Author Topic: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived  (Read 12457 times)

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Offline Lemur

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This was brought up in the survivor section, but I wanted to have a thread addressing it here away from the other topic. I have learned only today that Alexei had an undescended testicle, which causes infertility or low sperm count in males. Many also remain unable to have children even after surgical correction. So I was thinking, suppose he did live, and the dynasty continued, but he was unable to father a child? (also assuming that N and A never had another child) What would the options for succession be?

1. Go to Olga's oldest child? Change the rules so that a nephew- or even a neice- could become his heir?
2. Go to Michael, and his offspring, if 'official' (not morgatanic, unless that rule is changed too)?
3. Go  back to the Vladimirovichi line?
4. Get his wife pregnant by someone else and try to pass it off as his? (as was rumored to have happened with Catherine the Great, and Queen Maud of Norway?)

Your thoughts?
« Last Edit: November 02, 2006, 03:43:09 PM by Lemur »

Offline Sarushka

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Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2006, 05:18:10 PM »
For more info on the medical aspects of Aleksei's condition:
Did Alexei suffer from cryptochidism??
« Last Edit: November 02, 2006, 05:31:10 PM by Sarushka »
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Offline skitzo12

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Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2006, 03:54:23 AM »
it's unlikely to have made him infertile.
most people (particuarly when younger) have the problem self corrected eventually.
but as for implacations, who knows?

cya

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Offline Romanov_Fan19

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Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2006, 11:19:17 PM »
Id say there would be no Major Problems  it wouldve either corrected itself  or Medical Steps wouldve been taken

Offline Sarushka

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Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2006, 09:28:05 AM »
Medical Steps wouldve been taken
Perhaps not -- consider the complications of operating on a hemophiliac...
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Offline Romanov_Fan19

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Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2006, 04:35:32 PM »
Very Sorry Pardon my Temporary Ignorance  Your Absoultly right  It wouldve been far to risky. :)

Offline clockworkgirl21

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Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2006, 02:52:17 PM »
It would also have caused more distress for Alexandra, too. Finally having a son, and the son not being able to reproduce. I have to ask about that one thought, someone else impregnating(sp?) the tsarina. Has that ever happened in history? Not just in Russia, anywhere. I've heard of other women bearing the heir for the king if the queen was unable, but never the other way around. It would seem pointless to put the tsarina under the strain of producing a son, and if the son was not able to reproduce, just having someone else be the heir's father.

Offline Lemur

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Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2006, 09:38:41 AM »
That is true, surgery would have been much too risky for a hemophiliac, and it may not have worked anyway. I know 3 men who had the problem, all had the corrective surgery but only one was able to father children (assuming his wife was faithful!) Another thing to consider is that all of his bleeding incidents, especially Spala where it was so heavily in the groin area, may have also damaged him in some way. If they were so interested in continuing the dynasty I am surprised they didn't think about that part of the future too, though as it turned out, it didn't matter.

Offline Ra-Ra-Rasputin

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Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2006, 11:12:38 AM »
This problem runs in the males of my mother's family.  Both of my mother's brothers and my own brother were born with undescended testicles.  My mother's younger brother fathered two children with no problems, but her older brother is infertile because of cancer.  My own brother has not had children yet, but his fertility is fine.  All three had the corrective operation, however.

Undescended testicles don't normally cause infertility, even if they are uncorrected. If one testicle is out of action, the other would normally still be working absolutely fine and produce enough sperm to make a man adequately fertile.  Women with only one ovary/fallopian tube can still get pregnant, so I can't see why it would be any different for a man.

Does haemophilia CAUSE undescended testicles, does anyone know?

Rachel
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Offline Ra-Ra-Rasputin

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Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2006, 11:16:47 AM »
I didn't see the what would happen bit.

The thing about Nicholas and Alexandra's desperation to have a son is that it was completely unnecessary; there were plenty of male heirs to the throne.  The only issue was that Nicholas and Alexandra wanted THEIR son and THEIR SON ONLY to be ruling Russia.

In the occurence of Alexei being infertile and the dynasty continuing, then I would imagine the throne would go to Michael if he was still alive, though not to Michael's descendants, because he married morganatically.  If Michael were dead, then it would pass on to the next most eligible Grand Duke, so whichever senior Grand Duke was living at the time.

