Morgan Honeyman, AKA @Journey2babyH, features on Fertility Help Hub today, sharing her PCOS diagnosis, her husband’s low sperm count issues, plus how COVID-19 complications have impacted their fertility journey to date.
Words by Morgan
You could ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you I’ve always wanted to be a mom. Even at a very young age, I had a loving and nurturing personality and really took an interest in babies and children – playing house and ‘mommy’ daily with my two sisters. As I grew older, I enjoyed babysitting for various neighbors and friends. I remember always day-dreaming about my future family and children.
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It was no surprise to anyone that after marrying my husband, Wyatt, in August 2018, we began trying to start our family almost immediately. After several failed months of trying to conceive, I started to get slightly worried. My cycle was becoming more and more irregular and my husband was showing some symptoms of possible low testosterone (which can result in a low sperm count). After pushing my fertility specialist to run some tests, he finally agreed and, sure enough, Wyatt had low testosterone and a low sperm count. The diagnostic report actually read;
‘No sperm found in initial sample – after centrifuge, a few motile sperm were present’.
We were referred to a fertility clinic, and this is where I was diagnosed with PCOS. Wyatt was referred to a urologist to help correct the low sperm count. Our urologist put him on Clomid, which boosted his testosterone levels very quickly. We were super happy with those results and we assumed that it would reflect well in the sperm analysis, however that came back as:
‘No sperm in initial evaluation – after centrifuge, one non-motile sperm was present’.
We were absolutely devastated and opted to have a TESE procedure, in the hope of extracting some sperm directly from the testes. The TESE results were just as disappointing: after examining 10,000+ slides, only about 10 sperm were found and we were given the diagnosis of Non-Obstructive Azoospermia (NOA) and told it would not be viable to use for IVF. We were given the option to proceed with a microTESE or sperm donation.
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Moving Forward with Donor Sperm
Originally, we had the microTESE scheduled and it was our plan to move forward with that but, as COVID shut everything down, we began discussing the option of using a sperm donor. After spending several months weighing the pros and cons, we decided to go ahead and proceed with IUI using donor sperm. We took a few weeks going through donors and different sperm banks and also had a few counseling appointments (this was required by our fertility clinic and I would highly recommend it to anyone going down the donor route.
Our first IUI with donor sperm was in August 2020 and unfortunately did not end in a pregnancy. So, our fertility specialist decided, due to my PCOS, that for our second round we would add a progesterone supplement and hope that this would be the final push we needed to make our second IUI successful. Our second IUI was at the beginning of September 2020 and we were thrilled to see two little pink lines! However, our happiness faded quickly, as our beta number came back at 16 and then two days later dropped to a 14. Sadly, we experienced baby loss.
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Starting Again After Baby Loss
After a break and a cancelled cycle in October and November, we began preparation for IUI attempt three in December! The odds were so high in our favor – three juicy follicles and 43 million sperm – we anxiously awaited test day! Unfortunately, an all-too-familiar fate awaited us. With several negative pregnancy tests, I stopped my progesterone and waited for my menstrual cycle. At this point, we are just taking a much-needed break for my body, our emotional health and our wallet!
We have a fertility consultation/follow-up with our specialist and hopefully we can come to a decision on whether we will be doing another round of IUI or starting preparation for IVF. After all we have gone through, somehow we have managed to stay positive and our marriage has become as strong as we have. We have really leaned on each other a lot throughout this fertility journey and I am very lucky to have a partner who is 100% in, no matter what. I am also so incredibly thankful for the TTC (trying to conceive) and infertility community that I have found on social media, who share so much and are the best shoulders to cry on.
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