SA next week - can someone hold my hand please?
CosyTeaBags · 03/01/2014 14:52
My DP is going for his SA next week, 10 months after a Vasectomy Reversal. We will finally find out whether the VR worked.
It has been a long, difficult road to get to this point. DP originally refused to get a VR, insisted he didn't want kids (he doesn't have any previous DCs). I had to decide whether to stick with him and potentially resent him for the rest of our lives, or take my chances and leave in the hope of finding someone else. I left him because of this, almost exactly a year ago, even though he's the love of my life. However, he realized the error of his ways very quickly, and we agreed to try for a VR.
The operation was performed in March, and we were eligible for SA 3 months after that. However, DP has had his head in the sand, and so have I, I suppose, because we didn't bite the bullet and book the test until a few weeks ago.
We have been TTC since then, but not a hint of a BFP I'm afraid.
I'm just scared to find out the stark facts. The surgeon who performed the VR will analyse the results and explain them to us, but I may be back here for some help with interpreting it all.
Has anyone been through anything similar...? Can anyone hold my hand throughout next week? I feel a meltdown coming on...
RubySlippers77 · 08/01/2014 22:33
I haven't been through anything similar, but consider your hand held, and I will put a large glass of wine in it too!!
We've been TTC for around 9 months, and my OH has recently told me that during his last SA about 5 years ago his sperm count was below average. I've asked him to have another test, as my blood tests have been normal and everything seems to be ok, but he won't do it. This is VERY IRRITATING as it may well be that there's nothing wrong with either of us, but my GP can't/ won't refer me for further tests or put us on the list for any treatment until another SA has been done - which to be fair does make sense, there's no point the NHS paying for more investigations for me if we found out that his sperm count was close to zero anyway.
Lauren83 · 08/01/2014 23:33
Might be worth looking into the assisted conception criteria for your area, the usual is 12 months of failing ttc to get referred for higher level tests and assisted conception but its 6 months if you have known issues, which your Partner has
You would have to check with the CCG for your area but thought I would let you know
If his sperm count was zero there would still be help available to you so I don't imagine it would be a reason not to offer you more tests, just most GPs say they refer after 12 months, even mine told me 12 months when I had endo and a missing tube, I only found out after I could of been referred for ivf sooner
Good luck, I know every month brings heartache, I'm 7 years in!
Shellster52 · 10/01/2014 12:52
Hey CosyTea. Sorry, I am not in the exact situation either but would love to hold your other hand! My DH has 100% abnormal sperm so I have been through the process of discovering a sperm issue and how to deal with it. When are you getting the test. I think you will feel better when you know the facts as it is easier to come up with a plan when you know what is going on rather than just worrying about the unknown as you are now. Obviously after TTC for 10 months and no BFP, you worry that something is not quite right... be it his sperm or something else. Is it rude to ask how old you both are?
RubySlippers, I understand your 'men' frustration! I was going through several tests and even invasive surgery trying to find the cause of our infertility. Yet hubby complains about having to sprog in a cup and says he comes from a big family so his sperm must be fine. Turns out he is the problem! Just wanted to tell you in case it is any reassurance that sperm count is the easiest infertility thing to fix. Eggs are difficult to improve because we can't reverse age, however men make new sperm all the time. I did a lot of research and gave hubby a number of supplements and his sperm count went way up. Unfortunately his main sperm issue is 100% abnormal morphology and this is not easy to improve with supplements. Had a friend whose hubby was also in the same boat with low sperm count and 100% abnormal morph. She gave him the same supplements and his sperm count returned to normal also. Was his sperm count actually close to zero, or just on the low side? Good luck co-ercing him to get tested. Men!
CosyTeaBags · 10/01/2014 14:03
Hi Everyone, thank you so much for the hand holding!!
This thread didn't show up in 'threads I'm on' so I wasn't aware that anyone had replied.
Well, we had the test on Monday, and expected to wait until Weds-Thurs for the results. But when we returned home on Mon (the clinic was a 2.5hr drive away..) the results were there waiting for me by email!
I went into utter meltdown mode, DP and I read them together, and I'm still in shock. The vasectomy reversal was a complete success (12 years post vasectomy!), his sperm results were 'fantastic' (surgeon's actual words!) with a count of 47 million / ml - the normal average is around 20million I believe, normal morphology and motility of 78%
We couldn't believe it! DP is a healthy guy, very fit, doesn't smoke and drinks very little. This must have something to do with it - as well as the surgeon's skill of course.
