Posts By: Brendan
What a truly amazing creation sperm are!
They are the only cells in the mammalian world that are designed to leave the body and travel into another person, where they will all die. There is something quintessentially male about this – the ability to navigate with certainty in places they have never been, and the willingness to sacrifice their lives for others.
Once inside a woman’s body sperm become entranced by a song of sirens – a hypnotically irresistible hormonal signal that beckons them towards the fallopian tubes, to which they swim with maniacal ferocity. Though their destination must seem thousands of miles away, they advance en masse undeterred by distance or the relentless chemical attacks from female immune cells patrolling the region. Despite shields set to maximum power millions of sperm are annihilated, and of the few who endure – all are damaged in some way.
Sperm are built for speed and endurance – a rare combination in the natural world. Because of this they are built with little of the protection other stationary cells have. There is some protection afforded by semen, but once they ejaculate out of the body and into the woman’s cervix they quickly pull clear of the semen and lose most of their protection, after that survival depends on healthy cervical fluid!
This brings to light another way sperm are unique – they are unable to repair damage in themselves!
They can resist to some degree the oxidative damage wrought on them by the woman’s immune system, but sperm carry a precious payload of DNA, and the ferocious movement they undergo whilst propelling themselves all the way to the fallopian tubes causes the DNA to unravel, and some of it becomes damaged. There is only one other cell with the software program capable of repairing this damage – and that’s the egg. Within a certain threshold the egg can repair damage to the sperm – this is normal, but if the damage exceeds the threshold – then trouble is afoot.
Either the conception will fail, or the embryo conceived will suffer some sort of damage and either miscarry, or the baby will go to full term but suffer some sort of health issue.
The ONLY way to avoid this fate is to ensure the sperm is in top condition before it leaves the testes – end of story.
Having a sperm analysis that indicates the count, morphology, motility and DNA fragmentation are all good – is a great sign, but it doesn’t guarantee there won’t be damage the egg cannot repair.
Only fully healthy sperm and a fully healthy egg can ensure this, and only fully healthy bodies can produce fully healthy sperm and eggs! It’s a 2 person game – how are you playing it?
“You’ve thrown the worst fear, that could ever be hurled…afraid to bring children into this world.
Your-a-threatenin’ my baby, unborn and unnamed, ah you ain’t worth the blood that runs in your veins”
Bob Dylan seems to have a knack of capturing any moment in time.
The virus has turned our world upside down!
Nobody in charge seems to have a good plan to solve the problem.
Some people are now scared and wondering if they should put their plans to create new life on hold.
Others are pressing on regardless.
Nobody knows with certainty the right answers – but don’t let that cause you to doubt your own ability to work it out.
Whatever you choose to do – do it with conscious intent.
You are stronger than you think!
You were born with a hand of cards, it was not perfect, you’ve been playing it ever since.
Some things went your way, others didn’t.
Now you face a challenge so big it threatens to derail your life –
Have you connected those two dots yet?
It’s the drip drip drip of our daily habits that takes us off course.
If you do nothing different to what you are by now so accustomed to doing – what do think is going to happen to your big challenge?
I have fond memories of using the local library during the beginning of the internet – they gave me free access to the early search engines. The irony of it didn’t hit me at the time but the very technology the library was making available to me was going to make them obsolete!
It used to be the case that I could go to the library to research stuff but now information is available everywhere easily.
Also available easily is wrong information, uninformed opinion, loud-mouth know-all’s (some even with great oratory or literary skills) and hopelessly biased interpretations of important knowledge.
How are we meant to find our way out of all this ‘new’ mess?
How do you know if chaste tree berry will help regularise YOUR cycles? Many websites say it will!
How do you know if your period symptoms are due to too much estrogen, too little progesterone, or something else altogether?
How do you know what any given scientist has said on an important matter that just might hold the key to solving your infertility problem – when you can no longer trust the system to bring you that message unblemished??
I have no good answer for you right now – except to say that the search for truth is never easy, is often viscerally challenging and nearly always incomplete. Yet despite all this, the meaning we seek in our lives can only be found by pursuing our truth – and it may even be the case that the difficulties we must overcome on our journey to find that truth are simply ‘fractal’ reflections of the difficulties we must overcome inside ourselves.
Maybe – for example – we must realise that to trust others we must first learn to trust our own intuition. Maybe to break free of the lies we are surrounded with me must first stop lying to ourselves? Maybe in order to become free to follow our calling without fear of criticism we must first realise that criticising others is what plants the seed of fear in our own hearts!
Shortcuts to fertility exist – from supplements to fasts, cleanses, diets, breath work, mindfulness, acupuncture, yoga, the latest drug, the titbit advice from the numerous online forums – all shortcuts to fertility.
People use them every single day.
And most of the time they use a different one again the next day.
