Reality television star Chris Hughes is no stranger to publicity, having appeared live on This Morning in 2018 to have a testicular examination
The clip has gained more than 35 million views on Facebook.
And he hopes a new documentary on dealing with the impact of testicular cancer, starring himself and his brother, Ben, will have a similar impact while raising awareness of male infertility.
Chris, who rose to fame on ITV’s Love Island, was aiming to raise awareness for testicular cancer and encourage men to check themselves.
What he did not expect was the effect it would have closer to home
As a consequence of that appearance and inspired by his brother for having had the ‘balls’ to do it, Chris’s older brother Ben checked himself for the first time.
Just days later, Ben found a lump and was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Before an operation to have his testicle removed, Ben decided to freeze his sperm for potential use after the operation. It was during this process that he discovered his sample did not contain any sperm at all.
Ben’s cancer diagnosis has brought the fertility issue into focus for both brothers. Chris previously had a health scare due to a problem with his testicles and has subsequently undergone several operations.
His last sperm test was six years ago, and he is long overdue for another test.
It is not just the Hughes brothers who are struggling with fertility issues. Studies show the sperm count of Western men has more than halved in the past 40 years and is currently falling by an average of 1.4 percent a year. There is no definitive understanding of the reason why.
At the time of filming, Ben’s scare, combined with the fact that both brothers were in new relationships has inspired the boys to tackle the issue head-on. The film features both brothers’ partners, including Chris’s now ex-girlfriend Jesy Nelson, whose recent BBC Three documentary, Odd One Out, had a huge impact and was critically acclaimed.
In the same vein of spotlighting personal, impactful stories Me, My Brother, And Our Balls will bring a fresh and authentic take to the largely-unexplored but highly topical issue of male fertility.
Chris Hughes said: “What started as an attempt to shed light on an issue that affects so many men turned into an incredibly personal journey for my family and has brought me even closer to my brother, Ben. I also learned things about male fertility that surprised me, so hopefully, people will find the documentary educational.
“Fertility is often a subject that guys don’t consider until it might be too late, so I’m hoping this documentary will raise awareness and help men who might be struggling with these issues.”
Me, My Brother, And Our Balls will premiere on BBC Three on September 30 and will air on BBC One on Monday, October 5 at 9pm.
Did you know IVF babble will host its second virtual expo on October 3 and 4? The expo will feature many of the leading fertility experts over the two days.
It is free to register, click here to get involved.