Sperm chit-chat. Low count, low morphology, low motility - anyone had success after these diagnoses?

(47 Posts)
Bearface Thu 21-Feb-13 18:43:38


I just wanted to instigate a sperm chat because my DH's SA has come back with low count (11.5 mill) and low morphology (3%). We were told that it is 'highly unlikely' that I'll get upduffed with current counts.

He also has a varicocele which is being investigated by GP via a consultant.

DH is on Wellman vits, no hot baths, loose pants and trousers, etc. We're looking into Pycnogenol and L-Glutathione as supplements. He's not overweight or unfit and hardly drinks. Doesn't smoke either.

Anyway, stats aside, I just wondered if anyone had any success stories they wanted to share? Or any tips or advice?

Thanks x

Littlefish Thu 21-Feb-13 20:40:36

We had exactly this! We were booked in for ICSI but I got pregnant naturally the month before we were due to start. Dd is now 8. Sadly, we never managed it again, but are so thankful for our gorgeous child.

Bearface Thu 21-Feb-13 20:45:01

I'm glad you had success Littlefish. It's sad you didn't get a second DC, but like you said, you have a beautiful DD. Thanks for sharing. smile

Marrow Thu 21-Feb-13 20:47:27

Dh had a varicocele and very similar figures to your DH - morphology was even worse at 2%. I have PCOS too and we were told we needed fertility treatment as very unlikely to conceive naturally.

Dh had an operation to sort out the varicocele and his count improved a lot after that. We now have two children and have not had to have any fertility treatment. Good luck, I hope things go well for you.

Bearface Thu 21-Feb-13 20:54:24

That's good to hear Marrow - thanks! It's always lovely to hear when things have worked out for others.

I do wonder if that might be the root cause. DH's GP is seeking advice from a fertility consultant. I don't want DH to have to have an operation, but I guess if it has to happen, then it could hopefully improve things. Was there a lot of recovery involved Marrow?

MikeLitoris Thu 21-Feb-13 20:59:27

My dp had worse stats than that. Cant remember the exact figures but the morphology was 1% (less than 1million count)

I got pregnant 5 times in two years. I lost the first four.

I was told I wouldnt have a baby without ivf/icsi. I was a few weeks pg at that appointment.

Dd is now 2yo

Bearface Thu 21-Feb-13 21:00:47

Love the name Mike - sorry about the MCs but glad you got a DD in the end.

Marrow Thu 21-Feb-13 21:02:07

No not a lot of recovery at all. It was done as a day case and just a local anaesthetic. I'm pretty sure he was back in work the next day. It was a very minor procedure.

Marrow Thu 21-Feb-13 21:03:38

Meant to say that the GP referred him to a urologist to sort out the varicocele.

Bearface Thu 21-Feb-13 21:04:46

Phew - thanks Marrow for the info. Hope DH will have the same if he has to have it done. He reacts really badly to general anaesthetic.

discrete Thu 21-Feb-13 21:09:16

We had much worse than that - sperm count was hight but morphology was well under 1%.

DH stopped drinking altogether, upped his exercise massively, we changed lifestyle completely (not to get pg, we were assuming no dc) and from the lifestyle change I was pg within a year.

He was taking zinc and omega 3 oils which apparently may have helped.

After ds1 he was diagnosed with a varicocele, had it repaired (not surgery the radiology way), it came back, he had it repaired again and shortly after I got pg with ds2 (there is a just over 3year gap between the dc).

I am now on contraception (which felt rather odd after so many years)!

BoringSchoolChoiceNickname Thu 21-Feb-13 21:10:11

Yes, though not the variocele. Told we'd need ICSI, but they gave me a routine HyCoSyg as well after which we conceived naturally 3 times in about 8 cycles - one miscarried but the other two are just cleaning their teeth.

swlmum Thu 21-Feb-13 21:14:21

DH had 2 v bad results from the hospital clinic. (Bad in every way- motility, numbers etc). We had initial tests at a private IVF clinic a few months later and it came back normal. He had made no major lifestyle choices but did take pycegenol (Sp?). I fell pregnant naturally the next month (having had treatment for endometriosis that month).
Has your DH had more than 1 test as they can really vary?
A friend's DH had practically no sperm after a childhood accident but she did become pregnant twice through ICSI.
Good luck

Bearface Thu 21-Feb-13 21:20:11

Well, swlmum, DH had his second SA test only one month later which am I right in thinking was too early because it would be like testing the same sperm with the same batch number? They didn't tell us that it needed to be done 3 months after, but I think it's because the doctor didn't actually know. I think DH will try to get another one done in May time and see how that one is.

