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A Man's Job

A surprise delivery from sperm to egg

12:04pm, October 1, 2002

On a recent episode of NBC's "Meet My Folks," a summer reality-television show in which parents judge which of three potential mates should go on a trip to Hawaii with their daughter or son, a mother came up with an unexpected test. She dragged the guys courting her daughter to a fertility clinic, handed them specimen cups, and demanded that they produce a semen sample to prove that they could provide her with grandchildren. "May the best sperm win," joked one of the nervous suitors.

In true reality, it can be hard to figure out which sperm can fertilize an egg and which ones can't. When a couple struggling to conceive seeks help from an infertility specialist, the abundance, motility, and sha

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