Friday, September 26, 2008

I'm Attacking My Husbands Sperm!

I became more and more upset about this news as the night went on. In fact, I had nightmares about it!

Apparently it is fairly rare. Only 5% of infertile women have these antisperm antibodies (ASAB). It's basically an immune issue where I am allergic to my own husbands sperm! If that's not a cruel joke of nature, I don't know what is!

Of course I searched the internet all night. Obsessively.

Steven Witkin, Ph.D., a professor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, says: "The immune system of some women see sperm as a foreign invader, like a germ, and their bodies make antibodies to attack the sperm."

Well that's just great!

And what kind of woman does this make me? It feels like just another slap to the face of how my body is failing me and how inadequate I am as a woman.

And the worse part is that there doesn't seem to be much they can do about it, except IVF, which of course, I've already done twice and failed. I've also read the use of a steroid can help when jumpstarting fertility treatments, so I must remember to ask my RE about his.

To be fair, I did read that this problem should not affect IVF in any way, but I can't help but wonder if this immune issue is somehow a contributing factor affecting implantation of the embryo? Nothing I read indicated this, but if I have one immune disease (actually 2 if you count hypothyroidism) then am I more susceptible to others?

And once again, the worry never stops when it comes to infertility. And the question still remains...

Why can't I have a baby?


Sue said...

I noticed the link to your blog on your siggy...just wanted to say that I've talked with you on fertility community (yogagrrl) and just read your question about steriods. Since I just started lupron and dexamethasone for my cycle at CCRM, this is a good time to discuss steroids...I've never used them before but they were printed on my calendanr to start with lupron, so I think it is pretty standard for them to use them (at least on the protocol I am on). If you want to chat more about it, PM me! Good luck!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Lisa, just wanted to add my name to the list of women with antisperm antibodies. As if life isn't hard enough, we suffer with IF coupled with this issue. We've been trying to conceive for almost 5 years and IVF hasn't worked for us so far. Wishing you the best (and a healthy pregnancy, soon!).

Nikki said...

Lisa - I don't know much about ASAB, but like you mentioned, IVF should help bypass that to a large extent, and also if they can put you on some steroids and control the antibodies - maybe that will help?

I'm sorry you're having to deal with this, but I really think it's very important to find the problem. Once you have a problem in hand, you can fix it (or try to) and you're not shooting in the dark any more.

My DH and I tried for 6 years before we found out his translocation issue, and another year and a half before we went to CCRM and found out my uterus issue. I wish we'd known earlier!

Lisa said...

Thanks girls,

Sue -- Good luck in Denver. I'm praying you get your BFP!!

Anonymous -- I'm happy to know that I'm not the only one, but sad to know you are going through this too. I hope we both get our BFP's. Please keep me updated.

Nikki -- I'm glad neither of us are shooting in the dark anymore. It's amazing to think we've wasted so much time without the proper information and I'm hoping the best for you too.