What to do? Husband no sperm..

Discussion in 'Men's Infertility Support' started by AvaLe, Aug 12, 2011.


    AvaLe New Member

    Hi, i'm new to this forum and in desperate need of some guidance. I am 30 and been with my husband for 9 yrs. In April my husband was diagnosed with azoo. He has no sperm and is not prepared to do a biopsy because of the risk involved. He recently told me he is not prepared to use donor sperm either. So here i am, considering a life without children..
    I understand and respect all his decisions as i know they can not be persuaded or even compromised. They are his choices.
    i feel completly helpless and lost. i knew we were going to have problems but i thought we would source all our options and not give up. in all honesty, i am hoping he will change his mind, which based on our discussions, looks unlikey. He is hoping that i will accept a life without children. i love him whole heartly and cant imagine a life without him, at the same time, i see myself resenting him. i just cant see myself happy in this relationship because of the sacrifice i am making. i cant help how i feel. i feel like this resentment will ruin our marriage. not sure what to do but feel immense sadness and pain when think of our situation. Am doing my best to stay positive..

    violet83 New Member

    Wow, that's awful. I am so, so sorry for what you're going through.

    My husband and I went through the testing process and had some of these conversations together. I would never
    keep my husband from living the type of life he wanted, and if he wanted children I would gladly get a donor egg if needed. The same goes for him and me.

    Have you discussed adoption with him? Perhaps you could even do an embryo adoption, so it's donor egg and sperm?

    I can only imagine the pain you're going through... sending you many hugs

    Hoping4aLilRedSoxFan New Member

    Hang in there!

    Avale, like Violet, I'm sorry you're going through this. Life is difficult enough without having the added issues that IF brings.

    A few months back, my RE told us that our best, and "only" option would be to use DE. It totally devastated me, and freaked my DH out. Turns out, he didn't really understand the "idea" behind DE and how it "worked". After I had time to digest the info, and we could discuss it calmly (without me hyperventilating and crying historically), he really came around and warmed to the idea. We even went as far as discussing using a known donor. We perused donor websites and kept the conversations light. Ended up having my FSH levels come back within the normal range and my RE rethought her initial advice and we were able to get insurance coverage. Although we know that we will need IVF with ICSI for the best shot, my insurance co. insisted on 3 cycles of FSH IUI first. We've just completed the 3rd cycle and are awaiting IVF approval.

    We are also open to, and actively considering, adoption. Even if we are successful with IVF, I believe we will adopt also.

    Sometimes DHs need some time to absorb information and then they can talk about their feelings and why they feel the way they do. Keep the communication open between you and your DH and allow each to speak their minds freely. Neither of you should have to give up on a dream, but sometimes, the dream is arrived at by a different road.

    Good luck. :grouphug:


    AvaLe New Member

    Thank you for your responses. My husband wont consider donor sperm or adoption as he is afraid he will not bond with the child. He said he can not take the risk of using donor sperm and end up resenting both me and the baby as i will be the childs biological mother. Initally the thought of donor sperm terrified me, but as weeks went by, i realised how badly i wanted a family with my husband and we could still have it all. Just today i have offered another solution, i said i was prepared to use donor eggs so that we would both not be the biological parent. i know i could love a child that is not biologically mine. i am doing my best to be sensitive to this issue. i love my husband and i know he would be an amazing father but instead of realising how much i love him & the fact that i am prepared to do anything to have a 'family' with him, he felt angered with my proposal and said that i just dont get the fact he doesn't want a child that is not biologically his. im at a crossroads, i really dont know what to do. the thought of losing him terrifies me as he is a great man with a good heart, but the thought of never having children causes much heartache and pain. i know he is hurting too, he is easily angered, very moody, stopped showing me any affection, doesnt ever want to talk about anything. i am doing my best to make him happy but we are like 2 strangers living under the same roof. i am heart broken.

    Hoping4aLilRedSoxFan New Member

    Avale, first and foremost, :grouphug: for you. A few different people (nurses, fill-in RE, staff assistants) have all mentioned and encouraged counseling through this process. They have suggestions for doctors that specialize in assisting the females, males or both as a couple, deal with the emotions and everything else that goes along with this process. Would your DH be willing to speak with someone? He is probably very frustrated and feeling like it's his fault and talking with someone may help him realize that sometimes, although sucky, just happen. They may be able to discuss the idea of other solutions with him, and then it wouldn't be you doing it and you wouldn't have to deal with his reaction to the suggestions. My sister is adopted and I feel no different about her than I do about my 6 biological brothers. MANY people tell us we look alike! Many people have a fear that they couldn't bond with an adopted child - until they hear success stories and then their thinking may change.

    Hang in there!

