Saturday, January 22, 2011

Back from the Andrologist

The long awaited, long overdue andrology appointment for Mr. Hammer was yesterday.  We were actually concerned it wouldn't happen because a snow storm came through the day before.  Since we were going to a satellite clinic where both us and the Dr would have to travel we had reason to be concerned.  But the storm was not as bad as predicted and the snow quickly melted in the midday sun.  We did make sure to leave earlier than planned and had no problem getting there. 

We had been asked to complete a very extensive health history for Hammer which included the history of infertility on his father's side.  And I also brought copies of every SA Hammer had ever had done by our RE plus the DNA fragmentation results and the list of supplements he is taking.  I have to admit that I was nervous the Dr would look at how Hammer's SAs had improved, dismiss the DNA test and laugh us out of the clinic.  When we arrived at the clinic we did not have to wait at all and Hammer was immediately weighed and we were taken into an exam room.  Once in there we did wait nearly a half hour before the Dr came in.  Hammer began to get increasingly more nervous but he never complained considering everything I had already been through, this was very minor.  Once the Dr came in he apologized and explained that there was a lot of information to review and that Hammer was in a small but 'elite' group of men vying for the most SAs ever performed.  Lucky us.

I'll just say it now, this appointment was everything that we prayed it would be.  For the first time in a long time somebody took us seriously.  He even created an excel sheet timeline (A man after my own type-A heart!) of each SA and had us fill in when the various supplements were added.  He said that from where we were at right now based upon the most recent two SAs everything was finally looking normal and he felt we were on the right track.  He reviewed the supplements and was very pleased with every thing Hammer was taking and said it was exactly what he would have prescribed (yea!)  He did not think anything else was necessary which I was glad to hear. 

Then came the part Hammer was dreading; the physical exam.  But the results were good as well.  There is a small spot on the left side that he'd like to get an ultrasound of but said it very well could be a benign cyst.  He prefers to be thorough and still would like to get it looked at just in case especially with our long history of infertility.  So we'll be getting that scheduled in the next few weeks.  Hammer will also get his testosterone and estrodiol levels tested and if they are off he will be medicaid as appropriate.

Finally he discussed our DNA results which he agreed was a major problem.  What vindication we felt after having our current RE tell us he "didn't believe in it."  He confirmed that at our level it would not only prevent creation of a healthy embryo but would lead to early miscarriage.  The fact that we had a healthy fetus this last time was a good sign that we are figuring things out.  Of course if my body was involved in the loss of our last pregnancy then it does give us hope to know that we really might be getting closer.  He is also going to have us do a repeat DNA test in March after we've done a few lifestyle changes i.e. get that darn laptop off you lap like I've been telling you for the past 3 1/2 years *sigh*  And also because I discovered that while we were in Marco Island, FL Hammer sat in the hot tub so the Dr wants to make sure that we've had 3 months of supplements post 3 months from the hot tube incident of 2010.  He also confirmed that 'cleaning the pipes out' before the test would be helpful except instead of seven days he wants ten days, abstain one day and then provide the test sample.  When we told him we did about 6 days prior to our most recent IVF he was very encouraging about the benefits of that technique for our success.

We left there so encouraged and hopeful.  I wish I would have demanded a referral the minute we got the first DNA test results.  But in reality we would have likely ended up going to the super old local guy and not this one.  I'm so glad we chose this Dr.  and both Hammer and I agree it was not only a great decision but we would refer anyone we knew to him in a heartbeat.  He took so much time with us, listened to us, made us feel so comfortable, was so professional and knowledgeable and we haven't had that sort of treatment in a long time.

So the plan:
  • Ultrasound of the left side 'spot'
  • Blood work for testosterone and estrodiol
  • Continue vitamins and lifestyle changes i.e. laptop
  • Based upon the results of the blood test we'll do a repeat DNA test in March or early April with the 10 day; abstain 1 day; test sample 'technique'

If our results come back close to or in the normal range then he would have us do the 10-day technique for our next fertility treatment.  Of course Hammer and I need to talk about that part.  Ever since Hammer found out that our baby was healthy he's pulled back from adoption.  It was totally unexpected so honestly I'm not sure what this means quite yet but we're just taking this one step at a time.  This coming Tuesday we'll learn about the results of my labs.


Hillary said...

So thankful this was such a helpful appointment, and yay for an action plan! :)

Mrs. Katia said...

I'm so glad you found a doctor who actually believes in DNA fragmentation. Amazing how, despite all the studies, there are so many doctors who throw all of it out the window. Thanks for the update!

Kelly said...

I'm so happy that the appointment was what you wanted it to be. Sometimes all it takes to make us feel better is a doctor who listens and is interested.

BTW..I left you an award on my blog if you want to check it out....

Kerri said...

So glad you're starting to get some encouraging answers and that you've found a doctor (Type A too!) that you trust and feel good about. Major progress. I'm looking forward to hearing how everything goes over the coming weeks.

Dr.Rajesh said...

Great blog thanks for all I here about DNA fragmentation and its amazing.
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