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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone else have any experience of male hormone injections?

My DH does not produce sperm.  I don’t know the exact reason why although from the research I have done, I suspect it is a form of hypogonadism. 

DH has had various tests we have not kept a record of what these have been and what the results are.  Before we had our first appointment with our consultant we had resigned ourselves to the fact that we would need to use donor sperm and we were so shell-shocked and then carried away to hear that there might be a way of treating DH that we didn’t note down anything else he said.  We now realise the need to be fully informed and will be armed with questions and a notepad and pen at our next appointment later this month.

DH initially injected himself with pregnyl 3 times a week for a 3 month period.  He is now using pregnyl twice a week and menopur 3 times a week.  After 3 months on the combination he will have another SA.  He is also on a very healthy diet, taking wellman vitamins and not drinking alcohol.

I was wondering if anyone has any experience of male hormone injections?  How long did the treatment last?  Did it work?  What happens if it is successful or unsuccessful?

From the research I’ve done I have not been able to find many examples although I have come across one success story thanks to FF.  :)

Love, Mrs B xxx

 

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I am so sorry that I cannot help you with an answer!

I just had to send you this because my husband also does not produce sperm.  We found this out 16 year's ago.  Apparently it is to do with chromosones!

I am so glad that you have asked this question and hope that (we both get a positive answer).

I wish you all the best. :)

Suzanne ^rainbow^
 

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Mrs B - Which clinic are you at? I have not heard of any clinics around here offering male hormone treatment other than for low testosterone. You could always call the clinic and ask for copies of the results as I'm presuming your DH has had blood tests done.

Lou x
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi Suzanne and Lou,

Thanks for your replies.

I’m really wondering about the treatment that DH has been put on as it just seems to be so rare and now I’ve started researching myself, my mind’s racing with possibilities.

Sometimes I think our consultant must know what he’s doing and wouldn’t have prescribed expensive drugs on the NHS if he didn’t think they’d have some effect.  When I’m following this train of thought, I often think maybe I’ll be wonderfully surprised and get PG naturally.  Last month my period was late for the first time in years and for five days I thought maybe it’s worked.  I then got incredibly upset when I did a home pregnancy test which came up negative and felt really foolish for allowing myself to get so carried away. 

Other times I question if our consultant does know what he’s doing, and I have also wondered if he’s just using DH for some bizarre experiment!  We have been seeing our consultant now for almost two years and I’m so frustrated.  This course of treatment has required a year of various tests on us both and 6 months of injections and I wish we were in a more certain situation – sperm or no sperm.  I feel like we’re in limbo land.

We are being seen at King’s Mill Hospital in Mansfield on the NHS.  We are going to see our consultant in the next few weeks and I am in the process of compiling a list of questions.  I am also planning ahead and have been looking at the private clinics near us, Care and Nurture in Nottingham, for the next steps in our journey. 

I wish I’d found this site years ago.  I only came across it recently after I went into meltdown when staying with my sister and she did some googling. It has been such a comfort to find other people in similar situations.  I had read that one in three couples experience fertility problems and I would think ‘where are they?’ as everyone around me seemed to be getting pregnant with relative ease.  Now I know that they are here, supporting each other, sharing information and understanding what it’s really feels like to go though the rollercoaster which is infertility. 

I’ll keep you posted on the answers we get.  Good luck to you both too.

Love, Bxxx
 

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Hello Mrs Bubbles

My heart goes out to you!  But you do have age on your side, so keep that in mind!  Have you thought of changing your doctor?  It does seem that he is playing tricks with your hearts.

When we  found out about Jem's problem all those years back, we were treated terribly; or more to the point, Jem was!  He felt soo demoralised and certainly lost any dignity he had!

He was told that they could not find even one sperm and said it was due to the y chromosone.  He has a small scrotum and gets tired easily, but other than that, he has a high sexual drive!!!!!

Like you, I have often heard that there are many who suffer from infertility, but when ever I turn my head, all I ever see is a "fat" woman!  The problem is the complete lack of sympthy, which just hightens the pain.

I have always been fertile, up until I bled so much that i ended having an operation to remove excess oestrogen!  I still am confused as to why that happened.  By the way, we live in France and guess what?  The fertility rate is very high, so I don't get away from it!

It is good to know that we are not the only ones having to live with this nightmare.

