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September 02, 2015

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Kacy

This is very useful information.

Meg

The only thing more isolating than infertility in general is male factor infertility. We are dealing with complete azoospermia here. Combine all the jokes about the "family jewels," the need to "sow seed," "shooting blanks," etc. with the general tendency of guys to discuss things less, and the diagnosis can be completely emasculating. It is really, really hard especially for the guy but also for the woman trying to help the guy still feel like one. There don't seem to be great resources for men or blogs or forums like there are for women. And men with male factor infertility feel so excluded from everything because a woman might be able to carry a pregnancy from an egg donor, but a man with MFI just sits on the sidelines while his partner potentially goes through treatments with someone else's sperm. It is so easy to get donor sperm, but it is a much harder struggle for men and there aren't many resources for them to process the whole ordeal and come to terms with using donor sperm. So, thanks for writing about this.

Elisabeth

There are absolutely environmental factors involved in infertility! This is actually GOOD news because that while some factors are hereditary and can't be controlled, research about the environmental factors allows us to consciously make choices that increase fertility or at least avoid infertility. Isn't that awesome? Genetics are part of our story, but we have a lot of choices to determine how our genes affect our lives.

This article helped me understand food-related components: the fact that our low-fat fad continues to deplete fertility, and the correlation between celiac disease and infertility. I think it's worth reading:

http://nourishedkitchen.com/unexplained-infertility/

C

Male factor is probably not hereditary. If you have difficulty conceiving, or if you never conceive, because of male factor, you don't pass it on. So it must be environmental. If you had asked me I would have said my husband had a very healthy childhood, growing up in an agricultural community, eating tons of fruits and veg (he's French). But that's probably what caused his problem, all the fruits and veg, especially the apples he ate all the time down to and maybe past the core. The orchard was a family one, and his father used pesticides. Probably overused pesticides. Not out of laziness but out of a desire to do something, is my guess - he's not the type to sit back and let nature grow the apples. So now we have male factor for my husband and his brothers and cousins, who also come from a family of "agriculteurs". Four children born from IVF among them, and, we are hoping and praying - please pray! we need it! - one more child for us from embryo adoption. His cousin who is in the family ago business would rather believe it is radiation from cell phones, but they didn't grow up with cell phones. It's something environmental in the end. I struggle to forgive and understand my father in law for his pesticide use. I remind myself that having my cell phone always nearby is probably just as bad. We just don't question until later. We need to be conservative with new things, whether pesticides or cell phones.
People always assume we have female IF or if I told them it's male, they forget and think it's my problem. Doesn't matter anymore. I just would rather my girlfriends remember they don't have to tell me their husbands are getting vasectomies!
The female reproduction system is much more complicated than the male. Wouldn't it make sense to address MFI by improving sperm production so the couple can conceive naturally? IVF is a poor solution. In our case, while I probably have normal fertility under natural circumstances, my ovaries rebelled at IVF and we never had success. Thankfully God gave us a miracle several years ago, without our even asking for it. We conceived our child on the "first try" even though we later learned my husband's sperm counts were less than a million. How blessed we are! Praying we get another blessing

marisa

Yeah, no one ever talks about MFI and I mean, is it even studied? While I'm grateful for the opportunity to pursue treatments, I'm still get frustrated with the fact that I'm the human pincushion even with the MFI diagnosis.

yasmara

We had combo infertility - PCOS for me and bad sperm for him. No cause was ever identified but we had to do ICSI with our IVF because his sperm all died really quickly (mortality) and also had terrible mutations & motility. Luckily, we ended up w/2 healthy kids (IVF for 1, FET for 1).

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