So for over 2 years, I have been coming to terms with the thought that we may be sub-fertile at best, infertile at worst... and in fact we're normal!
Now this still doesn't help with the fact that we've been TTC for about 8 months, but maybe my negative attitude and assumption that it wouldn't work hasn't helped.
Shellster not rude to ask our ages at all - I'm 35, DP is 40. Sorry to hear about your problems, I hope you can find a way of making it work.
Ruby I understand how frustrating it is to get your DP to go for the test - yes it's an embarrassing process, but hardly as embarrassing / painful / traumatic as anything we ladies have to go through. I'd be having strong words with him. If you live near the clinic, you can even do it at home provided you get the sample to them quickly.
For what it's worth - we were given lots of advice on diet and lifestyle to help recovery from the VR and to improve sperm count. Here's the link Pro-Sperm Diet
Thanks again everyone - I'm shocked, happy, stunned... we're Normal !!!
moggle · 10/01/2014 18:23
Nice one cosy that's great news!
My DH's main problems with giving samples are unfounded worries: what if I have a wet dream the night before (never mind that he hasn't had one in years!) and then can't produce much the next day... Also recently he said he was concerned about doing the important wank for IVF, eventually after much prodding it turned out he wanted to make sure he was thinking about me at this stage (seeing as you usually have no choice when TTC naturally) and has requested some naked photos to have on his phone when he goes in!! Am not sure I will feel up to that when I will have been injecting myself for 2 wks but we will see....
RubySlippers77 · 10/01/2014 23:57
HI Cosy, you must be very relieved!! It sounds like that was preying on your mind, but now you know all is ok there should be nothing to stop you getting that BFP soon OH and I are similar ages, but I know plenty of people who have been older and popped out sprogs with no issues TTC, it just seems to be the luck of the draw unfortunately.
Thank you to you and Shellster as well for the advice. I know, what he would have to go through for ONE test is nothing as unpleasant as I'd have to go through for further tests (I've had 4 blood tests already!) but still he whinges and whines says he doesn't want to. I THINK this is because he's worried that his sperm count will be even lower than it was before (below average but still not abnormal, apparently). In my head this would be a reason to go for another test, so we know for sure and can plan from there - whether we go for more tests, down the assisted conception route or just leave it to chance - in his it's a reason to say "what will be, will be" and other irritating sayings which make me want to bash him round the head rather than any incentive to DTD.....
He's recently been diagnosed as lactose intolerant and we've done a bit of a dietary overhaul; probably worth him having extra calcium, vitamin C and zinc supplements just in case he was/ is missing out on anything important. I know he'll bleat about that too, maybe I should crush them up and hide them in his food like we had to do with tablets for the cat?! LOL
I've decided I won't nag him about it discuss it again for another month or so, once we've had chance to let our healthy living resolutions for 2014 take effect. Wish me luck, ladies!
Shellster52 · 12/01/2014 22:28
What a relief for you CosyTea. As you say, doesn't explain why it hasn't happened in 8 months. Are you planning to investigate further or able to relax and try now that you know the results. Good luck.
Oh, RubySlippers, I just want to get together and have a drink with you so we can vent about our DH's!!!! My hubby also whinged and whined about having to do a sperm test... after I have had so many blood tests, a HSG and a laparoscopy operation! My husband recently told me to 'forget and it will happen' which as you say, makes me want to bash him in the head rather than DTD. Instead of being supplortive, his words are putting the blame on me as though it is all in my head and my fault I am not pregnant - and totally in denial about his 100% abornmal sperm diagnosis. Ugh. Sounds like we are talking about the same man!
RubySlippers77 · 14/01/2014 18:35
Hey Shellster, make mine a very large glass of wine!!
If I'm honest I do think the 'problem' is more with my OH than me - I'm a normal weight, am ovulating according to my blood tests and the CBFM, and generally healthy. He's overweight, hasn't led a healthy lifestyle and had a low sperm count 5 years ago when he was last tested, which is likely to be even lower now. So, who is the one being proactive about our options?! Not bloody him, that's for sure....
