New and anxious

Hi everyone

I'm new to all this and don't usually post to forums about myself, but I'm finding things quite tough at the moment and everyone here seems so supportive so thought I'd see if there was anyone at a similar stage to myself?

I'm 33, ttc since early 2016 with no luck. Been to the fertility clinic, had all the tests and seen the consultant. Basically looks like male factor infertility, but because my OH was drinking quite a lot more than the recommended allowance they've basically sent us away for another 3 months to see if anything changes if he cuts down the alcohol. I just feel so frustrated and helpless because there's nothing I can do now except wait, and I don't know what will happen when we go back. Just feel a little bit upset that if he'd done what he should have done initially we wouldn't be having to wait even longer.

Has anyone else been in this position? I'm pretty sure if his test results don't improve (i.e. If it's not due to alcohol, and just bad luck) they'll refer us for ICSI (consultant mentioned that) but no idea how long that might take. I guess I'm maybe even more worried that if his results improve they might just discharge us and we'll have to try again for another year which might not work! My results came back really good but I'm pretty aware that the longer this process takes, the older I'm getting and my fertility will start to decline, leaving us with issues on both sides!

Sorry for the long post. Would love to hear from people who are at the same stage or who have been through similar to give me a bit of reassurance that I'm not alone! x

12 Replies

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  • Hi there,

    I'm a bit further along than you - have just had ICSI and EC and waiting for ET. But we are also male factor and on the NHS and I found all the waiting (for confirmation we needed ICSI, a referral and then finally starting) to be incredibly hard. I just hated the uncertainty and feeling like life is on hold like that. This whole process takes control completely out of your hands and especially if you are someone used to having some control over your life, that is really tough.

    Has your OH made the changes they have asked for now? You can't go backwards, only forwards, so assuming he has that is the thing to focus on (but I understand why you feel a bit upset).

    I'm 3 years older than you, and my tests were also good - I was worried I was getting old and was firmly told by the NHS that the more reliable guide was my tests and my fertility would not just suddenly drop off a cliff. The other thing they told me was that male factor is one of the easier problems to treat - that ICSI has a really high rate of success where it is male factor. So those are positives to hold onto. The crappy thing about male factor is that even though the issue isn't ours we have to go through all the crap of IVF!

    I don't know if any of that was the reassurance you were looking for ... but it sounds like everything is moving in a positive direction for you and that you will get there - not that that makes the waiting any easier!

  • Thanks for the reassurance. It does help to hear from others going through the same thing.

    He has found it hard to make the changes which frustrates me a lot as I know he really wants this as much as I do. He is drinking much less now (within the limits that the consultant requested) but it's very much driven by me which makes me feel like I'm nagging all the time.

    I think it's not having the next appointment booked that's making it extra hard. At least when they send me the next date through (should be end of July) I'll have something to wait for!

    Good luck with the next step of your treatment! x

  • Hi there,

    Welcome to the forum - you're right that everyone is very friendly and supportive on here. I'm also 33, my OH is 41 & has severe sperm issues due to an op he had when he was younger. Not been through what you have in terms of having to wait but otherwise sounds like we're at a similar stage - we'll be having icsi, probably towards the end of the year....it's a waiting game at the mo. One of the hardest parts of this process is getting used to the waiting - it sucks! If your OH sperm parameters are just mildly affected then there are supplements that can help (can't remember names but I'm sure other ladies on here will). You're certainly not alone, feel free to ask me any questions. This forums great for offloading xxxx

  • Thanks for the reply. I think his results were quite bad rather than borderline but I can't remember the numbers! Progressive motility was pretty bad, about 6% I think and I'm pretty sure count was lower than average too. I thought they'd follow the appointment up with a clinic letter with the results so I could check against normal parameters but we haven't received anything. Might see if they've sent anything to my GP as they did with our initial nurse appointment.

    They give you so much info in the clinic that it's impossible to remember it all. My job is very medical and I'm very used to using and understanding medical terminology but I can't even remember the details, let alone my partner understanding it!

  • Yes they should send you a copy of the letter they send to the GP - at least our clinic does. Not sure whether they'll include the results in this though - the GP will probably have a copy though x

  • kt_11 hello welcome to the forum. I know it can be difficult especially the waiting. We too have a male issue and it's hard to even know what happens next. Best wishes on your journey x

  • Thanks for the reply. Nice to hear from people in the same position 😊 x

  • kt_11 hello welcome to the forum. I know it can be difficult especially the waiting. We too have a male issue and it's hard to even know what happens next. Best wishes on your journey x

  • We were sent home in January originally for 3 months and advised to take supplements. I bought the Pregnacare supplements for both of us. It made a difference to my OH after the 3 months and improved his sperm quality and quantity. However I think it takes about 90 days for sperm to develop so the sooner you start on the supplements, the sooner you will see the benefit. I have also heard that acupuncture is supposed to be good for male infertility but I have absolutely no chance of getting my husband there!!! Good luck - the 3 months will pass quicker than you think! X

  • Thanks. The doctors did recommend supplements which I'm hoping to get him to start soon. I just know that the drinking is already quite hard for him so don't want him to feel like it's too much at once. He's got this "it'll be fine" type attitude towards his health and it's been hard to persuade him that actually these changes could make a huge difference!

    What happened after you'd gone back and the results had improved if you don't mind me asking?

  • Sounds a lot like my OH! The doctors didn't tell him to cut back on drinking but I did, and I insisted he take supplements. But his attitude throughout was "it'll be fine" and I had to drag him kicking and screaming through some changes and force him to read the research. We had a few minor arguments about it and it drove me wild!! He is normally so considerate too. I think in my OH's case it was that he just didn't want to face up to the problem and kept sticking his head in the sand.

  • Hey kt_11

    Welcome to the forum! It's a brilliant place and such a good source of support.

    When we first went to the GP my DP was given a lecture on his alcohol intake and lifestyle choices. He does enjoy a drink but nothing too drastic. He got told to go back in a few months. We decided we weren't happy with this so opted to have a private semen analysis. Anyway this showed that he had azoospermia (no sperm). It turns out he has a long standing problem.

    Moving on 12 months he has just had a successful sperm retrieval. I start my treatment next week and will have ICSI. I have low ovarian reserve too but the clinic has tried to reassure me about this. I'm also a few years older than you.

    You are definitely not alone in this! Although it is a natural feeling. Take care and good luck xx

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