6 years ago, I had Gastric Bypass surgery. I lost a whole lotta weight. One of the little talked about side effects of the procedure is an increased chance at pregnancy. The weight puts “pressure” (both figuratively and literally) on all of the parts needed for baby making. Both women and men’s chances at procreation shoot up after all of the weight loss.
But for us, nothing happened. We tried for several years. Nada.
Finally, I spoke with my Doctor. He recommended that we speak to the folks at Boston IVF.
“In vitro fertilization (or IVF) is an assisted reproductive technology. There are four basic steps in an IVF treatment cycle:
- Ovulation Induction
A woman begins taking fertility medications to encourage development of eggs within the ovaries. These medications stimulate the follicles to produce more than one egg in a cycle.
- Egg Retrieval
Egg retrieval is a minor surgical procedure that can be performed on an outpatient basis. It typically takes about 10-15 minutes and requires IV sedation.
- Fertilization and Embryo Development
The retrieved eggs are placed in a petri dish with a special solution for 2 to 3 hours. During this time, the male partner provides a semen sample. The sample is delivered to the lab where it undergoes a clarifying process referred to as“washing”. The washed sperm are incubated and placed in the petri dish with the eggs. After 18 hours, the eggs are examined. If fertilization occurs, then two to four of the resulting embryos are selected for transfer back to the female.
- Embryo Transfer
Embryo transfer is a simple procedure that does not require anesthesia. The selected embryos are inserted into a thin tube and guided toward the female’s uterus, where it is hoped they will continue their natural fetal development. Transfer typically takes place three days after egg retrieval, or five to six days after retrieval in the case of blastocyst transfer. Rest and recovery are recommended for 24 to 48 hours.”
That’s how it’s written up…
So the tests started in 2013. Robin and I regularly saw specialists over the course of a few months. We waited for our insurance company’s approval (We live in Massachusetts. It is one of the states where IVF is covered most of the time) and gave more blood than I thought possible.
As a man, the strange part is you get accustomed to giving semen samples and talking about your sex life with relative strangers. It is so very odd.
In test-after-test, Robin’s results came back awesome. The issue was me.
It’s a bit of a hit to a man’s ego when the urologist says, “You’ll NEVER be able to have kids without help…” My sperm count wasn’t a number. It was sarcasm. Years of obesity, smoking, terrible exercise habits…who knows why.
It sucked to hear, but it was actually the best case scenario for our impending IVF cycles. If something had been physically wrong with Robin, our chances would have dropped significantly.
Robin started injections in mid 2014. Maybe one day she’ll write up a post about her experience. It wasn’t always awesome for either of us. I’ll never be able to repay Robin for going through it.
Stay Tuned for part 2!