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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have just discovered this site and have been reading various threads and am feeling like I’m not alone anymore.

I am almost 32 and have been married to my husband (34) for four years.  I have known from the start that he has azoospermia.  At first I fine with it and naively thought that love would conquer all and that everything would be ok, but as time has passed I am finding it increasingly difficult to cope with the situation we are in.

We have been seeing a consultant on the NHS since April 2007 following referral from our GP and I was wondering if anyone has any experience of the medication he has prescribed my husband.  My husband has just finished a 3 month course of Hcg (3 weekly injections) to raise testosterone levels and as this has been successful he is just about to start a course of Hcg and Menogen (? Think this is what it’s called).  The purpose of the Menogen is to try and kick start sperm production.

One aspect that I find incredibly hard is that I feel I have absolutely no control over this situation and no idea of what the likely outcome is and what will happen next if it is either successful or unsuccessful.  I think if I had some knowledge I would be able relax a little.  At the moment I am anxious and angry pretty much all of the time.  I am desperate for a baby and it seems that everyone around me has no problems in getting pregnant.  I can lash out at my husband over the slightest thing but really it’s because I’m so frustrated and, irrationally, blame him.

Before my husband started his medication I had to undergo some tests.  I can’t remember what they were called but I know the results showed that there are no problems with either my ovaries or my fallopian tubes.  I also have a regular menstrual cycle.  I know that this is good news for me but sometimes it makes things even harder.  I wonder if it would be easier to cope if the problem lay with me?   
 

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I just wanted to say you are very much not alone.

I must admit, my husband is quite a sensitive bloke and I have never once blamed him for the azoospermia. I get annoyed and upset that I can't get pregnant, but it's OUR problem, not his. For all I know there could be the odd sperm getting through from time to time but I might have implantation problems or something? I also really feel I have problems getting pregnant too, although this is just me being a natural pessimist, as I have regular cycles and no problems shown on a blood hormone level workup thing they did.

My coping strategies are:

- For me to realise that we will get through all this one day, somehow. I'm in it for the long haul, I really DON'T expect to get pregnant on the first cycle of treatment. I'm a realist and I've done a LOT of reading of the statistical chances of IVF/ICSI working for each cycle and all the problems that can arise.

- For me to have something else to worry about. I run a business which I love and have great fun doing. I've pushed really hard to make it successful and I'm working myself into the ground which means there's very little time for me to worry about infertility! I couldn't do this with a screaming brat in tow, definitely not! I also have outside interests - I'm really into training my dog doing obedience at the moment. She's only a puppy still but it uses up some of my nurturing side. Taking her to classes makes me feel like I'm taking her to school and I'm so proud when she does really well (and she's a little star and a show off!). Getting a dog has really helped me I think.

- To try and have some fun and go out for meals, go on romantic holidays and everything else we couldn't do with children as easily.

- To enjoy just being with each other (REALLY easier said than done sometimes, but it's nice when you get moments you can really appreciate). You got together for a reason, it's trying not to lose sight of that. Try and remember how you felt when you first got together and try and recreate some of that excitement about just being with each other.

- To have a PLAN! I'm a planner. So I've done all my background reading I can on the internet about azoospermia, the probable cause for us (adult mumps orchitis) and try and find our chances and path to getting pregnant. We're lucky in that we can afford to have treatment privately, although it's still tough to find the money. But we are.

If you have no problems you can probably egg share, which makes private treatment loads easier. The waiting lists are nothing compared to the NHS. We got diagnosed with azoospermia back in August last year, and decided to go private in December. We got our initial consultation in January and his biopsy would have been a month or two after that to find sperm, if it wasn't for his work getting in the way.

