Struggling with male infertility, a new dad recounts his experience
(LAKE MURRAY) WACH --- Be fruitful and multiply.
It's what many married couples strive for, the idea of having a family.
For one Midlands man his dream of becoming a father turned to a nightmare.
But with a little help now he and his wife can hold on to their miracle.
Ned and Jamie Timmerman have been married for three years.
Here they are enjoying their son Jack.
He was born in April.
So that makes him a month old.
This may seem like the picture perfect moment but it almost didn't happen.
"I felt I was broken and that there was something wrong with me and it made me less of a man," says Ned Timmerman.
Less than a man because doctors figured out he had a low sperm count.
Which means he's infertile.
"If it had been me I would have wanted the same support. We a team and were in this together," says Jamie Timmerman.
With Ned's particular issue his sperm can't travel to his wife's ovaries.
Which means they can't have kids.
Doctors define infertility as not being able to get to pregnancy stage.
Ned is not alone.
According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in nearly 40 percent of infertile couples, the issue is with the guy.
Dr. John Nichols is with the Piedmont Reproductive Endocrinology Group.
"For men at the end of the day it's a numbers game. We're throwing lots of sperm out there and hope that one of those are normal enough that can get out all the way to that egg and fertilize the egg," says Dr. John Nichols.
He says male infertility comes in different forms.
In some cases there's no explanation as to why the guy is infertile.
In other cases doctors can pinpoint the problem like a medical condition, extreme alcohol use and surprisingly exposure to pesticides.
So depending on the type of infertility there are options available to help couples conceive.
One is artificial insemination.
"At the time of ovulation we can take a very thin catheter and slide and put the sperm all the way into the top of the uterus. Bringing the sperm closer to where they need to be," says Dr. Nichols.
Other option is watch what you eat
Some foods contain ingredients to help built testosterone
which can help you get your wife pregnant.
Here's Dr. Michele Reid with Get Well With Michelle.
"The most important one is zinc oysters are the highest amount of zinc. Cruciferous vegetables are any kind of vegetable that grows like a tree so we've got broccoli, kale red cabbage. Garlic is another thing. Eat up on your garlic. Garlic is anti-cancerous it also has a compound dially disulfide called which helps in the production of testosterone," says Dr. Michele Reid.
But for some men the best way to go is IVF or in vitro fertilization.
and that's the route the Timmermans took.
"IVF remove the eggs from the women's ovaries bring them into the lab. We can actually take the sperm and put it right with the egg," says Dr. Nichols.
The Timmermans say the steps to IVF took weeks to complete.
After one failed pregnancy through IVF they finally heard the news they were hoping for.
"Watching him grow, hearing the heartbeat that melted my heart," says Ned Timmerman.
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