Bearface Thu 21-Feb-13 21:21:05

Boring - what's a HyCoSyg? Sorry - I'm new to this area.

Low morphology with DH here, got pregnant naturaly but sadly lost twins in January but this has given us fresh hope.

Fairylea Thu 21-Feb-13 21:30:42

We had this.

We tried for a year and a bit and were on the waiting list for ivf for joint reasons, although dhs low sperm count the main one (I already had a much older dd).

We found out I was pregnant with ds the actual day our ivf appointment came through smile

I have no idea if it was just luck or not ... but dh completely cut out all sugary drinks, especially fizzy ones. And ate lots of broccoli (he hates it but apparently it's good antioxidants).

Ds is now 8 months old smile

ImNotCute Thu 21-Feb-13 21:38:43

Dh had awful results each time he had to give a sample. I can't remember the figures now but it was pretty bad.

We now have 2 naturally conceived dcs. It took us over a year to conceive each time but we got there. Fingers crossed that you will too.

corblimeymadam Thu 21-Feb-13 21:41:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BoringSchoolChoiceNickname Thu 21-Feb-13 22:45:49

HyCoSyg (may have got the spelling wrong) is similar to a "lap and dye" and is when they blast stuff through your tubes to check for blockages. It's a diagnostic test routinely carried out as part of investigations but anecdotally some women get pg immediately afterwards.

Bearface Fri 22-Feb-13 10:47:48

Okay - thanks for clarifying Boring.

Thanks for the stories everyone. What I seem to be finding, not just on here but on Dr Google too, is that people with low sperm counts generally seem to get there in the end but it can take a long time. I hope this is the general trend and that we can be part of it too!

MewlingQuim Fri 22-Feb-13 10:59:29

DH had poor motility, but I can't remember the figures now. we failed to conceive naturally, tried for 5 years. Then I got pregnant using iui but miscarried. Finally conceived DD by ICSI after 8 years ttc.

The stories of conceiving naturally are lovely, but dont think its bound to happen eventually. It may not.

Bearface Fri 22-Feb-13 11:09:49

Yes, fair enough Mewling - I am cautiously optimistic, but understand the need to be realistic; however, it is good to have hope, otherwise I might tumble into the depths of despair.

MikeLitoris Fri 22-Feb-13 15:17:25

I meant to say dp saw an umprovement after taking well man vits, pycnogenol and peruvian Maca. Iirc there was a significant improvement in count and the normal forms were 2% instead of 1.

Bearface Fri 22-Feb-13 18:56:32

That's good to know Mike - lots of people seem to be saying they saw improvements after using the well man vits and quite a lot are clearly independent of the company too although I think you can tell which ones aren't so that could be good. DH and I both suffer from cold sores and mouth ulcers a lot which we treat with L-lycine, but I wonder if it might suggest we have some vitamin deficiencies. I know that you should be able to get all your vitamins through food, but it's so much easier to supplement with vits. So I went out today and stocked up so DH and I will be rattling round for the forseeable future.

I'm interested in Peruvian Maca Mike - will check it out. Thanks for the tip.

MikeLitoris Fri 22-Feb-13 19:53:59

The Maca tastes vile. Dont listen to the people that tell you they put it in their coffee. They are liars.

No idea if one or all of them helped. But it felt good to be proactive iyswim.

Hoophopes Fri 22-Feb-13 21:05:21

Yes, poor numbers, poor morphology and 35% antibodies also. After 7yrs ttc and failed ICSI we conceived naturally (despite lots of immune issues for me that needed medication to support the pregnancy). Dh took 1000mg Vit C a day and Menevit supplements (which is what the IVF clinic recommended) for 6 months before conception. His numbers improved on the supplements.

Good luck.

takeaway2 Fri 22-Feb-13 21:28:13

Can't remember the numbers but did remember that they were not great (according to dr google). The fertility guy who we were referred to did not seem too worried but he also then said 'oh I guarantee you'll be pregnant in 18 months!' (18 months was too long in my opinion! I was pushing it in terms of age etc). Anyway he gave me clomid, booked me in for a lap and dye to see if there's anything wrong and a scan to locate my ovaries.... We were pregnant at the scan! Got pregnant on the first round of clomid. grin

Dh did change diet, took vits etcetc. DS just turned 5. Dd was conceived naturally after 4 months and is 2.5 years old.

Good luck.

