Friday, May 14, 2010

a few more hurdles

So, yesterday our doctor's office called with the results of some of our tests. To re-cap, these are the tests we had done:


-Cervical culture for bacteria
-Blood test for testosterone levels
-Blood test for glucose and insulin


-Third semen analysis, this time with a lab that is supposedly much better at looking at morphology (shape) of the sperm
-culture of semen for bacteria
-PSA test (this is usually done in older men to test for prostate cancer. As I may have mentioned before, though I don't think I have, Ian has had some issues with his prostate and so the doc just wanted to do this test. He doesn't think he has cancer, but he said he was looking for other things with the test. Not sure what.)

(Also, Ian and I talked about it, and he's totally ok with me posting all of this. So, I'm not some meanie wife who is spilling secrets that my husband doesn't want to share- just FYI.)

So, the results:

1. I have ureaplasma again. It's a bacteria. I had it a while back. I don't remember if I mentioned this. Apparently it can come back. Anyway, it can cause difficulty in getting pregnant and also miscarriage. So, both Ian and I are on antibiotics for that. Nasty antibiotics that you have to take on an empty stomach. I took my first one this morning and had to get off the train at 116th because I almost threw up. Didn't help that the girl next to me was eating an egg sandwich. Anyway, so, hopefully this antibiotic clears it up for good. I have no idea how you get it, but I hope it doesn't come back.

2. My testosterone levels are like 3 numbers over the top of the range, so he said this wasn't anything to be worried about. For some reason this makes me insecure, like I'm extra manly or something, but elevated testosterone is normal for PCOS, so I guess it's good that it's not super high.

3. I am NOT insulin resistant! So, that's a good thing. My PCOS is being caused by something else, but not insulin resistance. So, that means I was taking that metformin for like um, 7-8 months? For no reason. UGH. If you're reading this and you have PCOS, make sure they test to see if you're actually insulin resistant. A lot of women with PCOS are, but not all are.

4. His PSA test is not back yet. Neither is the culture for bacteria, though since we're taking this antibiotic, I'm sure if he also has ureaplasma, we'll get rid of it with this round.

5. And finally, his semen analysis. This is the one we were worried about the least. Super D wanted to check it again, because he said the labs we had gone to before didn't really know what they were looking for in regards to morphology. He's had two prior semen analyses that turned out perfectly. However, when they called us yesterday, they said his morphology was off. The range they gave us for normal was 8-14% and Ian's was showing at 3%. This is sad news. If the sperm morphology is off, then they have a hard time fertilizing the egg, because they either have an odd shaped head or tail.

There's no definitive way to tell what causes it. A lot of the online research we did last night said to stop smoking (he doesn't) drinking heavily (he doesn't) doing drugs (nope) riding bikes (nope again) going into hot tubs (no) and eating junk food (very rarely). So, there's not a lot we can change lifestyle wise. We both are going to start exercising more, and we're going to try yoga. He may try acupuncture, or maybe not, but that's an option too.

As I mentioned before, Ian has been dealing with pelvic issues since December. It started out presenting as prostatitis, but then moved to his "boys". He's always just a little sore down there and has gotten used to it for the most part, but it's caused a lot of stress for him. He's gone to many doctors and had many tests, but no one seems to know what it is, except for just calling it "Chronic Pelvic Pain". Anyway, this could have something to do with the morphology too. Again, just no way to know what's really causing it yet. We'll probably have to see a Dr. before we really know. Lots of sites say that there's not much to be done, and then some give you more hope.

The thing that made me the most sad was every time I googled PCOS and poor sperm morphology, it always took me to a blog or a message board talking about how they had to do IVF because of all their challenges. This was like the last thing I ever wanted to consider. I'm really trying not to get ahead of myself. Because I also read today that it takes up to 3 semen analyses to really see what's going on. So, maybe that one was a fluke.

Anyway, we'll figure it out. It's discouraging news, because the last thing we needed was more problems in that area. As we like to joke, "We have broken junk." We totally do. But, we'll figure it out. Just another hurdle we'll have to figure a way around.

Good thing I have the best partner in the world to navigate hurdles with.



  1. Well, at least everybody's junk is broken. Junk therapy!

  2. M, I totally read that as "unREALplasma". You two are simply amazing! What a gift that you guys are sharing with us all! (Even though I know you are frustrated!) I'm in awe of you.

  3. i'm soooooooooo sorry. :( ... we had the same issue with the morphology. j's was a 4% ... i did learn some interesting tidbits about it, though ...

    my regular doc told me the thing about the 8-14% being good, so we were pretty worried as well.

    when i went to the RE, she said, that 4% (so i'm assuming 3%) really is okay, and that 8-14% range is what they characterize as *optimal*. she said the *average* is 6% ... so that made us feel a whole lot better.

    she also said that it's very possible to have an "off month" here and there, and not to get discouraged about it [i know it's hard not to!] ...

    ALSO, (sorry for all this info, i hope it's helpful!) ... apparently the "shelf life" for a sperm is really 90 days - 3 months, meaning, if he had a fever anytime in the last 3 months, that could affect the morphology as well.

    j used to get night sweats BAD a few times a week. he's been going to acupuncture twice a week for the past couple months (HIS insurance pays for it ... wish mine did!) and the night sweats are getting better ... so who knows!

    anyways ... i'm sorry about this news. i remember when i heard about j's i felt yucky too.

    also, my doc told me about some study where some nutrient found in carrots (??) seemed to help the shape! you can eat pineapple and he can eat carrots! ;)