Sunday, February 11, 2007

Calling All Fortune Tellers!

Internet research is a wonderful, horrible thing. For instance, I now understand that semen coagulates, in other words, gets thick, shortly after ejaculation. More or less a half hour later, it becomes liquid again. Biologically speaking, the value of this seems to be to keep the sperm from falling out when you (or I) jump up after sex to go pee. But the important thing is that the sperm are all bound up in the semen until liquification (or liquifaction, if you really want to sound sciencey). Until then, the sperm don't enter the cervical fluid, and they won't be swimming upstream like the eager little salmon/tadpoles we all imagine them to be.

It's wonderful to know all that. But it's also horrible. Because what does it mean that my husband's semen liquification was "INCOMPLETE"? (I'm not adding the caps here. This is how it's written on the test.) Is that another way of saying the little buggers are trapped? Is that what that means?

Herein lies the issue: You can type a yes or no question into a search engine as many times as you want and you'll never get a straight answer.

"Dear Google... Am I gonna win the lottery?"

"Dear Amy... No."


Like that. Never gonna happen.

Okay, the Internet can't predict the future. Bad example.

Here's a better one: According to the World Health Organization, sperm are graded for motility thusly: "Grade A sperm are those that swim forward fast in a straight line. Grade B sperm swim forward, but either in a curved or crooked line, or slowly. Grade C sperm move their tails, but do not move forward. Grade D sperm do not move at all. Sperm of grade C and D are considered poor." (I got this information here.)

But what about J~'s sperm, which received a motility score of... get this, 44. According to the lab, normal is between 150 and 400. So what does that translate to, an F? It certainly sounds like an F. So far, I have been unable to get a grade A, straight-swimming answer from the Internet.

Eventually, hopefully, we'll sit down in an office with a doctor who knows his or her stuff. In the meantime, we're making making appointments, and breathing through that most agonizing and unavoidable of chores: waiting.

Because here's the thing. Internet research can only take you so far. But the same is true with doctors. We may get some answers, but my ultimate question, of whether or not I will ever be a mother, will only be answered by time.

4 comments:

Renee F. said...

Don't give up hope. My husband has been told by 3 urologists in a row that his sperm quality is too poor to get a woman pregnant: sperm number and motitility much too low. Yet I am now pregnant from him for the 3rd time in 2 years! I have a beautiful 11-mo.-old boy and a bun in the oven. I would recommend that you eat right, lay of the alcohol, exercise, have lots of sex around ovulation (cervical mucus is the best indicator for this) and make sure that his sperm and penis stay inside you as long as possible after sex. Go for quality instead of quantity! That's what worked for us. Of course, there is also IUI and ICSI if you have the $$$/health ins. Good luck!

Sam said...

I know more about sperm than I ever wanted to know. And, I'd like to take the penis OUT after sex because it's usually attached to a large man-person that would crush me otherwise. Sorry, Renee F. :)

Beret said...

I just stumbled on your blog early this morning. I've already read all your archives and I just wanted to say good luck with the baby-making. Your story is so engrossing and you are a wonderful writer.

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