My introduction (with some questions)
3 Replies
broccoli12001 - July 14

Hello Everyone,
I'm 40 and my partner is 52. We have been ttc for 5 months naturally. I had gotten pregnant (before we met) with donor sperm but miscarried at 9 weeks (4/05). Also naturally.

Q 1) Are any of you out there of "advanced maternal age" or with "older" partners/husbands?

Q 2) How do you navigate your man's feelings around his sperm quality/quantity? My man is obsessed with this, feeling very insecure. We wonder how the result of the semen analysis (scheduled later this month) will effect our relationship. We plan to get married after we conceive. He does NOT want to use donor sperm.

Q3) Sorry if too much information but...do you avoid oral sex (for man or woman) during your ovulation window? I've heard saliva is toxic to sperm but this limits our ways of being intimate. Are we going overboard with this?

Thanks so much in advance and best of luck to everyone on the list.

--Madeleine

 

teri-chan - July 15

Madeleine,

Yes, we're out here. I'm 42 and my husband is 54. And I've seen at least a couple of other women here around my age with a partner about 10 years older.

My husband and I have been TTC since May 2005. For us there is particular heartache, since we got pregnant in Fall 2002 just after we were married. (I was on the pill, but accidentally missed two days.) As far as our selfish desires went, we very much wanted the child, but because my husband had saved not a penny for retirement and because I was not yet in a job that offered security, we aborted. It was too painful to think that our child might end up 20 years old and having to look after his or her father financially. It seemed like such an awful thing to do to someone--especially our own child. Better to end its life quickly, though it broke our hearts more than I can say. Anyway, everyone told us that we would have no problem getting pregnant in a few years, if indeed I got the job security that I was aiming at, so that I could cover my husband's retirement and leave my child free to enjoy his or her youth.

I do now have job security, and I inherited some money, so we started trying to conceive when I turned 41. After a couple of natural cycles, I started looking at information on "advanced maternal age" and I was shocked at what I found out, so we went to a reproductive endocrinologist two months into TTC. We had the usual workups, and my husband's semen analysis came back with really poor results. It was a huge blow to him. He's very fit, lean, and muscular. We had a few really hard months over this. We tried two IUIs with gonadotropins, using his semen. On one cycle, there were 24 million total motile after the wash, which was fine. On another, there were fewer than 1 million, which meant that cycle was pretty much pointless. It broke his heart to see the disappointment that I tried to hide from him. That's when he stopped caring about the "threat to his manhood". But we did go on to try one IVF using his sperm and ICSI. That resulted in a chemical pregnancy. After that we tried one natural cycle IUI using donor sperm, then decided that given my age, we needed to move to donor eggs. So now we are trying to concieve using donor eggs and sperm. It's been a hard decision for both of us. If you had asked me a year ago whether I'd even consider donor eggs, I'd have said NO in a very loud voice. I would imagine that a similar process will occur in your partner over the donor sperm issue, if indeed there is any problem with his sperm.

As far as oral sex goes, I'd avoid it during the window of opportunity. Why take any chances? You can still have oral sex at other times. I'd say something very different, I think, to someone who was 20, but since time is fairly limited for women of our age (though you are a good deal younger than I am, as these things go), I'd want to make sure I did everything to optimize my chances every month.

Somehow this sounds gloomy. I don't mean for it to. I certainly wish you the best of luck. And I do think that if there's an issue with your partner's semen, it will mean little to him after a short while.

 

broccoli12001 - July 17

Hi Teri,
Thank you so much for your candid, thoughtful and informative response. I wish you and your husband speedy success on your journey.

It's so helpful to know others in a similar situation are out there.

I wonder if I may contact you off list after our semen analysis. How is that done on this board? I can't figure it out.

Thanks again for your time and insights.

--Madeleine

[quote author=teri-chan link=board=12;threadid=2687;start=0#22130 date=1152930212]
Madeleine,

Yes, we're out here. I'm 42 and my husband is 54. And I've seen at least a couple of other women here around my age with a partner about 10 years older.

My husband and I have been TTC since May 2005. For us there is particular heartache, since we got pregnant in Fall 2002 just after we were married. (I was on the pill, but accidentally missed two days.) As far as our selfish desires went, we very much wanted the child, but because my husband had saved not a penny for retirement and because I was not yet in a job that offered security, we aborted. It was too painful to think that our child might end up 20 years old and having to look after his or her father financially. It seemed like such an awful thing to do to someone--especially our own child. Better to end its life quickly, though it broke our hearts more than I can say. Anyway, everyone told us that we would have no problem getting pregnant in a few years, if indeed I got the job security that I was aiming at, so that I could cover my husband's retirement and leave my child free to enjoy his or her youth.

I do now have job security, and I inherited some money, so we started trying to conceive when I turned 41. After a couple of natural cycles, I started looking at information on "advanced maternal age" and I was shocked at what I found out, so we went to a reproductive endocrinologist two months into TTC. We had the usual workups, and my husband's semen analysis came back with really poor results. It was a huge blow to him. He's very fit, lean, and muscular. We had a few really hard months over this. We tried two IUIs with gonadotropins, using his semen. On one cycle, there were 24 million total motile after the wash, which was fine. On another, there were fewer than 1 million, which meant that cycle was pretty much pointless. It broke his heart to see the disappointment that I tried to hide from him. That's when he stopped caring about the "threat to his manhood". But we did go on to try one IVF using his sperm and ICSI. That resulted in a chemical pregnancy. After that we tried one natural cycle IUI using donor sperm, then decided that given my age, we needed to move to donor egg. So now we are trying to concieve using donor egg and sperm. It's been a hard decision for both of us. If you had asked me a year ago whether I'd even consider donor egg, I'd have said NO in a very loud voice. I would imagine that a similar process will occur in your partner over the donor sperm issue, if indeed there is any problem with his sperm.

As far as oral sex goes, I'd avoid it during the window of opportunity. Why take any chances? You can still have oral sex at other times. I'd say something very different, I think, to someone who was 20, but since time is fairly limited for women of our age (though you are a good deal younger than I am, as these things go), I'd want to make sure I did everything to optimize my chances every month.

Somehow this sounds gloomy. I don't mean for it to. I certainly wish you the best of luck. And I do think that if there's an issue with your partner's semen, it will mean little to him after a short while.
[/quote]

 

teri-chan - July 17

Hi Madeleine,

In my profile I have my email hidden, but I see that you gave yours there, so if it's okay, I'll write you there, and that way you'll then have my email address. I hope that all goes well with the semen analysis in any case. When will it be done? And will it be the standard one done in the RE's office or are you also going to do the "SCSA" that gets sent to South Dakota (or was it North Dakota)?

Teri

 

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