    Megkmc New Member

    AvaLe, I am so very sorry for you. My husband also does not have any sperm and it is a devastating ordeal to go through. You are in a very tough situation and maybe it would benefit you to talk it through with a professional. It sounds like he is afraid of possibly feeling resentment down the line but you may as well if your dreams of having kids never comes to fruition. It is really so difficult and I am sorry you are going through this. In our case, we are using DS and, while my husband has many of the same fears as your husband, he couldn't imagine not having kids.

    So many hugs your way...

    lucyddr New Member

    When we started this process back in February and looked at our "big picture" situation, we discussed donor sperm. We knew that my husband's counts were low and that our choices at that time were either donor sperm or IVF with ICSI. Obviously, donor sperm was economically MUCH better!

    My husband did not like the idea either and wanted to look further into IVF. He did not outright refuse it, he just had the same concerns that he wouldn't be "bonded" to the child. After seeing the RE and looking into our options, we were able to do IVF wtih ICSI.

    After our cycle failed last month, we learned that there was a problem with my egg quality. Our RE wanted us to strongly consider donor eggs. While I sat and cried (over and over), my husband kept telling our RE that he understood my tears as he remembered how he felt many months ago when donor sperm talks were held.

    In the end, we are doing one last IVF (with our cruddy eggs and sperm) next month. We know it probably won't work and have already begun planning a donor egg cycle for early next year. We've even selected our two favorite donors. We talked as a couple a LOT about our wishes and decided that we would rather have a baby with a donor egg than to not have a baby at all!

    Here's my opinion on your situation (which you probably don't want to really hear):

    Your husband is selfish in this situation either because he's too scared to have the procedures or because he doesn't really want children in the first place. I'd see a psychologist who specializes in these situations to mediate both of your feelings. However, I personally would leave him before I would give up my lifetime dreams of having a child. Something is seriously wrong and I doubt it's going to get better.

    Good luck!

    AvaLe New Member

    Not sure if 'selfish' is the correct word to describe my husband. In my eyes, he is being honest with how he feels. As for the biopsy, i agreed with his decision. We were told we had less than one percent chance of finding sperm if we went ahead with the biopsy. i truly believe he loves me and has alwas wanted children. i have no doubt there. The problem lies with him not feeling comfortable with the idea of donor sperm. i cant change how he feels and if i even tried to talk him into a decision he never wanted, what wld the future hold?? resentment? wld he hate me?? Leave me?? he was angry with me coz i told him i respected his decision, they are from the heart & they can not be compromised or persuaded. Yet, he feels like i have not tried to consider a life without children, he wants me to consider this life... Not sure how to do this, 1st 3 nights i cried myself to sleep. im thinking best idea would be to let it be for 6 months, no more IVF, DS etc etc mentioned... After 6 months i will see where my heart & head is at. i love my husband and want children with him. If he still will not consider DS after 6 months, i will make him attend some counselling sessions for our marriage as others on this forum have suggested.. What does the future hold??? i wish i knew...

    MrsJeremy New Member

    When we were first approached with the DS idea my husband felt the same way. He didn't like the idea of me having someone else's child and was concerned that he woulnd love the child like his own. He imagined the road that would lead us down, fights,resentment, ect. Then after a while he said it was fine, to go ahead and try, that at least it would be my child and not a complete strangers. So we do the IUI with DS, I didnt get pregnant though. After the dust settled from that, he told me that he really didn't like the idea and only said okay because he felt like he was depriving me of having a child. I felt very mixed emotions at that point. For the first time I was glad I wasn't pregnant. I was scared that if it had happened I'd loose him because of the issues that could arise since he wasn't 100% on board. And honestly what would be the point to go through all of the emoitional trauma to have a child and that child be the reason your marriage fell apart (my thinking at that time).

    Now we are preparing ourselves for IVF. He said if his sperm aren't good enough he is okay with DS. But I'm not sure. We will wait and see what happens. Most of all I want a family with HIM and we both have to be in 100% agreement before we bring someone else's DNA into the picture. I hope that it will work out someway for you. It is a hard journey.

    lucyddr New Member

    I certainly hope my term ("selfish") and opinions were wrong, for your sake. Good luck!

    irishpete New Member

    Time is what you need. Plenty of it, at least 6 months.

    My DW and I have been TTC for about 3 years. In March'11 I found out that my azoospermia was due to XXY/Klinefelters, a genetic condition. mTESE is a potential option but in my case, the success rate is about 1%. There are risks, not life threatening, but not great. For me, it will probably reduce my testosterone further, but there are supplements... For the child, if male, (and if IVF is successful of course), he is likely to be infertile, and carry the symptoms of an XXY child. Some XXY children require testosterone injections from 10, or so, I've read on the internet.

    So.... I can sympathise. My situation is messy. I have genetic counselling next month to discuss the ethics and generally find out more about XXY.

