Waiting for Bad News

Tomorrow Pearl will call with the results of Ryan’s most recent semen sample.  I’ll be at work, and am expecting bad news.  Fortunately, I’ve had time to prepare so hopefully I won’t cry at my desk or anything when I hear “I’m sorry, there has been no change since the last analysis, and IVF is not longer a medical possibility for your family.”

We still don’t know “what happened.”

The first few semen analyses Ryan got back in 2014, his count count was about 8-10 million, which is pretty low.  Morphology and motility also poor.

In the last 3 months Ryan has done a handful of semen analyses and his count has been about 10.  Not 10 million, but 10 sperm.  This is extremely low, and since motility and morphology aren’t looking good, healthy embryos are not likely.  The doctor’s natural question was “What happened between 2014 and now? Is Ryan taking any questionable men’s supplements, like testosterone or steroids?  Smoking a lot of marijuana?  What’s changed in the last year?”

The answer is nothing.  Ryan takes some multivitamins, he uses the steam room at the gym from time to time, and he could lose some weight, but none of this is new.  He’s never smoked cigarettes or marijuana, and drinks occasionally.  Why did his already low sperm count plummet to basically nothing?  None of us know.  We effectively missed our chance.

In all the research I’ve done and people I’ve talked to I’ve never heard of this: the man’s count being so low that the doctors won’t even try IVF, so I am curious to hear what the doctor says.  They stand to make a lot of money on us, and I understand the gravity of their diagnosis when they let us walk out the door without paying a dime for anything.

I’ve been coddling myself all weekend, lazing on the couch and watching movies.  Today is the last day where there is still a glimmer of hope, but life doesn’t feel very hopeful. Tomorrow the door may shut forever, and the end may come.  I know eventually I will be able to say “It is well with my soul,” but today I have a heavy heart.


4 thoughts on “Waiting for Bad News

  1. I know the feelings you are going through. I know the boat you are in and I am so so sorry that you are there. My husband only has about 30 sperm per sample and after motility and morphology there are only about 10 viable sperm. We were able to undergo IVF with ICSI twice and currently have two blastocysts on ice with an FET scheduled for January. I know it is incredibly difficult and what you are feeling cannot be explained truly to someone who has not been there. Please know that there may still be hope even if his numbers are the same. Does your husband by chance have an undiagnosed varicocele? My husband had one on each side and once he had surgery to fix them he went from zero sperm to 30 sperm per sample. Also, you might want to look at other clinics that specialize with severely low sperm count. It might be the lack of experience regarding your embryologist as to why they would turn you away. I will be thinking of you and praying for you. If you want to talk, please email me at maybebabyivfjourney@gmail.com


    1. Hi there, thanks so much for the advice and kind words. Ryan has been checked for a varicocele and came back clear. I am encouraged to hear you’ve done ICSI with a similarly low count. Our RE is the only one in our small city, so you are correct that inexperience is a possibility. Starting over with a new clinic seems daunting, but we’ve surprised ourselves before by taking steps we never thought we’d try. Depending on how today goes, once the final word sinks in, who knows what we’ll be up for? Again though thanks for taking the time to reach out, our situation is specific and solitary in our social circle, so it’s heartening to be reminded we aren’t alone. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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