It’s a sensitive subject men don’t want to discuss, let alone joke about. And while it’s rarely brought into the open, male infertility affects tens of thousands, including comedian Rhod Gilbert. Here, Rhod shares the emotional turmoil, theories and misconceptions about infertility and meets others who have experienced the heartache of not being able to conceive.
Rhod and his wife Siân have been trying for a baby but have had difficulties. While Siân is dealing with the complications of endometriosis, Rhod was unpleasantly surprised when tests uncovered issues with his sperm. He describes them as very lazy and languid, “like their owner”.
In this one-hour no-holds-barred programme Rhod is candid about this often taboo subject in his own inimitable style: “I’m older than Sydney Opera House and my satchel syrup isn’t what it used to be. Once, my sperm may have been rocket-fuelled baby bombs. But these days I’m told they’re as old and wrinkly as the bag I keep them in. Senile swimmers in need of zimmers.”
The programme has been aired on BBC Wales and is now available on the BBC Iplayer. It will be broadcast on BBC Two at 9.40 on Sunday 31st Jan.
Research has revealed shocking evidence that sperm counts across the entire Western world have dropped by 60 percent in the last 40 years.
In this heartfelt yet entertaining documentary, shot through with his acerbic brand of humour, Rhod Gilbert meets fellow male sufferers, including writer and performance poet Benjamin Zephaniah, who speaks openly about the pain felt by childless men.
Rhod is surprised to discover that men account for about half of all difficulties to conceive and he’s keen to find out more about a problem that’s largely unacknowledged.
Infertility is the basis for Rhod Gilbert’s first stand-up tour in five years. He says: “If there’s one thing I’ve learned on my infertility journey is that humour is the battering ram that can break the defensive wall that men put up around this most serious of subjects.”