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.