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Thread: Varicocele research - ugh!

  1. #19
    Sammi Jane Guest


    Jane, did you fall pg on your 1st IVF? Congats again!!

    BW, please tell your DH not to be terrified. My DH was fine. It's all over so quickly and there's no pain, just minimal discomfort for a couple of days. Of course it's up to you, but we thought it was worthwhile fixing the problem for all future babies! It might help your chances with IVF also, or mean not needing ICSI. Your appointment on the 11th Jan will help I'm sure. GL !

  2. #20


    Sammi Jane, just thought I'd give you an update on where we are at with the varicocele.

    At the FS appointment we found out that we would need to do IVF+ICSI. The FS says that because of my PCOS that they'd do ICSI anyway as they get a better response, and repeated that he didn't think it was worth worrying about the varicocele. I've now got 4 weeks on the pill to try to get my insulin levels under control - it's not good when you can surprise the specialist with your blood test results!

    We had an appointment with Leah the following day - DH doesn't normally go but he did this time, just so we can talk things through. We'll be going ahead with the varicocele repair, and the ICSI. The short term plan is to use the IVF to get me pregnant ASAP ( ), and long term work towards getting my hormones under control and DH's sperm sorted so that hopefully we won't need to go to such drastic measures with subsequent pregnancies. We'll be going with a local doctor, though - we've found one that does embolisations only about 20 minutes from here, which sure beats the hour and a half from here! Meanwhile, Leah is wanting to get hold of DH so he can be turned into a pincushion too!


  3. #21


    Hi there BW

    My DH has low sperm morph also, but it was not suggested that he had a variocole. What is it, and how is it diagnosed?


  4. #22


    Hi Kim.

    A varicocele is basically a varicose vein in the scrotum - it essentially cooks things and messes up the sperm that way. Our's was picked up as DH had a triple defect - low count, low motility and low morphology. I'm told that it's the triple defect, with an emphasis on the low morphology that could indicate a varicocele. It basically feels like a bag of worms in the scrotum.

    There's 4 conditions that need to be met for a varicocele repair to be worthwhile.
    1 - it is a large varicocele - there are some small ones that can only be detected by ultrashoud, they aren't likely to cause any problems at all.
    2 - semen analysis is not good. If your SA is already normal, then repairing the varicocele isn't going to do anything
    3 - male hormone levels are normal. If they aren't, then it indicates that the infertility/sperm problems are from some other source
    4 - female partner is either fertile or has an easily correctible cause of infertility.

    We meet the first 3, but fall down in a huge way on number 4. Even though we are going IVF, we think that having better sperm to start with should make the job easier, and there's always the hope that my problems will reduce with time and careful management.

    Sorry for the overload of information - I've done a lot of reading on this! (bugs my FS that I have ) If you're at all worried, it might be worth checking out.


  5. #23
    Sammi Jane Guest


    Hi BW,

    Thanks for the update. That sounds like a great plan, and I'm so glad to hear you've got a doctor nearby that will do the embolisation.

    Well, it sounds like you're on your way to getting your BFP!!! And who knows, No.2 might happen naturally!?!

    You must be feeling so relieved to actually be doing something instead of waiting for tests, waiting for doctors appointments, and worrying about what is going to happen. I'm happy for you!

    When is your DH having the embolisation done?? He will be fine, I hope he's ok about it.

    Thanks for letting me know, I have been wondering how you're going.

  6. #24


    It does feel good to finally be heading somewhere, even though in some ways it does feel as though we have stopped for the moment - it's very hard to think of yourself as TTC when you are on the pill, but also nice to know that the scientists and doctors will take care of everything from here - it reduces the stress of wondering whether we BDed at the right time or not! I do also feel good about the fact that Leah is agreeing with the FS on everything apart from the repair - I've really come to trust and value her opinion on these things, probably to the point where I am more willing to trust her instructions than those of the FS, which probably seems odd if you don't know Leah like we do!

    DH has to get a new referral and still wait for an appointment. He gets the referral this evening and hopefully he'll be able to make the appointment with the specialist today. Hopefully once that has happened it won't take long to get the embolisation done as he already has the ultrasound from the old specialist.

    I hope you have success soon in your quest for the ever elusive BFP.


  7. #25
    Sammi Jane Guest


    It must be weird TTC and being on the pill, but I guess those scientists know what they're doing! I hope it all happens quickly for you.

    I know what you mean about trusting Leah. When we found out my DH had a varicocele we were being told all sorts of different stuff and I decided that we had to choose one person that we were going to listen to and ignore all others. We listened to Leah and did what she said. It seems to have worked in that DH's numbers are now normal (just low volume) but we're still not pg!!! Hopefully soon....

    Let me know how your DH goes with the embolisation. I remember when we booked in there wasn't much of a wait so I hope it's the same with you guys.

    Thank you, I hope we get a BFP soon too. This is our last cycle of trying naturally. If it doesn't happen this month we're off to try IUI.

    Take care.

  8. #26


    Thanks for that BW!

    I had a bit of an emotional breakdown last night about everything! I think you can only be positive and block things out for so long and then it hits you! I think its partly had to do with the fact that AF arrived and well, its the last one before my app to start IVF, and you kind of get a little hopeful. And its also partly to the fact that im really SCARED! I dont know how my husbands low sperm morph is going to affect our chances at IVF/ICSI?

    Do you guys often wonder- how many times will I need to do this? When is it going to be all over and I can be normal again? I know I do, and I think about it a lot lately!

    I get really annoyed at my DH because he just doesn't want to educate himself on what his prob is. I do sooooo much research for him, and yes he reads it but you need to fight it don't you? He has resigned himself into thinking- "well this is what Ive got, and I cant change it"- And this really ticks me off!!!

