IVF - frustrated, confused, sad

(13 Posts)
aliciact Fri 01-Feb-13 15:08:38

My husband and I started the IVF process about 14 months ago. All it seems to be is endless blood tests and semen samples. In every sample they find no sperm.
However we got very excited and got our hopes up 2 weeks ago as it was our first appointment with the consultant. But she told us what we already knew - that there was still no sperm, and no reason why yet. He either has no sperm or there is a blockage. She also that my test results basically said that I have the fertility/hormone levels of a 39 year old (I'm 31). If he has got a blockage, they will extract the sperm from him and we can start, but it has a low chance of working because of me.
So she asked us to do more bloods and make the next available appointment to see her. We did, and the next appointment is June! In that appointment maybe she will tell us if we can start? If so, apparantly she has a waiting list of 8-10 months to do the sperm extraction.
This process is so long and I am losing faith rapidly. Does anyone have any experience of this or some advice please???

Pocket1 Fri 01-Feb-13 17:09:45

Ivf in any shape or form is a testing journey. But please don't give up hope yet as in the right hands, miracles and do happen. The first step is understanding what the issue is (which you've done), then you can explore all of the options. And there will be options.

DP and I are in our 40s. Needed donor eggs. Three rounds of ivf later we are currently 18 weeks. Good things can and do happen.

Come join us on the assisted conception thread, you'll be able to ask all sorts if questions to those in similar situations. And you'll get so much support too...

smile

Pocket1 Fri 01-Feb-13 17:10:41

Ps. If going privately is an option, you can massively reduce the waiting times smile

aliciact Fri 01-Feb-13 18:32:59

I'm so glad it has worked for you, congrats!! I hope it all goes well.

For us, I worry that we are using up all of this time when there is a possibility that it may not work. We have considered going private, but again we wonder 'what if'. Its so hard, but your story has given me some positivity, so thank you grin

Alwaysasking Fri 01-Feb-13 21:24:10

My dp also has zero sperm, found out last year. I did'nt even know it was possible to have none!! I mean I've heard of low count but not zero right?! They think he has a blockage. What tests has your DH had? My dp had ultrasound and MRI which found he had a missing kidney and all his tubes were 'tangled' so the sperm isn't getting out although it is being produced. Feel free to pm me, it's so hard to find anyone going through the same thing azoospermia is v rare.

aliciact Fri 01-Feb-13 22:40:25

I know, it seems so strange! I always thought if there is ejaculate there is at least some sperm. We still don't know if there is a blockage or even if there is any sperm production. The most frustrating thing is after a year he has had no tests apart from semen samples, every appointment has been with a different person and they want more blood or semen!!! I wish they could tell us anything, even that IVF wouldn't work, because at least then we could start trying with other options.

I don't know how to pm yet, i just joined today. Also what is dp or dh???

TwinTum Fri 01-Feb-13 22:46:08

My DH was diagnosed with zero sperm and i was diagnosed with PCOS. We have 9 yo twins via IVF/iCSI - first time of trying. I hope that gives you hope! We were in the fortunate position to be able to go private which I would recommend if you can afford it.

r3dsquirrel Fri 01-Feb-13 22:56:38

Hi there. I'm sorry you are going through this. Infertility and the ivf process is tough. The biggest piece of advice I can give you is to see someone with a special.interest in male factor infertility. Most ivf consultants are gynecologists and most ivf clinics are run by these gynecologists. This is great for those with female related fertility issues but gynecologists aren't trained in male factor issues. My husband and I only realised this after two unsuccessful cycles. We took.a break and saw a urologist who specialises in male infertility privately and for the first time someone actually spoke to my husband, examined him and ultimately gave us a reason for his poor sperm quality. He recommended some treatment and liased with our ivf clinic to make some changes to our next cycle. Our third cycle was a success and we have a 10 month old little boy as a result. Good luck.

r3dsquirrel Fri 01-Feb-13 22:58:44

Oh, and had we required it, the urologist would have done his sperm retrieval with minimal wait. It was private though and i realise that isn't an option for everyone.

aliciact Fri 01-Feb-13 23:06:41

The consultant we saw a couple of weeks ago was actually specialist in male fertility, but we have been told she is the only one in our clinic and her waiting list is huge! we had also seen a urologist before and he had referred us to the consultant.
Perhaps I am being too impatient? All of your messages are so nice and full of good things, I'm starting to feel a bit petty now!!

aliciact Fri 01-Feb-13 23:07:47

Can I ask how much it cost to go private? I think this would be best for us

r3dsquirrel Fri 01-Feb-13 23:34:02

Not petty at all. You need to be 100% happy before you go ahead with anything. Our private cycle cost approx £5000 which included drugs, the ivf, icsi and blastocyst culture. We saw the urologist separately and that cost approx £1500 across 3 appointments.

Shelby2010 Mon 11-Feb-13 13:47:58

Are you being seen in an actual IVF clinic or are you still going through the NHS investigations? There is no point you seeing a urologist who will do a biopsy on your husbands testicles unless they are also able to freeze any sperm they do find. Otherwise they would just have to do it again to get sperm for your IVF.

Do you fit the NHS criteria for IVF funding in your area or will you (can you) pay privately for the IVF? I would phone up a few of your local IVF clinics and ask them about their costs for doing a surgical sperm retrieval. If you are expecting the NHS to fund your IVF then they should also pay for the sperm retrieval, but you need to get their agreement first & it would have to be done at a particular IVF unit that they have a contract with.

Probably time for you to do a bit of research about your treatment & take control rather than just going with the flow.

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