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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I am fairly new to the site but have been reading a lot. My DH and I recently found out DH`s sperm really low and would need IVF/ICSI, we are waiting for an appointment with consultant.

We only found out in April and things were rocky at the start as it was a shock for us as it must be for everyone. DH wasnt coping with the news too well but we chatted and both decided to go ahead and do whatever it takes. Things have been better the last few weeks and weve been staying positive etc, but the last week has been awful.

Dh seems to have hit rock bottom, blames himself for everything and keeps saying he cant cope with not being able to give me a child etc I have told and told him how much I love him and he is my life, we will just have to do things differently to most other couples. He doesnt listen to me though and I`m really worried about him.

I wanted to ask how other peoples partners have taken the news and how you dealt with it? What can I do to help him?

Any advice would be really appreciated...

Thanks again

Megan x
 

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Hi Megan

I'm sorry to hear that you and your DH are finding this tough at the moment.  Myself and my DH had been TTC for 4 years before we finally decided to get our acts together and get all the tests done.  After about a year of tests, we too discovered that my DH has low sperm count & motility - the doctor also mentioned antibodies & a high level of abnormal sperm; to be honest a lot of it went over our heads, but the upshot was that we don't have much chance of conceiving naturally :(.  I think the one thing that helped us both is that, even though we were shocked by this news, we knew that finding out didn't make our situation any worse, it just gave us the chance to do something about it.

I guess we're lucky these days in that we have procedures like IVF and ICSI that give us a good chance of overcoming these problems.  I know that my DH feels bad that I have to go through the treatment when he feels that it's his fault, but infertility is no-one's fault, its an issue for the couple to overcome together, and to be honest, the clinc will ensure that they use the best sperm for the IVF / ICSI so I feel better knowing that its a MF issue that they're dealing with. After our inital consultation we have started to feel much more positive & hopeful about the future, and hopefully you and your DH will find the same. 

In the meantime, try to take as much time as possible to relax and spend time together doing the things that you both enjoy.  IF is such an emotional rollercoaster that it's important to keep sight of the reasons that you both got together in the first place.

I wish you both all the luck in the world for whatever treatment you decide to go for  ^hugme^

K xx
 

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Megan, you and I have been in touch already but I'm sorry to hear that DH is taking it so badly. Mine was devastated at first and to be honest, every now and then it flares up again but we just have to be strong and keep telling hem we love them and that it's a shared problem. It sinks in eventually! Just remember, there is lots that can be done with ICSI and you have lots of time. Nobody has to know that DH has a fertility problem, even if you do choose to tell people you're doing IVF at some point.

The shock takes a long time to heal but it does, you'll get there in the end.

Good luck with everything,
Louise xx

P.S. Don't know how DH would feel about it but they do support meetings at the hospital once a month if that would help? Also we have seen the Counsellor together 3 times now in the last 18 months and that has been a massive help for us.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi Louise and Krystal,

Thanks so much for your lovely replies, I am already feeling a bit better. Its nice to know there are others in the same boat and we are not alone. I just worry that if hes feeling like this now how will he cope during treatment etc but that will be a while away and I`m sure we will be feeling stronger and more positive as time passes..

Louise - Hi again, you have been a great help so far, counselling sounds good I was only thinking about this today. We havent told many people not even DH`s family so he hasnt got anyone to talk to about it other than me. He tends to bottle things up, I think it would do us the world of good, I will put it to him and see what he thinks.

Thanks again and hope to speak to you both again soon,

Megan x





 

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I do think time is what's needed to get your head around stuff like this.

I am lucky in my bloke seems to have dealt with it quite well. I think it's really important to stress that you are with him for HIM, not for his sperm potential! And the other thing is I always refer to it as OUR problem. It's never HIS problem, it's OURS. End of.

Honestly, I do feel like it is our problem, as I want to get pregnant with his child and can't.

