When ICSI doesn’t work
Meet Gareth James, who spoke to me to share his experience of male factor infertility and how, when it comes to fertility investigations, men are often the ignored partner. Here he is with wife Sarah.
Gareth and Sarah had an initial diagnosis of PCOS and Gareth was diagnosed with poor sperm parameters but very little consideration was given to his issues. No advice was given apart from to stop smoking and reduce alcohol. He felt completely ignored and the focus was all on his wife.
After the third cycle of ICSI a nurse at the clinic suggested that Gareth considers having a DNA fragmentation test. After failed cycles and two miscarriages, this was the first time he had heard of this.
However the consultant advised against this.
Experts in the field – Dr Jonathon Ramsey felt that Gareth had been given incorrect advice from the clinic consultant, based on the age of his wife and their individual situation.
Gareth has high levels of oxidative stress in his sperm and is now making significant lifestyle changes such as nutrition, stopping alcohol, reducing high-intensity exercise.
Both Gareth and Sarah have had counselling to help cope with the emotional impact of infertility. They feel isolated among their friends who have not experienced infertility. They would love to find other couples in their area who have experienced similar situations.
Gareth has raised a complaint against their clinic and the NHS and has been informed that the Trust as complied with their policies. However, he argues that their policies are out of date. He firmly believes that had he been referred to a urologist at the start or at least informed of this so he could have sorted a private a referral, this would have made a significant difference to the outcome.
Following tests, chromosome issues were identified and this can lead back to sperm DNA fragmentation. Gareth now feels he doesn’t want to go through fertility treatments again and is concentrating on natural fertility for the next 6 months and if unsuccessful they will consider embryo donation or adoption.
Garth’s advice to men – make sure you look at your own fertility. See a urologist and have the tests on offer to save time and emotional heartache.
You also hear a conversation with Jonathan Ramsay from a previous episode I shared – when my hubby and I went to visit him. Please click here to listen
I also mention a piece of research that is taking place, studying causes of male infertility since there is so little research about this – you get a free semen analysis, DNA fragmentation test and testosterone test. If you are interested please use the following link to find out more
Source: The Fertility Podcast