male factor infertility - new here - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 07-20-2006, 01:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi!
I have finally taken the plunge and moved over here. I kept avoiding this thread - the thinking being that if I avoid joining, I can avoid infertility. So far, not a very effective technique. I can't wait for the search function to be back up and running, and I'm sure I'll find lots of info as I work my way through some older threads, but I have a few questions.

We're currently on cycle 11. I knew something was off fairly early and luckily found a dr who takes us seriously despite our ages (23 & 24). We just got dh's SA results back, and though the morphology is good, everything else is pretty crummy. Very low counts, very high viscosity and 20% of the little swimmers can actually swim. We're doing supplements (Vit C&E, arginine, B complex), robitussin, and getting the SA repeated. But, we're trying to figure out what next steps would be. We're in Ontario, I have limited health coverage, dh has nothing beyond OHIP. Oh, and he has a small varicocele. (Any experience with these? Getting them treated? Is it worth it?)
So, any Canadians out there with experience/ideas about what's available, what's covered, where to go, etc, etc? We're in the north, and there aren't any drs who do fertility treatments here - we've been told we would have to go to Toronto. (?) Any additional advice about increasing counts and motility?

Thanks so much.
Looking forward to getting to know all of you.
Katia.

For greater things are yet to come...

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#2 of 10 Old 07-20-2006, 01:38 PM
 
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Hi Katia!

I just wanted to offer and tell you that there isn't a more supportive group of people out there than these fine folks!

We're dealing with male factor in that dh's morph was only 4%. Everything else was fine, but apparently the morph problem is enough to prevent us from conceiving.

Unfortunately I have no helpful information to offer.... just good vibes to send in your direction....

Hang in there....
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#3 of 10 Old 07-20-2006, 05:39 PM
 
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Hi and welcome!

I am not in Canada so those I can't address questions you have concerning that part of your issue, BUT, we are also dx as MF and my husband was told he had a fairly sizable variocele. We decided to have the surgery and both of us regret putting him through it. It didn't help his numbers or anything else at all. Dh's brother also had the operation and it evidently didn't help him, either. It seems that from what I've heard they have not be very useful for a lot of people. However, I am just one person with my own experiences so hopefully you'll hear from someone else to give their .02

Good luck in your journey. You'll find a lot of support here with a lot of people that know exactly what you're going through!
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#4 of 10 Old 07-20-2006, 08:44 PM
 
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Hi Katia,

We were also dx with severe male factor IF, and at first dh had the whole shooting match - low count, motility, and morphology. He was diagnosed with a whopper of a varicocele (the urologist walked in and saw it from across the room), and he did have the surgery. In our case, we are glad he did it, as it brought his count and motility into the low end of the normal range. His morphology is still very poor, so we still had to do IVF, but our post-surgery embryos looked much better than the pre-surgery ones, and I was able to sustain a pg post-surgery, whereas I had miscarried pre-surgery. Granted, I was also on a different drug protocol, so it may have had nothing to do with the surgery, but we still think it was useful. That said, dh's varicocele was a big one, and I am not sure whether having a tiny one fixed has the same (or any) effect.

We also did the whole vitamin/acupuncture/herbs regimen, but dh didn't find much improvement from it. However, I think this was because the majority of his problem lies in the morphology of the sperm (they appear to lack the head coating to penetrate an egg), and I am really not sure if there is anything that can be done for that. With your issue of the motility/counts being low, you may have more success. You might try acupuncture, too, if dh is game.

Also, my dh is trying craniosacral/energy healing right now, as we had a family appt with the woman I am seeing and she loosened up his low back more than anyone ever had - and gave him more movement there than he has had in years and years - so we are curious to see what effect that may have on his sperm a few months from now...

Wow, sorry this is so long - hope it helps!

Wife to Thomas, WAH mama to Sofia Rose 8/04, Ellen Marie 10/07, her twin sister Amalie Joy lost 7/07 , and Maya Grace and Hannah Miriam 4/10
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#5 of 10 Old 07-21-2006, 10:55 AM
 
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Hi Katia! I am also in Ontario. We just completed our first cycle of IUI. They retrieved 3500 sperm from Dh's sample. The IUI did not work and we are taking a break this cycle and maybe next. Dh is on a BIG vit protocol...

