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Only 3 sperm from MERC and SSR/TESA but Keeping positive !!
tillybo posted:

As with everyone else who has looked for answers and solace arriving on this forum, it has taken courage to write this post. I think because it becomes more real even after all the tears, pain and frustrations of why us?!

My husband and I have been together 11 years and right before we got married 2.5 yrs ago we discovered he had 0 sperm or to be technical; NOA (non obstructive azoospermia). What made it worse was having these results read to us carelessly and matter of fact at the hospital. It seems the doctor who had referred us originally had mis read the results and had misinformed us my husband had a healthy count of over 25 million. Total blow! If I had to describe that moment it's best compared to how I imagine a lorry driving and reversing over us again and again. Smack in the face. To add to that time the doctors/ hospital also lost all our paper work and results. Twice. It was a lot to deal with. That was 2011. We took some time out and had a beautiful English country wedding in the summer sunshine with all our wonderful friends. Life is good.

August 2013 we built up the courage to begin this heartbreaking journey again and have opted to go with a privately funded fertility unit. They seem to have slightly more awareness of male fertility than the scarce amount out there. My husband had all the tests for hormones and genetics which came back normal. However physical tests did show his testicles are underdeveloped. Confirmation semen sample provided the same 0 result so he then had an elected ssr (surgical sperm retrieval) where they went in 5x (usually 2-3x) into each testicle and retrieved only 3 sperm from a TESE. That's still 3 though ! They have frozen them and we are well aware none may survive but we have to stay positive. It only takes one right? We are now embarking our first icsi cycle (funded) after fighting hard with the doctors to not give up on us given we have less than a 10% chance. That was another shock. No one tells you they won't fund you if you don't have enough probability of success. They agreed to give us a chance of MERC and another SSR on the day of egg collection. Thankyou grandparents. Thankyou father in law. Looking out for us up there.

We are painfully aware if no frozen survive and MERC & SSR produces 0 results it will all be abandoned....

Yesterday I took delivery of a huge box of tablets, needles and syringes and vials. Today I start on norethisterone for 10 days and am being trained to inject myself on 27th feb. I'm really squeamish and prone to fainting so that will be fun !

Like some of you this is our only hope of a child. We've had 'those' conversations about sperm donor or adoption but whilst it's perfect for some it's not something we want to explore further. It's all or nothing for us. And we will have life 'A' with a child and the honour of being parents OR we will have life 'B' where we will sell up and live across Europe and adventure for a while until we learn to come to terms with the 'loss'.

On a positive note, I am in perfect working order with a good oven. I do have more than a normal amount of eggs but with this scenario its a good thing ! I have questions though. Are any of you out there on our same journey? Anyone already been on this same journey and had success? Most importantly, my husband was in so much pain after last ssr - will this 2nd one cause irreparable damage?

I intended to just write my question but I kept writing and it seems I've told my so far story. I'm not sure how appropriate it is for this forum but it's been therapeutic for me and I guess it had to come out. If it helps identify with just one of you and we can help each other through this then it's been worth the posting. For the rest of you, I wish us ALL my most heartfelt best wishes and hope our deepest need becomes a reality x
undefined responded:
Hi there,

You are absolutely not alone! Your story is so very similar to the journey my husband and I are on now....

This is the 3rd year of us trying to conceive, and we didn't figure out what the problem was until halfway through the 2nd year.

Just like you, I'm completely fine and making an above average number of eggs. My husband is diagnosed with azoospermia as well, and was initially not making ANY sperm at all. After seeing specialists for about a year, and taking several medications (as well as making lifestyle changes), we have gotten his count up to .5 million (the average male has 20million). The motility and morphology is still terrible, but we are desperately hoping that the doctors can work some magic with IVF with ICSI.
To add to the complications, the time that my husband can continue to be on these fertility meds is VERY limited due to side effects, and his sperm count could still completely go away at any time. So basically we have to act fast while we still have something to work with.

I'm about a week away from starting the whole IVF process, and I am very nervous. I'm super nervous with needles as well, and I'm terrified that I won't be able to give myself the shots every day My husband can't help either because he's even more squeamish about needles than I am. If you figure out any tricks or tips let me know!

We are funding the entire process ourselves, so we are looking at $20k, with absolutely no guarantee that his sperm will even fertilize my egss They keep telling us not to get our hopes up, because we only have like a 30% chance, but I can't imagine the possibility of this not working, so for now I'm thinking positive.

Most people don't understand how incredibly difficult Male Factor Infertility is -- the worst part is that you feel like you can't talk about it like you can with female infertility! As females, we carry most of the burden of the physical process of fertility treatment, but the diagnosis and treatment process is emotionally destructive and stressful for our husbands/partners. They feel ashamed, insecure, and like it's their fault --- which it's absolutely NOT. I feel like I've reconciled myself with this whole situation in the sense that going through something this difficult has truly strengthened our relationship, and has made us so much more appreciative of all of the other wonderful things in our lives.

My hope is that someday men (and us too!) will feel like they can discuss this openly and seek help without feeling ashamed or embarrassed.... it seems as if these online support groups are the only resource available to those of us suffering with this!

My heart goes out to you and your husband, and I will be praying for strength and comfort for the both of you! Hoping that this all turns out the way that we all want it to.

tillybo replied to 32540880's response:
Hi Michelle,

Thankyou so much for replying, as you can see I posted this over 2 weeks and I think it goes to show us women going through a male infertility issue are in the complete minority !

I have to say I'm really pleased you replied as I don't feel so alone now. The positivity you have given me with the fact you've increased upto .5 mill from zero is incredible ! Which drugs is he taking to achieve that?

We are currently funded through the Nhs in the uk. I'm presuming by your message you are in the U.S? How far are you with your process now? I would expect that with .5 million you would have a much better chance than 30% as you are absolutely fine. Can you not go down the icsi route rather than Ivf? Have they done ssr yet? Sorry lots of questions but I'm disappointed your docs are so negative. We are lucky that even with our bleak outlook they remain positive saying it only takes one ! Well you have 500,000 so there must be some good swimmers in there right?

Well my appointment for injection training is today ! In fact in 1hr 20 mins. I'm well scared but have got my head together about it now and thinking about the ultimate goal.

I completely agree with you about how there isn't enough support for male infertility. I was thinking this morning about what forums there actually are for our husbands to turn to as it's all geared up for women.

Anyway I'm really glad we've made contact, I'd love us to keep in touch.

I'll let you know how today goes and how long it takes them to pick me up off the floor haha !!

Keep positive ! X
amyaalc replied to tillybo's response:
Thank you for sharing your story!
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