Me and my dear husband had a little trip out yesterday. We went to our first urologist appointment.
We’d been waiting for the appointment on the NHS for about three months, so it was quite exciting when the day finally came. Well, I was excited – my other half was terrified!
After waiting in the hospital for 45mins (in fact, twice as long as that as we arrived 45mins early!), and two hot chocolates and a packet of crisps later, we finally got called in… to another waiting room.
There’s a lot of waiting around with IVF, eh?
A nurse took hubby’s pre-prepared urine sample for testing then, five minutes later, we were invited into the urologist’s office.
The urologist was a lovely guy, really personable and kind. We told him our infertility story, about us recently going abroad for IVF to the Czech Republic and it being unsuccessful, and he said how sorry he was that we couldn’t be treated on the NHS. Him and us both.
He then looked over my other half’s three semen analyses results. Unbelievably, we discovered my husband’s count had gone up – 10 million! The highest figure out of all the three tests by a significant margin. So maybe those Wellman tablets were working after all.
Unfortunately, however, this one showed precisely zero motility. Dumb ass sperm. If none of them move, you’ve pretty much no chance of getting pregnant. Grreeaat.
There was a little bit of a lull in the conversation, when he turned to us and said: ‘I don’t want to sound unhelpful, but… what is it that you want me to do?’
Now he really wasn’t being rude at this point. He’d already explained that ICSI was our only option in this situation, and that we should go for another round of IVF. But what he was actually asking was: ‘If you know this is your only route to having a baby, why come to me now?’
‘The thing is, doctor,’ I said, ‘What if his hormone levels are out of whack? No one’s checked for those.’ (Thank you Google and for equipping me with the knowledge to ask this question!)
‘Oh,’ he said. ‘I assumed your GP would have done all these tests before you got to this point.’
‘Nope,’ I said. ‘All we’ve had is the semen analyses.’
So, after physically examining my other half (poor bloke – I felt for him!), the doctor printed off some more tests for my husband: basic blood hormones like I’ve done (LH, FHS et al), plus a karyotype test to check for chromosomal abnormalities.
I left the appointment feeling like it hadn’t been a complete waste of time, which I thought it might have been. But if we hadn’t pressed for further tests, we may have walked away with nothing.
Knowledge is power, and if these tests show up any problems, it’s better to know now than blindly going into the next IVF cycle without at least doing the basics.
And, who knows what they’ll show? It’s scary to think of the consequences. But perhaps there’s something that can be done about our male factor situation… here’s hoping.