I just don’t know anymore.

We had an RE appointment today to discuss the results of my husband’s second SA.  Just to review, he had an SA back in December with Chucklehead RE.  Count was fine; motility was low (though this was explained as being due to the cold weather); and they didn’t look at the morphology at all.  Our current RE ordered a second test largely so that he could get a look at the morphology; we got a call asking us to come in instead of just hearing the results over the phone.

That’s never good, is it?

Count was 4 million; motility was 3.5%; morphology was also very bad (I don’t remember the number on that).  RE is concerned.

Suddenly we have gone from “call me if you’re not pregnant in 6 months” to “your best chance will be IVF with ICSI.”

Holy shit.

Universe, do you have anything else you’d like to throw at me right now?

Because the results were so different from the first test, RE wants to do a third test in 3 months.  We have the green light to try naturally until then, but with the numbers we saw today he is not confident that anything will happen.  He has suggested my husband see a urologist to look into what might be causing the problem (and the dramatic change in only 9 months).  Given the huge difference between the first test and the second test, I have to wonder if these results are anomalous and am looking forward to getting another data point in 3 months.  Does anyone know anything about SA results and change over time?  I will definitely be exercising my Google-fu, but this is totally new territory for us.

My husband is really optimistic that we will be able to conceive naturally; after all it only takes one, right?  I’m going to start charting again with the next cycle and we are definitely going to do our best with good timing.  He is feeling pretty upset about the test results, though, and my heart just goes out to him.  I wish there was something I could do to make it better for him.  He says:  “I had to spend $170 to hear some really shitty news that made me feel bad.”


11 responses to “MFI?

  1. Oh, I’m sorry you had MFI thrown at you as well. It sucks to hear, but it is better to know than not, right?
    We don’t have MFI issues but I did a bit of research in the early days and found out that sperm samples can be dramatically different from one test to the next. They fluctuate quite a lot normally so its really uncommon to have exacting results via repeated tests. However I know it must be scary to have such a dramatic change in a short space of time.
    I have one more thing to say and that is….. were the samples done at the same lab?? I only say that because the first sperm analysis my husband ever had came back really poor and we both just assumed the worst. It wasn’t until we went to a different Dr and Lab that he suggested that the lab in question was probably more to blame as the first lab we went to were not specialists in handling sperm. Tests since then have been much better and although there is variations, they were no where near as bad as that first phoney test.
    There are so many questions though, and IVF probably seems like a big leap to have to make from trying to concieve naturally, but the good thing is that with those techniques you really and honestly only need one good sperm so the chances of success are pretty magnificent.
    You have a lot to digest for sure, hope you get some answers soon.

  2. OH DEAR! That’s awfully alarming news. I hope it turns out to be some kind of crazy fluke. I feel for your poor husband (though perhaps he’s getting a taste of how you must have felt at times…).

  3. Man, that stinks and I feel bad for your husband. It’s never easy to hear, “Yeah, so *you* might be the problem” male or female. On the flip side of things, this could be the diagnosis and reason for no pregnancy. We have friends, the husband had testicular cancer at 28, removed a testicle (or ball, as I like to say ;), they did a few IUI’s, nothing, and then did IVF with ICSI and BAM! they’re pregnant with twins and due in November. They have 9, yes 9, frozen blasts waiting for them should they want to try again. Personally, having unexplained infertility is way worse for me. I wish there was something we could do to fix whatever is wrong but we can’t because we don’t know what to fix. This diagnosis could be the answer (although I’m hoping his counts go back up and you get pregnant on your own, but you know what I mean) to your baby prayers.

  4. Oh no… I’m so sorry! Has your dh been sick at all in the past few months? Anything and everything can affect those tests. Illness, medications, diet, a tornado in the next county… you get the idea. His first test was good, so don’t make any assumptions yet. Just use the next 3 months to get him as healthy as possible. If you do go into a urologist, I’ve heard that you should find one that specifically deals with mfi – apparently a lot of them don’t.
    This news is definitely jarring (to say the least), and I hope that it was just a fluke! ((hugs)) No matter what, I’ll be thinking of you and keeping my fingers crossed.

