Spanky asks Dr Geoffrey Sher on Let’s Talk Infertility !

I’m very excited..I posted many of your questions to Dr Geoffrey Sher, Here are his Bio

Awards & Accomplishments

– 30+ years experience with In Vitro Fertilization
– Founder of the first private IVF Clinic in the US
– Influential in the births of more than 18,000 babies
– Trained under Patrick Steptoe and Robert Edwards, the “Fathers of IVF”
– Internationally renowned authority on immunologic causes of infertility
– Pioneer of many “firsts” in the field of IVF
He is located in Las Vegas NV…

So Fridays will be ” Answers from Dr Sher” I want to do this for a long time , so I need questions from all of you……

So Let’s Talk Infertility:     1st question?

Spanky Glasses

Spanky asks:
Dr Sher
Why after a loss- Does it take so long to get cycle back and why is it so different than before. AF (Aunt Flo)longer and O (Ovulation) is much later?

Dr. Geoffrey Sher – August 4, 2016 reply

After a pregnancy the central control over hormonal cyclicity can take a while (usually up to 2 months to reinstate.)
Geoff Sher

June is Men’s Health Month

Men, Infertility, Depression

We hear a lot about how infertility affects women’s emotional well being and less about how it affects men. It’s important that we pay some special attention to how men’s lives are impacted by the disease, especially when, according to the Centers for Disease Control, suicide is the 7th leading cause of death for all men in the United States and there are 4 times as many deaths to suicide for males than females. Read more on the link……

Author Event: Infertility and Yoga !

spermtales6final copy   Infertility and Yoga !

Merrimac Public Library , Merrimac Ma.

Thursday , June 23, 2016 7 pm- 8 pm

86 W. Main St. , Merrimac, MA

Lynn Collins will be teaming up with Paula Wilson, Registered Yoga Instructor

Lynn will read from her book Sperm tales – An Informative guide through the challenges of Infertility. The CDC says 1 in 8 couples are infertile. Lynn will read selections from her book and be on hand to answer questions and sign copies of the book.

Paula Wilson has been a Registered Yoga Teacher since 2004 and has taught Yoga to people of all ages and abilities, including adults, seniors, children, pregnant women and even special needs students

Paula struggled with infertility for 5 years before having 2 beautiful children.  She feels Yoga helped her on her long journey to having children.  She taught and practiced throughout both of her pregnancies,  which helped with stress, anxiety,  and even labor and delivery. Yoga also kept her flexible and in great shape as well.
For free classes:
Anyone who attends the event can take 1st Yoga class free at the Merrimac library with Paula Wilson, Registered Yoga Teacher from May – August and the can enter a raffle to win 3 additional FREE Yoga classes with her (to be used by 12/31/16). Please visit her website at for details on her classes.

There will also be a free drawing for a copy of Sperm Tales. With each signed book you will receive a tip sheet “10 Fertility Tips: How to make pregnancy possible ”

There will be light refreshments served……Hope to see you there


Did you know 52 % of women over the age of 35 would have made different decisions about their fertility, if they educated better when they were younger. Doctors don’t bring up the conversation unless they are asked. Your most fertile years are between 18 – 29 years of age, starting to decline at age 30.

The new norm is 35- 45 years of age where women are having children and during this time there is higher risks factors with pregnancies, higher number of miscarriages, and  lower egg count and quality. Women were unaware of that their fertility drops between the ages of 30 an 45 .

Pubic Health Priority

I am working with the CDC  to help bring awareness on the importance of educating women that age does matter when it comes to a woman’s fertility. The (WHO) World Health Organization and the (ASRM) American Society for Reproductive Medicine has defines infertility as a disease. One out of 8 couples are infertile, and to add to this environmental , chemical and occupational exposures now and earlier in life could affect fertility outcome. These exposures can also affect pregnancy outcomes ( multiple births, premature deliveries ) and increase likely hood of adult onset diseases  such as ovarian , prostate, testicular cancers, metabolic syndrome and (PCOS) polycystic ovary syndrome.

