracy.

Explaining the process of having their fertility tested, Freddy said: “It was eye-opening.

“There were magazines to help.”

But waiting for the results was nerve-wracking.

Freddy said: “It was like waiting for exam results.”

The tests revealed Tracy had no problems.

However, Freddy's results indicated he has a low sperm count at 5.9million per ml while the average range is between 15 million-20million per ml.

"The results showed my sperm are strong swimmers but there are less of them," he explained.

"I was stunned. Men assume they have a good sperm count.

“I had been complaining of an occasional pain in my groin. I'd been hit a number of times playing sports but I was shocked with the results.

"I know it’s not a measure of my sexual abilities or physical strength and I think blokes should understand that and get tested even in their 20s. I reckon you have to be prepared."

“Given Freddy's sperm count and natural aging our chances of having kids are drastically cut. It wasn't the news I was hoping for,” added Tracy.

But the couple's glad they went because they can now plan for the future.

What is IVF, how much does it cost and what's its success rate?

From your phone to your make-up… eight things which that could be harming your fertility.

Source: Read Full Article