taboo issue?

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-13-2004
taboo issue?
5
Tue, 11-09-2004 - 4:32pm
Any nonjudgmental advice, encouragement, feedback, and experience would be so very appreciated. I’m sorry this is long. I���m confused and I think I’m in a good situation but time is ticking and I need advice. I'm 40, TTC#1. My tests came back great. FSH 6.8 before and 6.2 after clomid challenge, estriadol 39.2 before and 389 after, and the HSG showed everything in good working order. In September, DH’s counts were 6 million, 40% (score 2), and 2% normal morphology for the Kruger Criteria, but good volume. Last week he began taking FertileOne so it’ll take ~3 months to improve. Do we wait 3 months for the FertileOne to improve his counts and try on our own or start immediately with IUI which we’ll have to pay for? And then there’s clomid—even though I’m fine they like patients to take the drug to up their chances. The clomid makes me so dry I don’t want to BD. The clock is ticking but is it that bad to wait if my tests are good?

There’s another issue and I haven’t seen anyone discuss it on these boards. To improve his counts, DH must stop using the one recreational drug that helps the most with his anxiety in writing his dissertation which he MUST finish this year. It has a paradoxical effect on him and does not make him sleepy but gets him active and allows him to ignore his very loud inner critic and finally write. It works better than any therapist or prozac or other prescription drug has. I don't touch it. I don’t like it because it lowers his counts, but I do see that it works really well for him, the amounts are small and he is not abusing it. I cannot see him stopping entirely for 3 months AND face the debilitating anxiety of this PhD work. We HAVE to finish this dissertation and move on to the next step in our lives and it cannot be put on hold for 3 months, the time it takes to get his counts up. He has cut back to smoking a bare minimum and I don’t want to cause any further stress for his writing.

Do we try to conceive on our own for 3 months or do we go straight to IUI or even straight to ICSI which is what my RE is leaning toward, simply because I am 40 and his counts were low 2 months ago? His counts could be higher since he has cut back significantly and he's taking the Fertile One. We have no funds but where there’s a will there’s a way.

Again, any nonjudgmental advice, encouragement, feedback, and experience would be so very appreciated.

-Pea

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-09-2004
In reply to: peapuppy
Tue, 11-09-2004 - 4:50pm
pea

My SO tells me that long term use does have its hazards for your man, but so do a lot of other things, and the studies have not been all that convincing.

Worrying about it can't be helping you either. Take it from this 44 YO SW, that the best thing you can do for him and yourself, is to stop belaboring every fine point. God and good drugs have the final say it seems. After a MC from an accident at 4 months and then others this past year, I can tell you that clomid is my fear, since it is an unknown, and your message has helped me as I give you some cyber HUGS... I have to stop worrying!!!

I got my thesis done in much the same way that your Dh is trying to, and I survived it. So will you both. Im sure. My So reminds me that he, too, is trying to make a baby, and I cant really expect him to feel any less anxiety than I do. (Now if I can only get HIM to take the clomid!)

tree

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-13-2004
In reply to: peapuppy
Tue, 11-09-2004 - 11:13pm
Thanks, your words are supportive. It's easy to forget that others go through dissertations and similar struggles. I guess my conundrum is that the key to the 1 thing we have to do seems to be a potential roadblock to the other #1 thing we need/want to do right now. I wonder if anyone has experience/success/anecdotes increasing SA counts and trying naturally before IUI or ICSI while their SO/DH continues occasional use.

Worrying is definitely the hairy monster we could all do without. There is NO GAIN from worrying, only loss. I offer you strength and big hugs too in staying on the path which, as you have described, can be full of unknowns, pain, and loss. My answer to my HSG fears (they couldn't get the catheter in and ultimately it was nothing, no actual pain, just a sudden dose of fear while laid quite open & vulnerable) and clomid's scariness and my husband's own concerns and legitimate fears that feel like cinderblocks when they drop is to remember that women left and right of me are marching through all of this--with and without supportive partners, that childbirth itself is going to steal meaning from all of this, the hormonal shifts of pregnancy are probably nothing next to clomid, and wearing your heart outside your body by having a child will very likely render so many of these fears almost laughable. Women are amazing. We just plow forward. And we have each other to hold us up.

