SCI & Infertility: A Profile of Two Couples (who beat it)

Gone are the days of men with paralysis not being able to have their own children biologically. Modern-day medicine has changed the entire landscape of fertility for SCI men. From the use of advanced at-home vibration techniques to invitro-fertilization, there are options available and they work. It’s just a matter of finding the method that works best for a man’s severity of injury.

It also isn’t cheap (loans are available). Thousands of dollars can be spent by couples, and it often is met with success. But this isn’t always so. It’s best to go into the getting-pregnant process with a cautious heart and mind. With that said, here are two awesome SCI infertility success stories. Both men are quadriplegics from the US and neither, as you will discover, had an easy journey in getting their partner pregnant.

Dan Hammers

Dan hammer, a C4 quadriplegic living in Lake Charles, Louisiana, never thought he’d have a child of his own. He was paralyzed in 1992 in a diving accident at 19 years old. After his accident, he moved with his family from Chicago to Louisiana. And it was here where he met Kari.

They say good spouses are found at church, and this is exactly where Dan met Kari. Soon after meeting, Dan and Kari were engaged, and were married in 2002. And like any married couple, they felt the desire to have a child. They knew it wasn’t going to be easy, so they began to find a fertility doc with spinal cord injury experience.

Where they live in Louisiana there were no specialists nearby, so they had to travel to Houston, Texas to see a fertility doctor at TIRR Memorial Hermann’s Outpatient Clinic – Dr. John Bertini to be exact. They started the process in 2009 and it wasn’t until 2012 when they finally got pregnant. They first underwent two failed IUI (Intrauterine Inseminations; where doctors help inseminate the woman using the man’s sperm).

Next, they decided to try IFV (in-vitro fertilization). The first time they tried it it failed, but the second time it was successful. Dan and Claire finally got pregnant January 2012 with a little girl. Gianna Claire Hammer was born on August 14, 2012, and as you can see from the photo above, she’s adorable. Congrats to The Hammers!

Ryan Buck

Lauren and Ryan’s story is a bit different. In Minnesota, the couple met in 2005 when Ryan was able-bodied. They had a whirlwind romance and within two years they were engaged. Before their wedding however, Ryan was involved in a snowmobile accident that left him a T5 paraplegic. Their wedding was planned for September 20th, 2008, but after his injury, they decided to postpone their wedding until 2010.

After getting married, they tried to get pregnant. Living near the world renowned Mayo Clinic, Lauren and Ryan decided to see a fertility specialist there. Unfortunately, they did not have success. After two failed IVF attempts, they were scheduled for a third but then the Mayo Clinic canceled because they discovered Lauren had uterine polyps (which makes it difficult to get pregnant).

They went back to the clinic for one more try, but after a third failed attempt they decided to try a new clinic in the Twin Cities – with Dr. Randal Corfman at the Midwest Center for Reproductive Health in Maple Grove, Minnesota. Finally, they found the fertility success they were praying for with Dr. Corfman, and after only one IVF attempt, they got pregnant April 2017. Lauren gave birth to their son, Silas Ryan, in January 2018.

Follow The Buck’s: Adventures with Heels & Wheels

Getting pregnant after a SCI may seem like something that is out of reach, but it not so! If you have a stable financial background, there are medical loans available to help pay for fertility treatments. Check out Prosper Health here for more information. And remember, adoption is another beautiful option that many SCI couples also consider.

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