  5. I agree with egghunt to quite an extent. SA results do fluctuate a lot. And the quality of the sperm is more important than the net quantity.

    My DH reported his lowest figure at 6 million (he was recovering from fever then), and his highest was around 42 million! And none of those cycles worked for me.

    Someday I want to elaborate on what ‘It takes only one sperm to conceive’ means for somebody battling infertility.

  6. Poor guy. 😦 Our poor boys…I’m always trying to cheer for hubs’s samples at IUIs because I know he gets very sensitive about this stuff. And as much as Bunny is right–maybe he is getting a window into YOUR painful world….I would rather your hubs (and every hubs) is protected from that feeling. But here’s the thing: Those results do sound A LOT different from the first SA and I’m banking on the fact that it was a fluke. Btw, my RE told me ICSI is standard for ALL IVF patients at his clinic, regardless of sperm analysis results. They like to make as sure as possible that any mature egg fertilizes. At our clinic it’s $1200 extra for ICSI, tho some insurance plans kick in some money if there is a documented sperm issue. You guys are an amazing team and WILL get through this. Hang in there. xo

  7. I’m sorry to hear this– I am not sure what to hope, as at this point even if he does get a better result next time, you’ll probably always be freaked out about the apparently fluctuation quality. Unless you get a second opinion from a different lab right away? The thought that the lab could just be trashing your husband’s sperm is a disturbing one!

    What sucks about this, if it is for reals, is that I doubt grad student insurance (your husband is in grad school?) covers the IVF/ICSI thingy. Could you borrow money from your parents, if this does turn out to be the best option? I know I would– “Hey mom, you want a grandbaby so bad? How ’bout you put up some cash for one?” But that would suck to have them involved… anyways, for sure keep us posted on what you are thinking about all of this!!!

  8. I am no expert on MFI but I do know results can change quickly. My DH’s SA went from 1-2 mil total count to so few they didn’t even try to number them! That second result was about a year later. I was shocked! We knew IVF/ICSI was our only option but we hoped they would have 1 mil sperm to choose from not 50. (I don’t know what the actual total number was but my RE suggested DS for our first IVF.) We got the 21 sperm we needed for my 21 eggs for IVF #1, thank goodness, but it looks as though we will be heading to IVF #2. I am so concerned that his numbers will be even lower. I really hope your DH’s numbers improve and you don’t have to go the IVF/ICSI route. The numbers can change drastically month to month, so having another SA in 3 months is a good idea. Good luck!

  9. Ugh I’m sorry to hear about the MFI 😦 I hope the next one comes back much better (or even better – you get pregnant in these next 3 months!)

  10. Fuckballs.

    Rocco went to a urologist as well. The dr put him on a load of vitamins and supplements, I bet you get the same. He is asleep on the couch, so dont forget to remind me to check. Nevermind, found it. Conception XR, with little sperm busting into an egg on the front. Excellent visual. You can piece all the contents together (load of Vit C, E and L Carnitine) but this comes in a handy pill.

    We are an ICSI family. I think Amber has a great point. Consider changing your thoughts on the diagnosis? They found a problem and, thank jaw, they have a SOLUTION. They dont have much, our REs, but this one they got covered.

    How old is the mister? Any chance he’s taking Flomax? Chuck it for now. No bike riding, no cell phone in pocket.

    Heads up on the next bit. Rocco shot a 15 million load a couple months ago and recently pulled a 134.5 million. WTF. His motility went up 50%. Perhaps it was supplements, perhaps it was standard variance. Take a little hope, you might experience the same ranges.

    I am sorry the hits keep coming.

  11. Oh no, so sorry to hear this! Like the other girls said, ICSI is an amazing solution to less-than-optimal sperm counts and will make sure those swimmers meet your eggies! And, of course, there is definitely a chance it was a fluke – my hub’s samples varied tremendously throughout the course of our treatments.

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