Another kick in the gonads.

Arriving at the clinic for our WTF meeting I was surprisingly calm. I thought I felt calm. Maybe I’m just emotionally numb by now, because according to my bowels I was feeling really stressed. They threatened to force me into canceling this appointment. Thankfully the wife keeps a pharmacy in her purse for common ailments.

What I really like about our Doctor is how he explains the process for anyone to understand. He restated how our situation is mainly due to very low sperm count. How we tried to increase production and it didn’t work forcing us straight into IVF and ICSI. Yada yada, rinse repeat…heard all this already…same info you said last time. Unfortunately this need to explain the process leads to repeating himself.

Finally I interrupted asking, “How low?” I’m tired of guessing what my count is based on a couple of reports I’m not sure I’m even reading correctly.

“A few thousand.” Wow! Here I was thinking it was a few dozen. Maybe I’m not as bad off as I originally thought. Maybe it might be worth trying IVF again. Maybe I might actually have a kid that is mine. Maybe…

“The most likely reason for this failure is the poor quality of sperm.” Nice kick Doc. Right in the balls. Right square in the balls. Just after I let down my guard too. Well played.

“During fertilization the egg itself has everything it needs the first 3 days to grow. After that the embryo requires the information from the sperm to continue growing.” Basically not only am I producing a low number of sperm, but the ones I am producing are worthless. Great! And here I thought I couldn’t feel any lower about my reproductive ability.

We discussed another IVF cycle which he did agree my wife could stay on her anxiety medication during it. A big win that right now I’m in too much pain to enjoy.

We talked about the options of donor sperm and donor embryos. Both of which I have reservations about. We discussed using my father as a donor and what requirements would be needed to make that happen.

Then he brought up the option of a split IVF. Once they retrieve the eggs they would fertilize half the eggs with my sperm and the other half with donor sperm. This option would allow me to still have a shot of being a father with my lackluster sperm, and still increase our chances on a successful IVF with a donor who has better sperm.

It’s an interesting option. The wife and I have a lot to discuss. Which feels a lot better than just waiting around. Pardon me while I go put ice on my groin.

© copyright 2011-2012

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About ivfmale

Just a guy dealing with infertility.

Posted on October 4, 2012, in IVF progression and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. I’m sorry your appointment was so upsetting. I am glad, though, that they had more to say than just, “we don’t know why it didn’t work.” I honestly think that you will have a good outcome because they know what they’re dealing with.

    You are the second person to “tell me” about the sperm being bad and causing problems once injected in the eggs. In the old days, if the boys looked good – then they were good. My friend was just telling me this the other day and I sort of dismissed her – and now I feel bad about that.

    Thanks for the education. I am really sorry this sucks so much for you guys.

    • I think it is a flaw in the selection process for ICSI. They are just looking at how the sperm looks and that isn’t the complete story on if a sperm is healthy enough to create a baby. You can look at a guy on the street and he may look healthy, that doesn’t mean he is healthy. I worked with a guy who died in his early 30’s from a heart attack. He was a lean, fit, and very active person. To look at him you would never have guessed how unhealthy he really was.

  2. If it makes you feel better, they told me the sperm DNA is responsible up until day 3 and after that the attrition is due to the egg. I wonder if any of them really know.

    • It’s stories like these that reminds me of a life lesson I learned back in 2nd grade. Growing up I wanted to be an astronaut and so I knew the order of the planets by heart. My teacher, Mrs. Payne, tried to teach the order of the planets as Mercury, Mars, Earth, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. She would not listen to me try to tell her how she mixed up Mars and Venus. There was no internet, nor encyclopedia to reference. Our science book didn’t list the order, or she thought it was wrong. I don’t recall which. Basically I had to list the order wrong on the test just so I would get a good grade, knowing it was completely wrong. That’s when I learned that just because someone with authority tells you something is true, doesn’t mean they still can’t be wrong about it.