Magnesium
Selenium
Multi vit
Zinc
L-arguranine
Folate
DHA

Poor guy. So we are just waiting the 72 days it takes to "pump up" the sperm. Hoping for a bigger count for the next IUI. Our benifits dont cover much either. So we are hopefull that the IUI will work, if not then we will start the research looking into our options past IUI.
Although I think it has been a while since your last post...maybe there is some happy news to share!?
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#6 of 10 Old 07-21-2006, 12:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the input everyone. We keep hearing conflicting information about correcting the varicocele - so frustrating. On one hand, we'd do just about anything to get pg, but we don't want to put dh through a procedure that isn't going to help either.
Super7 - Where are you in Ontario, or rather, where did you have your IUI done? What was the drill in terms of getting in to see someone, the pre-procedure tests, etc, etc. And, cost?
It feels like the more information we get, the more questions I have! I made a dr's appointment for next week, purely for the purpose of asking all these questions. Probably not supposed to do such a thing, but my desire to know more wins out over the idea that I'm not supposed to use my doctor for question answering, half of which aren't even about me, but rather about my dh!
I'm still feeling pretty raw about the whole thing. I'm doing midwifery related research for the summer, and occasionally have to stop and get control of the tears suddenly running down my face. I'm usually a very stable person!
I'm also quite angry recently, in spite of not wanting to be that way. Dh has his own feelings, and our relationship is being stressed. In a way it's good, as this is forcing us to work through things together, but it is difficult too. And, he's the "safest" person to lash out at, even though he is the one person I shouldn't be lashing out at. So complicated. Have any of you found resources for dealing with the "head" (psychological, emotional, etc) issues of infertility? Books, series of questions to work through together, person to talk to...? As much as it would be great if this forum had no need to exist, I am glad you all are here.
Thanks again for the input.
Katia.

For greater things are yet to come...

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#7 of 10 Old 07-21-2006, 01:48 PM
 
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Well, first, everything you are feeling is perfectly normal - anger, grief, etc. - to the situation you are in. It sucks, and don't let anyone tell you differently. Those people who are NOT in our situation and try to find the silver lining for me just chaff my hide. :

I have seen an awesome therapist who helped me work through a bunch of IF-related issues, and dh went with me sometimes, too, which helped a lot, as we were able to safely begin some discussions there that we may not otherwise have had. I also found a great book that was of tremendous comfort to me. It is called, "When Empty Arms Become a Heavy Burden." It was written by an IF doc and one of his patients, and really hits the nail on the head with regard to a lot of those feelings we all go through. It IS quite Christian centered, but I am not very Christian centered, and I found I was able to take what I needed from the book and leave the rest.

to you, and know you are not alone in this.

Wife to Thomas, WAH mama to Sofia Rose 8/04, Ellen Marie 10/07, her twin sister Amalie Joy lost 7/07 , and Maya Grace and Hannah Miriam 4/10
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#8 of 10 Old 07-21-2006, 06:11 PM
 
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I am in the same boat. We dont have the exact numbers yet (my dr is mailing them to us) but she said it was bad both times. I dont understand how we could accidentally get pregnant when I was 16, but now he has low sperm. I dont know if there are secondary infertility causes that are treatable but I am hoping. he is going to see a uriologist as soon as we can get an appt. I am really at witts end with all of this. I wish you the best of luck Katia and I hope you and your husband can find something that works for you.
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#9 of 10 Old 07-23-2006, 06:05 PM
 
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We had MF IF... antisperm antibodies. IVF with ICSI was the trick.. and now the product of that is crying... I'll try to check back in here later.

Mamato Ruby Violet joy.gif(6 with autism) and someone 1sttri.gif who should make him/herself known sometime in the next month.

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#10 of 10 Old 07-24-2006, 06:44 PM
 
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When we were first married we had the same problem. Low count, low morph, low mobility. We found out about Tri-Amino which is L-Arginine, L-Ornithine, & L-Lysine. We had TTC for almost 3 yrs, but about 4 mnths of dh taking this we got pregnant with #1 and have had kid every year since. I'm not saying this is a miracle pill, but it might help. He also took a good Multi.

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