A week after getting my saline sonogram, I called for my husband's sperm analysis results. I wasn't too concerned about the sperm test results, because they'd been phenomenal when we'd had it done for the intrauterine insemination (IUI) three years ago. Just about everything about his sperm was perfect then, and his count was sky high...much higher than the average man half his age, the doctor told us at the time. So I was confident these results would be similar.

To my surprise, they were quite a bit different! I don't know what happened with my husband's sperm in the past three years, but something zapped them. His sperm count was still in the stratosphere. However, his sperm motility was lower than average, whereas it had been fine three years ago. What was worse was 85 percent of his sperm were now abnormally shaped, whereas only 10 percent had been abnormal three years ago.

Had he been exposed to some kind of massive amount of radiation in that time? Was his constant feeling of sickness and fatigue really a sign that he was dying (as he believed, despite numerous test results to the contrary) and the abnormal sperm were an indication of this? He was only 53 and his sperm had been rock solid three years back when he was 50. Surely three years of additional age wouldn't change his sperm that much?

The lab tech said there was plenty of sperm for IVF. However, he had concerns about the ability of the sperm to fertilize my eggs on their own. He said we would probably have to use ICSI in our IVF procedure because of all the abnormally shaped sperm. This meant they would have to pick out the best sperm under a microscope and inject them directly into my best eggs. It ensured fertilization. It also added another $1,000 to our IVF total.

My husband was bummed, but the technician said the ICSI would give us the best chance of producing good quality embryos. We still had over a month till the IVF treatments started and I knew I could earn the extra $1,000 in that time, so I said to go for it. Whatever it took to get me pregnant, that's what we would do.

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