- To allow yourself to feel how you feel. All of this is a horrific thing to go through. The sense of being completely out of control is so, so hard. (Hence my plan to have a plan!). It's ok to be upset, it's ok to take a day out and just scream into a pillow for 12 hours straight. Allow yourself time to grieve over all of this. I find it better to let myself have bad days than try to fight them. I've also discovered I get quite bad PMT when I'm off the pill so I tend to completely lose it during PMT and usually it's over not being pregnant. but when I don't have PMT I'm quite chilled out about it all. It helped me to recognise when I'm hormonal (I also get very hormonal when I ovulate!) because otherwise I feel like I'm losing the plot a bit and should probably be committed! You are so strong to be surrounded by pregnant women, I think I would have changed jobs by now. I'm lucky in that I work from home, but I deal with a lot of brides who always announce their pregnancies to me a couple of months after their wedding, and it's a little sickening to deal with. I have found it easier to deal with over time.

- Coming on forums like this help a LOT too.

- Finally, as part of the "plan" we have agreed that if all else fails we would use donor sperm if necessary to get me pregnant. So I am very lucky in that my husband is ok for me to do this to give us a baby together. This has helped me feel like all is not lost just yet. We have that as a backup plan if they hadn't found sperm during his biopsy, or even for the future if there is a problem with his sperm.

I'm sorry I have no experience of the drugs your consultant is using. Hopefully someone else will come along with more info for you.

Fingers crossed the medication has the desired effect.


 

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Hi hon, sorry to hear you're having a tough time. Just wanted to add my ^hugme^ to Maybe's coping strategies. All you can do is take one day at a time and do whatever it takes to get though that day (17 pg colleagues is pretty dire)

Just to give you a positive story, I think mrscloudy's DH was in same situation as your DH, they got pg naturally in the end!

http://www.fertilityfriends.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=125518.msg1855411#msg1855411
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Dear Ladies,

It has been so encouraging to hear your stories so thank you so much for sharing them.  Before I posted on FF I hadn’t spoken to anyone who really understood how I felt.  Knowing that I’m not the only one experiencing these (at times scary) emotions has been a huge source of comfort. I was amazed by how quickly I received replies and have found the past few days quite overwhelming.

I totally relate to what you’re saying, Katie. I get myself all worked up and excited each month thinking maybe a miracle will happen and then feel devastated when it doesn’t.  Sometimes I feel like the months are just passing me by, but I’m starting to accept that getting pregnant isn’t going to happen as quickly as I’d like and at least we’re not ttc completely oblivious to the azoospermia.  DH has also told me I can ‘leave him for someone who can make me pregnant’ and it’s awful.  You and Maybe are right - we’re in this together and being bitter won’t help things. 

Maybe, thank you for sharing your coping strategies.  I’m a planner too and have started now to think in the long term and of what I can do practically to help myself and DH. I have started to research various options and treatments so that we can be prepared for the long haul.  Next time we see the consultant I’ll be armed with questions!  I didn’t know too much about what might happen next before I joined FF but already I feel more in control and as if I’m at least doing something rather than just being in limbo.

What has really helped the most is realising that it’s ok to cry, scream and be angry.  Accepting that some days are just going to be like that is a step forward, I think.  I spent Sunday and Monday generally feeling miserable but today is better.  All is definitely not lost yet.

Claudine, thanks for the link.  The positive stories really do help.

I’m going to collect the next batch of DH’s medication today – fingers crossed.

Lots of love and best wishes, Mrs B. xxx




 

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I'm so pleased you sound like you feel a bit better today.

You're right, the worst thng is being completely out of control with this, in a society and an age where we have control over virtually every other aspect of our lives.

And planning helps stay in control.

My husband lets me do all the reading and then I filter the relevant information down to him. Maybe that's why I feel it's as much my probelm as his, because I'm doing so much work on this, it gives me a sense of equal ownership of the problem, so I couldn't imagine being annoyed at him when I'm doing so much to help him.

Have a look (if you aren't feeling too much information overload!) at ways to improve sperm quality. It all helps.

My DH had been told there was ZERO sperm in his sample and only a 25% chance of them finding any on a biopsy. I rationalised that we had to do everything we could to make sure he was producing as much as possible. S he was on Wellman multivitamins, lots of fruit and veg and lots of fruit smoothies, etc.

Smoking, alcohol, hot baths, laptops on your lap and other heat can all kill off sperm. I thought - if he's only got a few, I REALLY don't want him to kill off the handful he had left. He doesn't smoke but gave up drinking completely (so did I which was hard!) and I highly recommend Becks alcohol free lager! Tastes just like the real thing. And got a table for his laptop.