Please keep me informed as to what is happening and please feel free to e-mail me if you want a rant ^bigbad^

One day, we will get good news and that  ^BFP^

loads of hugs and kisses ^hugme^

Suzanne
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just wanted to add to my earlier post that I was looking at the form that DH needs to take for his SA later in the week and it says test is to see results of 'androgen replacement therapy'.  Have been googling but too tired for all the scientific analysis in the research papers I came up with.

Thanks for your support Suzanne.  It's certainly not easy, is it?  Will keep you posted. 

Mrs Bxx 
 

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Mrs B, please do I'd be very interested to know if its had any effect. Like your dh, mine has low T but there has never been any mention of andro-wosit but I've always had a gut feeling that we should be asking more about it and whether they can give him anything to help.

Thanks so much for sharing, I too will be posting the outcome of dh's appointment with a harley street urologist this saturday, between us we may be able to pool some useful info. I'll be posting on the multiple cyclers thread of the MF board should you wish to see.

Kerryx
 

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Hi again Mrs Bubble

If your DH has a pituitary problem then this kind of treatment can be very successful (as you know from Mrs Cloudy). Saying that, I have chatted with a lady whose DH was put on either the wrong dose or the wrong hormones and it went wrong (Hippy? I'll try to find her for you). Either way, it's worth informing yourself, as you are doing, just in case the specialist has got it wrong.

You should be able to get a copy of your DH's medical notes through your GP, as it is customary for a specialist to keep them informed. As far as I understand it, a blood test should have flagged abnormally low levels of FSH and LH thereby indicating a pituitary problem to be the cause of your DH's azoospermia (which is different to our situation, non-obstructive azoospermia, where FSH is elevated). So somewhere in your notes, you should be able to find whatever kicked this course of treatment off.

Have a read of this page...
http://www.andrologyaustralia.org/pageContent.asp?pageCode=HORMONETESTING

The androgen replacement therapy sounds pretty straightforward, assuming of course the specialist is treating the right problem! It's NOT appropriate in the majority of cases of azoospermia. Again, as far as I understand, it's not the low T that's the flag, it's the low FSH and LH, so Pregnyl (hcg) and Menopur (FSH and LH) replace the missing hormones and kick start the testes into producing sperm.

The Pituitary gland and its effect on male hormones
http://www.pituitary.org.uk/content/view/71/

EDIT: It is Hippy. Have sent her a PM and hope that she'll respond.

/links
 

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Who's your consultant at Kings Mill btw?  Do you know what his qualifications are?  I'd hope a urologist/andrologist.... There MUST be some correspondence with your GP.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks so much for the links, Claudine - they have been incredibly helpful. I do seem to remember the pituitary gland being mentioned during a consultation and have been in touch with Mrs Cloudy who got a BFP with the same course of treatment.

One of my big concerns stems from the fact that our consultant is married to our GP! He (consultant), from the research I have done, seems to specialise in female fertility issues. Why she (GP) referred us to her husband and not a male factor specialist, I don't know. But then I think, they can't have got it that wrong, can they? Surely they google and research too?

I will get in touch with the doctor's surgery tomorrow to see about getting hold of the FSH and LH results. Does anyone know if they will give these over the phone, in writing or through appointment only? And will they give them to me or does DH need to contact them?

I'm having to tread very carefully with DH at the moment; he is more than fed up with the injections five times a week and their side effects. If I start questioning our consultant's diagnosis, he'll adopt a 'what's the point of me having taken them for the last 6 months' attitude, followed by a 'why should I continue'?. I then have to reassure him and talk up a successful outcome when I'm not fully convinced.

DH can't believe that they would get it so wrong and I really don't like being such a negative sceptic but I'm getting increasingly frustrated and don't want to have wasted nearly two (fertile) years going down the wrong path.

Thanks again for your support. I'll keep you posted.

Love, Mrs Bxxxxx
 

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Are you doing this on the NHS?

I think you should can have an initial appointment with a private clinic for around £150 and this is an hour long, so they could check him out and offer advice. You don't have to go ahead with the treatment they advise. THat way you could find your own male factor consultant and see if he agrees with the treatment given?

I would go for someone who specialises in male factor if you can. Unfortunately these people are few and far between, there are far more female specialists out there!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Maybe-if,

Yes, we are currently on the NHS but I am looking in to the private option now.  Have been to open eve at Care Notts and going to another at Nurture (also Notts) in the next few weeks. 

DH and I have decided that we will make an appointment for a private consultation and second opinion at the end of August.  That gives us time to meet with our NHS consultant, collate all results from tests done so far, see the results of the SA that DH will do next week and have a much needed holdiay.