      I remember from biology how some single cell organisms reproduce both asexually and sexually. My doctor’s explanation made sense to me in context of my education. Sometimes the do talk out of their asses though. I had to stop my doctor talking about using the HCG to improve sperm quality and had to remind him we stopped the HCG because my count tanked using it.

  3. Its true that the egg is responsible for the first 3 days then the sperm takes into effect…I know it must sting to hear this but I hope that it helped give you both options on how to proceed next…did they say anything on how to improve your sperm quality? Have you seen a urologist that specializes in male fertility or maybe vitamins..here is a list I found that supposedly can help improve sperm quality:

    Target (Up Up) Men’s Daily Multi Vitamin
    CoQ10 100mg
    Acetyl-L-Carnitine 500mg
    L-Carnitine 100mg
    Vit D 1000iu
    Omega 3, 6, 9 (2 pills a day as per directions on bottle)
    Grape Seed Extract 50mg
    Super Antioxidant (2 pills per day as per directionson bottle)
    Ginseng 250mg
    Red Wine Extract (1 pill per day as per directions on bottle)
    Zinc 50mg
    Baby Aspirin 81mg
    Vitamin C 500mg
    L-Arginine 500mg
    B-12 1000mcg
    Folic Acid 400mcg
    Selenium 200mcg
    Vitamin E 400iu
    N-Acetyl-Cysteine 500mg
    Maximum Greens (2 pills per day as per directions on bottle)

    I cant even imagine how much of a blow this is but at least there is still hope (((((((((((HUGS)))))))))))))

    • Wow! That’s some expensive urine.

      Did you pull all this information out of your head? That’s amazing. I have trouble remembering how to spell simple words like “vitamins” which I know I should remember how to spell. Much less N-Acytyl_Cysteine. Sorry. Just jealous of your ability to remember such information.

      I did ask him about possibilities to improve the sperm quality, but as many doctors he was looking at pharmaceutical solutions to stimulate the testicles, similar to how they stimulate ovaries to produce eggs. Since it takes 3 months before they can test to see if it is working, the drug cost would be outrageous. He said losing some weight and exercising more and taking vitamins would help. But I got the sense from him it would be like putting new brakes on a nonworking POS car. Sure you’ve improved it, but that doesn’t mean it will get you to work and back.

      I did switch to boxers about a year ago, but my pants may still be too restrictive. I may purchase some new pants that fit better with more room. I’ve started taking a multivitamin which I can buy pretty cheap from Sam’s club. I’ve also read that vitamin D has shown improvement in sperm activity, but they still are not sure if it improves quality. We are still discussing what we want to do next, but it wouldn’t hurt to get started on improving some things to keep our options open.

      • It’s good to read that you are looking into different options, although I know how frustrating it can be to hear a positive followed by a disappointing negative. To tag on to InfertilityDoesSuck’s comment, hubby went to see a urologist and he was given a list of vitamins/prescriptions to take. However, the next 2 cycles produced lower than usual sperm counts/motility. So, after ‘googling’ the vitamins/prescriptions (None of which are on her list above!), we found that the very list he was given did the very opposite of our goals. Long story short, if you plan to see a urologist, make sure he/she specializes in fertility!

  4. Ugh, I am so sorry you had to hear that news. I can’t imagine how painful it must be. But I’m happy for you that you still have other options, even though they are not exactly traditional, or how you thought you’d become a dad. I’m holding on to hope for you!

  5. My husband and I are using donor eggs from my sister due to my crappy eggs. At first I was sad about giving up my genetic child but now it doesn’t bother me. Just because the child isn’t genetically yours doesn’t mean you aren’t the child’s father. A father or mother is the person who raises the child, no one else. Hopefully you can find peace and move ahead with the decision that’s right for you

    • If I had a brother I could borrow from I would in a heartbeat. Using donor sperm from my father I would be fine with even thought it cuts out my mother as well as myself. That genetic connection is important to me. I know I would still be the child’s father using donor sperm from a stranger, but emotionally it still bothers me. I’m hoping by recognizing this weakness in my character will help me get past my issues. However, I’m just not there yet.

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