Infertility can serve as a marker of past, present and future health and provide a window of opportunity to improve care for affected reproductive aged women and men . Infertility can have a pubic health implications that go beyond just simply the ability to have children.*1

Please check out the National Public Health Action Plan for the Detection, Prevention and Management of Infertility

*1- CDC-National Public Health Action Plan for the Detection, Prevention and Management of Infertility


Author Event: Plaistow Public Library May 12, 2016


Plaistow Poster Option2

Author Lynn M. Collins to Hold Book Event at Plaistow Public Library

Author Lynn M. Collins will read from her new book, Sperm Tales: An Informative Guide Through the Challenges of Infertility at the Plaistow Public Library, May 12, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. 85 Main St, Plaistow, NH 03865

According to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, infertility affects about 6.1 people in the United States, which is about ten percent of the reproductive age population. Collins’ unique fertility guide, Sperm Tales: An Informative Guide Through the Challenges of Infertility, provides clear answers to questions of all women of childbearing age, and helps them gain a better understanding of fertility and the potential roadblocks they may confront if they wait too long.

This easy-to-read guide explains how infertility affects both men and women, while covering the latest treatments. For instance, How to Choose a Fertility Center, The Initial Consult, Causes of Female/Male Infertility, Procedures for an IUI, In Vitro Fertilization, Same Sex Couples, Sperm Banking, Egg Donors and much more. Sperm Tales also provides a list of acronyms, a glossary of terms and humorous asides from an imaginary friendly sperm named Spanky.

Collins draws on her experience as a laboratory supervisor for a leading national sperm bank and manager for a multi-million dollar infertility laboratory. Written with compassion, humor, as well as clear step-by-step information about the numerous challenges — medical and otherwise — Sperm Tales walks you through the journey of infertility treatment.

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 Newton, New Hampshire with her husband, Kevin, black lab Shamus and cat Trapper John.

For more information about the book and the author, visit

The author will read a selection from Sperm Tales and be on hand to answer questions and sign copies of the book. With each signed book, you will receive a tip sheet, “10 Fertility Tips: How to Make Pregnancy Possible.” The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.


Skye Wentworth, Book Publicist


NIAW- National Infertility Awareness Week

Help spread Awareness and Start Asking !

Let’s Talk Infertility …… Have any questions please ask me

Let’s end this taboo around Infertility

Infertility is a medical problem defined as the failure of a couple to conceive a child after one year of unprotected sexual intercourse, or the inability to carry a pregnancy to live birth. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), infertility affects about 6.1 million people in the United States, which is about 10 percent of the reproductive age population.

Spanky says : ‪#‎StartAsking‬ Age Matters – Did you know 1 out of 8 couples are infertile ? and basic fertility education is not taught in schools and is not part of the normal conversation during doctor visits….
52 % of women over the age of 35 would have made different decisions with better fertility education in their younger years.
35 is the magical number when your fertility drops dramatically…..#StartAsking

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.

Spanky’s First Blog


Let’s Talk Sperm

Hi Ladies!

Firstly, a happy Chinese New Year – expect two weeks of celebrating the year of the Fire Monkey with all sorts of Chinese decorations, traditions and food.

For those of us still working at conceiving, check out my page here for tips of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine). I am no practitioner, this page is just a small collection of info gathered through research and advice from my own Traditional Chinese Doctor.

For a little extra fun because it’s Chinese New Year, if you haven’t already read my post on Kate Davies’ fertility blog, then check it out here for some traditional Chinese Folklore for increasing fertility.

So now let’s get on to the main subject of the day, which is SPERMSpanky Resized

Ladies like us who are trying to conceive learn very quickly about ourselves. We who are going through all sorts of fertility treatments, on a whole plethora of prescription drugs, bought out every health store’s vitamin collection, researched our way through pages and pages of internet info and swap all of this info in a number of fertility support groups, have learnt so much about our own bodies that we could go back to university to study biology, chemistry, anatomy and medicine and ace it first time!

