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Some of you know that I have recently got my referral to start ICSI, was hoping to be down regging in December. I've just undergone some tests with the clinic before starting and had my appointment this afternoon to get the results, to say that I am shocked is an understatement.

I had blood tests taken two weeks ago. The blood tests were to test for my hormone levels of FSH & LH and my ovarian reserve (inhibin B). My FSH & LH levels have come back below the required level of 8 but the wrong way round (one should be higher than the other, mine are the opposite way to how they should be). The test for ovarian reserve should come back with an egg count of about 150 for a woman of my age. Mine came back at 51. They did however say that due to the irregularity of my periods (28 - 60 days) that this may be misleading and so this wouldn't cause a problem with our treatment.

Then the shock....... Rich's sample has come back saying there are NO sperm. All previous samples have come back suggesting a low count but never none. They have now taken some blood tests for Rich to test his hormone levels and his inhibin B and he is required to do another sample. It may be possible that he is suffering from a blockage, so the tests will confirm if he does produce sperm, but that they are just not ejaculated. If that is the case then he may have to have PESA or TESA, surgical methods to remove the sperm, in which case we could proceed with the treatment.

They are also testing for the cystic fibrosis gene as although he does not suffer from the condition. If he comes back positive, then they will test me for the gene too as if I carry it too then it will almost certainly give us over the average odds of having a child with the condition in some form.

If this does not come back in our favour, then our only other choice is to have donor sperm or adopt. I will not do the former as I want it to be either all ours or neither of ours.

I'm feeling very numb right now. Rich just keeps saying "I told you it was me". Now I just feel completely out of control. We go back again on 18th November. In the meantime, I am cancelling our NHS appointment (trying to get on the corect NHS waiting list after 2.5 years playing the postcode lottery) as it seems pointless continuing to pursue something that may not ever be possible.

I feel so helpless. I know there are probably people worse off than me but today has made me feel like this is never going to happen. The clinic have been fabulous and are very supportive.

I need to try and do something before the 18th so I am prepared and can let it all sink in but i can't think of anything I can do. Any advice greatfully received.


^mercy^ ^mercy^ ^mercy^
Love
Karen x
 

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Oh Karen

I'm so sorry for you and your dh................. :'(

There's not a lot I can say as the problem with our infertility lies with me (although dh says us as a couple!), however there are people on this site who do suffer from male factor and I'm sure they will respond to you.

you will get through this, you will - your relationship will get stronger as you decide on your way forward. This isn't the end of treatment before it's even started, it's unfortunately just delaying you starting which is hard when you've psyched yourself up. You've received a massive shock today so both of you take care.

There's no wise words I can say, except you're in the right place for support.

((((((((((hugs))))))))
Love Sue :-*
xx
 

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Karen

What a lot to take in from one set of results, you must be reeling.

Hopefully, your hormone and ovarian reserve resultswill not cause any problems with your treatment. The clinic sound like they were quite positive regarding this.

What a terrible shock for you and DH with the sperm test results. I know that a man's sperm count varies over time - is it possible for a low count to drop to zero temporarily? Did they also cetrifuge the sample to ensure it really was an absolute zero ( Rapid centrifugal spinning costs £250 at the clinic we went to. They use it to ensure that an azoospermic sample really is just that rather than extremely low. I believe that sometimes through this method they can get enough sperm (i.e. 10-20) from a an apparent azoospermic sample to undergo ICSI but I'm not sure how often it works as fortunately it wasn't a route we needed to go down).

I hope that you get some positive news soon and that you will at least be able to proceed with PESA/TESA. I also hope that the CF tests come back OK and that your minds can be put at rest on this at least.