I think it helps to know there are lots of other guys in the same boat. Azoospermia is not exactly uncommon (no sperm at all in ejaculate) and there's enough guys on these boards who don't have sperm found even after a biopsy. To be honest (and I don't want to make light of your situation by any means as it's all difficult to handle) but we'd kill for a "low" sperm count. We'd do pretty much anything for ANY sperm count to be honest, even a count of one! And then I look at people going through rough patches in their marriage, and realise what I've got is so special and we're actually really very lucky.

For me, coming on these boards and reading all the stories makes me realise there's so many people going through all of this. It occasionally occurs to me that many people just get pregnant naturally, but most of the time I actually forget that's the way it happens now!

I think knowledge is power. THe more you can elarn, and find out the better. HAving a plan gives you a sense of purpose and counteracts any feelings of hopelessness. So we have made plans, found a good clinic, discussed what we'd do in different situations, done our research and sort of know how to deal with this and what the next steps are. It's also really good to have something else to focus on so your life isn't full of IVF and infertility thoughts 24/7 - easier said than done!

We've gone through a major lifestyle overhaul which has been really good, and also been beneficial as a side effect on the fertility front. We've got healthy diets, are losing weight, exercising more, and are generally happier and have more energy. Can't be a bad thing!

I am lucky in that my guy is a squaddie, with a squaddie's warped sense of humour to life. So he's happy to talk to people about his infertility problems, and comfortable about telling friends and family why he's not drinking at the moment. My main problem was stopping him dropping his trousers at work to show off his biopsy scars (I KID YOU NOT!) because he thought it was funny.  :eek:

We've found it MUCH easier about people knowing, and explaining how we feel about it. Otherwise it's hard for people to tiptoe around you as no one knows what to say. When we initially didn't tell people, people would say stupid things about us having kids soon and it got quickly too much for me to take. So I'm pleased we get to tell people about it.

Anyway, good luck, it will get easier, and remember, give him loads of reassurance, as men are sensitive creatures! I did get a text from mine asking me if I still loved him because he was "broken". Bless him. Made me cry!




 

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Hi Megan,

I just wanted to say that we went through this too, it was a huge blow to both of us and especialy dh, even now he still has wibbles that its 'his' fault etc ...

The one thing that did help us right at the start was our appointment with the consultant. That's when you hopefully get some light at the end of the tunnel. You can reassure your dh as much as you like that you wont leave him, you still love him etc but you're not in a position to factually tell him that you could still conceive and it might all work out as he'll just see it as you hoping against hope and building yourself up for a disappointment, and that would be his fault too so it just makes it worse. For my dh it was talking to the cons about the actual chances of success and how we could go about achieving it that was the only help for dh, and after the first dreadful bad news appointment hearing about his low count it was a great appointment full of hope. He needs the emotional reassurance from you, and the scientific reassurance from the doctor. I think that's how these blokes work you know.

I hope you haven't got too long to wait until your cons, and that when you do go along you do get some glimmer of hope from it. Like Maybe said, knowledge most definitely is power.

And as for what you can do to help him, it sounds like you're doing all you can so just carry on being you.

Best of luck, Kerry x
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi Everyone,

Thanks again for your messages. Youve all been a great help.

Your all right that I think time is the best healer and I know I just need to stay supportive and encouraging and hope that its enough for him.
I have started wondering who is there to support me?! But suppose thats why I`m on here talking to you lovely people.

Again, thanks for all your advice x

Megan x
 

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Hi Megan,

I am so sorry that you and your dp are having to deal with this.

We have had two pretty damning sa's, the second of which revealed 0% norm forms, which was a huge blow. I have sort of tried to make light of it though, as I would hate to damage his already fragile ego. Luckily so far all of my tests have come back ok, but sometimes I think it would be so much easier if the issue was on my side, though I totally agree with maybe-if that it is OUR fertility not mine or his as eventually it will be our baby.

Male Factor is still a taboo subject, I have learnt and although it is some times difficult for us to cope with, it can also make friends and family feel uncomfortable too.

The good news is that science is amazing and some of the techniques used for various fertility issues are mind blowing. Many on this site are perfect examples that people like us get bfp's every day because of it.

Wish you all luck in the world xx
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi everyone,

Thanks for your replies.