And yes, if he says "what will be, will be" one more time then he definitely won't be having any kids, as I shall remove a rather vital bit of equipment from him!
Shellster52 · 14/01/2014 21:20
The even more frustrating thing RubySlippers is that even when these men do find out they are the cause of us being distressed about not being able to fulfil our desire to have a baby, what do they do about it - nothing.
I have been a vegetarian for 22 years and am now eating fish because a high protein diet is supposed to help with IVF, I am getting blood tests and seeing doctors and arranging IVF. But we could get pregnant naturally if my overweight husband would get off his butt and exercise and stop buying junk food every day.
Make mine two very large glasses of wine!
RubySlippers77 · 15/01/2014 23:29
LOL Shellster, I would say my OH is more compassionate and thoughtful, but that would be a complete fib!! Like yours, he is in denial about the male contribution to the process - it would help if we KNEW whether there was an issue there or not, but will he have the bloody test?! No. But he would so much love kids, and I'm prepared to do all the tests & treatments on offer if it gives us a chance - however, we're not eligible for anything unless he gets his arse down to the GP again.....
Bought some snazzy new scales today as mine had finally given up the ghost - you can now get ones that measure body fat as well for under £10, so that delightful discovery awaits me tomorrow! I'm trying to lose a stone or so to rule out that as a contribution to our difficulty obtaining that elusive BFP; I don't think it is an issue as we've been TTC for nine months, I'm only technically overweight by half a stone or so and even that's only been for the past couple of months, but you never know. And getting fit can only be a good thing, right?!
I've been vege for about the same amount of time and I've read about the high fat/ low carb diet being linked to fertility too. Come February and payday I will be investing in some decent food, not just the Christmas leftovers! I'm taking a pregnancy vitamin at the moment plus the B50 tablets from Holland & Barrett, to see if that helps. Mind you, we would all rather be having
Shellster52 · 16/01/2014 01:52
Wow, the similarities continue! According to my BMI, I am techically overweight by only 1/2 a pound but would like to lose about one pound before my next IVF which will start about 10th March. Just can't seem to get my butt into gear. After 4 failed IVF's, it is kinda hard to keep motivated and exercise when all I have gotten for my efforts is BFN after BFN. As you say, makes sense it can only be a good thing for fertility - hopefully now that my next IVF date is approaching it motivates me; would also help if hubby lost 3-4 pounds but that won't happen!
I also am taking a pregnancy multi, along with about a dozen other supplements - it's getting so complicated that I have put a chart on my fridge to know when to take what!
Good luck getting hubby to do an SA. Not sure how old you are but all these things take time especially when governement systems and waiting times are involved so I hope hubby does the SA sooner rather than later! I started TTC when I was 34 and am now turning 37 in a few months and my fertility has dropped in that time. In hindsight, I wish I started tryiing years earlier so the sooner you can get his butt down there, the better!
RubySlippers77 · 16/01/2014 23:13
Another hour down the gym tonight for the OH & I. He's desperate to lose the weight he put on over Christmas, I'm terrified of stepping on the new scales tomorrow and discovering my body fat measurement!!
I honestly don't think Shellster that our (very slightly!) overweight-ness has anything to do with the lack of a BFP :( I know there have to be criteria somewhere for who's eligible for treatment, and of course it makes sense to be as healthy as possible, but like you say it's just very irritating when our OH's could do more if they could be arsed
I'm feeling a bit better now AF is coming to the end - although I do have an eye infection to take my mind off everything else! - and try to remind myself of all the things we can do as a couple that we couldn't do with kids, etc etc. It does make me sad though when everyone else seems to be popping out sprogs with no problem :(
Oh and my OH has no idea what tests women would have to have..... I think he thinks that the blood tests would be the extent of it!!
RubySlippers77 · 16/01/2014 23:48
Forgot to say, something I have been trying is to do one different thing that's supposed to help with the TTC every month, as suggested by a lovely Mumsnetter :) each month I try something like extra vitamins or reflexology to see if it will help. It helps me to feel a bit more proactive and in control; this month is the 'no alcohol' tip though, which is tough...!
Shellster52 · 17/01/2014 10:35
Glad that at least your OH spends time at the gym. Surely this must be doing something good for his sperm. The extend of my hubby's exercise is when he comes home from work and walks from his car to the couch!