Your husband's reaction reminds me of what my DH said. It was at right at the beginning, when we hadn't conceived for nearly a year after my miscarriage. We decided he should ask the doctor for a sperm count test before embarking on my round of tests. I met him at lucnhtime and he said "looks like you can stop worrying, it's me not you". I really thought he was going to push me away and I think he thought I might walk away. It took some convincing him that it wasn't him that had fertility problems it was us as a couple and something we would have to go through as a couple. In the end, it really didn't matter with whom the diagnosis of IF lay. However much we wanted children, more that anything we wanted to be together (sounds like that dodgy advert ;)). The counselling session at the clinic was surprisingly helpful as it got out a lot of fears and my DH's true feelings about IF and issues like DI came out into the open. I would never have thought of going to a fertility counsellor before, after all they can't change anything, but it was part of the treatment cycle so we went along. Although me and Don are always very open with eachother, somehow the counsellor seemed able for us to open up completely, confronting and addressing our deep feelings and fears - the sort of things you normally keep to yourself or don't say in case the other partner finds it too upsetting. I came out of there feeling as though a weight had been lifted and felt really close to Don as we had been able to be completely open. Perhaps you might find this beneficial.

Good luck with the further tests - I hope that next time the results will bring you some positive news and that you will be able to proceed with ICSI soon.

Allie
 

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Karen,

I'm so sorry hun to hear of these nasty hurdles thrown in your way ^mercy^ You must feel as though your world is falling apart around you.

However, I would say don't despair - I'd say the fact that your dh has had samples with low sperm count in before certainly indicates he is producing sperm.

My dh actually suffers from Cystic Fibrosis (CF) - the full blown condition!!! There are so many different strengths of CF, where individuals suffer from different symptons - i.e. The main one is bad lungs, then dodgy guts, heavy sweats and then obviously the infertility factor - a natural vasectomy! Now individuals can suffer from all of these or just one of these in the very mildest form (unfortunately for my dh - he has the lot).

It has been over recent years that many men who appear to have no other symptons, but do appear infertile have the very mildest form of CF (or as your Dr's have put it, carry a CF gene) and had it not been for you wanting children, this would never be detected.

I certainly would not give up hope, because if it does turn out to be that your dh carries a CF gene, there will be an extremely high chance that you will be able to get sperm by surgical means. Even with my Dh having the most severe form of CF, we've managed to obtain sperm.

I know of one other girl on here as well, who I've become very good friends with, whose dh is at the other end of the scale and is infertile due to carrying the gene - they obtained 10 vials of sperm from his procedure!

As far as you being tested for the CF genes, this is a worrying time, I remember only too well how I felt being tested. It is nerve wracking, but you just have to take each step at a time........ wait and see the outcome of your dh's tests and then deal with anything else thrown at you, only as and when you need to - I know thats easier said than done.

I'm not sure if I've helped or hindered here.

Karen, if you have the chance of NHS treatment, I wouldn't be in a hurry to cancel being on their list - wait and see what happens - because it's certainly not cheap privately.

Anyway Karen, I wish you all the best, if you need to talk more, we're all here for you.

heart,

Sue :-* :-*
 

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HI Karen

I cant really give you any advice with this, sorry but just wanted to say I am thinking of you and hoping this isnt as bad for you as it seems, everything could change and may not be as bad as it seems. Im so sorry youve got to deal with this, the others sound like they have given you some good advice with this problem.
Take care sweetie and keep us informed

love Lou xxxxx :-*
 

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Hi Karen,

I cant offer any advice as such sweetheart, i want you to know though that we are 100% behind you and will be here should you need us.

I cannot believe what a rough time you are having, but stay positive, im sure that these tests will give you some information that you need.

Take care and ((((((((((Karen+DH)))))))))))) big hugs to you both.

Mel

x x x x x x
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Girls

You are all FAB!!

I was very apprehensive to post my message last night but I knew that putting my thoughts down would help. I feel partly at the moment like I am grieving but I know in the next couple of weeks these feelings will subside and I will be back to fighting this whole thing.

I rang a friend last night who is 34 wks pg with twins, her dh had some wriggly problems too, so it was good to talk to someone who could give some taste of reality instead of non-IF friends and family who always say things will be ok, but don't comprehend the whole IF thing.

I've posted on other bulletin boards in the past , but I have never had support like I get on here. Mel & Tony ~ this place is a lifeline and I am so thankful that it was here for me when I needed it most.

