Male infertility can be particularly hard on relationships. Many men don’t want anyone to question their “manhood” and are reluctant to get checked, even though their testing is usually much easier and less painful than the many invasive tests involved in female infertility.
For Sarah and her husband, dealing with irregular cycles along with male infertility, their religion also limited their options for fertility treatments.
Infertility- like faith and religion- is a very personal experience. We all must come to our own peace with the path we take, and remember to be supportive and respectful of others on different paths.
This is Sarah’s story:
It all started in 2007 when I met my husband. He was the most wonderful, kind, caring, considerate person I’ve ever met. We were just meant to be. I had to be with this guy forever.
Before getting married we had discussed having children and decided that both of us being Catholics it wasn’t up to us when or how many children we had. This was up to God.
In 2009 we got married in a stunning catholic church. Our married life began. We were both working full time jobs. I was working a full time job plus a part-time job too. Long hours and very long days.
In June of 2009, one month after our wedding, I had started to do some research on supplements to aid fertility. I soon started taking folic acid daily. It’s always good to have your body in a good place to begin with.
My cycles were irregular. Ranging from 22 days right through to 75 days! I just never knew when it was coming.
In August of 2009 I started taking my temperature and charting daily. I wanted to see if I really was ovulating. That way I could predict when my cycle was coming to an end, and even if I was pregnant. It’s possible to predict all those things from taking your temperature everyday at the same time and charting it on a graph.
In February of 2010, nine months after we had started trying to conceive, I looked in to ovulation predictor kits. I was certain we were just getting the timing wrong.
In April 2010 I went to my first gynecology appointment. I explained to her we were trying to conceive and had been for 10 months with no luck. I explained my cycles were irregular. Could she help?
The gynaecologist gave me a medication called Duphaston for three cycles. All of which still didn’t help to even out my cycles or aid us to get pregnant.
The next step was Clomid. In July 2010 I started my first treatment. I was happy to have some help. Very hopeful. I had heard only wonderful things about Clomid. Pregnancy, twins and even triplets.
Two cycles later clomid was over and I still wasn’t pregnant. I went back to my gynaecologist and asked.. “What’s next?”
She said, “Has your husband been checked? or IVF.”
Wow, had we gotten to IVF already.. Really?
I came home with the knowledge I might never be able to have a baby. IVF was so against the catholic church.
Time to ask my husband if he would go and get tested.
In May 2010 I asked my husband to go and get checked out. I waited… and waited and waited.
By February of 2011 he still hadn’t been. We were at a stand still. My gynaecologist wouldn’t treat me in until she had seen the all clear from my husband.
I was at a loss. Tensions were running high, I was stressed, angry, hurt, upset. I didn’t understand why he wouldn’t go and get tested. All I wanted was a baby. A beautiful baby. The baby I had wished and longed for.
At the end of February I was done. I was an emotional wreck. I wanted to leave my husband. I came back from a trip to the UK and asked for a divorce. He was denying me the one thing I wanted so much. All because of his ego, his pride, his manhood.
This was the wake up call my husband needed. In May 2011 he finally went to get tested.
The result came back two weeks later. That car ride to the clinic was awkward; I was scared, nervous, excited. I just didn’t know what to expect. Could this be the fate of our family?
The result were in. My husband came back to the car where I was waiting and explained that there is some good news and some bad news. First the bad news: things are bad- the count is low, the movement is non existent, and the quality of the sperm are the worst in history.
My mind was racing.. What does this mean?
The good news was that the specialist doctor was hopeful that things can be improved, but it’s going to mean further testing.
Knowing there was hope wasn’t much comfort to me at the time. I was heartbroken. After the last 24 months of trying to conceive, All the time, effort, money and heartache month after month of seeing negative tests. The torture.
From then on, starting in May 2011 right through to December 2011, my husband went for sperm analysis testing every 2 months. Over those 8 months he was on 4 rounds of antibiotics and a cocktail of 8 different supplements daily.
While my husband was being treated for his long list of infections, I was on a mission to find a herbal supplement that would help my cycles stay on track. I came across Vitex, otherwise known as angus catus. I started taking one tablet daily, until… well as long as it took to get pregnant. I wasn’t prepared to stop taking it and have crazy cycles again.
The vitex was working. My cycles were between 30 and 33 days for the following 10 months. I was satisfied we were moving forward in a more positive manner.
Now it was a waiting game. Hoping, wishing and waiting.
In December of 2011, my husband’s supplement’s were coming to an end. He was due for another sperm analysis. We had plans to go to the UK for Christmas, I had expressed to my husband to hold off with the testing, relax and enjoy the Christmas. January is a new year. We will both start a fresh then.
I was regular tester, I loved to pee on a stick.. nearly every cycle around 11 days past ovulation I would test daily in till my period would show. So on December 11th 2011, at 11 days post ovulation, I tested and it was negative. Not again? I thought.
Three days later on December 14th 2011 I tested once again. I had the shock of my life! I saw the faintest of line I’ve ever seen. It was there. A positive line. It was really there..
Did I really have a tiny miracle growing inside of me?
Two days before I was due to fly to the UK, I found out I was pregnant!
We welcome our amazing, handsome, charming, active baby boy in to the world on August 24th, 2012 !
We had fought the battle and won ! Never give up hope. ♥
If you have questions for Sarah, you can contact her on Twitter at: @Journey2dfutre or at her blog: http://journey2dfuture.wordpress.com