If anyone has experience or knowledge of male factor at either Care or Nurture in Notts, I'd very much appreciate it.   

Love, Mrs B xxxx
 

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Sounds like you've got it under control Mrs B.  I'm not sure what to wish you!  Probably that you are on the right course and that the last year has not been in vain.  If you remember hearing the term pituitary gland then there must surely be good reason for the treatment and therefore good cause to hope things will turn out for the best.  Though I agree it does seem odd that your GP and consultant are married!

I believe it's normally best to put a request for your medical notes in writing (type it and get your husband to sign?).  Tell him forewarned is forearmed, or information is power, or to fail to plan is to plan to fail (all phrases I've used).  My DH is always telling me I overthink things too, and hates it when I query and requery a decision taken, but equally, he acknowledges that we wouldn't be where we are today if I hadn't pushed pushed pushed.

My surgery are used to me hassling them for results over the phone, both for me and for my DH, but my GP has been incredibly supportive and usually authorises the release.  Hopefully you have a good relationship with your GP and she can get them out to you quickly ahead of your meeting?  Maybe offer to pay for copying costs? (should be nominal)
 

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maybe-if

Off subject - but glad to read that doggy is feeling better today. Do you just take pictures for yourself or is it a business?

Emma x
 

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P.S. Just have to add- what a coincidence about you and mrs cloudy's choice of handles...  I reckon it's a good sign!  :)  Here's to a little bubble soon, lots of luck for your SA and consult.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hi Claudine,

Thank you for getting in touch with Hippy, she really has had a tough time.  Her message put things into perspective and has made me feel quite optimistic.  Given the cost of the treatment, I can’t imagine our consultant would have been able to prescribe both pregnyl and menopur unless he was confident in his diagnosis.  Poor Hippy, though; to be told that there was a chance for her DH and then to take it away by saying it was too expensive.  How cruel. 

The links are great, especially the andrology Australia one which explained hormone replacement therapy very clearly.  One of them talked about a 70% success rate so fingers crossed for some good news on 17th July. 

I saw on the Multiple Cycles thread that you have an appointment tomorrow.  I hope it goes well for you. 

Lots of Love, Mrs Bxxxx

PS. ‘choice of handles’, what does that mean?  I have no idea! 


 

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We'll all have our fingers crossed for a good result on the 17th  ^reiki^

"Handles" are "nicknames" or your choice of username... I think mrs bubble and mrs cloudy are not dissimilar!  So I'm hoping there'll be a little bubble soon on its way to join the little cloud!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well, we have finally had our long awaited appointment and the situation is clearer, although not necessarily brighter.

After 7 months, DH has had no response to androgen replacement therapy.  LH and FSH incredibly low, testosterone sky high.  The SA showed zero sperm. 

To say we are both deflated would be an understatement.  Our options, as outlined to us by our consultant, are:

1. DH continues with the hormone injections for another 4 months; research suggests it’s a VERY slow process.  If successful, we’d then proceed to IVF/ICSI
OR
2. Be referred to either Nurture at QMC or Care Notts for Donor IUI/IVF on the NHS and be seen within 18 weeks.

DH has had to go back to work (poor him) and we’ve yet to talk through it properly.  I’m at home trying to get my head around it all. 

I’m for another 4 months of injections but then I don’t have to take them and DH is really suffering from the side effects.  Even if we do continue with this, we still have to prepare for plan B.

Donor sperm is a whole new ball game.  DH says he’s happy to use donor sperm but is insistent that we don’t tell anyone or any child that is conceived about it.  I’m not comfortable with keeping secrets, I feel they always come back to haunt you.  I also think the current law, although I don’t know for sure, allows the donor to trace any children born from the recipients of his sperm.   

In trying to find some positives, we’ll at least know by Christmas where we’re heading.  That’s about all I can think of at the moment.   

Good luck to everyone else.  Mrs Bubble xxxx
 

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^hugme^

So sorry it wasn't the good news you were hoping for today.  I imagine that you are feeling pretty low but trying to put on a brave face... you're right, donor is a whole new ball game and one that you and the DH have to be totally in agreement about.  There's a lot of support here whichever route you choose.

I hope the path becomes clear for you soon.

Keep in touch or join us on the NOA thread... there's a few couples equally in limbo and we can all sympathise with the frustration and hurt that that brings.
 
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