Beegey, you are right with everything you said, I too have thought things might be easier if the problem lied with me but I`m sure woman in that situation dont feel that way. I think whatever the 'problem' is its heartbreaking for everyone involved isnt it.

Its nice to get encouraging words and advice on here, it somehow makes the whole thing slightly easier to deal with, like you have all said, I think time is what we need and we are going on holiday in a week and a half so I`m hoping that will do us good and refresh our batteries. Some 'us' time.

We had a good heart to heart last night and talked a lot about how each of us our feeling, bit of an eye opener but its all a learning curve isnt it. I also didnt realise how this can affect family, my Mum admitted to me it is breaking her heart seeing us so unhappy especially when we love each other so much and she is worried sick we are going to be ill. That was a smack in the face to be honest, Ive been too wrapped up in how DH and I are feeling never gave anyone else a second look, how selfish of me. My Mum is everything to me we have such a good relationship, I never thought what hurts me hurts her.

I have no idea what the future holds for us but I`m sure together we will learn to 'cope' like so many other people on here. I have a great family who are all very supportive (shame about DH`s) but thats another story.

Thanks again to you all for helping me through this last week, could never have done it without you all. I`m starting to realise that this whole process is made up of 'ups and downs'. I have just imerged from a 'down'.

Thanks again

Megan x
 

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Hi Megan, great to hear you're feeling more up than down now and that you and dh have been able to talk to each other about stuff that must make you feel more supported.

Have a great holiday lovie xxx
 

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Megan this is the only way I could think to contact you! I can't message you as your inbox is full but I wish you all the luck in the world for your appointment today! I'll be thinking of you!

Kerry
 

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Hello Everyone,

I've been reading all different board and thought i'd join for support and maybe help others in the same situation as me!

My partner and I have been trying for 4 years and about a year ago we decided to get help.  My partner has very low sperm count and we are going for IVF.  There is a 18 month waiting list in our area so we've decided we are going to go private while our names are on the waiting list.  We've had our consultation and my partner had his bloody test done, i'm having mine tomorrow morning.  My GP has agreed to fund our drugs which is great help financially. So once we have our results back we start our process.  I'm nervous as if it doesn't work first time we'll both be heartbroken but I worry for my partner and he blames himself even more than he does now.  I always make it cleared to him that this our problem but he doens't listen and never wants to talk about it. He didn't want us to tell anyone but i couldn't go through this not having anyone to speak to espeically as he doesnt' like to speak about it.

Good luck to you all and fingers crossed that we'll all have a happy ending!

Kerry
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi Kerry,

Nice to see your message, sorry its taken a while to reply had a busy week so far!

I`m sorry to hear about your situation, sounds like its pretty similar to mine and DH`s. Its such a difficult thing and also the fact of no-one knowing increases the loneliness of it all, but hey thats why we are on this site! I have found it my backbone already and havent started any treatment yet.

I see youve decided to go private for your 1st go, when do you think you will be able to start? Do you need ivf or icsi? Our consultant said we will need icsi due to such a low count.

We had thought about going privately but it is really expensive isnt it?

My DH was the same never wanting to talk about it as you can see from my above posts! Such a bad time, but I dont want to tempt fate but he has been a lot better lately, I just think it takes time to get your head round it all and it is hard for a man to deal with. How long have you known?

Take care, speak soon

Megan x
 

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Hey,

Thanks for replying.

Our consultant also told us icsi is what we need to do due to low count.  It is very expensive and not sure what we'll do if it doesn't work the first time because we wouldn't be able to afford it a 2nd time.  Luckly both of us fairly good jobs with good yearly bonuses.

Just spoke to one of our consultants team and we've got to fill out forms etc then they'll arrange for us to go in and speak about the Medication and give a list of all the Medication we need. Luckly our GP is funding our Medication or that'll be another expenses.

We've been under the NHS for roughly about a year having tests but we got told about 3 weeks ago that it's unlikly we'll be able to conceive natually.  We got a private appointment two days after!!!!!  We booked a holiday straight away to get away chill out and get our heads around it all. So now we're back and ready.