    Anyway I just needed to let all that out! As Im feeling pretty miserable today!
    xx Kim

  9. #27


    Also BW what FS are you seeing as I see that your in Sydney also?

    Ta, Kim

  10. #28


    Kim it is hard! And men do deal with it differently to us!

    There's a book called swimming upstream which is absolutely fantastic! It explains to us how the blokes are feeling, and explains to the blokes how we are feeling - I have found it to be wonderful!

    There's a thread in general conception which discusses it (but it keeps falling off the front page!). If you google "swimming upstream the struggle to conceive" (the full title), you should find the web site for it as the first link where you can order it online. It's not very expensive, and it seems to be written in such a way that men will find it easy to read (light hearted and funny). I can't recommend it enough, and DH is even reading bits of it now without having to be asked or badgered into doing it.

    To be honest, I don't know how the bad sperm is going to effect our IVF/ICSI chances, while we are going to do what we can so that there is better sperm there for them to use, the FS didn't seem too bothered by it.

    We see David Knight at Next Generation Fertility which is in Parramatta. It's still a long way to go for us (we are at Windsor), but there really wasn't anything any closer. The great thing about NGF is that they don't charge extra for ICSI. Most other clinics charge an extra $500 on top of the other IVF charges, and there's no rebate for it. Even the Westmead Fertility Centre (public, non-profit IVF clinic) charges extra, and even though their overall charges were much lower, it was going to cost us more to go there with paying extra for ICSI. The other great thing with NGF is that we were in for our first appointment in just over a week - no long wait at all even though we got in just before they closed over Christmas. I don't know whether that was just very lucky or not, though.

    Men seem to work things out in their heads by themselves, while women need to talk it through a lot, it does make it harder to deal with it alone as a couple without external support. Kim, think about joining us in one of the buddies threads - I've found that support to be absolutely amazing and helpful.

    More big hugs for you, Kim. I'm sorry for the epic post - I seem to be in a very verbose mood today. I hope there's some shred of information in there that you will find useful. Feel free to keep in touch, too.


  11. #29
    Sammi Jane Guest


    Hi Kim.b

    Where are you in Sydney? My FS is fanstastic, he's in St Leonards. If that's handy I'll give you his details.

    I completely understand your 'breakdown'. I have one every month when AF arrives. It's horrible. This is our last month before starting on IUI so I'll be devestated I'm sure.

    Yes I wonder when it's all going to be over. I wonder why I'm having to go through it in the first place! I wish that I was like those people who never know anything about infertility. They don't know how lucky they are. I'm sure once we're pg we'll be back to normal, or at least I hope so!!

    How long have you been trying? My DH has become much more interested in what he can do to improve things as time has gone on. He's tired of waiting too, finally!! They can be difficult sometimes. And I think it's hard when it's their problem so to speak, there's times when I feel very much like it's all his fault, which is unfair but sometimes I can't help it.

    Let it out - it's better out than in!! But then keep your chin up, try not to feel too miserable. Try not to think about what you don't have, but think about what you can do NOW to make it happen. ie, exercise, eat well etc. and feel good in that you're working towards your goal, that you're doing everything you can to make it happen!

    You will get your dream of being pg!!!

  12. #30


    Thanks Sammi,

    Its good to know there are others who feel the same way! My story briefly is that I had a lap done last feb. They found adhesions over my left Fallopian tube, a tubal cysyt outside my fall tube and mild endo. They fixed everything and sent be away with a 'everythings fine now' speech. But when my DH had a SA done his morp came back normal except for his sperm morph- which one test showed 3% normal forms and the next @ 5% normal forms. BUT- we were still told by very good FS that this was OK and that we could still conceive- well I didnt! I went to see another FS in Nov last year who told me that this Sperm morph was not good and we would need IVF/ICSI to conceive. Why is it that two highly qualifield FS led us to believe there wasn't a prob, and another to tell us we needed ICSI. I feel like I have WASTED AN ENTIRE YEAR! I could have been starting IVF last year- another thing that is really annoying me!

    Anyway I have lots of worries: a- to I trust my FS who was also my surgen that my probs are fixed? He was very positive about it but who knows and b- how difficult is it going to be for my DH sperm to be successful?

    Thanks for the vent I really need it today!

    xx Kim

  13. #31


    Kim, the other thing that you may find useful is the acupuncture centre that both me and Sammi Jane go to, it's in Rozelle, which is an hour's drive (usually a bit more) each way for me, but I just won't be without it now, it has been so helpful. Google the Rozelle Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Centre - they specialise in infertility, IVF support, etc, and may have some suggestions of what you could do to help out your DH, and yourself.


  14. #32


    Thanks for that!

    I have spoken to the nurse at the FS who suggested that chinese herbs/accupuncture should be spoken about with my dr first as some herbs etc aren't good to take while doing IVF. But my DH has made an appt with a place in Paddington that I have been too also that does the same thing! But I will look into the Rozelle practise it sounds great!


  15. #33
    Sammi Jane Guest


    Kim.b, it's very frustrating when experts tell you different things isn't it? I don't know how a FS could have told you that 3% morph is ok. Although, in saying that I have read about a number of women who have fallen pregnant with lower morph, but it would take a while.

    Could you have a HSG done to check that your tubes are clear etc for your peace of mind?

    I agree with BW, I would definitely see an acupuncturist to get their opinion on your DH's numbers. Ours is great, but I'm sure the one you've got is good too.

    When are you starting IVF?

    Sam x

  16. #34


    Im going to see my new FS this Friday, hopefully starting IVF ICSI straight away. By the way could I have the name of the accupuncturist you go to in Rozelle.


  17. #35


    The two acupuncturists at the centre are Jann and Leah. Both Sammi and I see Leah. I can never remember how to spell her surname, though!


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