Overcoming infertility caused by retrograde ejaculation
Although Holly had already had a child, she and her husband wanted to have children together. “I didn’t have any fertility issues on my end, but Nathan has retrograde ejaculation and low sperm count,” Holly said.
Retrograde ejaculation is a rare condition in which, during ejaculation the semen moves into the bladder instead of moving out of the penis through the urethra. In Nathan’s case, surgery as an infant had caused the condition.
The couple visited a urologist who focused on fertility issues, in an attempt to become pregnant, but he didn’t give them a good prognosis. “He told us that we had less than a one-in-a-million chance of having a baby. He said our case was hopeless without IVF, so we gave up,” Holly said.
However, after speaking to a nurse practitioner who worked with her, Holly was inspired to make an appointment with our Nashville fertility specialist to revisit fertility treatments. “I work in a doctor’s office, and the nurse practitioner there did IVF with Dr. Whitworth. She told me not to give up, so we made an appointment with Nashville Fertility Center.”
Fertility treatments for retrograde ejaculation
At the couple’s first appointment with our Nashville fertility specialist, testing confirmed Nathan’s diagnosis of retrograde ejaculation and revealed that he had a low sperm count. Christine Whitworth MD recommended that the couple try an unmedicated intrauterine insemination, or IUI, cycle.
After the first unmedicated IUI cycle, Nathan had a sperm count of less than one million, which meant that the couple had less than a 2% chance of conceiving. Dr. Whitworth asked the couple whether they wanted to proceed with the cycle, and they agreed. Holly took a pregnancy test 11 days later – and it was positive. Nine months later, the couple welcomed their daughter, Haven. Now three years old, Holly calls her daughter “my safe haven.”
The couple recently returned to our Nashville fertility specialist for a medicated IUI cycle. Although Nathan had a sperm count of three million, the sperm motility was a problem. However, Holly wasn’t ready to go home. “I cried because I had taken the medication, and we were already at the office,” she said.
Dr. Whitworth told the couple that she was willing to try the procedure if they were. Despite the odds, Holly took a pregnancy test 14 days after the IUI, and it showed that she was pregnant again. “Fertility care is amazing; it’s a blessing,” Holly said.
Words of wisdom for other patients
“When I look at online forums, I see a lot of people who have given up on having a baby because they have a low sperm count, but they shouldn’t give up hope,” Holly said. With the right fertility care, men and women can overcome infertility issues and have a baby.
Holly recommends our Nashville fertility specialist to anyone who is facing infertility. “The team at Nashville Fertility Center is understanding, and you want someone who is compassionate when you’re going through the stress of infertility,” Holly said. “They’re also very professional and thorough. They’re a blessing, and I love them.”
For a final piece of advice, Holly recommends waiting 14 days after the procedure to take a pregnancy test. “Even though the test worked at 11 days with Haven, it didn’t work until 14 days with this pregnancy, and I stressed myself out for no reason. Just be patient,” she said.