Book Review from Infertility Answers

infertility answersInfertility Answers by Sharon LaMothe

Sperm Tales-An Informative Guide Through the Challenges of Infertility by Lynn M. Collins

Sperm Tales-An Informative Guide Through the Challenges of Infertility by Lynn M. Collins truly touches on many of the issues of infertility and treatments throughout each and every page of the 26 chapters in this book. Although I don’t think you could guess from the title, Sperm Tales is dedicated to women who maybe struggling to become pregnant, have questions regarding fertility or couples who are going through treatments and want a further explanation of what tests and medications are being prescribed to them. It is easy to read with short stories of real patient scenarios that will make you either laugh out loud or cringe with sympathy.  Yes, there is quite a bit of information regarding the male factor but I found that Sperm Tales a well-balanced tutorial for anyone who is just trying to understand the concept of infertility. Discussed are tests, procedures, complications and causes that accompany the diagnoses of infertility. I believe it’s a great book to have in any well stocked Assisted Reproductive Professional’s library or for a newly diagnosed patient.   

Lynn M. Collins was trained in the Infertility field at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA. She later set up and worked for more than 10 years at an Infertility Lab and Sperm Bank in Danvers, MA. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband, Kevin, black lab Shamus and cat Trapper John.

A Review by Lois C. Henderson

Sperm Tales: An Informative Guide through the Challenges of Infertility Reviewed By Lois C. Henderson of


Author: Lynn M. Collins

Publisher: Lynn Collins

ISBN-10: 0996520309; ISBN-13: 978-0996520300

Lynn M. Collins’ carefully constructed guide to infertility management not only has a catchy and intriguing title, Sperm Tales: An Informative Guide through the Challenges of Infertility, but is also highly accessible, no matter how scant your medical background. Sperm Tales is, nevertheless, extremely well informed, with Collins referencing her sources well, focusing on the professionally sound, such as the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC), without drowning her audience in a plethora of unnecessary detail.

Collins’ professional expertise in the field is indubitable. As she states: “I have managed an infertility laboratory for over 12 years and have been closely involved with physicians and nurses on a day-to-day basis, as well as with the couples participating in the program.” Consequently, not only does she have the professional expertise that is required to write a book of this nature, but she also has the requisite level of compassion and empathy to reach out on a personal level to her audience, no matter their background.
The probing nature of the questions that she asks (such as: “When should I have my baby?”, “Do I need infertility counseling?”, and “What to expect – What is ART (otherwise known as Assisted Reproductive Technologies)?”) reveal that Collins is truly on top of her game. Never afraid to handle the trickier issues, Collins covers such contentious and problematic matters as fertility during cancer treatments and same sex couples and ART.

Despite the four-page index being less detailed than some would, no doubt, like, it is, nevertheless, a helpful guide to the work when combined with the contents pages, with the chapter titles clearly indicating the relevant content, such as “How To Choose A Fertility Center” and “The Initial Consult”.

The rationality and logic of Collins’ common sense approach, which is comforting and reassuring, is bound to instill a spirit of trust in the reader that is likely to make them believe what she has to say, and to follow the steps to overcoming infertility that she recommends.

Collins encourages and motivates, rather than prescribing set actions. She is intimately aware of the diversity of causes that can lead to infertility, and she discusses them thoroughly and cogently. Her one-on-one approach to the reader not only lends an air of familiarity to the message that she wishes to convey, but it also fosters a spirit of fluidity and balance in the text, so that Sperm Tales, unlike many other works on infertility, is highly readable and easily understandable. The readability of her text is enhanced still further by her good sense of humor, which is especially marked in her introduction of a character and friend, named Spanky, who is the mascot of Collins’ infertility clinic. Spanky makes timely interjections throughout the text, all sourced from the funny comments that Collins’ patients have made over the years―after all, she believes that learning should be fun. So don’t expect a dry as dust tome that puts you to sleep after the second paragraph, but one that will, at times, most likely tickle your funny bone, as well as covering your nether regions. In short, enjoy!

Book Review

” For anyone who is going to go down the Assisted Reproductive path, Lynn Collins has written a very informative book on the process from A to Z. It is written compassionately, and humanizes a very clinical process. Reading early in the process of reproductive decisions will help you make informed choices.”

Gauri Bhide, M.D., Oncologist

Sperm Tales offers a clear and easy reading with good simple explanation of the process. It is a must-have guide for the couple navigating the infertility highway. Lynn Collins uses humor to alleviate a couple’s stress while at the same time providing valuable and accurate information”

David DiChiara M.D., Fellow of ACOG

Department Chair of OB/GYN Beverly Hospital, Beverly, Ma.