    I have found the whole process (blood tests, semen analysis, ultrasound, urologist consultations, dreadful GPs etc) hugely distressing. From time to time I break down. So many of our close friends are having babies and I can only admit that I am jealous, and angry at what is going on inside me. "Its not fair" often passes my lips.

    I was very adverse to donor sperm prior to all of this, but we have found out a lot recently, and have attended an open day at a fertility clinic to better understand the treatments. It does seem like a viable option. Here in the UK, whilst I may not be the biological father, my name would still be on the birth certificate. The donor only receives travel expenses so only does it to help couples like us. He would not be able to contact the child, ever, but the child would be able to contact him at the age of 18 - but why would they. Overall is seems ok, and whilst it would be a huge thing for me to accept, I really do not have an alternative.

    So back to where I started... If you can give your DH time, please do. It really is unbearable for a guy to deal with this (really, it is...) and selfishness does not come into it at all. Using another man's sperm is kind of gut wrenching, it makes you feel incredibly inadequate etc etc. I think you should look into it, speak to a clinic or find a couple who have been through it (I haven't done this, but it would help...) - and give him time.

    Good luck,

    musicgal New Member


    Hi Avale,
    I am feeling so bad for you, that is a big predicament. My DH and I also found out last year that he has azoospermia. On top of that, he only has one testicle from a botched surgery as a child so the poor guy has been completely tortured with biopsy/ attempt at reconstruction/ and soon TESE. We are just starting our first IVF cycle and I am anxious and nervous as his urologist has already told us that we won't be able to do much more to his 'lone ranger' without causing problems. We have discussed DS and have even talked about asking his brother (they are very close and his brother isn't having kids of his own). I know it seems strange but that is as close to his own DNA as we can get.
    I hope everything works out for you. I know how heartbreaking it can be to find out you have IF.

    LDRNgirl New Member

    In 2004 my husband was diagnosed with no sperm. It's hard for me to understand a man who won't do whatever it takes to have the family you both so desire, because that's exactly what my husband did. He was willing to go through all kinds of poking and prodding for me, and believe me, it was still nothing compared to what I have had to go through for him since then. I'm not sure of the risks that you believe are involved with your husband having a biopsy done, because it's pretty risk free. It's not open heart surgery! They can do a needle biopsy and aspirate from the epidydimus
    to check for sperm. This is what they did with my husband and it turned out he did have sperm, they just weren't getting out. He was diagnosed with congenital bilateral absence of the vas defrens. He then had a sperm retrieval and the sperm was frozen to use for in vitro. I would never have had to do in vitro if it weren't for my husband's condition. But, this is the trial that God has given us and we have dealt with it. I have been poked and prodded in many more ways than my husband has, but if he hadn't taken that first step, then I wouldn't have the most beautiful 4 year old daughter in the world. And, she is biologically mine and my husband's. We are still trying for more children, and my husband has actually had a second sperm retrieval. But still nothing compared to what I have gone through with my body. I am on my 7th round of injections and hopefully, my 4th egg retrieval in the past year and half. It's a lot of work and heartache, but when my husband and I look into our daughter's precious face, it is worth every tear cried. I hope that your husband will reconsider having the biopsy, because the hope of biological children shouldn't be a total loss.

    AvaLe New Member

    IrishPete, i'm really sorry about ur situation. Trust me when i say i understand how gut wrenching it is when the only solution to have a child is the use DS. As a wife, i want so badly for my DH to be the biological father too. I want our child to have his eyes, lips, personality etc etc

    What worries me is you warmed to the idea of donor sperm within 6 months. My DH had has 5 months to think about it and feels firmly about never wanting children if they are not biologically his.. Like i have mentioned, i will give him more time, another 6 months i will try consider the life he wants..Childfree existence. This will be hard. i owe him atleast that much. After all, i love him. I know its hard but know you made the right decision & you will have the family you and your DW have always dreamed of..

    Musicgal, using ur DH brothers sperm is perfect and not weird at all. Even if my DH had a brother, doubt he would even go down that path. As much as your situation sucks.. There is someone out there like me who wishes i had ur options.. wishing u all the best xx

    LDRNgirl, my husband has one testicle due to a botched operation when he was a child. He was told he had less than 1 percent chance of finding sperm & wld be on life long supplements for his testosterone. im sorry u find that so hard to understand why he would say no to this biopsy..
    i support his decision...

    EdnCy New Member

    AvaLe, I feel your pain. DH and I decided 4 years ago to stop IF treatments and pursue adoption. I still cry every time someone we know gets pregnant or has a baby, but it is finally becoming more tolerable. I realize now that even though we logically were ready to pursue adoption, only in the last few months have we felt emotionally ready. It has been a long process.