We did all this for THREE months (how long it takes sperm to be produced) and we were incredibly lucky and grateful that around 1000 sperm were found.

It was really hard to get my DH to chance his lifestyle so I had to give him "suggestions" gradually and drip feed him info. It's all worked now though, and the main reason he managed to give up drinking completely was because the biopsy to find sperm cost £1350 and he hated the thought of spending all that for them to not find sperm because he'd had a drink.

Anyway i hope that gives you some more infomration to ponder on and good luck with the planning.

 

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Hi

You have loads of great advice so far but I thought I'd say hi too. My DH has azoospermia but we managed to find some in a biopsy last Monday but we had been in limbo since October last year when he did his first test and we still are waiting for the next stage.

I'd just suggest taking one step at a time and always keep in mind the next option as that helps me (when we were waiting for the results I kept reminding myself he'd be a great dad even if we used a donor and now we're going to try ICSI I remind myself we can adopt).

Also I see you're in Nottinghamshire - the Nottinghamshire board is a friendly place so drop by (http://www.fertilityfriends.co.uk/forum/index.php?board=243.0) and I've just posted a message to see if anyone wants to meet up in the City on Saturday so if you fancy a chat let me know and the cake's on me (any excuse!)

Heather

PS Who are you seeing, we've seen Mr Hopkisson at QMC and Mr Lemberger at City did the biopsy - both are lovely
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hello!

Thanks again for the advice. I now feel so much more positive and in control of things.

It’s good to hear that there is hope on the sperm production front.  Have been doing some research today and have a shopping list for tomorrow – wellman vitamins, fruit and veg – and have got various smoothie recipes from the internet.  The healthy diet will do me good too and there’s a great incentive for sticking to it, but I’m not looking forward to giving up the wine! 

Thanks for the invite on Saturday, Heather.  Unfortunately I can’t make it this time but hopefully next time.  Despite living in Nottingham, we’re seeing a consultant at King’s Mill Hospital in Mansfield.

Take Care.  XXXXX



 

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Hi there Mrs Bubble

My heart really goes out to you as I know exactly what you are going through.  My DP had the same treatment as yours is currently undergoing and I recognise your feelings completely.  I also sometimes felt that we couldnt have an argument about anything else incase he stopped taking the injections and I felt guilty about having a go at him for not doing the dishes etc when he was having to inject.  It sometimes felt like it was taking over, but for us it worked in the end and our little girl had her second birthday on Sunday.  She is super fab in every way (even the terrible twos).. We stored some sperm taken at the time of my PG and are trying for No. two at the moment.  Three failed IUI so far but the option of IVF if we decide to go for it.. 

Will your DH let you do the prep for his injections?  Or even do the injections if you get shown how by the nurse.  It at least lets you know that you are helping with the treatment a bit.  Good luck and dont give up. ^rainbow^

Cloudy
 

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No problem Mrs Bubble  :)

I'm with you on the wine too though, I went tee total in support of DH for 3 months and now I need to do it myself, worked out that if we take a few goes of ICSI then it works that could be a long time sniffing corks...

But I won't care if it works  ^spin^

H
 

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Hey all

I just wanted to say that all the posts explain exactly how i am feeling too - sometimes days are awful and you just sit and cry but do you know what i've learnt - that its ok to do that - sometimes you have to just let that go so you can move onto the next stage.  What we are dealing with is the most testing thing i have ever had to deal with but by pulling together with my DH we are going to get through this as a team.  It will be worth it in the end - just remember the sadness is often caused by the frustration of the continuous waiting - its a rollercoaster the whole way and now we are on it we are just going to keep going round and round until its our time to get off !  Having you guys to talk to makes a massive difference - anybody can empathise but true understanding comes from others in the same situation.

Good luck to everyone  ^reiki^ ^reiki^ ^reiki^ ^hugme^

Kelly
 

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Hi Mrs B

I replied to your e-mail but im not sure it sent properly.  Please feel free to ask away and I will do my best to answer. 

best wishes

Cloudy
 
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