Thursday, June 5, 2008

2 - Background - General (April 2005)

A little background - my husband and I have been trying to conceive since April 2005. At the time, I was 31 years old and he was 34 years old. After a year of trying without success, we decided to pursue some infertility testing. One of our added challenges was that because of the nature of my husband's job (pilot), we actually only had the opportunity to truly try about 3-4 of the months within that year. The common advice to seek help if you haven't conceived within a year is really based on having a chance to conceive every month (not our case). Nonetheless, we decided to take a more aggressive approach and go through some of the preliminary testing through the University of Michigan Reproductive Center. This early testing involved Day 3 hormone testing and a sonohysterogram (more on this later) for me and a sperm analysis for my husband. The results of the sperm analysis indicated a lower than normal morphology. Basically, the heads of many of the sperm were not shaped in a way that was conducive to penetrating the egg. A common cause of this is something called a varicocele - which is a large vein (veins) in the scrotum that can heat up the sperm causing the morphology issue. We were referred to a urologist and, sure enough, this appeared to be the problem. Surgery was recommended and, although there was not a guaranteed outcome of improved morphology, we decided to go through with the surgery because this varicocele was also causing my husband discomfort.

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