That being said, the information on our male partners is another study altogether. Those insy winsy swimmers remain ever elusive. Info is not as thorough and many questions still remain – what can help him to increase the quantity, the quality, the speed, the volume?

He thinks he’s got off lightly, because let’s face it, all he needs to do most of the time is go on a date with a cup – wam, bam, thank you ah… Yes, well don’t let him off that easy, ladies. Those swimmers need to be taken care of too or they will fail to do the job that you have been sweating, crying, bleeding and injecting over.

So, I present to you a very knowledgeable lady, who is my guest blogger today and available to answer all your sperm related questions. Lynn Collins is a trained Andrologist (yes, I had to look up the word myself ;-)) who managed a sperm bank for over twelve years. She has washed and analysed countless swimmers, which makes her an expert in this field.

So no more from me…I am now handing you over to Lynn to provide you and your man with great information to help you on your fertility journey…

lynn back of book

I was very excited when I was asked to write a blog on the male prospective of infertility and who better to write this than someone who has worked with men over 12 years. I always said “ I see more men in a day than any other woman.” I think Howard Stern would be interested in that statement.

I am a trained Andrologist, which means that I provide diagnostic and treatment services to men with reproductive health issues. I managed a Sperm Bank for over twelve years and performed semen analysis; sperm washed specimens for IUI’s and managed a non-donor sperm bank. I originally trained for the position at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and later took all my new knowledge and set up an infertility lab north of Boston.

So let’s review the male reproductive system :

Sperm takes 72 days to reproduce and then they are stored in the epididymis which is located on each side of the teste, where they are stored and matured. The sperm that are produced by the testes are immature and would be incapable to fertilize an egg. The mature sperm swim in semen through the woman’s cervix and up the fallopian tubes to meet the egg for fertilization.

Men need to have healthy sperm to be able to reach those eggs and to do that, men need to have a healthy lifestyle. There are many  factors that  can affect mens fertility from genetics, hormones, enviormental exposures and lifestyles. As time goes on with infertility studies they are showing all the time that lifestyle factors can cause damage to the DNA of the sperm. Remember one half of the DNA is from the sperm and the other is from the egg.

How can men maximize and protect one of their most valuable assets…their fertility?

Here is my advice…

1. Maintain a good weight and regular exercise. Studies have shown overweight men could have hormonal problems associated with low sperm count and quality. Much of the sexual dysfunction humans experience is related to low testosterone and lack of exercise. A dramatic drop in testosterone is followed by weight gain in men. Obesity is not only related to diabetes but also related to lower testosterone levels. Testosterone is needed for normal sperm production. Regular exercise helps reduce stress and aids in weight control and a better mind set.

2. Eat Right and take multiple vitamins. Opt for a healthy diet of fruit and vegetables and choose whole grains instead of refined carbohydrates. Men consuming omega-3 fatty acids were found to have sperm with a more normal structure and higher concentration (count) than men who consume junk food diets with high levels of saturated fats.

Ensure you are taking a multi, pantothenic acid, biotin, pyridoxine, folic acid, inositol, and vitamin B12, Vitamin C, selenium and zinc are important in a multi, too. Zinc supports good testosterone metabolism, and B-complex improves digestion, and helps with stress.

3. Stop smoking, watch alcohol and no illicit drugs:.It is common knowledge that cigarette smoking is detrimental to health. Many studies have shown that the components of the cigarette can transfer the blood- testes barrier and contribute to sperm DNA damage. Men who smoke heavily or drink and use recreational drugs appear to have lower sperm motility and a higher proportion of abnormal sperm.

4. Avoid hot baths and hot tubs and wear boxers. All that heat will kill sperm in its prime. The same is true with putting laptops on your lap. The old wives’ tale that tight underwear causes decreased fertility has some basis in the truth, as it causes heat but is not scientifically proven. However, why not do everything you can to help just in case?