HavingALittleFaithBaby Sat 23-Feb-13 17:36:36

We had similar. I also forget the exact numbers but motility was dire (0% rapid, about 12% sluggish). Most of them swam in circles it seems! After some blood tests and an MRI they found that DH had a growth on his pituitary gland affecting his hormones. He started on medication for this, he had a repeat SA with a big improvement. Our GP did say that even with the initial results, we could probably have success with IVF if they spun the sperm to concentrate them.

However I got pregnant naturally 8 months after he started the treatment and am now 31 weeks smile

EuroShaggleton Sat 23-Feb-13 18:12:16

It's interesting what you have been told. Mr Euro's figures were only marginally better than those in the OP and the fertility clinic glanced at the results and focussed on prodding and poking me (turning up absolutely nothing). The first time anyone mentioned there might be a problem on his side was with the sample for IVF (14m total count I think, I can't remember the other figures, I was off my tits on drugs when they spoke to us) and suggested ICSI as I was coming round from my egg collection sedation - 18 months of investigations without a single mention of a male factor problem and then they propose ICSI at that point, when I can barely see straight. Grr. Anyway, we said no and just went ahead with straight IVF and I got a positive recently (it is still early days).

twinklestar2 Sat 23-Feb-13 23:33:31

My oh has low morphology - all other numbers fine. Doc has advised him to give up alcohol and retest in 3 months.

OH's first SA last August came back as 1% morph, with a few lifestyle changes (mainly cutting back on booze) and it went up to 2%. Hoping the giving up drinking completely will help to get the numbers up to normal.

Alexis2012 Mon 25-Feb-13 09:51:12

I was diagnosed low sperm count and began taking Volume Plus Pills. 6 months after my partern got pregant.

Bearface Mon 25-Feb-13 09:58:17

That's more than annoying Euro, but glad that you've managed to overcome it now.

Hope it works out for you too twinkle.

Thanks for the advice Alexis.

RedRobin1 Mon 25-Feb-13 12:06:21

Has anyone got any success stories if DH diagnosed with antisperm antibodies (ASA)?

DH's count and motility is excellent, morphology now normal at 5% but he has a high percentage (50% tail binding) ASAs.

ASAs cause agglutination (clumping) of sperm and can be tail binding or head. It prevents the good sperm from swimming up to the egg. We are on cycle 10 of TTC with a chemical pregnancy on the third cycle. I just wonder if theres any hope for it happening naturally for us sad

comberbird Mon 25-Feb-13 12:15:52

Hello a bit of good news to add from my hubby. He had off the scale good count, motility etc but had very very bad morphology 2% - which they say is the hardest thing to fix and all his swimmers had head defects which basically means that wont fertilise much. I put him on the following regime
- cool balls - so lots of sitting at home in his boxers as he was worried that the lack of aircon in his building during the summer was not helping
- pycnogenol - way expensive but proper medical research says it works
- wellman fertility vits
- Vits A&E antioxidants
- pumpkin and sunflower seeds on his brekkie
- no caffeine - maybe a few cups of tea a week and a glass of wine or two etc but basically no real coffee, no diet coke etc.. for quite a few months
- no beer .. a few glasses of wine only again for quite a few months [since Aug last year when we found out, lapsed for xmas and no alcohol at all for 6 weeks ahead of IVF]
- exercize but not too much

In the end his morphology was 8% after all this - which i think is almost miraculously good. We did IVF without ICSI and all 27 of our eggs fertilised [it transpires the eggs weren't too hot either hence lack of babies so far!]/ No baby for us so far as embryos frozen for a few months but I just wanted you to know there is hope and my husband was a total star in doing all this for our future family


twinklestar2 Mon 25-Feb-13 16:13:25

Well done to your oh comber! My hub has been told to give up drinking completely, I wonder if that's enough.

comberbird Mon 25-Feb-13 19:00:47

its really hard to know what works. My DH was never a very big drinker and we basically have a very healthy lifestyle.. but he was quite consistent in having a pint after work a few days a week. I think it has to be a combo of not putting in as much bad stuff and adding more good stuff. Most of the things above are cheap and easy to do and much much easier than giving up booze .. why not give a few of them a go?

twinklestar2 Mon 25-Feb-13 21:03:07

My hub is on organic food, exercising, wellman conceptions tabs, no booze, smoothie every morning and loads of organic veg with dinner...Was wondering whether it was worth getting the pine bark extract too...

Bearface Tue 26-Feb-13 15:42:55

I with you Twinkle - we're doing all we can too.

fertilityFTW Tue 26-Feb-13 15:50:31

DH had low morphology <2% - we tried for 3 yrs and no go. He cut out all alcohol, smoking, hot baths (which he used to love, poor guy) - and (what I really think helped) he really upped his water intake - he used to just live off masses of caffeine (diet cokes and coffee) and switched to having loads of water (maybe it helped the swimming?).

