IF and the City

I used to feel sad when I watched the episodes with Charlotte failing over and over again while trying to get pregnant. Little did I know that my own attempts would lead me on the same sad journey. We've now passed 4 years in the trenches. 6 failed IVF/ICSI cycles = nothing. Time for something new - donor eggs. Success at last. Now for round 2.

Friday, October 21, 2005

What's a Varicocele?

Every step we’ve taken on this infertility path has been another step out of the light and into the darkness. Every test, procedure, our miscarriage, every failed ivf cycle has caused yet another light bulb to pop from above and die. Leaving us now arms out front flailing around making sure we don’t fall deep into the darkness, our remaining candles slowly burning down to the wick.

It seems that a light bulb may just have been replaced and we find some extra illumination.

D’s ultrasound results have come back and it turns out that he does in fact have a small varicocele (2.2cm) and a cyst (4cm). He has only had a phone consultation with the Dr., who told him it was ‘nothing to get excited about’, now he’s gone off on holiday and made an appointment with D to see him in 6 weeks.

This is nothing to get excited about? Actually, it’s the only break-through we’ve ever had in nearly 3 years of infertility.

There’s a funny phenomenon that’s happened to us, and I’m sure we’re not the only ones, that has us waiting thru every test and getting to the point where we actually want something to be wrong and found. Getting told that everything’s okay is all very well, but after a while it’s just frustrating and it just gets tired being made to feel that there’s nothing wrong EXCEPT that probably that you just have crap eggs.

It is possible that fixing this isn’t going to be the big cure (we couldn’t be that lucky), but finding and fixing it now could save D lots of grief long term … horrible things can happen to men who are left untreated …

This is a something that should have been found more than 2 years ago, it makes me want to scream, but since gynaecology is only concerned with women and their age, they neglect to advise men to have these tests. Oh yeah, and of course, ICSI fixes everything anyway. Boohoo!

How on earth could we be expected to wait 6 weeks for a consultation and not do anything in the meantime? I cannot believe the lightening speed with which I have been whipped in and out of hospital for all the various tests I’ve had and yet it’s good enough for D to wait 6 weeks for a consultation? What a joke.

Of course we’ve taken the report and faxed it immediately to our MF-CFG and we’ll await her advice on our best course of action. D will see her properly next Wednesday and I’m hoping she might call in the meantime.

So now we love her more. D has been sceptical of complementary therapists, but now totally respects her thoroughness.

She told D that lots of men have low-level infections that are never detected.

My quick google on this seems to indicate that treatments can vary from antibiotics to Clomid(!) and micro-surgery.

I love how the week can start one way and end another.

PS pronounced vari-co-cell (I didn't know)!


At October 21, 2005 7:42 pm , Blogger MC said...

I know what you mean about the focus on the female. It was 16 months of phaffing around on tests for me and getting back the all clear, finally we were sent to our IVF Dr and he ordered the test for zona binding. It still pisses me off and also the lack of treatment/research on male infertility.

At October 22, 2005 4:38 am , Anonymous Lut C. said...

I'm not a doctor, so I feel uncomfortable saying anything about the diagnosis you got. This being said, I do want share with you the opinion of 1 RE on variocele as a cause of IF. Your doctor may have told you the same.

Dr. Sherman Silber of the Infertility Center of St.Louis, says 15 to 20 % of males have a variocele, usually on the left side. This means that a lot of perfectly fertile men have a variocele as well. He refers to several clinical studies disproving a link between variocele and IF.
Finally he warns that surgery can in some cases do more harm than good.

I read this information in his book "How to get pregnant". I don't know if he is absolutely right about everything he writes, but it does give me an idea of what to ask my doctors about my treatment.

At October 23, 2005 1:15 am , Anonymous Lori said...

Thank you for the pronunciation help - you don't even want to know how I pronounced it in my head!
It is such a double edged sword, hoping that something comes up in these tests and finding some cause of IF. As we wait for our test results, I find myself vacilating between wanting a medical reason and hoping that we're both okay.
And the whole default diagnosis of crap eggs is just another way of laying the blame on women. Just needed another way to make us feel responsible I suppose. I've been telling myself that if everything comes back okay then it must just mean that medical technology just has yet to figure it out.

At October 23, 2005 2:06 am , Anonymous the said...

I'm glad they finally found this, but it must be so frustrating to have to wait to have the follow-up discussion. I hope the treatment is as straightforward as it can be.

At October 23, 2005 2:07 am , Anonymous thalia said...

Sorry that was me just now. Bad typing¬

At October 24, 2005 2:42 pm , Blogger Sparkle said...

Hi lut c.
Thanks for your comments. V.interesting stat on 15-20% men - I wonder how many of those also have morphology problems? I know that treatment/day surgery for the varicocele might not be the cure for us, but in the event that nothing else has ever been found,it's worth pursuing.
The Urologist D is going to see is considered the best, so we'll see what he has to say. Apparently if he didn't think he could do anything he wouldn't even bother with a consultation, so you never know.
We're doing everything we can to be healthy diet-wise at the moment, so we're hoping that may help improve things as well.

At October 25, 2005 7:27 am , Anonymous Lut C. said...

No idea. Maybe your urologist can explain if there is a link. Anyway, I wish you the best of luck.

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