Friday, 4 August 2017

Love, Cancer, Kids, IVF, etc..

I decided to write our story because probably it can helps someone, give hopes or another perspective. My husband got Testicle cancer with spread in the peritoneal area (2013). He underwent two surgeries: Orchiectomy and Retroperitoneal Lymph Node Dissection (RPLND). Unfortunately one of the side effects of the RPLND is retrograde ejaculation. He was told by the surgeon that he will never be able to have antegrade ejaculation.

The way to go for having family was IVF (In vitro fertilization). Two years after the diagnose of cancer, we started our first ICSI/TESE.  Long protocol, Puregon 75 IU, 14 eggs, 8 fertilized, 6 good enough. 4 Embryo transfers, all negative.

No one really prepared us for such a difficult journey both physically and emotionally.

We decided to try in Spain, Second ICSI/TESE. Short protocol 75 IU menopur 75 IU Puregon, 18 eggs, 13 mature, 6 fertilized, just 2 survived 3 days. One Transfer of  two  3 days embryo, 10 cells, 8 cells, less than 5% fragmentation. 6 Days after transfer I got my first BFP (Big Fat Positive) but 3 days later I got my menstruation. I did have what is called biochemical pregnancy. The happines of BFP was short. Very short.

IVI Barcelona Spain told us that our possibilities using my husbands sperm were very low. They recommended us to use Donor Sperm. But wait a minute??? I have been reading so many IVF websites and they more or less sell you the idea that  ICSI is the solution for Male Fertility Issues. We have tried two ICSI/TESE, and there I was, getting used to the idea that we were going to try a third time. But this time, I decided to study, research, read, etc.

Motherhood, It can mean many things, and our own definition of it is defined by our personal experiences.  To me motherhood mean the act of raising and give my love to a child.  My main motivation is to have a family with my husband, the man I love, the man I am married to,  not matter where that family come from. I know my husband wanted his own biological children but after the whole IVF experience, it was not easy to accept the idea of DS (Donor Sperm). I told him to think about, what was the most important: To have a biological child or become a father.

It can sounds strange but after two failed ICSI, it was more easy for me to accept DE (Donor egg) than Donor Sperm. I felt inside of a hurricane of emotions. I knew that we did have better chance without using TESE but with another method of Sperm retrieval. Also, my husband did froze down sperm before the cancer operation. We decided to go for a ICSI package of  3 tries, if the first 2 do not work 3rd try will be with DS, thats it. No matter the result. That was the plan.

TESE is not the only way of sperm retrieval, unfortunately it has become so standard that its the only procedure that the majority of IVF clinics around the world offers. There are other methods:
Sperm bladder harvest, Vasal Sperm aspiration, Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (PESA, MESA). Among the sources of retrieved sperm, testicular sperm (TESE, TESA) are the least mature and fertilizable.

We have learned also that semen quality can affect embryogenesis from a very early stage.

I did contact an urologist from USA and an Androlog from Norway, both advised us Sperm Bladder harvest. Specially because my husbands's sperm analysis  found in the bladder was Very good for ICSI.  We found ourselves fighting against a system were the only accepted method was TESE/TESA. We were so frustrated. But I didn't give up. The last month I have been reading a lot. I learned more and more about the situation of my husband surgeries and the whole process.

One day I came home and said, I have Plan A, B, C, og D (^.^)

Plan A was based on two medical research  made in patients with retrograde ejaculation due to RPLND.  As I understood it,  when you undergo RPLND the sympathetic nerves running parallel to the spinal cord may be damaged during the procedure, which can result in  an inability to ejaculate. The Patients that were part of the medical research were put on a Tryciclic Antidepressant, why? well, it seems that the medicine increased sympathetic activity, which could help to activate the nerves that were damaged or severed damaged during the RPLND.

We managed to get a recept for the medicine and started Plan A. My husband took for 3 days the medicine, unfortunately, he did get one of the rare effects of the medicine, lack of erection. It was really sad, I thought: What we have done wrong for deserving this?. So I told my husband, stop the medicine. We go for Plan B. We went to a party, we did have a good time. Came home around midnight. It has passed 40 hours since the last pill. My husband was curious. Then, It happened, My husband got full of excitement into our room and said:

Did you want to know if it works? It did work, it did work. My husband after 3 years of being told that he will never be able to have antegrade ejaculation, did it. It was AWESOME.

Now our hopes are bigger. I feel so happy for my husband. When a man miss antegrade ejaculation its a big deal. My husband took it the best he could. What it matters for us is that he is alive and healthy. He didnt need radiotherapy and not even chemotherapy.

I put my husband to take Oral antioxidant  therapy for the sperm. He has been training and eating healthier.  We got his results of Testosterone and Free testosterone and they have improved. He was over the moon. I saw in his eyes how much he wanted to cry, it has been very difficult for him.

Here we go Denmark!!. We bought a 3 treatments package from an IVF Clinic in Århus Denmark. I started at the beginning of october 2016 with very low dose of menopur because my Estrogen levels can get very high very quick. 18Th October the Clinic transfered 2 3days embrios. Now we did have to wait 14 days for the results.

I dont feel like a failure if we dont manage to have biological kids, I can still be mom even if I dont get pregnant. Life is not over if I dont get pregnant life is not over if I dont have kids. The things I can not control I let them go, it gives me peace, it makes my life to go on, and I am not on my own. I have an amazing husband. I dont feel sad or jealous at all when I see women with their pregnant belly. I am happy and I am Alive.

I started to take a pregnancy test everyday to see pregnyl 10000 IU to go out from my body and see the changes to positive or negative test.

Gravid = Pregnant.

16 weeks

before our baby was born

Our baby boy was born exactly on the IVF Due Date, 40 weeks exact. what it did worked for us? My Husband did use the Tryciclic Antidepressant pills as the researches advised to do, we travelled to Århus, he managed to ejaculate and that was the sperm used for fertilizing  my eggs.

Here we are: NO TESE/TESA, just ICSI. 

No comments:

Post a Comment