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Varicocele stories

(12 Posts)
Chlo22 Mon 07-Aug-17 22:35:38

Hi all,
My DH recently had surgery to remove a varicocele after seeing a urologist who we were referred to through the Lister clinic in London. He had high sperm DNA fragmentation of 50% so was put on proxeed plus which brought it down to 35% within a matter of 3-4 weeks and then had the surgery. He's also on a special diet to help improve the fragmentation consisting of lots of pomegranate, watercress and greens which apparently help naturally, alongside the supplements. Has anyone else partner been through this? Any success stories out there? We'd never even heard of a varicocele but the surgeon told us he carries out 3 ops a week so must be quite common!

EarlGreyT Mon 07-Aug-17 22:52:19

Husband has the same and ended up having a surgical sperm retrieval (aspiration) for ICSI/IMSI as the proxeed plus didn't improve the sperm DNA fragmentation. Not sure whether it affected outcome as several other things were also different that cycle.

Chlo22 Mon 07-Aug-17 22:57:17

Did he have the surgery earl? Did the treatment work for you guys?

EarlGreyT Mon 07-Aug-17 23:12:09

He didn't have surgery. The clinic just said that because the DNA fragmentation didn't improve that they'd do a sperm aspiration to get the sperm sample. This would prevent the sperm being damaged in the tubes and therefore would overcome the DNA fragmentation issue.

We didn't have this done at the lister, I did have multiple rounds of ivf with them before realising if this was ever to work we had to give up on using my eggs. I do think the Lister are good though and think the lack of success was to do with the poor ingredients they had to work with rather than their methods.

EarlGreyT Mon 07-Aug-17 23:12:42

By poor ingredients above, I mean my eggs.

Chlo22 Mon 07-Aug-17 23:18:58

Thanks for sharing. We've not been told about the aspiration, so good to know in case we need to go down that road and can mention to the clinic. Hope all worked out for you?

LittleBirdBlues Mon 07-Aug-17 23:22:26

Hi OP, my dh had the surgery done before we met, so about 10 years ago. He was told to "hurry up" if he wanted to be a dad, as apparently his spermatozoa weren't very active... Or something. I'm not sure of the details sorry!

We have two kids now aged 3.5 and almost 2. Our eldest came around 6 years after Dh's surgery.

Both our pregnancies were unplanned, so it wasn't difficult getting pregnant. Seems like his sperm recovered just fine.

I hope it all works out for you! Good luck.

LittleBirdBlues Mon 07-Aug-17 23:23:59

spermatozoa?! My phone is making stuff up...!

LisaSimpsonsbff Tue 08-Aug-17 12:15:48

This is really interesting. My DH has this and was sent by his GP for a scan, but they told him that there was no need to do anything. We've been trying for a year and I've had three early miscarriages in that time; when I asked about DH at my meeting with an NHS recurrent miscarriage consultant they told me that there can't possibly be anything wrong with him because I'm getting pregnant. I remain unconvinced by this, and have been doing some reading about fragmentation.

Chlo22 Tue 08-Aug-17 12:21:01

That's what we were told lisa but our consultant has told us that's absolutely not true. I had all the tests done for recurrent miscarriage and all came back ok but still thought it was me. It was only when we went to a fertility clinic that they wanted to check out DH again and lo and behold, found the issue was the fragmentation. It's one of the main causes of miscarriage but for some reason, the male factor is so often overlooked. Has he had a sperm analysis done? It was DHs low morphology result that made the consultant check him out further. We then saw a specialist urologist called Jonathan Ramsay who seems to be an expert and a bit of a god in the area of male fertility by all accounts and he diagnosed him straight away. If your tests are all ok, then something must be wrong on his side

Jamon Wed 09-Aug-17 13:56:58

My DH has low morphology so I'm reading with interest. Is there a link between this and DNA fragmentation issues?

Don't want to go through IVF to find there are more underlying sperm problems, so frustrated the NHS don't investigate further.

Dia12 Tue 14-Nov-17 22:01:58

We are in a similar situation where DH has had his semen tested twice showing low values for morphology, motility and progression. We’ve been TTC for almost 2 years.
The NHS consultant just simply put us forward for ICSI with no further investigation of the cause of DH’s sub-fertility besides advising him to take vitamins.
We researched the causes and eventually discovered he had a varicocele and recently had an embolisation. The consultant carrying out this procedure reassured us that he had seen lower semen parameters improve after embolisation and so this gave us a little hope.
The NHS fertility consultant however completely dismissed any revelvance of the embolisation in improving male fertility (because there are no clinical studies to support this). I’ve done my own research into this and whilst she is correct in that there aren’t any conclusive studies showing varicoceles cause infertility - the fact that a varicocele increases the temperature of the testes, this alone can have a significant damaging effect upon the development and maturation of sperm. Surely that’s enough of a link.
I feel a bit disappointed that there is such disparity between medical specialists and a general lack of information/support from NHS in these early stages of infertility treatment.
We are currently on the waiting list for ICSI but hope that in the meanwhile DH’s semen will improve and we can conceive naturally (despite what the fertility consultant has said).

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