This is a guest post by Hellobee hostess Leialou.
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I naively assumed that since my husband and I were both young and healthy, we would get pregnant quickly. In 2011, after we celebrated our first wedding anniversary, we decided we were ready to start trying. Several months after we had “pulled the goalie” we had not had any luck.
I picked up a copy of Taking Charge of Your Fertility and began charting. In January 2012 I brought up the fact that we were TTC at my annual well woman exam, and my gynecologist ordered some tests for my husband and me. I had my blood drawn on cycle day 3 to check my hormones at my doctor’s office, while he took his referral to a fertility clinic for a semen analysis. About a week later, my husband got the news that he had male factor infertility.
M A L E F A C T O R I N F E R T I L I T Y
I think most people associate infertility with problems with the woman’s reproductive system, but 30% of couples with infertility are dealing with it on the man’s side. My husband’s specific issues were a low sperm count, low motility (the movement of the sperm), and low morphology (the shape of the sperm). The majority of his sperm moved around in circles and were misshapen. We were stunned. We never imagined that we would deal with infertility. What I remember most about the first weeks after my husband’s diagnosis is a lot of tears from us both, anger, and finally a determination to find a way to get pregnant.
The first doctor we saw was an urologist. After a couple of visits my husband was diagnosed with a varicocele: an enlarged blood vessel in the scrotum. Blood is not able to flow properly and that causes the testicles to overheat, which can negatively effect sperm production. During varicocele surgery, a urologist seals off the affected veins and redirects blood flow into the normal-shaped veins. For my husband, it was an outpatient procedure. He checked in at the hospital at 7 am and we were heading home by 3.
Several months later we had a follow up and there was no change. The varicocele was repaired and his sperm count had improved, but his motility and morphology numbers were the same.