Hopefully my DP will start to open up soon as it does add more stress and we don't need extra stress do we? Men!!
 

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Hiya Kerryann! :)

Just wanted to send you a big  ^hugme^.  My DH has a good count but low motility and initially he didn't takle this v well-felt that he was the 'problem' (although I have PCOS also) and that everything was his fault-it took a LOT of encouragement and talking things through on my behalf to try and get him out of the 'blame' mindset that he'd got himself into.  He has only just now started to stop blaming himself and think of us as being in this together and it's taken a while!!

Have you thought about egg share hun??? we were told initially that as he had slow swimmers we could only do ICSI but have since gone to another clinic who have said that we could try IUI or IVF ( abit of a difference  ^idiot^)-egg share not only helps out others but also cuts the cost!

Tinkerbelle78 xx
 

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Hey,

The thing is blowing my mind to bits and there is so much to learn.  I've told my DP that i've now joint FF to chat to others in the same situtation but he actually thinks its strange, i don't though!  We were hoping to start ICSI in July but spoke to the hospital today and its more like August now. Going there next week for our Medication consaltation.

No, I don't know anything about Egg share - tell me more?

Thanks

Kerry
 

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Hi Hun!

Basically egg share means that you go through the whole IVF/ICSI medication regime but they match you with a recipient and half your eggs go to that person and half go to you but you have the treatment cheaper.  I think a few clinics say that you have to have a certain amount of eggs-many say 8 so if you get less than say 8 then you get the option of giving them all to the recipient and you having a free go next time or keeping all the eggs and not being able to egg share at that clinic next time round.

You have to go through lots of blood tests and genetic screening but if you're cleared then you will be helping someone else.  It's not for everyone but it's def worth considering.

Tinkerbelle78 xx
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hey Kerry,

I know what you mean about it blowing your mind! The whole thing is so scary, its natural to feel this way, its not something we 'expect' to happen. Ive found the more I learn the better I feel about it if that makes any sense! I think time is the best thing, when we first found out I thought we would never get through those first few months just pure hell, but its amazing how you learn to adjust. Have you found that?

Your DP sounds like my DH but hes slowly getting there now. He has to do another sample on Monday and I need more blood and then back for another appointment to discuss treatment. Everything just takes so long on the NHS, Ive just put a post on the merseyside thread asking advice about private/nhs treatment. We have been discussing having a private go before NHS comes through but its not like were rolling in it so its a big decision.

Are you entitled to NHS funding? Were are you having your private treatment? Do you mind me asking how much its going to set you back?

Hi tinkerbelle - I`ve heard about the egg sharing thing, good idea if it saves money but down side is if not many eggs collected. Where are you up to on your tx?

Take care

Megan x
 

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Hey there.... I just wanted to say that what helped in our case was springing into action right away. We found out and a month later he was on the table getting the family jewelry opened. It hasn't been easy and it didn't mean we missed on either some of the blaming game -on both sides, me silently, him saying he wants it but we're moving so fast his head spins- nor has it given us a free ticket from him mopping about "if I were more of a man you wouldn't have to go through this" when he comes to the appointments or sees me stabbing myself, but it helped.

I can't even imagine what a year or two of waiting for results or tx would mean to us impatient lot, I admire people who can deal with the wait. To us moving fast was the answer. Other than that keep doing what you're doing, reassure him and keep talking about the light at the end of the road and how lovely your progeny will be!

Also just between us girls, from reading friends' experiences, you don't want to eliminate that guilty feeling completely and minimize the effort or the hurt on your part or you may find yourself at the end of the third or fourth IVF go, going to appointments alone and so on. (I hope you don't need more than one go, of course, just a point to consider and I hope it doesn't sound insensitive or coarse, just saying a degree of knowing this is an issue and you will solve it together won't hurt.) *runs and hides*
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hi Aneud,

Good advice, I think that would be better for us instead of all this waiting its driving me mental its just more time going over and over it. Plus you just feel like your not getting anywhere and its frustrating.

Did you go private?

x
 
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