Also, studies have shown that men that are avid bike riders can have a temperature effect on the sperm being in a sitting position for a long period of time, while the bouncing could cause trauma to the testes.

5. Time clock is also ticking for men: Men go through their own type of menopause like women called andropause, which is a decline in testosterone. Testosterone is a major barometer for the aging process. Starting at the age of 40 men’s testosterone generally declines at a rate of one percent each year. As a young male they enjoy the highest levels of testosterone from ages 21 to 24 years. By age 55 the testosterone level might be half of what they were when they were young. Some men think about having some of their sperm frozen for future use, just in case there are changes to their fertility.

6. Assess your overall health and ask your care provider. If your man suffers from a chronic medical condition and is on regular medications such as high blood pressure, epilepsy, diabetes and asthma etc. check with your doctor if these medications/over –the-counter-drugs are safe for fertility. Certain blood pressure, depression, anxiety, pain and chemotherapy medications can have an effect of sperm performance.


spermtales6final copyLynn has written a book entitled, “Sperm Tales: An Informative Guide Through the Challenges of Infertility.” This is an A to Z guide through the fertility struggles that couples could face with advice and guidance, medical and otherwise. The book comes with a mascot sperm named Spanky, who tells little humorous comments at the end of chapters, which are actually comments that Lynn’s male patients made to her over the 12 years.

Sperm Tales can be found on on Amazon UK or US in hard copy or Kindle download.

Lynn can be contacted via email to telephone 978-257-0516 or her website

Ladies, I hope this has been useful.  I haven’t personally read Lynn’s book, but I’m sure it is a fascinating read and I would love to hear feedback from anyone who has/does.

If you think that this could be helpful to someone you know, then please share as much as you like.



Resolve New England Sperm Tales


By Lynn M. Collins

Infertility has its own vernacular, or terminology, and I will help you understand some of the “infertility lingo”.

Some fertility programs are located in a large hospital setting and some in a more intimate clinic setting. The staff can consist of four to five Reproductive Endocrinologists (RE), Urologists, Nurses, Embryologists and professional counselors. Larger programs could have a larger staff. The clinic will have a laboratory, which may be called an Andrology Lab (Andrology is the study of the male reproductive organs). The lab consists of three to five medical technologists, depending upon the size of the clinic and whether or not it specializes in Andrology. The Andrology lab performs the blood tests and measures hormones; performs semen analysis and sperm washing for Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), and may possibly have a sperm bank. The clinic may have an In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) lab or be affiliated with a hospital that has the lab. An IVF lab consists of many embryologists, which perform the intricate testing that goes along with IVF.

The Pivotal Role of Your Nurse

Depending on the program, a nurse is assigned to one or two specialists. The RE works together with you as a couple, and will order blood work and other diagnostic tests. But when it comes to physical exams the RE examines only the female partner. If the male has an abnormal semen analysis or any conditions that relate to the male reproductive system, he’ll be sent to an Urologist for an examination. The nurse that is assigned to a couple in a fertility program remains involved with the patients at every step, building communication and trusting relationships with the patients. Sandy Vance, nurse manager at Women’s Health Center has said, “Infertility has been compared to a terminal illness and when a woman has tried everything and cannot get pregnant, she begins to experience grief, shock, denial, isolation, depression and guilt. We work to get the woman to a place where she can understand what her status is.” (This is perhaps the only field in which nurses work more with the patients than the physicians.) Once you have the first consult with the specialist, the nurse then becomes the person with whom you will communicate the most on a monthly, weekly or even daily basis. Your nurse will give you a packet containing information on testing. It may also contain orders for your testing, instructions on giving injections, operational hours of the center, and who to call in an emergency. Please read this information and keep it in a safe spot at home. These nurses are on their phones most of the day, answering questions, encouraging, or giving instructions to their patients. One of the hardest calls they make to a patient is that her pregnancy test came out negative and it doesn’t get any easier. The best call is the one that delivers the news to the patient that her pregnancy is positive. Nurses are so excited and make that call first. In either case, as one of our nurses at our Women’s Health Center, Paula Ayers, has said, “The most gratifying compliment I can receive is when a woman does not achieve success in conceiving, despite all of our efforts, and she thanks us for the respect and supportive approach to her care.” One patient, who went through the program at the age of 40 and was diagnosed with old eggs, was able to get pregnant after her first IVF cycle. She said, “It may sound easy but until you are the one going through it you can’t appreciate the kindness of the nurses. Even on my lowest day, thinking this wasn’t going to happen, Sandy found something positive we could hold on to.” As you can see, nurses in a fertility program grow very attached to their patients and work very hard, with great compassion, to help patients navigate the ongoing ups-and-downs of an infertility program. I posed this question on Facebook to some fertility nurses: In a perfect world, what would make your day-today job easier when it comes to caring for your patients? Sandy Vance responded: “We all like it when patients ask questions, because it shows that they really want to understand their treatment. But it would be helpful if they would read all of the materials we send home with them. They really are helpful in explaining the process.”

