he’s a good man. and thorough.

Just in case anyone is still reading, I have an update.

Today we saw the urologist.  We were really impressed with him.  He’s well regarded in the field and is an active researcher, so he’s up on all the newest developments.  He’s a specialist in fertility issues and works closely with our RE.

It was my husband’s turn to be poked and prodded, and I really felt for the guy.  He’s not nearly as used to dropping trou for medical professionals as I am and I think he felt pretty awkward.

They (the urologist and his resident–remember, teaching hospital!) took some blood to get hormone levels and had him give another semen sample.  We also talked over his history and the numbers from the previous tests.  What we heard was that there’s no real doubt that there is some MFI.  His numbers are low; the questions now are how low, and is there any underlying hormonal cause?  They’re confident there is no structural cause (like a blockage) and no varicocele.  We’re going to look at one or more additional data points to try to find his baseline numbers since the two tests were so different, and the bloodwork may or may not show anything useful.

If the first test (from Dec. 09) turns out to be closer to what we’re dealing with, we may be candidates for IUI.  If the second test (from this past August) turns out to be more like it, it’s going to be ICSI or nothing (which is what our RE told us back in August).

What feels a little frustrating, and the urologist was very open about this, is that we may never know what is causing his numbers to be so low.  According to the doctor today, about 60% of cases of MFI are unexplained.  It feels really different from the experience of going to the RE, where the mindset seems to be that they will keep testing and testing and testing and testing until they find out what’s going on.  What we’re hearing here is that they’ll try to make more sense of the numbers we’re seeing, but that there is only so much testing that will be useful since there is no anatomical problem.

My poor husband was very nervous about this appointment.  He was very worried that there would be invasive tests to look inside his testicles, and I think he was relieved that all he got was groped.*

Looks like it’s time for more waiting.

*He tells me that the fact he was groped by two different guys (the urologist and the resident) is KEY.

Oh, and by the way, it’s CD2.  First fibroid-free try was a big FAIL.  Maybe I will post about that later.

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11 responses to “he’s a good man. and thorough.

  1. MFI is tough to deal with. Especially when it’s unexplained — which was our case as well.

    Good for you for being pro-active and having your DH “groped” by the best 😉

    Perhaps these two links will be of additional support:
    http://infertilitydoula.blogspot.com/2010/05/it-takes-two-to-tango-male-factor.html

    http://infertilitydoula.blogspot.com/2010/05/taking-it-like-man-coping-with-mfi.html

  2. Well, I am glad that there are no structural issues or varicocele with your hubby. I understand how awkward it must have been for your hubby.

    Boo for CD2…tho’ there is something I believe…if you are not KU, it is better to get the red biatch on time…

  3. Of course we are reading you! I visit your blog everyday.

  4. Am I mean to be glad he got to suffer a little? Yes, I am, but that way you don’t have to be mean. It’s taken care of. Of course, now I’m thinking about the penguin he got you and feeling like a jerk… But still, after all you’ve been through, it’s his damn turn to endure a grope or two. I’m sorry to hear that the news will be bad, and it’s now just a question of how bad. I was really hoping the urologist would say #2 was just a fluke. So I’ll hope for option 1, where the news is not too bad.

  5. Best blog post title. Ever. I laughed out loud when I read it.

    Really hoping the numbers are high enough to make you guys a candidate for IUI.

  6. I am still here too. Sorry you didn’t get the news you were hoping for. Perhaps the sample will be good enough for an IUI. And don’t worry too much about fibroid-free cycle #1 being a bust, I think it is the lucky lady who gets knocked up during her first try.

  7. Sorry for the not-great news. And for CD2.
    I’ve heard that sometimes vitamins/minerals/supplements can help with MFI, or acupuncture. H refuses to even consider the latter, so I’m trying to convince him to at least try supplements. They won’t hurt, and if they helped it would be great. But yeah, in general I’ve read similar things, that MFI is largely unexplained and thus difficult to treat systematically. I hope your news point to IUI — or that you get lucky before that!

  8. It is good to hear from you, quiet one.

    Thanks for your support.

  9. Well it’s all information I guess, it’s not easy to digest when it doesn’t come served on a silver platter smelling like roses though. I’m sorry it wasnt better news and I’m hoping that the testing shows you can proceed with an IUI if needed.
    As for him being groped… maybe you can remind him about the huge surgery you had a few months ago. He needs to do better than that if he wants sympathy in this crowd!!! But yeah, thinking about that penguin he gave you does give him a few extra merit points I guess. And I just know my DH would feel completely violated if another man groped him. God, I’d never hear the end of it!
    x

  10. I suppose this news is a mixed bag. Good to know where another problem lies (perhaps even the main problem), but bad not to be able to pinpoint the reason for the problem. It truly is amazing how much is still unknown about the human body. I think reproduction is the final frontier myself. We got to the moon before anyone came up with IVF for F’s sake (right?).

    I’m rooting for IUI. I know you have such mixed feelings about IVF. Well, actually, I’m rooting for au natural if the Universe is listening.

    My husband had a bad case of kidney stones last night and had to visit the urologist himself this morning and get “groped.” He told me that he guesses he got a little taste of what I’ve had to go through. Yeah – I guess so! Give your husband my condolences for his violation; then tell him to quit the whining! Just joking. 😉

  11. Having been through this on the male side, I really hope he’s doing ok. It’s possible (likely?) that he’s got deep feelings about this that he’s not sharing. It’s incumbent on us to be strong during the IF journey. We come ready to support our wives to hell and back if it’s female factor. MFI is such a betrayal, by one’s own body. This diagnosis brings such sadness and frustration. We want to FIX things! And I am sure I speak for many when I say that it is infuriating, insulting, and inexcusable that the medical profession is completely comfortable with the concept of “idiopathic” (translation: we don’t know what the h*ll is the cause) male infertility, because there’s always IVF with ICSI (which is all about coin). I wish for you both the baby that you desire, and for him I wish comfort, healing, and the knowledge that his is not alone.

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