In politics, the sparring over ideas and talking points is the easy part – it’s the part that makes the news and gets re-tweeted. Some of it is genuine – real people talking about real issues – and some of it is just virtue signalling, but either way it is the easy part of the job. Even a bad politician can do this part if they want.
Action based on long term thinking though – that’s a different beast. This requires leadership and the steady hand of governance that sees past office terms, but it is the only thing that moves the dial forward.
When it comes to infertility there’s a difference between knowing information and acting on it.
The knowing is the easy bit, it’s the bit you can get from snippits as well as from deep research.
You can get it from twitter or from the library, from loud-mouth punters on forums or from real experts.
But it’s the doing that gets you where you want to go.
‘Doing the knowledge’ is the thing that gets you results.
But doing requires a different mindset – because whilst ‘knowing’ is safe, ‘doing’ is risky – because you might fail.
‘Doing’ is how you find out what works for you and what doesn’t, ‘doing’ is where ‘knowing’ meets reality.
At any given moment most people are not willing to face reality. Think about that!
Even the most dedicated hardest working person sometimes must give up.
Ignore the societal pressure to never quit, reclaim your own internal power to choose.
Sometimes it’s good to quit.
Sometimes quitting re-centres us and allows us to take stock with the pressure off.
Often this lets us re-see our problem with a clearer head.
Quitting can be strategic. It’s very different to being a quitter!
Have you got the guts to quit that which is not working for you, or do you doubt your resolve?
Sometimes we just don’t know what the real problem is and try as we might we just can’t seem to crack the nut that holds the key to our better life.
It is known, though not widely enough, that much of our early life experience directly determines the rest of our life, or at least determines how we perceive the rest of our life.
How we perceive it in turn tends to govern how it all unfolds.
Mostly, we just don’t know what caused us to be the way we are, because we can’t remember what happened to us – or more importantly – what didn’t happen to us in our early life.
So when we encounter problems as adults and we genuinely do attempt to face them – meaning we make an honest stab at recognising what it is about ourselves that is either causing the problem to persist, or is hindering us from solving it – then what we are really facing is our internal programming which we received as young kids.
It is ultimately this very issue that makes the nut hard to crack – we are the way we are due to our ‘handling’ as kids, yet neither us nor our parents or ‘handlers’ know for sure what ‘went wrong’ or ‘what caused what’ – unless it is totally obvious, so how do we figure out what to ‘work on’!
How do we break the hold our young programming has over us?
My take on it is that you must first believe that it is possible to break the hold – because only from there can you find the will or the strength to venture forth and actually solve it.
Secondly I think the best way to think about it is using something like the thinking in the book The Obstacle Is The Way.
In short, whatever problems you face, when you face them honestly and with integrity, the solutions tend to emerge from the fight. The fight is of course internal, you fight with aspects of yourself as you work towards solving any real problem. What you experience as you fight with yourself is a reflection of the very thing you need to fix in order to solve the problem.
The problem is the way to the answer!
We know it is hard to change our mind once it is made up.
Yet we know we prefer going around with our minds made up, rather than being confused or unsure about something, it just feels better.
But we also know there are countless stories throughout history of catastrophes that were allowed to happen because people (scientists, doctors, politicians, bankers, religious leaders, ordinary people) were unable to open their minds to a new and better idea, preferring instead to hold tight to their current understanding – their current made up mind.
We know all this, we can converse about it, we can laugh about it, we can argue about it, yet despite this awareness we can still go on and repeat the same crime ourselves over and over in different spheres of life.
We need to come to terms with the fact that it is a human trait, and that this trait serves us well mostly, but occasionally its effects are disastrous.
The solution is not to become better at arguing to improve our chances of changing someone’s mind, instead the solution is to actively cultivate in ourselves an ability to change our own minds about something, regardless of the facts. An ABILITY to change our minds – not an ability to assimilate facts that should change our minds, because it is not facts that are the problem, it’s the resistance to changing our made-up minds that is the real problem.
We must cultivate in ourselves the ability to accept that we can be wrong, that we (obviously) don’t know all the answers, that when we are wrong – it is ok, it is not the end of our reputation or the world.
This – unfortunately is a difficult path to walk because we tend to walk it alone. We cannot expect others to walk it at the same time as we do, we cannot therefore expect the multitudes to cheer us on, thus there will always be others around us who resist change, and resist new ideas, and who will actively attempt to force you to conform and not break ranks. It is an endless upstream swim!
The gigantic blind spot here is this: Our very ability to swim alone upstream is rooted in our experience of life during our first few years! How we are handled, held, fed and given sustenance dictates more than anything else how independent we can become as we grow. Indeed, given the wholesale failure of ‘enlightened society’ to recognise this – it is no wonder we all suffer from personality complexes that cause us to cling to what we think we know for fear of – well – true independence!