Rob Delaney

Rob Delaney’s honest words on male fertility are a refreshing listen

Posted by for Podcasts

Catastrophe star and comedian Rob Delaney just gave a refreshingly frank interview about male fertility.

We best know and love Rob Delaney for his work alongside Sharon Horgan in their hit Channel 4 series, Catastrophe. But we also deeply respect Delaney for his honest and powerful words on issues that matter. 

The comedian and actor has been incredibly candid about navigating grief after the death of his young son, Henry. He’s also shared nothing but praise and support for the NHS. And he is very open about his sobriety journey, which he started 19 years ago.

So, when Delaney joined Nell Frizzell on her podcast, The Panic Years, we knew it would be a fascinating listen. 

During their conversation, Delaney talks male broodiness, male infertility and male contraception. Considering it’s not often we hear famous males speaking so openly about these issues, it’s an insightful and important interview to tune into.

Asked if he thought about fertility in his 20s, Delaney talked about the relief he felt after a testicular cancer scare: “When they analysed my semen and [I] had what look to be like functioning sperm, and I didn’t have testicular cancer, I remember crying because I had a little scare thinking, ‘Well what if I can’t get a woman pregnant?’ And I didn’t allow myself to think about it until I found out that I could.”

Reflecting on broodiness, Delaney said it “wasn’t a constant thought” but he “was crazy about” holding babies: “It came naturally: there was nature and there was nurture involved. I saw my dad loved babies and I was fortunate to have uncles who were thrilled about their kids.”

He also talked about why he got a vasectomy a year ago: “The reason I did was because my wife had been pregnant four times, pretty fairly closely together. And it was wonderful, but so much more is demanded of women when they have a baby than the man who changes diapers and all that.”

Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney in Catastrophe
Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney in Catastrophe.

Delaney added: “The reason I got a vasectomy is because we didn’t want her to get pregnant again. Not that we didn’t want more babies, we just didn’t want to go through more pregnancies, so that she could spread her wings and devote some more time to herself, which is made very difficult when you have lots of kids.”

He also admits to feeling “a little sad about” about having the vasectomy: “I’ll see a baby, my youngest is almost two and a half, so in his own words now he’s a ‘big boy’. So I hate that I’m not going to make more babies, it sucks. 

“But it doesn’t suck as much as the good for why I decided to do it.”

You can listen to the whole interview with Rob Delaney on The Panic Years With Nell Frizzell podcast.

Sign up for the latest news and must-read features from Stylist, so you don't miss out on the conversation.

By entering my email I agree to Stylist’s Privacy Policy

Images: Getty

Share this article

Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…