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The First Appointment (or, Why All Offices Should Have a Fainting Couch)

Our first of what I assume will be many appointments with a reproductive endocrinologist was today. I was happy that we were able to get an appointment just a couple of weeks after finding out about the “bad” semen analysis results. It went well and it also went weird. I’m left feeling a lot of hope for our future though, which is good.

The RE that we went to seems fantastic. She brought us into the office and had already looked over Jon’s analysis report as well as other records and was ready to talk about our specific case. We didn’t have to bring her up to speed on where we were, she already knew all the information that was available and was ready to talk to us about what the results mean and what could happen going forward.

First, we learned that Jon had an appointment with the “wrong” kind of urologist. She recommended a male factor infertility urologist that he should see instead. At this point, I’m already feeling good about seeing an RE so soon, since Jon would’ve wasted time going to a urologist who wasn’t skilled in the specialty we needed. I feel like we’re being led confidently in a good direction.

Then she outlined all the different reasons azoospermia occurs. It could be obstructive or non-obstructive. If it’s obstructive it could be the vas derens, it could be the result of being a cystic fibrosis carrier, it could be a duct obstruction. If it’s non-obstructive it could be a Y-chromosome deletion, Sertoli-only syndrome (rare), testicular failure, other genetic defects or unexplained.

We started talking about what needed to happen to determine which of these factors is affecting us. To be fair, the process does not sound like it will be fun for Jon. The urologist visit this time might be preliminary but it’s likely that Jon’s going to need to have a biopsy, that’s right..sensitive areas cut open and explored. And right as Jon starts asking great questions and getting into the nitty gritty, he turns a weird shade of yellow, asks for some water and…..

…his eyes roll back into his head, he starts making a sound like he’s snoring, and his arms seize up. Because of my dad’s history of seizures, I immediately panicked. While our level-headed RE called other women into the room to help get him on the floor and onto his side, I pretty much cried and asked repeatedly if she was sure he wasn’t having a seizure. To her credit, at no point did she laugh at me while she explained that he had fainted and would be totally fine.

And of course, after a few minutes he opens his eyes and says “hey…what’s goin’ on?” and things are fine. He sits on the floor and drinks some juice while we finish up the meeting. We decide that while he needs to have bloodwork done, maybe today isn’t a good time for that.

I left the meeting feeling pretty good! I feel like we have a plan, there are explained reasons why this is happening, and there could be sperm in there and we could get it out and do IVF and all would be fine. It will ┬ábe a hard process no matter what, but the RE seems pretty confident that sperm will be found and we’ll be able to work with them. I feel good about leaving for our wine country vacation with answers and that vacation will be relaxed because at least we’re on a path that could lead us to the end goal of having a family together.