So as part of our "taking control of the TTC process" Nik and I have been reading up, both in books and online. We want to figure out the various ways we could naturally up our chances, see what options we have, etc.
So I found something kinda interesting last night...
See, the fertility specialist we spoke to, and the doctors that Nik has talked to already, have really made a big deal out of Nik's poor semen analysis. IVF is the only option, perhaps we could get by with IUI's but really, IVF with ICSI is pretty much it. I mean, so few sperm! So little motility! And what horrific morphology!
Yeah, we're talking like 20million sperm, 40% motile, with only 2% of proper morphology. Really, really bad. They want us to have at least 80 million sperm, like 75% motile, and at least 50% of proper morphology before there's any chance of conception. The specialist we saw even mentioned that Nik's low morphology was due to DNA issues and how messed up they were, how they couldn't make normal babies.
And then, once I got past all this same stuff over and over again on the internet, I found something interesting....
The WHO (World Health Organization) standards.
Normal for them?
At least 15 million sperm (oh, wow, we have that!)
At least 40% motile (yeesh, right on the dot there...)
And normal morphology? Can "get up to" a whopping FIFTEEN percent, but really anything over 3% is normal. And some clinics say 2-6% morphology is totally the norm.
His semen analysis isn't actually that far off from a regular fertile man?
Could my husband be, dare I say it, actually fertile?
Are we not fighting some great uphill battle against numbers but instead actually well within the realm of possibility?
Are fertility clinics just trying to make money by telling mostly-fertile or sub-fertile men that they're infertile to the point of sterility and that they NEED IVF with ICSI (as expensive as it gets pretty much), knowing full well that couples will pay it and that the relatively normal sperm should work just fine and up their numbers?
The more I'm reading on this (now that I know what to look for) the more I'm baffled. I mean, part of me is going "then why hasn't it worked for us yet?" and the other part is still like "wait, he's pretty much normal? Just at the low end where his little spermies could use some improvement, but not nearly as bad as we were told?"
I'm... elated! And excited!
And even though it hasn't worked for us yet....
Okay, we've been together over 9 years, 4 on birth control then like 12-18 months off, then all birth control (hormonal or natural) up until now. So like 13-19 cycles in total, last month I had only a week long luteal phase, and the first time I was coming off birth control AND very overweight (like 80 lbs heavier or so, and I'm still overweight so I don't even want to think about what that was doing to my body!). So, yeah, it was a possibility but how likely was it anyway?
Is it possible then that now that I'm healthier and he's healthier, if he's normal and I'm charting and we're willing to do a few extra things (like fertility blend and acupuncture), is it possible this could work? Without all the aggressive treatments?
Honestly, I'm kinda psyched :) I know it's still all a game of luck and we're definitely on the low end of normal when it comes to fertility, but we're not far off, and certainly our chances aren't as bleak as we were told.
On that note, it's raining!!!!!!!!!!!!
We've had weeks and weeks of "it should rain today!" with nary a cloud in the sky. I was just teaching P about droughts today as we took a walk down by the neighborhood stream and he noticed that the water was almost non-existent in some places.
I know this rain hardly makes a dent in Raleigh's ever present drought, but every drop counts right? And the plants certainly don't mind :)
Lily in a loafing barn
5 months ago