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Old Aug 28th, 2011, 10:20 AM   1
MrsAttard
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Transplants and Low Sperm Count


Hi! I just wanted to reach out to other who might be in a similar position as me.

About a decade ago my DH had a kidney transplant. He has to take several medications as part of his kidney maintenance. When he and I started getting interested in having a baby I did some research on his medications.

One med that he takes has been found to lead to a lowered sperm count and infertility. He was devastated (as was I) and angry. Unfortunately it's only been in the past five years that research had made the connection to infertility, at which point he'd already been taking it for half a decade.

I wish we could take him off it, but its not that simple. It keeps him alive (literally) and it's possible that too much damage has already been done. Besides that one med, his others can be harmful as well, though maybe not as much.

What I'm wondering is if other people have been in a similar position and what their outcomes have been? My research says we have about a 20% chance of conceiving naturally, but I'm trying to be optimistic. We're planning on a SA next month, which will make a big difference in our options, but we already know IVF is out of the question for us.

Any thoughts would be appreciated! Wish me luck!



 
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Old Aug 28th, 2011, 17:57 PM   2
wifeyw
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Hi Mrs Attard, My husband and i have been trying to concieve too. We found out the start of the year that he had no sperm in his semen we were so devastated to say the least. But My husband has had his kidney transplant 17 years ago now and i had researched everything and read the same that his med reduced sperm. I on the off chance got in contact with his kidney specialist and had asked her about it and told her our story of TTC and the result we had got and i asked her if she thought she could help would his medication be the cause or cause he's had many surgery down near there as they have to connect the kidney to the artery in the leg ( i didn't know that until DH told me).

We were going to infertility specialist weeks after but she said she will carefully read over his notes with fine tooth comb and get back to us. she did and said She can't see why the medication would effect his sperm but in transplanted patients it is known for them to have a low count anyway many go on to having children naturally. But because we had no sperm we found it weird but she gave us hope in telling us one thing..

She said that the reason for his kidney to fail in the first place was down to narrowing of the tubes she gave a detailed explaination but i can't remember it off hand but she said that she was thinking that as the kidneys and urinary tract etc etc are all connected tubes in some ways she said that it could be something to look into and it could be that it's just blocked. so she wrote us a letter to take to the FS.

DH had a biopsy done and retrieved sperm we have to go down the fertility treatment route, it's not ideal but it is better than not being able to have any biological children as we thought back at the start of this year. We have our next appointment in october haven't got the date as of yet but we positive we are going to need ICSI but we will find out more then.

If you have any more questions please ask i don't mind answering. I think it's worth while next time your partner has his next renal checkup to ask his doctor what we did so look into your notes and give their opinion on what it could be even mention narrowing of tubes i know not everyones reasons behind kidney failure is the same but it's worth looking into.

I know how hard it is to find stories and i've researched it ALOT but i hope this helps ease your worries abit so your not walking as much of a blind road. x

Fingers crossed for the SA please keep me posted.



 
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Old Aug 29th, 2011, 11:11 AM   3
MrsAttard
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Thank you for your thoughts wifeyw! We're supposed to be going in for his checkup next week, so hopefully we can get the ball rolling. Because his surgery was before I knew him I don't know too much about what went on. He's also the type that says, "it's in the past, so why worry about?" so he don't share too many details either. His transplant was due to a genetic defect so I'm not sure if he had the same tube issues your DH did. I'm a little nervous that his SA will be that low. I'm optimistic, but it could be denial too! Thanks again for sharing with me, and I'll definitely keep up with you as things progress.



 
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Old Aug 29th, 2011, 12:28 PM   4
snd80
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Hi girls! Wanted to chime in on our story...

Hubby and I have been married for 12 years. I came off BC one year after we were married and spent the next 6 years NTNP. Then I started getting worried when nothing was happening, but he lost his job, etc and never really got serious until we got back on track money wise. Last year he started having trouble with his blood pressure. He had been on Diovan HTC for 3 years (the dr. that put him on them never did any blood work, just checked his BP and put him on the meds, and we didn't know any better) but they costed like $150 a month and we wanted one that we could actually afford. So he went to a new dr. and they did blood work, etc., and that same day she called him and told him to come back, that they had a kidney specialist waiting on him! We were floored! Needless to say he went in the hospital the next week and found out that he was only born with one kidney and the one he has is only functioning at 10%. He was immediatly put on dialysis and is now on the transplant list. This all happened in December.