I agree totally that us feeling we have a few extra ounces than we would like has anything to do with our constant BFNs. If anything, I have read that being to skinny is a problem and that it is good for women to have some fat for fertility.
Sounds like we are at about the same with our cycles - I am day 5. I hope the similarities continue and we get a BFP together too - SOON.
Love the idea of trying one different thing new each cycle as I like to feel pro-active instead of all this waiting and aging. Trouble is, not sure what else I can add! With IVF and me having to fork out $$$$ for it, I already doing:
- High protein / low carb diet
- Fertility acupuncture weekly
- Massages for stress relief
- Vitamins (so many that I have to keep a chart to keep track)
- No alcohol
Don't worry RubySlippers, if my next IVF fails, I will drink enough for the two of us!
Littlemissnutmeg · 17/01/2014 10:56
Hi, hope you don't mind me posting here. I was told this week after having hormone blood tests that my fsh is 19.2 and my doctor wants me to start HRT. Shocked isn't the word, i'm only 37! Menopausal apparently. I do still have periods, although irregular so i'm thinking i must still have some eggs left. I wondered if it would be worth me pursuing IVF. Thank you.
Shellster52 · 17/01/2014 19:46
Course you are welcome to post here Littlemiss. Actually CosyTea started this thread but RubySlippers and I seem to have taken over so why not one more! I was reading your post on another thread about your recent high FSH diagnosis. My FSH was 4 at the start of last year - perfect. After a round of IVF I got a shocking result of 18.2, but the following cycle it was back down to 8 so I put it down to the IVF drugs mucking up my hormones. But I could be wrong as I am 36 which I know is no spring chicken for fertility, which starts to decline from age 25. I got another FSH done a couple of days ago as I gear up for another IVF so I am nervously awaiting the results. I got an AMH result of 2.5 when I was 34 and it should be above 15 for fertility.
I guess I am just giving you my history because I don't want to directly answer you and say 'yes you should' or no, forget it' and be responsible for such a major decision in your life.
All I can say is that on paper, my odds don't look great either but I just can't accept that fact. I read lots of research articles (with actual studies and results) and do everything that is proven to work for my issues:
Poor embryo quality-take supplements. I have seen improvement each IVF
Low AMH - take Aspirin. This worked. My AFC went from 4 to 15!
Thin lining (happens with age and reduced fertility) - starting Viagra.
Do you get funding for IVF treatment where you live? If so, then it is definitely worth pursuing as at least you can have peace at the end of the day knowing you gave it your all. If you decide to go ahead, then start doing things now to work on your FSH to up your odds while you wait for the ball to get rolling and good luck. Feel free to PM me anytime!
saysa · 18/01/2014 10:51
My DP had his vasectomy reversal in October - so I suppose we ought to be booking our SA too. The consultant said before the VR that we had a good chance - it's only been just over 2 years since DP had his vasectomy. Still nerve-wracking though!
Good to hear that you got a positive result CosyTea, now you can put that aspect of things out of your mind.
naty1 · 18/01/2014 19:22
Shellster and ruby I completely understand about the male factor. It's interesting for ivf women's bmi needs to be below 30 for nhs I think but they don't weigh the men.
My OH had a really low count, we had to freeze some in case and they talked about donors.
But they had no advice at all how to improve, he went on a bit of a health kick, took wellman vitamins and for him this made no difference.
For icsi we had 7 collected but only 1/2 fertilized and transferred at day 3.
The only explanation was the sperm quality, (although I also have pcos)
Luckily the 1 was a good quality and it worked. We were 32 at the time.
It would be interesting to know how often a low count is seen in thin men with a very healthy diet and exercise. OH has a bmi of 30.
Because it is unexplained you keep wondering what caused it, too much migraine medicine, soya etc
RubySlippers77 · 20/01/2014 18:22
Littlemiss, as Shellster says, if you are entitled to IVF then go for it! If you don't then you might always think that you should have tried. Is there any more advice you can get on how to improve your chances in general? Some of the private clinics near me offer a pre-screening appointment for general tests and basic advice, so can decide whether to pursue things further - of course they would like you as a ptaient/ customer, but you could always pay for the first appointment and then go back to the NHS!