My next RE appt. is Nov 18. They say my "perfect" HSG isn't so perfect, that there may be some pooling of the ink before it flowed out to be concerned about. Has anyone felt that giving nature too much time, 3-6 more months, even though "most" things are working ok, was too long a wait? are you glad you did it? wish you did it? I'm deciding between taking action and not --yet--(cost, intervening, & unpredictable drugs are all issues), and I think there is some rationale in giving Fertile One a chance if the reduced smoking may be enough to make a difference.

Thanks again, Tree for your words.

-Pea

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-09-2004
In reply to: peapuppy
Wed, 11-10-2004 - 8:18am
Pea

Thanks back at you.

My So and I managed to conceived a couple of times despite his partaking in the same 'relaxer' as your Dh has. I’m not advocating this, not by a long stretch, but you might want to think about something, considering we can't change other's behaviors (short of tying them up and leaving them in the closet, save for O Day.) How much of your concern is based on social stigma? Yes, it does lower counts-- But in our drive to be perfect in all ways because our need and desire and craving for a child is so great, is so overwhelming, we are trying to the finest of points to do everything right! Again, I think we ought to always do the easy stuff when we can, since we are going through extraordinary things in order to procreate. But please, Pea, you sound like such an intuitive, rational woman... think...

Take A Deep Breath.

If he will not stop, if he can't stop, if you want him to, if you don't want him to but feel guilty... Maybe you need to face and accept whichever it is, because you really seem quite upset about this. I sense that it’s a combination of factors, a pile of swill that we all feel and fear as we go through this. Loss of control.

Now if you can stand my saga of clomid… See how I call it a saga after a couple of doses? I prove my own point mentioned above, in doing that. Anyway, I am a lunatic and I need to have someone come and lock ME in that closet. My SO said, "Please close the window! Living with you is starting to feel like camping out in January." lol

We decided to give this three tries. We will keep trying naturally for as long as the Good Lord sees fit for me to continue to plop out eggs. Then it's the adoption route next year. And really, I have room in my tent for a child, no matter where it comes from. That's the peace I make with myself each day. I can’t allow myself to get caught up in the process to the exclusion of all else. That’s just my way. I’m NOT suggesting it ought to be yours. I hope you know what I mean.

Peace to you, too, Pea.

Email me if you need anything. I relate so much to what you have said these past couple of days.

Tree

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-16-2004
In reply to: peapuppy
Thu, 11-11-2004 - 5:28pm
Hey Girl

I am working on my PhD too, so I understand the level of stress he is under. Lots of things cause decreased motility and count, stress being one of them. So I guess you two have to decide which is the bigger problem, a little smoke or a lot of anxiety!! I do not support the use of illicit drugs, but how insane that a medicine proved over and over agian to be helpful in so many diseases is not being sold legally, by prescription in it natural form to people who need it. There are many many many dangerous drugs that are prescribed every day, I am still perplexed why this particular drug has such a bad rap. Sorry if I stepped on anyones toes, its just one women's opinion. FYI, The active ingredient is available in a medication called Marinol(Dronabinol). It is used as an anti-emetic, maybe you can get your doc to presecribe it for your husband.

Peapuppy, any medications, over the counter, prescription or alternative need to be discussed with your health care provider, and if they get judgemental, you need a new health care provider. You have to be able to have full disclosure with your doc, or he cannot help you, but ultimately, you are in charge of your health care, and everyone else is just a partner.

Good luck to you and your DH.

Sophia

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-13-2004
In reply to: peapuppy
Fri, 11-12-2004 - 1:41am
Thanks, for your words, Sophia. It's a weirdly regulated world out there. Frankly, I think marijuana is probably safer and milder in it's natural form in tiny doses (except the smoke) rather than concentrated and mixed with fillers in a pharmaceutical preparation.

Anyway. I look forward to my next meeting with my RE and DH's SA's at end of January. I'm hoping Fertile One does the trick as promised! Good luck to all. -pea