Thursday, May 15, 2008

Being Ready to Hear It

In December 2006 we met with a very renowned Andrologist(Doctor who works with male plumbing). He had come out of retirement, he said because he was bored. My feeling was he missed being Dr. Knowitall. He looked over Mr. S's two Semen Analysis(one came in at 20mil/ml with ok motility and 4% morph, one was just 1.8million, low everything) and said to us, point blank. "The only thing that will work for you is IVF/ICSI. Otherwise you have 1 in 250 chance of conceiving. "

We had just found out that Mr. S's brother and father had trouble conceiving, and that his brother took a medicine(clomid) that helped him get his wife pregnant. Dr. K said, "That is all snake oil, vitamins, acupuncture, medicine. None of it works."

This attitude did not go over well with Mr. S. He knew his SA jumped around, and wanted to give other things a try. At that point we hadn't quite been trying a year, and we agreed to do some other things.

Oh, and Dr. K drew for us that picture I was talking about before, "here is the egg and here is the sperm and here is what needs to happen." (he was the third person to do this in front of me, by the way. Do I look like I am 12?)

Mr. S's regular andrologist prescribed clomid for him. He actually enjoyed it. For those who don't know, clomid is normally given to women to get them to ovulate, or to ovulate more. It basically tricks your pituitary gland into thinking it isn't producing enough fsh/estrogen and your system goes into hyperdrive. For men, it works slightly similarly, except it makes your pituitary pump out the testosterone. Mr. S found himself with more energy and zing. Male bodybuilders use clomid to get pumped up.

After three months there were some improvements, both hormonal and in count. We tried a few things, an unmedicated IUI(me unmedicated, not Mr. S), and then 2 more, with me on clomid. At the second one I could tell something was wrong. My RE came in and said, "We only have 800,000 post-wash." He went on, "You've already paid($1000) so we'll go ahead and do it, but it is unlikely to work. At least now we know for sure that it is just your husband, and we can move on."


This was 7 months after Dr. K's prognosis. This time I was ready to hear it, and I talked with Mr. S and he started to be able to hear it too. "IVF/ICSI is what you need."

One of the problems with infertility is that everyone has a story for you about someone who got pregnant "miraculously, unexpectedly. after they'd given up hope." The more I read, the more I have a feeling those people had irregular ovulation, or something a bit, ahem, minor, in infertility diagnoses. But, those stories are insidious and you think, "If we just wait a little longer, and change our diet and don't do this, and wait 3 days before we have sex." every month a new recipe for what you hope will work.

Some people can hear a Doctor the first time he or she says "this is what you need." We weren't ready. Maybe it was his manner, I can't say. Now that we have heard it(lived through it) I can't say whether I wish we'd gone faster. The struggle has been pretty awful. But I've gone through it with Mr. S, and we are stronger for it.

What made you able to hear it, dear readers who've gone through it, or are in the midst?


  1. We tried for about 4 years on our own before seeing an RE. The last year I was using TCOYF and reading the Ovusoft forums religiously. I thought I finally "got it". When it didn't work, we saw the RE who ordered the SA, and the numbers were bad - low count, low motility - presumably due to my husbands varicoceles. He had the surgery a few months later, and had 3-4 SA's done over the next 9 months. No improvement at all. We finally had to face the fact that it just wasn't going to happen naturally. We moved on to IVF/ICSI because his counts were too low for IUI.

  2. Mine had the surgery too. Are you doing IVF/ICSI now?

  3. Yes - we just finished up our first (only?) IVF ICSI cycle. The beta test is next week.

  4. Having my MOH get prego on my wedding night did it for me. I was DETERMINED after the wedding. And just for the record, we tried 1.5 years before the wedding because we are OLD and I would have been more than happy to be a bride with a big belly! And it was really my husband I was finally ready to hear, because he was the one who kept saying, Just take the drug all the girls take (i.e. clomid). At least finally listening to that got me into the RE's office.

  5. Hi...thank you for your comment at my blog. I did not have any of the struggles that you are having but share with you a desperate love for children and family. For someone like me, reading a blog like yours is eye opening because when you don't have problems conceiving and you don't know anyone who has problems, you kind of go through life not really considering that it is a very real struggle for a lot of people. I admire your courage and will continue to read to see how you're doing.

  6. heidi- you aren't old! (unless you are lying on your profile):)

    stars- thanks for coming by.

  7. Just came across your blog. We too have mfi, Azoospermia, looks like y'all had your blessing of a child! Congrats1

  8. yes, it took 2 IVF's (and one FET), but we did. Donor sperm is definitely something we considered, esp. for number 2, we were even researching donors. Good luck!!!