How the Process Begins

The first phase will start you with one of the following Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) procedures and may progress to others depending on your success. These procedures include and not limited IUI and IVF. Beyond that, IVF can break down to include other techniques, such as, for example Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI). Below are a few brief descriptions of both IUI and IVF.

The IUI procedure is a simple procedure that takes little time and involves minimum discomfort. At the time of ovulation the sperm is collected and processed. The sperm is then placed in a catheter and is placed in the female’s uterus. It is very important that this procedure, also known as artificial insemination, occurs with ovulation. Using the over-the-counter ovulation kits can easily monitor the time of ovulation. The hormone Luteinizing Hormone (LH) is measured, noting when it spikes. This indicates ovulation has occurred and the female is at her most fertile time. The IUIs are performed seven days a week and take only about one hour. The males collect the specimens in the morning and drop it off at the lab. (Some centers prefer the males to collect the specimen at the center.) The lab performs a sperm wash to the specimen, wherein the non-motile sperm is separated from the motile sperm and other debris from the semen. The female partner returns to the center around 11:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon for IUI procedure. The washed specimen is placed in a catheter and is inserted through the cervix into the uterus where the specimen is released. The procedure is very similar to getting a pap smear. The patient relaxes in the exam room for about 10 to 15 minutes after the procedure and then she can resume her daily routine. The nurse instructs her to notify the nurse in two weeks if she has not gotten her menstrual cycle. At that time her blood will be drawn for a pregnancy test.

IVF is more involved than an IUI. An IUI is less invasive and the cost is much less. This procedure differs from an IUI because the eggs are removed from the female’s body. The female will take the gonadotropins follicle-stimulating hormone injections that will stimulate the ovaries to produce as many eggs as possible. The eggs will be removed surgically, which is called the retrieval, and then placed in a petri dish where your partner’s sperm will be washed and placed with your eggs. The dish is incubated and evaluated a few days later to see how many eggs fertilized. The female returns for an embryo transfer, which is where a certain number of embryos will be placed back or transferred into the uterus. The embryos will be placed in a catheter like the sperm for the IUI and placed in the uterus. You’ll return to the center in approximately 14 days after the procedure for a pregnancy blood test. The success rate for IVF is higher than IUI. Which procedure you start with depends on the results of your initial testing (for both of you), insurance coverage, and how aggressive you want to be, depending upon your success, or lack of success at other clinics. This will all be discussed with your medical team.

Lynn M. Collins is the author of Sperm Tales: An Informative Guide Through the Challenges of Infertility. Lynn draws on her experience as a laboratory supervisor for a leading national sperm bank and manager for a multi-million dollar infertility laboratory. In Sperm Tales, she offers compassion, humor, and clear step-by-step information about the numerous challenges–medical and otherwise–that attend the process of infertility treatment