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Male Factor Infertility: Azoospermia

(10 Posts)
AzooNameChange Sun 02-Dec-18 10:22:52

Hi

I joined these forums four years ago (specifically the bumsnet bus!), but have name changed because this is outing.

My husband and I have been trying for children for just over four years but sadly, just over three years ago, we got the news that my husband had azoospermia due to bilateral undescending testes. His GP said to him "You'll never father a child naturally." We were referred straight to IVF rather than a urologist.

We ended up going for our one NHS funded round of IVF, and underwent a surgical sperm retrieval. Sperm was found and we were elated. Unfortunately, that one round did not result in a pregnancy.

We spent a lot of time trying to figure out what to do next. Eventually, we happened across Jonathan Ramsey (JR). After 30 minutes with JR we learned more about our diagnosis, than after two years of being in the NHS system. JR proposed that one of my husband's testicles was obstructive azoospermia.

JR suggested a couple of different methods, one of which was surgical. In April this year, my husband had another sperm retrieval and an epididymo-vasostomy. The epididymo-vasostomy essentially removes the blockage. It isn't always possible, so we knew that if it happened, it would just be an added bonus.

Yesterday, we went back for another semen analysis to see the outcome of the surgery. My husband now has a normal sperm count. We're in absolute shock, but we're completely elated. We have been told that in 25% of cases, the results from surgery aren't permanent, and can fail after approx. 18 months post-surgery.

The pain of infertility hasn't gone away, but we now have the chance of conceiving naturally.

We wanted to share the news here because these boards had been so supportive, and we hope that it creates hope for those that may need it.

Georgia2699 Sun 22-Dec-19 07:06:05

Hi was great reading your story, back in September my partner has his sperm analyst test and it came back there was 0% live sperm, yet his blood tests all came back normal. We have our first appointment at the queen Elizabeth hospital on the 2/1/20. What can be expected on our first appointment ?

BellaBellini Mon 23-Dec-19 09:43:01

Thank you for sharing this, you've given me a little bit of hope! My husband has also been diagnosed with azoospermia, our clinic carried out blood tests and advised it's because his fsh levels are slightly raised. He had a surgical sperm retrieval a few months ago where sperm was found so we went through the IVF procedure, however unfortunately when the sperm was thawed after egg collection all 4 vials died so we were unable to proceed. It's been devastating, however we did a little research and also discovered Jonathan Ramsay and are booked in to see him on the 16th January. I've had the attitude that we were going for closure, but reading your post has given me just a little bit of hope, thank you so much for sharing, it's amazing your husband now has a normal count. Wishing you lots of luck and best wishes on your journey.

Meganlouise1988 Sat 11-Jan-20 17:54:25

Hi guys sorry I hope you don’t mind me joining. @BellaBellini I’ve just read your post - we found out this morning the same has happened to us. What did you do next? Any help would be much appreciated! X

BellaBellini Sat 11-Jan-20 18:16:49

Hi @Meganlouise1988 I'm so sorry to hear your in the same position as us, it's awful isnt it. The clinic tried to get us to consider donor sperm after the sperm that was retrieved died, but we're not ready to consider that option yet. Theres a specialist based in London, Jonathan Ramsay, who seems to be a bit of a miracle worker with azoospermia so we are actually going to see him on Thursday to see if there is anything that he recommends. I will let you know what he says, I'm just hoping that something can be done as it just feels awful having DH go through tese, then go through the IVF process to end up back at the beginning of the process. I will keep you posted. I hope your doing ok x

Meganlouise1988 Sat 11-Jan-20 18:20:14

We’re devastated! We had a successful egg collection yesterday and we never imagined this would happen. It seems that they didn’t survive the thaw. My thoughts were maybe we could try again but have my eggs collected and his sperm retrieved at the same time?! It’s awful isn’t it 😪 thank you so much, I really appreciate that. X

BellaBellini Sat 11-Jan-20 18:39:28

Its devastating isnt it. I think we spent a couple of days in shock not really taking it in. Did your clinic freeze your eggs? We are considering doing the op again too, and thawing my eggs so trying with fresh sperm, I'm hoping the specialist might be able to recommend some ways in which to make the sperm stronger to increase our chances though. I will let you know if he recommends anything. Try and take it easy for a bit, it's so hard to process, especially when still full of the ivf hormones x

Rd12 Sun 12-Jan-20 21:50:12

Hi all

I thought I would share our experiences with this issue too in case it can help others.

My partner was diagnosed with Azoospermia a couple of years ago after finding no sperm in two samples. The NHS GP at the time told me this meant we could not have children and our only hope was a sperm donor. We were obviously very upset but luckily after doing some research we discovered this is not always true. It is pretty terrible for a GP to not have any knowledge of blockages etc. If we had taken him on his word we might have given up, thank goodness for the internet.

We went on to have SSR with NHS funding. They found a few sperm and we had these frozen. Unfortunately most of them did not survive when rethawed, but we did use 3. Our round was unsuccessful but the important fact here is they did another SSR on the day in the other testicle and no sperm were found. Therefore if they had looked in this place first time we would have thought there were none at all. Apparently there can be pockets of sperm.

We then went on to see Dr Ramsey after recommendations here. He was very good. He told us you can have a mapping procedure where small needles are inserted all over the testicles to confirm the areas where sperm can and cannot be found. This will not work for us as recovery time is 6 months and I am too old and don't have the time to waste. We also do not have the £5000. He also prescribed something though which apparently could increase sperm numbers a bit. We are at the stage now of giving this a go and we will then have one more SSR and just pray a few more can be found.

BellaBellini Mon 13-Jan-20 12:26:14

Thank you for sharing your experience @Rd12. I had no idea that the mapping procedure existed, so that is really helpful to know, and also that Dr Ramsey was able to prescribe something to help. I originally booked the appointment with Dr Ramsey thinking he would give us closure on the whole situation, but by the sound of it there is a chance he may actually be able to help, so thank you so much for sharing what you have been through. I hope that the medication works for you and that you have a successful SSR x

Rd12 Mon 13-Jan-20 21:30:32

@BellaBellini good luck with your appointment. I did feel like I trusted Dr Ramseys advice. We also had a follow up with the NHS consultant following our failed round and he really did not seem knowledgeable in comparison and could not give further information on the quality of my eggs or the quality of sperm retrieved or why it died. He said you can't tell these things but I am sure from reading on these forums you can? Anyway just thought i'd add that and we also requested a copy of all notes to get as much info as possible. Take any test results etc with you. It's not necessary but he did read though.

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