As you know, my issue is not that we wouldn't be entitled to further tests (as my GP advised that we would be, plus IVF if appropriate) but that my OH is essentially a lazy arse and doesn't want to go down that route. It doesn't matter how often he trots out "what will be will be" and other incredibly annoying and trite sayings, what it really boils down to is that he doesn't want the hassle, IMO. Because of course it would be loads of hassle for him, and none for me..... hmmmm.
The BMI point is an interesting one naty, my OH is a big bloke but even so his BMI is way over what it should be, he's 6'2" and weighs 20 stone. To be fair he piled on the weight after a car accident and is now trying to do something about it, but yes, he'd probably just be given general advice to lose weight rather than me being told to sod off if I was that big.....
How are things with your OH Shellster? Is he still as irritating as mine?!
CosyTeaBags · 20/01/2014 20:45
I had no idea this thread was still running, for some reason it doesn't come up in my Threads I'm on!
Great to see that it's turned into a nice support thread, all are welcome!
Saysa well done on your DHs VR in October. After 2 years I think his chances of success are very good. DP's original vasectomy was 12 years ago, so I was not so optimistic. So you can imagine how elated I am at the result! Which surgeon did you see for the VR? We went to Duncan Harriss, and he was fantastic.
Just jumping in to the discussion on sperm count and male health - that was one thing in our favour. DP is very fit, lean and ridiculously healthy. He eats a mostly vegetarian diet (I'm veggie, he has the occasional bit of meat) and I've been trying to get more fish into his diet. We drink in moderation - a glass of wine a night, rarely more. He has never smoked. He's one of those naturally lean people without an ounce of body fat on him, and we have regular exercise from walking our dogs.
I really do think that this has played a big part in our successful reversal and subsequent good sperm count. So ladies, get your DHs to shift their arses a bit!
As for me - my GP was very kind and let me have the Day 4 and 21 blood tests prior to DP's surgery, to check whether I was fully functioning before he went for the op. My day 4 test was fine, but day 21 progesterone was a little low. I have regular periods, but I do have suspected endometriosis - waiting for tests to confirm. So who knows why we haven't conceived yet... I'm still trying.
saysa · 20/01/2014 20:50
Ah we went to Duncan Harriss too, he was indeed very good - though maybe I should save some of my praise for after the SA! I'm so pleased for you for your good result.
Wish my DP would shift his arse with his smoking - but I suppose he conceived 3 children while smoking so hopefully 2 years won't make much more difference.
CosyTeaBags · 20/01/2014 20:53
Ooh Saysa that means Mr Harriss has had his hands on both your DPs and my DPs balls.. how's that for a connection!!
He was indeed very good, and lovely
RubySlippers77 · 21/01/2014 19:36
I too wish my OH would sort himself out and stop seeing occasional smoking as ok!! He isn't particularly healthy (although to be fair, is making an effort now, apart from the smoking!) but I think it's years of eating crap, drinking too much etc that's lowered his sperm count :(
Just seems to be the luck of the draw really - his friend who's had an equally unhealthy lifestyle has four kids. We'd love even one!
Shellster52 · 21/01/2014 20:47
naty1, you say it would be interesting to know how often low/poor sperm is seen in healthy men. I have done so much research and all the studies show that there is a definite correlation between health and sperm. One study had men rate their lifestyle and give a sperm deposit. The healthier the men rated themselves, the healthier the sperm. Another study took details of what the men ate while their partners underwent IVF. The partners of the men who ate very healthy had much higher pregnancy rates during the IVF cycle. Of course there are going to be unhealthy men who still get their partners preggers and healthy men who are going to have sperm issues for other reasons.
This makes it all the more frustrating for me as I am continuallly putting my body through IVF and so distressed for the last two years not being able to conceive, when it could all be over with if DH would just get off his lazy arse. So to answer your Q RubySlippers, yes my hubby is still as frustrating as yours!
So your still following up with investigations CosyTeaBags. Good to get to the bottom of things and know what is going on. Good luck.
naty1 · 21/01/2014 21:20
Interestingly my oh doesn't really drink , maybe once a month one pint, although he did drink a lot 15 years ago at uni. And has never smoked
But is 6'1 17 st
Women do go through a lot for the treatment, lots of appointments, bloods, several internal scans, maybe an operation under General.
Men generally a sperm analysis excluding varicocele, reversal etc
I think it's the least they can do for all the fun they have trying :)
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