In Feb when my very BF told me she was pg, I went nuts. I cried for 3 days as if she had died. I guess she was the only friend that I had that didn't have kids, so I felt left out. I had went to the dr 2 years ago, but never followed up with charts, ov tests or none of that of what he wanted. So I made my appt. and started charting and testing. In April we went to the appt and hubby had his SA done. I have mildish PCOS, do ov, but very late into the cycle and was put on metformin. His SA came back zero count. Again, I went nuts! I stayed in the house for a week and did nothing but cry! For 3 months he has refused to go to the urilogist and I have been miserable!!! Finally we had a blow out about the subject and now he has agreed to go. Our appt. is Sept 20th, and I am praying it is something simple like hormones! We really don't have the $ for ICSI or any of that, but I will take out a fertility loan if I have to! I just cannot live childless! It literally hurts my soul when I see a pg lady or a new baby... I don't think I cried this hard even when my daddy died!

Sorry for the life story, but I guess (in a horrible way, sorry) it is nice to know we aren't alone in the MF infertility/kidney failure issue. I know that sounded bad, but you know what I mean.... Now I have some hope that there are some swimmers somewhere in there and we CAN have a baby of our own. We were prepared for the donor route, but either way it will cost about the same, so I would rather this one...

Thanks for listening and for your posts, and hoping for all our BFPs SOON!



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Old Aug 29th, 2011, 12:41 PM   5
MrsAttard
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I'm sorry to hear about what you been through. Sounds like your DH is kind of stubborn and I can soooo relate on that. I was talking to my DH and turns out he did have some tubes blocked, and a second surgery to replace his urethra and what not too. I'm not sure how or if this affects anything, but it's hard not knowing. I know we just need to go get the SA done, but one step at a time. We're actually going on vacation in two weeks, so we want to hold off until we get back in case we get any bad news.

I'm a little confused on how I feel about everything. On the one side, I never dreamed of being a mother while growing, though I assumed I would eventually. But, now that I know I may not be able to, I don't know what to do.

We've decided that we've only got like 3 years to figure everything out bc DH doesn't want to be more than 35 and still ttc. We know we won't be able to afford IVF or adoption, and can't imagine going into more debt to do so. Anyway, thanks for listening to my rant too!



 
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Old Aug 29th, 2011, 13:29 PM   6
wifeyw
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Hi snd80, Your DH was prob trying to come to terms with it himself, my DH had went through a denial stage and it sounds alot like that's how he coped with the news. He somehow would dismiss it and somehow it will get better. On your first appointment on sep 20th make sure you write down a list of questions you or your DH have to take with you because whenever you get there it's like information overload and you forget the important questions i found it helped alot.

You should write in your signature at the bottom so we can keep tabs on what's going on with you. So sorry it's been so tough... If ever you want to chat we are right here *HUGS* I would be mad if i were you how did they not realize and do checks before the function got so low thats ridiculous. Was he ill? my DH is working 25% or something like that but he had to pick which dialysis he would like to go on if it keeps going down i don't know why because his has been the same for the past couple of years. but anyhow. I know what you mean about not being in it alone, i only wish i knew someone back then who could tell me what i know now because it has been such a hard lonely place to be. I will keep my fingers crossed for you xx

Mrsattard - I don't want to worry u or get your hopes up but it sounds like it would be the same as my DH. It all rests down to FSH and testestrone etc etc hormones blood test my DH came back normal in all them.... Which was a good sign that he was making sperm and they will retrieve some when they went in to do biopsy. They will most prob do 2 SA and the blood work and my DH had a ultrasound scan done to see if the tubes were all there ( although i've heard that it doesn't show much anyway) Then the FS examined his testes to feel if they were normal size because if the testes isn't working as well the testes shrink in size. my DH was normal which all was good. So once we heard that we were confident there were some little swimmers in there. If your DH has any tubes missing the more than likey will do a biopsy.

