Sunday, May 1, 2016

The Phone Call

David and I had only been trying to conceive for a month when we got our diagnosis. When I told my OB/GYN that we were trying, she suggested that David have a SA done, due to his medical history. The urologist ordered the SA as well as some other tests. One afternoon after coming home from work, I got that phone call from my husband. His doctor had just given him some devastating news after reviewing the lab results. I hung up on him.

I spent the next 3-4 hours making phone call after phone call, calling doctor after doctor. It had been so long since I had felt this way: hopeless, disconsolate, heartbroken. I didn't know what to do, nor where to turn.

I can name at least 6 friends who are currently suffering from infertility, some of it unexplained. Many have been trying for years. My heart goes out to them. Here we were, trying for a mere few weeks, and we already knew it wasn't going to happen. In some ways, that phone call became a blessing. Instead of trying for years to no avail, we know what we are up against and we know what we have to do. This is not at all the path we had planned, and it is going to be a long and scary journey. Almost every day, I feel guilty that we even have this opportunity...but my mom said something so comforting to me: she told me that we were given this opportunity and we should take it...that we shouldn't feel guilty because we were blessed with the chance to give this a try. 

If you haven't seen a doctor yet...
For those of you who have been trying to conceive and are losing hope, I highly recommend that you speak to your OB/GYN or urologist and have some testing done. It may seem expensive up front, but it can save you months of frustration. I would suggest first having a SA done (by a clinic or lab). The reason I suggest a lab (vs. an at-home test) is because the lab is able to look for things like sperm count, motility, velocity, morphology, volume, and liquefaction. While at-home tests measure sperm count, this is only one factor in a man's fertility. A normal sperm count may not necessarily indicate if you are fertile or not. Home tests only determine concentration, and do not measure other import factors, many common causes which are missed with these at-home tests. Having the male partner tested with an SA is going to be less invasive and less expensive than having the woman tested first. 

If the SA results are normal, I suggest moving on to the next step: having the female partner tested. Again, if infertility is not covered by your insurance, this may seem expensive, but in the end, it may save you much frustration. Your doctor may recommend an HSG, which can diagnose fallopian tube blockages and uterus defects. Another test is a transvaginal ultrasound, where the doctor can view images of the ovaries and uterus and determine if there are any follicles in the ovaries. These 2-3 tests may just give you the answers you are looking for, and help determine what further routes (if any) you want to pursue next. And if you don't want to pursue anything further, that's okay too.

I am so glad I spoke to my OB/GYN and she suggested we have the SA done. I am also thankful my husband's urologist ordered further tests. Doing this so early in the game has saved us months (if not years) of frustration, and though we received some heartbreaking news, we are blessed to have the opportunity to move forward.

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