Well, I saw the RE this morning, Dr. O. It seems that all my tests turned out fine (except of course for the fact that I’m still not ovulating), but Mike’s 2nd semen analysis results were the same as before – his sperm count is still around 1 million. He’s been referred to the urologist for further testing and to see if maybe it is something that can be fixed. It’s possible he’s just developed a blockage that can be unblocked. Hopefully he’ll get in to see the urologist soon so we can possibly get some answers.

Soooo…they’ve put us on the list for IVF. Dr. O called in the IVF specialist, Dr. L, who told me that our chances of spontaneously conceiving even if I were ovulating are extremely low. Men generally have about a sperm count of 50 million per ejaculation, so 1 million is considered severe male infertility. A couple has approximately a 25% chance of conceiving each cycle if everything is functioning correctly, so I can’t even imagine what percentage we fall into (I’m guessing somewhere between 1-5%, if that). So they’re of course not going to put me on Clomid if there is such a small chance of me getting pregnant. We can’t even go the IUI route because of the low sperm count.

Even though there is still a chance that something can be done about Mike’s low sperm count, Dr. L said that it can take about 2 to 6 months to get in on an IVF cycle, so he put us on the list now. If we do end up doing IVF, he said we’ll have to do a procedure called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Usually with IVF, they extract the egg(s), put the sperm and egg in a dish and let them do their thing to fertilize. Because of the low sperm count, they have to use the ICSI procedure, where they use a needle to inject one sperm directly into the egg. Dr. L said that at my age, there is probably about a 50% success rate. Luckily, because I’m in the military, it will “only” cost us about $5000 per cycle, about $5-$7 thousand less than what it usually costs. Being in the military, all I have to pay for is the lab work, not the doctor’s visit.

I’m still a little in shock that it’s gone this far. I didn’t expect to have this many problems when we first started trying to get pregnant. But of course who does, right? I think I read that about 10-15% of couples who experience infertility problems both have issues, and we just happen to fall within that. It’s shitty. I don’t really know how to explain it in any other way.

So, if anyone has any information on IVF, please feel free to comment and fill me in. I read a lot of infertility sites, but if you have any that are especially good, please point me in the right direction. I’ve only been half-heartedly reading the blogs about IVF because I never expected to have to go that route, but now I guess I have to start doing some research into what to expect.


7 Responses to “diagnosis”

  1. ewokmama Says:

    Wow. I’m really sorry. I’m in shock, too. You go in for one thing and find that you have two things going on…and still nothing definitive on one of them.

    All I know about IVF is written in that link you provided. For further readings, I think your best bet is Tertia at So Close. I don’t know how much you want to read, though, ’cause it might freak you out.

  2. jen Says:

    Came here via Crystal.

    Korin, chiromama.livejournal.com, is a friend of mine and was really open in her blog about her infertility journey. Her daughter is a year old this month, so it’ll be in the archives, but it was a heartbreaking experience for her. Her husband, Ryan, was also the factor in their infertility (he makes anti-sperm antibodies), but they didn’t find that out until after she’d gone through the Clomid and the injections and the usual stuff.

  3. Holly Says:


    Thanks for the referral. I’ll definitely check out her site. The more I can read up on other’s experiences, the better.

  4. Beth Says:

    Hi Holly, I found my way here from Crystal’s journal.

    Sorry to hear that the diagnosis was not good. I don’t pray but I’ll keep my fingers crossed that your husband is just blocked and things will be a little bit easier on you two.

    I’m pretty sure Crystal reads the same blogs I do so I can’t offer and new references. Just be careful not to read too much of the infertility blogs. Along with the success stories there can be some very sad stories out there that make you feel worse. I think having hope is very important when you’re going through something like this. For a while I was reading so many of those blogs that I had myself convinced I’d never have kids, even though I’ve never tried.

    My husband and I are going to start trying for a baby at the end of the year so I’ll probably start reading/commenting on your blog. Like you, I’m always looking for more information.

    Good luck!

  5. Holly Says:


    I don’t pray either, so crossed fingers sounds good to me 🙂 Thank you for responding to my post.

    I am more interested in finding blogs that discuss their experiences with IVF, so I know what to expect, but I am going to try to stay away from comparing my situation to others. I know everyone’s situation is different, and I’m just going to hope for the best. I wish you the best in getting pregnant when you and your husband decide it’s time.

    I welcome you to to continue reading, and also encourage you to respond with your opinions to my posts regarding parenting styles. I enjoy having open discussions.

  6. Holly Says:


    I checked out So Close, but could not find archives old enough that discussed her IVF experiences in detail. But man, she sure had it all covered…9 IVF cycles! I can’t even imagine how much money she spent. I think it’s great that she was able to stick with it until she was successful. That takes some dedication.

  7. ewokmama Says:

    Apparently South Africa is a great place to go for IVF (and more affordable). Maybe you need to take a “vacation.”

    Here is a link to her IVF stuff (organized by newest to oldest posts_.

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