Still feel very numb about it all at the moment. At first I couldn't cry ^mercy^ last night but the tears have flown this morning. It is surprising how much better it can make you feel.

Thank you all again for your messages of support, I will read them again when I can see through the tears.

Love
Karen x
 

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Hi Karen,

I'm sorry to hear your news, it must have been a real shock for you and DH. But don't lose heart.

We have factors on both sides, I have PCOS & endometriosis, my hormone levels are all over the place, and I rarely ovulate, DH has no live sperm (in his ejaculate). As far as fertility goes we were almost a lost cause!

However, I have just got a ++ test result after icsi with PESA ;) Got a long way to go yet, but it does work!

My DH situtation was straightforward in that he had a failed vasectomy reversal. The problem was he was producing very high levels of antibodies, which is common after a vasectomy, and so his body effectively "killing off" the sperm when they got to maturity.

The clinic assured us via PESA they would be able to find some live sperm in there somewhere, which they did. Remember for icsi, they only need one little swimmer!

I appreciate your situation is possibly more complex, and right now you do not know the reason for your DH problem. Coming to terms with the results of the tests will be hard, no matter what is discovered. However, I'm sure the chances of you both being carriers of the CF gene are pretty low, aren't they?

So let's hope the test come back clear and you maybe just have a mechanical problem which can be easily over come by PESA. I do hope so.

I really think you should not come off the NHS list, as Sue says this is expensive treatment, and if you are entitled to NHS help, I would take it.

Wishing you all the best Karen, fingers crossed for you both.

Lots of love

Vicky

 

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Karen

I can't say much either but I just wanted to post to say I am so sorry this blow has hit you. You are understandably broken, I am thinking of you for a good result. Hold on to Vicky's story pg after PESA, hope is still there, even though it may not feel like it.

Jane
 

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Karen

So sorry to hear that you've had such a horrible time. I agree totally with Sue MJ - you have to convince your DH that infertility is something for you both to overcome rather than it being "his fault"

Anyway just wanted to let you know that one of the girls I work with has 3 kids ( first twins then one baby a few years later). They had ICSI and PESA and were successful first time on each time they tried. Infertility is truly a horrible thing to go through and deal with but modern medicine does have some of the answers to help us

hope you're OK

S
x
 

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Oh Karen M,
I am sorry you have had such a shock this week. Sue MJ, Allie and Vicky have posted some really good advice which I hope helps a little. I would echo what they say about not cancelling your NHS appointment right now.
Also I could not agree more with the comments several girls have posted about infertility affecting you AS A COUPLE.
Between us, dh and I have a low sperm count and a very low ovarian reserve. We were told we had less than 5% chance of conceiving a child of our own. I am sorry I know nothing about the TESA/PESA side of thingsk but because of my low ovarian reserve, for my second ISCI I was offered the chance to cycle using Cetrotide instead of down-regulating (sometimes referred to as the short or flare-up protocol.) Using Cetrotide we ended up with an amazing five eggs and 2 embryos, which gave us so much more to feel optimistic about after our disasterous first attempt.
Karen I know that you and dh must be hurting sooooo much just now. :'(
but hopefully over the next while your hospital will help to answer some of your questions and see if there are other options for you two to have a baby together.

Lastly, has your dh read any of the posts here? It took a while to persuade mine, but then he really appreciated the support too.

<<<<<<<Hugs to you both>>>>>>>>
Flo
 

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Karen M,
Just wanted to give you a big (((HUG))).

Take care,
Samxxx
 

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Hi Karen

Again i cant offer any advice except i agree with SueMJ about not giving up on the NHS help.
But i can offer my support and be here when you need a shoulder along with everyone else.
They can do so much these days dont give up yet. We are all rooting for you and i hope and pray you get your wish.
Love Kim ^smlove^
 

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Hi Karen,
I just had to post to let you know I am thinking of you and your DH. It is awful when you receive so much information - so hard to take it all in. I think you are right - writing your feelings down is healing. If there is anything I can do or if you need to talk - just ask.

Lots of love
Sam
xxx
 
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