So when we finally arrived at our long awaited fertility consultant appointment and POAS I was upduffed! Good luck OP, there's always hope!

Bearface Tue 26-Feb-13 16:03:06

Thannks fertilityFTW and Comberbird - I really need some reassuring stories. I know it may not work out for us, but I've got to have some hope, right? Anyway, thanks - these stories at least make me feel like we're doing the right things.

RedRobin1 Tue 26-Feb-13 18:16:00

DHs first SA had morphology at 2%.
He then stopped cycling, switched to boxers, popped pills (Wellman conception, vitamin c 2000mg, selenium, zinc) for 3 months
now his morphology is 5% on second SA.

He's started on pine bark as its supposed to help improve the morpho. Just wish there was a cure for ASAs

VenusRising Tue 26-Feb-13 18:22:27

We had this, but on top of bad morphology, low motility, and hardly any there anyway, DHs sperm lived only an hour in vitro.

We were turned down for IVF and ICSI.

We managed to conceive naturally and our DC is eight, though and I think it's because we used ovulation sticks, and timed it down to hours, and DH had a strong coffee before we did the deed.
We have only one, and we know we are totally blessed.
Best of luck.

Bearface Tue 26-Feb-13 18:47:57

That's good to hear RedRobin.

I'm sorry you were turned down for IVF and ICSI Venus. That's really sad. At the same time you do have a DC who I bet is wonderful and the light of your lives. smile I'm interested in what you and a couple of others have said about timing it down to hours. Does that mean you waited until you got your first or last positive before DTD? Or did you go for both to make sure? Did you DTD within a few hours of getting the positive then? Sorry if TMI and you don't have to answer if you don't want to, but I'm just curious. Also, does the caffeine from the coffee then boost the sperm?

mrsden Fri 01-Mar-13 07:32:10

My DH has a similar count bearface (is the 11 million per ml or the total count?) and only 1% morphology. We are about to start ICSI after 2 and half years ttc. It's nice to read all of the success stories. I think one thing to bear in mind though is that there is a big range in terms of what is considered a low sperm count or problems with motility or morphology. So some people are told there is a problem, but when you actually look at the numbers I see it is no where near as bad as my DH. There is a big difference between someone with 11 million total count and 11 million per ml and normal volume. Likewise if you have a high count then 3% morphology might not be such an issue. My doctor was very clear with us at the start, it's not impossible that we might conceive because it only takes one sperm to make it but it would be a bit like winning the lottery, the odds are very much against it. If we were younger (I'm 31) then we might be prepared to try for longer but as it hasn't happened yet I'm keen to get on with it now.

Good luck to you and everyone else struggling with male factor. It is always assumed that infertility problems are to do with the woman, it's frustrating that there is very little talk about male factor.

keepitgoing Sat 02-Mar-13 05:20:56

Hi mrsden I remember you calming me down blooming ages ago when we had my dh'd sperm results. All the best with your I so cycle.

My duh has high count and volume, but 3-4% morphology until recently. We were told by one consultant it was OK, one it was borderline (not enough to fast track to NHS ivf...) And one said we'd need icsi. I think it's not understood at all!

He's been taking macca, horny goat week, arginine, coQ10, vir c, zinc, for 5 months, and morphology was 10% last month. We've just started ivf, and are hoping it'll be ivf not icsi.

Hear hear to more talk about and research on male factor. It seems odd to me that iui has such low success rates really...

suzanaposta Fri 14-Mar-14 23:25:32

Hi everyone,

Just signed up and I am happy to have found some information with regards to SA. My DH has had the results back from his first one and according to a useless doctor it is not bad but after some online research I am not too sure what to think.
I asked for a copy so I can look it up myself, cuz he just wouldn't tell us anything useful no matter how we phrased the question. Could either of you give me some more info?
For motility is say:
Progressive: 17
Non-progressive: 5
Viability: 32% live

Concentration: 0.300x 106/mL

Normal: 0
Comment: head and tail defects overlong line have been split into multiple lines after 70 chars.

We have been trying for a baby for a year now and nothing. We've been together for 6 years and haven't used any contraception.
Does it sound as bad as I think or are there any chances for us? with the morphology does it mean he has 0% normal sperm?
The doctor said that he will have to redo the test in 2 months time as this ''batch'' might be ''faulty'' and will need to see another result.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now