- Men's Health & Wellness
A female's experience with Male Infertily
I had a child. Then, I was unable to conceive again (which is called Secondary Infertility), I went to my OB/GYN and they automatically assumed it was my issue and put a Band-Aid on it, by putting me on the infertility medication, Clomid. I, personally, had a hard time with this. My family is very, VERY fertile. Both my grandmothers had 5 and 7 children, respectively. I got pregnant THE day my now ex-husband got home from a 6 month deployment, with #1, a very handsome boy, if I do say so myself. He had the most beautiful curls in the back of his head, just like his mom did. He had the most killer smile, that I now see on my youngest niece's face.
And I got to say, it must be true about my family being fertile, because my 42 year old brother is expecting baby #2, with his wife. They are ecstatic. They wanted to have their kids as soon as possible before my brother started looking like, "grandpa," at Elementary School functions. (Those were his words, not mine.) Of course, you cannot tell that my brother isn't the same age as his young wife. Just his body aches make him feel older.
Anyway, I just do not want you ladies to put pressure on yourself. MEN HAVE FERTILITY PROBLEMS TOO!!! BOTH should be investigated for infertility issues. NOT JUST THE WOMAN!!!!
I am going to explain what Varicose Veins of the Scrotum is, and just how quickly after his surgery that I got pregnant with #2, who had dark hair when she was born. The tips of her hair looked like it was kissed by the sun. The tips looked highlighted. Every time I tried to put this child into her crib after rocking her to sleep, she would feel me pull her away from my body and start crying. When she was in Elementary School, we found out she was gifted. Which wasn't surprising to me, since she did her first multiplication problem when she was 4 years old. (NOT KIDDING!!) It was amazing to watch her little mind work as she did that multiplication problem so many years ago. (4x4 = 16)
Either case, I want women to be equipped with the knowledge of having their significant other checked for fertility. IT IS NOT JUST A WOMAN'S ISSUE!!!!
What is Varicocele?
Varicose Veins of the Scrotum is similar to Varicose Veins in your legs. The veins in the testicles are enlarged, which is a common cause for low sperm production and quality. It can also cause testicles to not develop normally and shrink. The condition develops over time. If it causes symptoms, it can be repaired surgically. (Thankfully my 42 year old brother does not have this issue, because I doubt that he would go under the knife to have it corrected.) While I was living with my brother, before he married his wife, we talked about his fertility, as I knew that he wanted children. I told him, "you don't smoke, do drugs. Just make sure you are eating the right kinds of foods. Plus, it helps that you come from a very fertile family."
Symptoms, Causes & Risk Factors of Varicocele
The condition can cause pain, from a sharp to dull ache, increasing while standing or with physical exertion, over long periods of time. The pain is relieved when you lie on your back. The veins may enlarge and become more noticeable. The condition does not discriminate by age.
Most times the condition will only be discovered during a fertility evaluation or a routine physical exam.
It is not certain what causes the condition. Experts believe it forms when the valves inside the veins in the cord prevent blood from flowing. The backup causes the veins to enlarge, and may result in damage to the testicles and fertility.
The condition often forms during puberty, usually occurring on the left side, most likely because of the position of the left testicular vein. However, having the condition in one testicle can effect sperm production in both testicles.
There is no risk factors for developing the condition. However, research suggests that being overweight may reduce your risk of Varicocele, while being taller increases the risk." (Which is surprising, but I think could actually be true. Which may mean that my son won't have this issue after all. As he does not have the issue of putting on weight as his father did.)
The treatment used for us
Treatment of a Varicocele, generally, improves sperm characteristics. However, it is not clear if, left untreated that the condition will lead to progressive worsening of sperm quality over time.
There are few risks; such as buildup of fluid around the testicles, recurrence of Varicoceles, testicular atrophy, infections, or damage to an artery.
The most widely used repair methods include:
Open surgery, which is usually done on an outpatient basis, during a general or local anesthetic. You may return to normal activities after two days. As long as you're not uncomfortable. You may return to more strenuous activity, such as exercising, after two weeks. Pain from surgery is, generally, mild, but may continue for several days or weeks. Your doctor may prescribe pain medication for a limited period after surgery.
Your doctor may advise not to have sex for a period of time. It will take several months after surgery before improvements in sperm quality can be seen with semen analysis. This is because it takes approximately three months for new sperm to develop. (With that said, I got pregnant with Child #2 4 months after her father's surgery. Again, I cannot stress enough, IF you come from a long line of fertile women. Please, please, please question your doctor. In my opinion, fertility drugs should NOT be given until the man has also been tested. The expense for me obtaining this drug was a waste.)
Open surgery, using a microscope approach has the highest success rates when compared with other surgical methods.
Laparoscopic surgery requires general anesthesia. The surgeon will make a small incision in your abdomen and pass a tiny instrument through the incision to see and repair the Varicocele.
After four months, we found out on April Fool's Day 1997 that the surgery was successful. That's no joke.
Ladies, don't take the blame for infertility until you are both examined. IT IS NOT ALWAYS THE WOMAN'S FAULT. Which was in my case here. Now, there are many ways to fight infertility. Best of luck in your quest of adding to your family.