Things that are dealing with Male Factor Infertility

Thursday, March 5

Hi there! I'm gonna get a little personal with you today...

So in our beginning journey of trying to start a family we went for a few years without really knowing what was wrong with us. And in all honesty we didn't know where to start or really want to pay any extra money out of pocket to go see a doctor. I read another friends blog that said that she and her husband were having a few issues, and they bought a ovulation predictor kit (I had no idea they had those) so I bought one too. A few months later, and knowing that I was ovulating, we still weren't getting pregnant. After a few months a friend asked me if we had seen the doctor to see what was wrong, obviously, not. So we finally went to see the doctor and come to find out that Chase is the one that has the problem. NBD, right? Well it kinda makes it impossible for us to get pregnant on our own without the help from a doctor. The doctor really didn't say how bad it was, he just said it was bad.

http://www.btchflcks.com/2013/04/empty-wombs-and-blank-screens-the-absence-of-infertility-and-pregnancy-loss-in-media.html#.VPfiXUa2FZI
Empty Wombs

In fall of 2011 we did 3 rounds of IUI's back-to-back, within 3 months (well 2 months really - since that's how my cycle seemed to roll out). We paid $300 for each one we did. We didn't have any success, and our doctor had told us he wanted us to do 6 IUI's before we used medication (clomid, or femera). That would have been $1,800 out of pocket, for nothing. I felt like the doctor didn't know what was going on, and he didn't. He wasn't a specialist, and didn't refer us to one either. I felt like we didn't really know what the whole picture was.

So after a few years (2013), we got referred to Reproductive Care Center by a friend. RCC was great, they did all sorts of test, and I felt like we didn't have to pay for a lot of stuff out of pocket. But after we got another SA which included the Kruger test (which tests for sperm morphology), they said that Chase's sperm were moving forward, but in circles. So they suggested our best success would be doing In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). Which happens to be the MOST expensive treatment option. They were giving us numbers between $10,000-$20,000 for one round of IVF, which included the medicine needed.

Chase's SA from RCC was:
  • Volume: 6ml (which is normal)
  • Total Sperm Count: 24 M (normal is > 39)
  • Motility: 58% (normal is > 40%)

This is the normal value scale that all results should be based on, and it's what I have based the results from all the tests he's had done. 

We are now in a male factor clinical trial, and they have been giving us SA's every two months for up to 6 months - which is great! Those usually are around $50-$150 depending on where you get them from and if your insurance covers it.

His initial SA October (2014) when we started:
  • Volume: 5.6ml
  • Sperm Count: 6.6 M/ml  (normal > 15)
  • Total Sperm Count: 37.2 M 
  • Motility: 54%
  • Total Progressive Motile Sperm: 15.7 M (normal >12.5)
In December he got another one:
  • Volume: 3.2ml
  • Sperm Count: 8.0 M/ml  
  • Total Sperm Count: 25.4 M 
  • Motility: 66%
  • Total Progressive Motile Sperm: 7.9 M 
They had mentioned that in this sample taken that is consistent with a varicocele, testicular dysfunction, or an endocrine imbalance.

I didn't know of the problems - and no RE or regular doctor mentioned the varicocele, and only at the fertility seminar that we had gone to last month did Chase mention that he may have it, to me.

A vericocele is basically a vericose vein in the scrotum.  And from what the symptoms are (pain in the scrotum, gradually worsen over the course of the day, relief when lying down), Chase has several of them. He's got pain, but I'm sure he didn't know what the cause was before we went to the seminar.

We were told that he may need surgery and that this is an out patient procedure. Very quick, he could be back to work within 1-2 days (since he sits at his job all day). I'm not quite sure what the whole surgery entails, but I do know that there is great success with this. Because of how long it takes for the sperm to mature (2-3 months), it could take a while for there to be enough sperm to make a difference. But if there's any problems with me and we have to do an IUI then the surgery probably won't be worth it. 

With that being said, he just did another SA at the beginning of February and this is what the results were:
  • Volume: 3.6ml (normal)
  • Sperm Count: 21.1 M/ml (normal > 15)
  • Total Sperm Count: 75.8 M (normal > 39)
  • Motility: 59% (not the best but still in his average)
  • Total Progressive Motile Sperm: 34.5 M (normal > 12.5)
Say what!? Everything is normal?! All I have to say is how can that be!? After 6 years of trying and one result says that he's normal and everything is fine, seems really skeptical to me. I want to believe it with every bone in my body. So I'm not sure what to think at the moment...

So now we're going to wait until after the trial is over, and go see a different reproductive endocrinologist (RE), get some tests done and see how much it's going to cost to get pregnant! 
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Other thoughts:

As I was looking at infertility blogs the other day I found a gal and her husband who has had vericocele surgery. They just had it done in December, so I am waiting to hear the results from her! I hope it's what they needed in order to get pregnant!

On Sunday I gave a lesson in Relief Society. It was on how the atonement can help us with our trials, help us to forgive ourselves and that it can help us be kind. I shared this quote with the ladies because everyone has battles. This is our battle, and I have seen how the atonement can help me through this. I have little battles all the time, but this is the one big one in my life right at the moment.


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4 comments:

  1. Tedi, thank you for sharing it's hard to open up with something so personal and dear to your heart. My coworker has been going through this for the past four years and they are now pregnant with twins.Have hope and then trust in God he has a plan for you and it will be perfect no matter what happens. Hugs to you.

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  2. Crossing fingers, toes, and everything else that this is the year for you to be parents!

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  3. We're very hopeful for this year! We definitely still need to be patient the next few months, but the fact that all it could be is a surgery. We are definitely hopeful! :)

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