Rachel
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Offline Annie

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Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2006, 11:28:15 AM »
Quote
If Michael were dead, then it would pass on to the next most eligible Grand Duke, so whichever senior Grand Duke was living at the time.

That would have been Kyril's line, and we all know how disliked they were by Nicholas and Alexandra and all of that branch of the family. I really don't understand why they couldn't just ammend the rules to let their daughter's son take over. I never understood why he didn't change the rule. It was called the "Pauline law" because he made it because he hated his mother (who was arguably the most successful ruler Russia ever had!) so why couldn't Nicholas make the "Nicholine law" rescending it? I had heard he thought of doing this but others were mad. Well, so what? He was Tsar, after all!

Offline Kimberly

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Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2006, 11:29:23 AM »
I am unaware of any link between haemophilia and undescended testes. I have seen quotes of 10% infertility rate with the problem and a higher rate of testicular cancer in the affected testicle if it left where it is and not brought down.
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Offline Annie

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Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2006, 11:31:29 AM »

Undescended testicles don't normally cause infertility, even if they are uncorrected. If one testicle is out of action, the other would normally still be working absolutely fine and produce enough sperm to make a man adequately fertile.  Women with only one ovary/fallopian tube can still get pregnant, so I can't see why it would be any different for a man.



It is different, though I don't know the medical reasons why. I guess it's because a guy has to produce billions of sperm each time he has sex for even one of them to have a chance to reach the ovum, and that's why men with 'low sperm count' - even if they are not techincally infertile- have problems getting women pregnant.While only one sperm is all it takes to impregnate, somehow the large numbers are needed for success. My best friend's husband lost a testicle to an accident at work, and while the other did produce some sperm, in 23 years of marriage they have never been able to concieve a child. :(
« Last Edit: November 08, 2006, 11:33:35 AM by Annie »

Offline Annie

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Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2006, 11:41:16 AM »
Has that ever happened in history? Not just in Russia, anywhere. I've heard of other women bearing the heir for the king if the queen was unable, but never the other way around.

As was mentioned in the first post here, there are rumors that Catherine the Great's son Paul was fathered not by her husband Peter but by her lover. In several years of marriage, they either had not concieved or had not even consummated the marriage, then suddenly she's pregnant. She did have several other children by her lovers over her reign, so the doubt is there. The Romanov dynasty may have ended back then!

The Queen Maud of Norway (Princess Maud of England) story was that a doctor allegedly claimed he impregnated her with his son's sperm in a turkey baster after she was unable to get pregnant by her husband. I have also heard that she and her husband didn't want to have sex, since they were very close first cousins and looked at each other as brother and sister, and they were only matched up for political purposes. Of course, all of these stories will go around, and we will never know the truth.


Quote
It would seem pointless to put the tsarina under the strain of producing a son, and if the son was not able to reproduce, just having someone else be the heir's father.

I agree! What's the point if the dynasty isn't really being carried on? I saw a letter to Dear Abby once where a lady had 3 girls and her husband was the last in his family and they needed a boy or the name would die out. She asked Abby if it was wrong of her to say she didn't want any more kids. Abby told her to adopt, but, uh, isn't that pointless for the reason? The child of a stranger would not be a carry on of the family line anyway so why bother? An illegitimate son of one of the daughters would do better than that!

Offline Ra-Ra-Rasputin

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Re: Alexei possibly being infertile, and its implications if he had lived
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2006, 12:17:27 PM »
I don't get why Nicholas didn't just change the law either, if he was that desperate to see one of his own children on the throne.  He didn't mind ignoring everyone else's advice throughout his entire reign, so why was he put off from doing it in this instance?

I'd never heard about Queen Maud and the turkey baster before.  Nice. 

And I hear what you're saying about sperm being different from eggs, Annie.  I have no doubt that it would make a man with only one functioning testicle less fertile than a man with both functioning testicles, and it may have taken longer to get his wife pregnant in Alexei's case, but complete infertility wouldn't necessarily have followed from his medical condition.

Rachel
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