Not everyones the same as i said but that's the normal tests they would do in some cases a MRI is needed too. but if your DH renal DR says he/she thinks it might be the same case as our get them to write you a letter explaining his/her thoughts cause i think it helped us alot.

or If it is hormones they will just try regulate it with meds but fingers crossed for you and like i said to snd80 it helps to write down any questions you or your DH comes up with, i went though forums of girls in the azoospermia threads and got some questions from them as their DH's had 0 sperm count although none of them had kidney transplants but it does help good luck xx



 
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Old Aug 29th, 2011, 14:02 PM   7
snd80
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What started us down this road was one day my hubby called me from work and told me he was seeing "red swimmys in his vision". I called and made him an eye appt. When he went in, his blood pressure was so high it was bursting the blood vessels in his eyes. He went straight to the dr. after the eye exam and he just stuck him on a bp med. We had never had any problems like that before, so we didn't know better! I kept calling him to see about putting him on a cheaper alternative, and he would never call us back about it, so that is when we made the appt. with the other dr and all this happened. Too, another thing that sent us to the dr. was that he had gotten to where he was only sleeping like one hour a night, later to find out that it was all the fluid built up inside was about to drown him to death. The new dr. told me if we hadn't came in when we did, he would have been dead by Christmas! I can't imagine waking up and finding him dead in the bed! I would have went off the deep end for sure!

Thank you both for all the kind words and encouragement! I will def. make a list to carry w/ us... I swear I have about googled enough to be a urilogist! LOL! It has had me obsessed since we found out. I did read a lot of articles that stated once a kidney patient (that is found to be sterile) has a transplant, sometimes their fertility is restored.... but I can't wait that long. I will be 31 next week and I feel my clock is ticking too close for comfort. Especially after all this!

Hugs to you both and I will keep you updated, and I will try to figure out how to update that ticker thingy... haha!



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Old Aug 29th, 2011, 14:16 PM   8
snd80
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wifey... I meant to tell you that if I were you guys, I would opt to pick the dialysis clinic option.. (if that is available where you live). WAY EASIER! The home dialysis thing is ok if you should opt for the PD type (the one where you take it sleeping), but my hubby was just too overweight for that option. The Hemodialysis home version is too complicated for us. You have to be VERY VERY VERY sterile in your home (not saying that we are nasty or anything, but you know!), and you have to dedicate one room in your home just for it with air purifiers, supplies, etc... plus you have to go to some type of schooling for like a month! I work 6 days a week/46 hours a week and sure don't have time for that. Then if anything goes wrong, you aren't close to a nurse. It is just easier for him to get in the car and go to the clinic. I tease him that it is like an adult daycare. LOL!

Just some food for thought if it does come to that, but praying for you it doesn't!



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Old Aug 29th, 2011, 15:57 PM   9
wifeyw
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snd80- OMG waking up next to your DH not breathing can't even imagine. as for the dialysis my DH was already on them 17 years ago but he did have the home and had the hospital sink installed etc etc but this time he said that he wanted to go in and get them as he said he can still make work and go about his day and said its just the easier for him at this stage in his life.

See the last time he had it he was only young and his mum done the training for him and hooked him up at night and that. My DH is 33 coming in october and said that he wants children too while he can enjoy them and run about being healthy my DH still goes to gym and leads a healthy life and would never mention or say anything about his kidney transplant he has other medical problems aswell... a couple years ago he got lymphoma cancer of the throat... luckily enough he didn't need treatment they said before they treated him they wanted to try and lower his anti-recjection tablets and the cancer went into remission so we are greatful it did but they think it was stress related after his mum died and with a low immune system doesn't help.

My DH is a twin but was the smaller one with most the problems.. but he is so lovely and would never complain about it or let it beat him, he just gets on with things... i actually look up to him for it.

As for the obsessing i think we all get like that, i tend to do it more around the time near appointments or whenever i get down about pregnant women. my aunt is due her baby on wednesday and she found out she was preganant in the same week we found out DH had azoospermia after his first results.. we were devasted then found out within them 2 weeks my 2 friends were pregnant my aunt and my mum came to tell me my sister was pregnant and my cousin. all due soon so these next couple weeks are going to be so hard for us trying to keep a smile on our faces seeing new little bundles of joy coming into the world.

sorry for rambling on... baby dust to you's xxx oh one more thing snd80 can being on dialysis affect your sperm? i wonder if they can still do a TESE/A whenever being on dialysis. i hope everything works out with the dialysis / transplant. xx



 
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Old Aug 29th, 2011, 15:57 PM   10
MrsAttard
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Btw, snd80, I hope everything goes well with his dialysis and he doesn't have to wait forever for a transplant. My DH was really lucky (if you can call it that) bc it was a family genetic thing, and one of his brothers had the issue first. Once they knew that, they had the whole family was tested, and it turns out they were all nearly perfect matches. So my DH got his kidney from his eldest brother, and the other brother with the issue got his from their mother, and now everyone has just one kidney!

Let us know how everything goes and good luck!



 
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