    Even though we are excited about the adoption process and 100% committed to it now, a piece of me that will always feel a sense of sadness for what could have been. There is a grieving process that accompanies the realization that you will probably never have a biological child. It is different from the loss of a child you did give birth to and bring home, but just as real. Every person goes through this grief in their own way and on their own schedule.

    irishpete New Member

    Hi AvaLe, Thanks for your reply. My condition is perhaps more complicated than your DH in that it is genetic related, and I don't have much choice than to consider using donor sperm. I've become more accepting of it because my choices are: 1) No children 2) mTESE and IVF, if successful but baby boy then he will be infertile too plus additional issues maybe... 3) mTESE and IVF, if successful, a healthy baby girl 4) donor sperm and a healthy child. The mTESE for me and my DW is not a simple solution and we still haven't come to a decision. Donor sperm is a viable option and I could be a good father... I'd rather be a father than not.

    AvaLe New Member

    Irish Pete, its definately is a hard decision for both you and your DW. Decisions, heartache, confusion all comes with this process. It absolutely sucks!! But your right, time is what you need. With time you will make a decision that feels right and hopefully put your fears and worries at ease. But this whole process runs thru my mind everyday and i wish at times someone would just tell me what i should do...
    I find it comes in emotional waves, some days i feel like absolute sh*t and some days i just think about my sucky situation but the emotional toll does not take over... its been over a week since DH and i have discussed babies or anything related to babies.. its so refreshing, i feel like we are finally being ourselves again. Fun, young, loving couple.. maybe its a charade and maybe were in denial, but for now, this will do...

    Best of luck with your counselling...
    Feel free to write me as soon as u need to vent!! as im sure at times your just going to want to scream, 'f..ck f..ck f..ck!!!' :) Join the club

    mrscahill27 New Member

    irishpete- My husband just like you has zero sperm. It took us a while to make a decision but we decided to use donor sperm. It is very heart breaking but he said he will love the child as if it was his. He didnt want to do the surgery and decided this is what is planned for us. I wish you guys good luck!

    irishpete New Member


    AvaLe - I was venting a little, and had intented to apologise for my comments which I think were a little out of order... Its a really tough situation. I haven't completely warmed to the idea of us using donor sperm but I know that it is potentially the best approach. It will be a while longer before we make the call. My DW has just found out that she has a cyst on her ovaries, we are awaiting further tests to ascertain to what extent etc...

    mrscahill27 - thanks for getting in touch. I would be interested to hear how it goes. I'd absolutely love it for my wife to get pregnant, to be a biological mother. At least let the child be part of us.

    Either way, we're not making a rushed decision. My emotions have calmed down now, but more and more of my friends are having babies. Lets face it, I'm jealous and angry inside. I'm practically hiding comments on Facebook so I don't have to read about their new babies. I am thinking about counselling, not the genetic type. This has been a bit of a rollercoaster for me...

    AvaLe New Member

    Irish Pete- You were far far off from being out of order. You wrote how you feel and you are entitled to do that. As for my DH, we are in the same boat, the only chance of a child is DS. He may not have a genetic disorder, but we were given less than 1 percent chance of finding sperm. He only has one testicle because of a botch surgery when he was a kid. Thats why we are not going forward with the biopsy, its his decision and i support it. I think its amazing that you are on this forum, talking venting, whatever it may be.. MY DH wont talk to me about it and doesnt want to see a counsellor. i'm hoping everyday that he will change his mind & tell me he is ok with DS so we can still have a family.
    Irish Pete, i want to tell you what i would personally do if i was in your situation. I was talking to my DH and asked what his choice would be in your situation, funny enough we agreed on the same option. I would personally use your sperm, yes if its a boy he will be infertile. But by the time he will be old enough to want babies, there will be amazing technology and this will be possible. I read an article that where they are able to produce sperm from the tissue of testicles on mice. They are obviously trying to perfect this. Who knows what amazing techology they will have in the next 20 years?? And what if you have girl after girl?? thats possible too? You could have a boy that never wants children... These are just my thoughts on the idea, not trying to offend you in anyway.. Hoping that maybe i have said something you have not considered before and if you have thought of all of these ideas already, i apologise as i know how annoying it is when people mention stupid ideas as though u havent even considered it...
    OH as for friends, they have no idea, i have a friend who has 2 girls and trying for her 3rd right now. She has alwas fallen pregnant within months, am waiting for that day... plus she has no idea what im going thru and we had a disagreement recently, she told me i had no idea of her situation because i clearly have no children.. ouch, cld a comment be any harsher?? anyway am letting this slide as she has no idea the impact of her statement as she doesnt know what im going through.
    Plus im asked by people all the time about when DH and i are going to have children. all the time!!
    Anyway, its a gorgeous day outside, am going to do some baking for a family party & walk my dogs... Have a cruisy week Pete.

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