IVF/IUI??? DH Chemo / Frozen sperm

(5 Posts)
Holly19 Tue 19-Mar-19 16:31:29

So I sit here having just returned from the hospital following a D&C at 9weeks.

We found out I was pregnant just before my husband was diagnosed with Lymphoma (in remission already!!) We did manage to bank sperm before treatment started but only two ‘pots’. They wrote to us to confirm the sperm was of good health and had all been frozen.

As this is my fourth miscarriage and we no longer have the option to try again my wonderful consultant has referred us to chat to the IVF consultant at our local hospital about next steps.

Do you think IUI could be an option for us or do you think that would be risky with not much sperm? I’m not sure if they would have to defrost the whole sample all at once.

Does anyone else have a similar experience? I am hoping they will be sympathetic to our situation. It’s very hard to suffer a miscarriage and not be able to think about trying again. I’m 33 and worry they will ask me to wait two years to see if his fertility returns. We don’t have any children and if we have to wait i will be 35/36 which I know increases the chances of miscarriage and we have already suffered four!

Thanks in advance.

OP’s posts: |
Persipan Tue 19-Mar-19 18:02:19

My goodness, how very difficult for you! Take care of yourselves. Hugs to you both.

In your situation, I would 100% be thinking IVF. 1000%. Mainly because of the very limited amount of sperm you have available, but also your history of miscarriage would influence my thinking.

Basically, the odds with IUI are typically not terribly high. So, it just seems like not the best use of the sperm available. Whereas, with IVF, not only are the odds better anyway, but there's more wiggle room to adjust as you go along. With an IUI, the sperm gets put in your uterus and then either it works or it doesn't. With IVF, you'd ideally hope to get multiple embryos from one egg retrieval, so they can pick the best one and transfer that. If you're lucky, you might also end up with some embryos to freeze, so you could get more than one shot at pregnancy from one retrieval. (Including chances later in life - so if you were successful now, you could transfer another embryo in time, if you wanted to try for a sibling, and your age at the time wouldn't really be relevant, it would be your age when the eggs were retrieved that would count).

In your position, what I'd want would be:

- If you haven't already had it, recurrent miscarriage testing before you have any fertility treatment. If there's something causing a problem, it's more pressing now to know what it is, since your future options to conceive with your husband's sperm are so limited.
- With the IVF clinic, I'd want to focus on how to maximize the number of embryos created. How many vials did they get from your husband's two donations, and could the sperm sample be broken down into smaller 'batches' or is it that number of goes and then done? If your AMH and AFC suggested you weren't going to produce large numbers of eggs per stim cycle, would banking eggs be an option (i.e. doing several retrievals and freezing all the eggs, then defrosting them all at once and fertilising them together? That sort of stuff.)
- I would absolutely do ICSI. In other circumstances it's not something I'd be overly bothered about, but you want to maximize the fertilisation rate here and don't have a large margin of error for multiple tries.
- I would seriously consider PGS (preimplantation genetic selection, which tests embryos to see which are genetically normal). Again, ordinarily I'm a bit meh about it, but as you've had several miscarriages it might be worth considering to try to avoid the possibility of more.

(How much of this would be an option through the NHS, I wouldn't like to say.)

I know that probably all sounds quite hardcore, but I'm coming at this from the position of someone who's had multiple cycles of treatment that haven't worked, and I'm assuming you'll want to maximize your chances of having a baby that's genetically related to you both.

Best wishes and best of luck.

HitthefloorforTaintedLove Tue 19-Mar-19 18:56:58

I'm so sorry to read about your losses.
Hoping that DH is on the mend.

Persipan has given lots of useful advice and I'd echo that, especially the use of ICSI with a view to creating as many embryos as possible.

I'd check with the clinic about how they have stored the sperm. DH stored sperm a few months ago prior to cancer treatment and although he only made 2 deposits they divided each sample into 12 'straws' which can be defrosted individually.
With his permission they defrosted one straw from the first sample just to see that it survived the thaw.

It might take some of the pressure off if you know that the sample has been divided up. If by some chance it hadn't then that is where IVF to maximise potential embryos created would really help.
I wouldn't gamble with IUI in your shoes (nor in mine but I'm a bit different in that we'd already tried IVF before DH's cancer diagnosis). 💐 for you.

Mseddy Fri 05-Apr-19 15:48:04

Hi @holly19 was literally about to start a thread with the same title!

My story is a little different but alot of similarities!
My DH had lymphoma 10 years ago, he had one sample frozen pre treatment. They where happy that this one sample was enough (we didn't know eachother at the time so my knowledge on this part is coming second hand from when my DH was a 21 year old with no desire to have children but agreed to freezing anyway, thank god!!) So as far as I am aware when they freeze a sample it is frozen in 5-15 "straws" that can be defrosted one at a time.

We have just had results from DH sperm analysis that he has no sperm, and we cannot conceive without using his frozen samples (our ice lolly babies as we call them!) I'm not sure if this will be IUI or IVF or even ICSI. But we should hear from our referal in the next 2 week's and I might be able to help you answer some questions you have.

It's such a weird situation! That chemo saved his life, I would never have met him had it not. So I'm so grateful, but it's taken so much away from us at the same time.

I hope your husband is ok, and I'm sorry for your losses. Feel free to pop me a message at any point if you like. X

LividLaughLove Fri 05-Apr-19 15:51:04

I’d be going straight to ICSI ago maximise your sperm. IUI would be too risky for me and even straight IVF risks fertilisation issues more than ICSI. Good luck.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in