After the initial shock of being told there are zero viable sperm multiple times now me being the way I’m wired start to do research on how and why. It’s nothing against doctors but I have always felt like you have to first be your own advocate. I mean lets face it the way health care is forcing them to treat now a days they don’t really have the time that is truly needed to uncover every issue with every patient. Our fertility doctor recommends me to see a reproductive urologist to see what the underlying issue is. It was at that moment it dawns on…I know what’s wrong. I have known for ten years now whats wrong. I was 17 years old and a junior in high school. I went to my parents and said I am having some discomfort down in the nether region. Because you know every teenage boy wants to go have that conversation “Hey Mom and Dad my junk hurts and I don’t know why”. My parents were equally as worried as I was. I remember my mom asking me what it felt like? Do I do self exams? When did this start? They set up the appointment for me at my then doctors office to try and get some answers. Remember I am 17 at this time when you aren’t fully comfortable with your body and don’t want people checking around. My doctor says to me okay Steffan “Drop them.” These words never bothered me before when I was having physicals but this time just felt different. He examines me and says “Hmmm everything feels okay, but I would like to send you for a sonogram just to be sure.” WHATTT?! It sounds okay but hey friend I’m sending you to have some tests done because it’s not really okay is what that truly means. I remember leaving his office that day convinced I was going to be diagnosed with testicular cancer because that’s just the level of crazy I bring folks (always worse case scenario). I called my girlfriend at the time and tell her the news and I remember going over to her house and sitting on the couch sobbing thinking this might be it for me. I was really dramatic in high school, and to some extent still have that with me today. I went in for the sonogram at the hospital early in the morning. My Mom drove me and said “I’ll be here the whole time waiting don’t worry it’ll be okay.” That put me at ease a little but I still had some serious anxiety. I hear them say “Steffan Webster” and my stomach instantly turns into a knot. The nurse tells me to remove all of my clothes and to place them in the locker with the provided key. I undress and put on this awful looking blue gown and sit in a private room with two other gentlemen in blue gowns. At this very moment I felt trapped like I was in jail because I remember the one guy saying to me “what are you in for? You’re really young to be here.” Finally before I can answer him I hear again “Steffan Webster.” I could have hugged that nurse because telling my parents was hard enough now I have to tell some stranger about the nether region, umm no thanks! I go in and they place me on a table and tell me to remove my boxers and the technician will be in shortly. She comes in and says this will only take a couple minutes and begins to put the warm jelly down there and moves the tool around in order to get multiple different angles. She tells me all done and that I can go get dressed and my doctor will be in contact shortly with the results. “Shortly” folks was three weeks. Three weeks that felt like an eternity to find out if I was going to be okay or not. The phone rings at my parents house and I answer; It’s the doctors office calling to tell me my results are in and they would like me to come in the next day to discuss them. Well that’s it I’m dying I’m convinced at that point it’s the end. I go in the next day and My doctor comes back in the room “good news Steffan everything is fine, you just have epididymitis.” Lovely!! what is that? is it curable? I asked. He chuckled a little and said yes all it is is an inflammation of the coiled tube (epididymis) at the back of the testicle that stores and carries sperm. A little antibiotic will take care of it……or so he thought. Weeks go by and the pain doesn’t change and he tells me it’s normal to have discomfort it just takes time. Finally after about a year I just get used to the discomfort and don’t really notice it as much. Ten years pass, yea that’s right I lived with that discomfort for tens years because I knew my doctor would know whats best right?! Wrong big Wrong like life changing I’m sorry It’s to late now you cant have kids wrong. I make an appointment at the urologist and start again to do my research; if it’s not epididymitis what else could it be. I find a bunch of stuff about varicoceles and what it can do to fertility. I got to the Urologist that the fertility doctor recommends and I say to her “I think I have a varicocele on my left testes.” I go back into one of her exam rooms and I hear her say the infamous words “Drop them” as soon as I pulled down my pants she sees the varicocele with her naked eye. She exams me and says yep there’s definitely a large one on the left but you also have one on the right. So no ladies and gentlemen I didn’t have epididymitis ten years ago it was the start of the varicocele. For those of you that don’t know what that is the simplest way I can explain it is that its a vein that stretches too much and sort of balloons allowing blood to pool in one spot. When it pools in the scrotum of a male it increases the temperature to a point that it kills off all sperm production. I remember feeling terrible at that moment as though the case was closed. The multiple semen analysis weren’t it for me because I still had hope that maybe one little guy would get through, but no I am now a diagnosed infertile male whose book has been closed on being a dad. My doctor wanted to talk about the options I have because surprisingly enough I still had them, but I was in no mood my world had just come crashing down on me. She rescheduled me for another appointment to figure out the next steps……..