Have any of your DH's been diagnosed with a varacocele? And if so have any of you had it repaired? I'm pretty sure our IVF cycle failed this month. I get my blood test back today but I'm spotting so I'm assuming it's not gonna be good news. So I am trying to find out any information to make our next try more successful. We were diagnosed with low sperm count, low motility, low morphology, and our doctor has suggested that we try and repair the varacocele. I just haven't been able to find any information that proves the surgery increases fertility. Any information would be helpful. Thanks! And good luck everyone!
Has your DH been to a urologist? We were having problems and I knew that I had the PCOS and that I hardly have a period. Also I found out in February that I have endometriosis. Then they went to check out my husband. Well, more bad news. My husband's sperm came back at nil and my OB/GYN referred him to a urologist. Unfortunately when the urologist repeated the test he came back with 0 sperm count or azoospermia so we made the very difficult choice to use a sperm donor. I was praying that it was due to the varacocele since the OB/GYN had mentioned this to us as a possible cause. Both my OB/GYN and the urologist said that often times it can be repaired or they can go in and retrieve the sperm, wash it, and then do an IUI or an IVF. Once that second test came back though we knew we had to look into other options. So we decided to go ahead and go with a sperm donor and our OB/GYN referred us to the fertility doctor we are now seeing after he (the OB/GYN) performed a lot of the fertility tests to help see where we stood. We obviously didn't get very far with the urologist due to the azoospermia so we didn't ask about success rates, etc... Hopefully someone else on this forum will have more information about the details. I just know that both my OB/GYN and the urologist said that if his azoospermia had been caused by basically blockage then there was a fair chance it could have been fixed. I would maybe ask my doctor about having him referred to a urologist who specializes in or is familiar with those sorts of things. The urologist my husband was sent to said point blank that it would be a waste of our time and our money to continue to try to retrieve viable sperm from my husband. The fertility doctor said that we could go on and try to retrieve some from my husband but he wouldn't really recommend it. We said, no because we felt like that was the best thing for us and that it would have been really unrealistic for us to try with him. I was devastated at first and horrified at the idea of using a donor. My husband wanted it as soon as he heard the news. Now, I've made peace with it. His mother and sister are the only ones we've told and they couldn't care less that we're using a donor. They're just thrilled about us trying to have a baby. I had my first IUI on May 4th and I get to find out May 18 if I'm pregnant or not. Knowing is better than not knowing because then you can make a decision. I would definitely call my doctor and ask if he could refer us to someone who deals with those sorts of things and see what they have to say first hand. At least then you can see where you stand, hear where the statistical evidence lies and then make an education decision as to what to do. I wish you the best of luck!!! Hopefully everthing can be taken care of in your DH's case!!!!! I know it's hard. Good LUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My DH has been diagnosed with a varacocele on both sides. So the decision now is to try and get it fixed to improve our chances, or just try IVF again. I just don't know if the surgery would be worth it. Hopefully someone out there has experienced this. It's good your DH is willing to use a donor. I hope it works for you guys. Thank you. Good luck on the 18th.
I know our situations are different. I just wanted to let you know that our OB/GYN seemed really hopefully about the varacocele so I just kind of hoped to help encourage you and let you know that it is possible. Hopefully they'll be able to work with your husband and get everything straightened out . Thanks so much for the luck!!! I need it!!! Only 3 more days!!! Yeah!!!!
My husband has a varacocele which he has had for about 15 years (he's 29). We did a sperm count test and he came back with around 50million A and B straight swimmers. So the Dr. said that surgery wasn't necessary for us at this time unless he was experiencing pain or discomfort. It's rather large and at times does get in his way. It looks like a 3rd testicle.
The dr. said that the reason it can cause infertility is that the increase of warm blood to the area will kill off or damage the sperm. So removing it would almost immediately to at least fairly quickly return male fertility.
I have my own set of fertility problems (I have a prolactin producig pituitary tumor and PCOS) so we aren't going to look at surgery for him for awhile, only if it become necessary. But probably we will just opt to adopt if we can't make this happen.
Nat256- Oh I see. So your urologist saw the possibility of a varacocele repair to increase your fertility? We have not been to see a urologist yet, but DH had an ultrasound that confirmed the varacocele on both sides. I'm thinking now it's worth looking into. At first we just kinda blew it off since we were doing IVF with PICSI. But now that cycle failed, so we are rethinking our options. Thanks for the information, and good luck on the 18th!
SarahB79- It sounds like your Dr. is also an advocate for the surgery. It is very difficult when you have multiple obstacles in your way. I hope you guys are able to make it work!
Yeah, when the results came back and they found 0 sperm my OB/GYN said that it's called azoospermia. He said there are several causes for azoospermia as well as low sperm or poor sperm quality (mobility, etc...). He said that specifically for azoospermia a lot of times the cause is a blockage, one such type of very common blockage he said is due to a varacocele vein. He said that in that case often times (he said it depends on the specifics of a case) but that often times it can be successfully repaired. He said though that he is not an expert in the area and that is the reason why he sent us to a urologist. The urologist found though that my husband had no varacocele vein. Nor did he have any other type of blockage. The urologist said that had it been the varacocele vein he might could have repaired it. Apparantly, it depends on the specifics of each individual and how "bad" I guess it is. I don't know. From what I understood it wasn't like a 100% for sure it would work and they could fix a varacocele type of thing but that it does work for a lot of men, that's how I took it anyway. At least we would have had a shot had that been my husband's problem but we really didn't get any farther with the urologist than that because my husband's 0 sperm count wasn't due to blockage. They couldn't fix him because there was nothing to fix. The fertility doctor ran some genetic tests and found that my husband is basically an xxy male (which is ironic because he is very masculine and has a normal testerosterone count but I guess that's part of that syndrome some men show it, some don't). At some point my husband may have been producing sperm but it would have been low and poor quality. So we had no choice but to adopt or go with a sperm donor. Yeah, I think it's fantastic that he wanted to go with a donor. I was very much against it at first and I was the one who wanted to pursue adoption but he said he wanted to have one of his own even if the child wouldn't be genetically linked to him. He's the one who really, really, really wanted it and he and his family have been really supportive and great about it. I'll be praying for you. Good luck to you!!!!
"According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), approximately 1 couple in 6 has difficulty conceiving. It is estimated that male infertility is a factor in about 30–40% of these cases. The most common cause for infertility in men is an enlarged mass of veins in the spermatic cord within the scrotum (called varicocele). The spermatic cord is made up of veins, arteries, lymphatic vessels, nerves, and the duct that carries sperm from the testes to the seminal vesicles (vas deferens).
Overall, varicocele contributes to approximately 40% of male infertility cases. In men who have fathered a child but are no longer able to do so (a condition called secondary infertility), varicocele is the cause in as many as 80% of cases. Surgery to correct varicocele (called varicocele repair or varicocelectomy) can improve the shape and structure (morphology) of sperm. Following varicocele repair, approximately 50% of men are able to father a child within the first year."
My husband had double varicocele surgery last October. His counts went from 500,000 or 2 milion to 12 million. Not a ton, but they still went up. We did IVF with ICSI and we got pregnant, but miscarried at 6 weeks. IUI does not work for us and we've been trying for nearly three years. We are trying naturally for awhile and we'll start up again with aggressive ttc in the fall...maybe.
I'm so sorry to hear about your miscarriage. Those can be devastating.I know what you mean. We are taking a break right now as well. It's nice to find someone who actually went through the surgery. Was it very hard on your husband? Did your husband have any abnormal morphology and if so did the surgery improve that as well? Thank you for the info, and good luck to you! Hopefully it will happen soon!
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