I don’t often talk about husband here, as this is my blog and it is about me. I like to keep his part in this quiet, as it would be up to him whether or not he wanted to share. Not me. However, today I am going to break that rule. Because today is the day that he has gone in and provided his sample to do the Sperm Chromatin Structure Assay.
“The SCSA is performed using an instrument called a flow cytometer in which cells that have been stained with a fluorescent dye are sent through a glass channel in liquid suspension. The cells pass through a laser beam and the light from the beam causes the dye to emit fluorescent light of a certain color. When performing an SCSA, the colors measured are red and green; green fluorescing sperm have very low levels of fragmented DNA and red fluorescing sperm have moderate to high levels of fragmented DNA”. GeorgiaIVF.
This test is not one that is covered by insurance and is not one that is typically used. However, on the advice of a family member, Uncle Urologist, we had decided to find a doctor in our area who is familiar with this test and performs it for patients. It is not routinely used, as it’s results are not generally useful, except in the case where there is recurrent pregnancy loss with ART, and male factor IF is a primary issue for the couple. HI! That would be us! Basically we are looking to find out if the sperm used for ICSI, those that look “normal” on the outside, are infact, abnormal on the inside. This test is running us $500.00, but in the whole scheme of things, if we find that we have a DNA fragmentation issue, that $500.00 will be saving us thousands in the long run. I CAN NOT go through this again without more answers. If the answer is, “Holy crap you have some messed up sperm”, then fine. We grieve, we move on, and we do not spend another dime on trying to make a baby.
The other thing the husband gets to do this evening is a testicular ultrasound. Which I’ve been trying to get him to do for 2 years. But no, he’d rather me go through the IVF wringer a couple of times I guess. But NOT anymore. No sir. My body has closed up shop until we have some more answers on his side of things. Thats the thing with these fertility specialists. They DON’T CARE about MFI. They just don’t. Their answer is ICSI. They are there to get you pregnant, cross your fingers, hope it works out. Anyway, I have been bugging husband to get a testicular ultrasound forever. He has ALL of the symptoms of a varicocele. ALL. OF. THEM. We went to one urologist before that couldn’t feel one and who’s only advice was to stop drinking caffiene. Ok. That helped. It did bring him from ZERO to ten million. But what about the rest of them? And Uncle Urologist had recommended an ultrasound at the time because not all varicoceles can be found upon maunual examination. (hehe. manual examination).
Anyway, during my husband’s consultation with Dr. MFI, he was told that he had a suspected varicocele in the right testicle. HA! Big I told you so dance..Followed by extreme annoyance for having waited 2 years to look into this. That would explain how he fathered my son. (Up to 80% of secondary male infertility cases are due to vericocele) his low sperm count, poor motility and poor morphology. that would explain why his FSH is just ever so slightly above the “normal” line. Not even close to being classified as “testicular failure” but not within normal range either. A varicocele would also explain a high level of DNA fragmentation, if the SCSA shows he has it. I know that a varicocele can be fixed, and I also know that sometimes it can not. I know that fertility can return to normal, and sometimes it doesn’t. But you know what? Even knowing that, I just want an answer. I want to know why.
So today he is maxing out our flex spend account the rest of the way. Wow. Between the D&C and this MF testing, there’s four thousand dollars gone and it’s not even February. But it’s worth it. It’s worth it for the answers and in order to know whether or not to move on.
Albert Einstein said that the definition of insanity “is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. Brainy Quotes
I feel like we’d be doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results if we went in for another try without looking to find more answers first. We can only look at my uterus so many times. It’s fine. We can only test my hormones so many times. They’re fine. We need to try something new. We need to take this in a new direction. It’s time to stop the insanity.