MM and I were able to check another item off our DE cycle "to do" list this weekend. We had our joint counseling session with NC, as required by St. Mungo's. MM felt this was an unnecessary formality because we had already discussed all the psychological issues involved with doing this type of treatment long ago, and I think NC kind-of agreed with him. (She did, however, explain why clinics require this and why it's a good thing.) No new ground was covered, but NC did validate my decision NOT to disclose our treatment to my father and stepmother for the reasons I discussed in this post over two years ago. So that was good.
We also got an email from our nurse on Saturday afternoon with the results of MM's semen analysis. (Note to those who know me in real life and are reading: MM would NOT be happy if he knew I am writing about this, so keep it to yourself. Thanks.) MM's last semen analysis was over two years ago, and at that time, so far as we knew, there were no problems. In fact, I believe the local RE said he had "super" sperm. All MM's post-wash counts for our IUIs were good, and we have been under the impression that he has no problems or issues.
Well, we learned yesterday that his morphology is low. It was 4% this time, when it should be >14%. (Last time it was 10%, which in retrospect I realize was low but which our local RE told us two years ago was "fine.") On the positive side, his count and motility are normal.
I don't know that this result has any significant implications for the success of our upcoming cycle. (It does, however, provide an alternate explanation besides "old eggs" for our failure to achieve an ongoing pregnancy in three years of TTC, though.) From what I understand, St. Mungo's would likely have done ICSI on most of our eggs anyway; now they will just do ICSI on 100% of the eggs. Because I know very little about this area, not having realized previously that it was a problem, I have asked St. Mungo's for more information on how, if at all, this might affect the outcome of our cycle.
MM was very upset about this result. For a long time I think he has dealt with our infertility in part by reassuring himself that he was not the one with A Problem. Now it turns out he DOES have a problem that was likely a contributing factor, if not the cause, of our infertility all along. It has been a bitter pill for him to swallow, and he felt that in giving him the news, I was probably happy to find out it "wasn't just [me]."
Um, no. I am NOT happy to find out that he has a problem that we never knew about. Learning this has given me cause to doubt whether our DE cycle will be successful. Before, I thought that we were correcting for the only barrier we've had to conception by replacing my old eggs with younger, better quality eggs. To find out now, so close to our DE cycle, that there is another fertility challenge in the mix in no way makes me feel good.
[Also, had we known this two years ago, I think we might have made a different decision about whether to go ahead with an IVF cycle with my eggs. Might have. But as I am now over 40, that ship has sailed, and I am fully committed to doing DE instead.]
Currently I am off all medications (yea!) and waiting for my post mock cycle AF to arrive. When it does, I will be starting BCPs and coordinating my cycle with our donor's. So we are getting closer all the time.
The only remaining hurdle for us is my sonohysterogram on May 6. I have never before had any type of uterine abnormality, so fingers crossed that this is still the case and we can proceed with our cycle as planned.