Just a quick update about our most recent doctor’s visit:
We thought DH would just go and have blood drawn and we’d be done. We didn’t expect to see the doctor. But we did see the doctor–two hours after our appointment. The appointment was at 5:30 p.m., so we didn’t get out of there until almost 8:30. Not the best way to spend a Friday night, but I really appreciate that the doctor spends so much time with his patients. He is kind and knowledgeable and worth the wait. He did tell us this time that we shouldn’t bother showing up on time for appointments in the future because he’s always running late.
Anyway, they did a semen analysis and we were pretty disappointed that we got the same results we’ve been getting. No sperm. We had really hoped to see something on it, but no such luck. DH has been taking HCG and clomid for three months at this point (not counting the three months of HCG alone prior to that). But it’s possible that this regimen could take six months before we see swimmers–if it will even work at all. The doctor is not optimistic that it will. Fortunately, he did agree to let us keep trying and we got a new prescription for HCG and clomid, so we’ll be able to keep using that until December.
He also gave us the impression that if the clomid hasn’t been working to keep DH’s FSH levels up, the doctor might prescribe some gonal-F instead. But that’s much more expensive than clomid (and likely not covered by insurance), so we’re hoping and praying the blood work will show good numbers for testosterone and FSH and we don’t need to change anything. DH has a surgery scheduled for December 12 and another appointment with the doctor on November 8. So we’ll see what God and medicine can do between now and then.
The blood work with the hormone levels won’t be back for a couple of weeks. And they did agree to test for celiac. We’re cutting back on gluten for now (I’ll write more on that later).
In other news, the doctor and one of his residents are really intrigued by DH’s pericentric inversion on chromosome 1. This is a really uncommon genetic issue and–from what I can tell–it’s somewhat unclear in the medical literature what effect this should have on male fertility (I’ll try to post more on what I know about this later). There seems to be consensus that it would cause oligospermia, but that it shouldn’t necessarily cause azoospermia. At our first visit with this doctor, he said the genetic issue could to be the explanation for azoospermia or completely unrelated to it. There’s not enough information for them to be sure.
On Friday, the resident we met with before we saw the doctor said he might write a paper about DH. We think that would be really cool. Maybe they would find something that would help other people in our situation. And, in a lot of the medical papers I’ve seen about people with chromosomal inversions, they usually test any family members they can to see if they also have the inversion and how it affects their fertility. We’re just curious if DH inherited it from one of his parents (90 percent chance) or if it was a spontaneous mutation. If he inherited it, there’s a chance his sister would have the same inversion. It may be helpful to know these things. And the genetic testing is expensive if there isn’t a reason to do it (generally fertility is a reason, so that would hardly apply to DH’s parents in their fifties). If they do a medical study on it, they may do the testing for us. And I know DH’s mom is curious to know, too.
They also assured us that they would do a full literature review on the topic and send me the articles. I’m looking forward to that because what I can access for free on the web is really limited.
So that’s it. We’ve been a bit mopey this weekend about the results of the SA, but we took some time to vent and pray. Today was better. After hearing the results, DH decided he wants to do more research about sperm donors and how fathers of children conceived via sperm donor feel about their kids and about their situation. He kept telling me he didn’t want to think about these things until/unless he needed to. It makes me sad that he thinks he needs to now and that he’s really losing hope that they will even find sperm in a biopsy. I really hope he’s wrong and that they will find more than enough swimmers in December.
Thanks to all of you who were praying for us and thinking of us on Friday. We really appreciate it and are so touched. It means a lot to have a community of people who understand what we’re going through and care about our outcomes. Thank you.