Male factor antisperm antibodies, advice please(22 Posts)
We recently had a failed ivf cycle. One of the issues, although not discussed at our failed cycle review, was that they suspected DH had antisperm antibodies which was not formally tested at the time though. I'm going to speak to the clinic tomorrow about it but just wondered if there was anyone out there with a similar issue and how you dealt with it, any advice would be appreciated.
Hi Solars, think I remember you from a Clomid thread months ago.
So sorry to hear of your failed cycle. We're in the same situation, just about three weeks on from our BFN. Utterly crap, isn't it?
My DH has antisperm antibodies after a vasectomy reversal. His count is relatively high but 80% antibodies, which I understand is pretty bad. Thankfully it was picked up prior to our IVF cycle and we had ICSI. Did you? Our Fertilisation wasn't great - eight eggs retrieved but only four fertilised and one of those was dodgy. But the three we had left were good and at our review the consultant was convinced we were just unlucky.
Anyway, not sure I can offer any advice, but you're not alone. Would be interested to hear what your clinic have to say.
Look after yourself - BFN is always crap but especially so after IVF when you have put so much more into it.
Just to clarify - I don't think our slightly poor fertilisation after ICSI was because of the antibodies - the embryologist thought it was only a bit low so said we were just unlucky. They couldn't point to any specific reason and said both sperm and eggs looked good. And as I said, the three we had were grade 1s and 2s. The only thing the consultant wants to change for next time is a slight tweak to my drug protocol.
Hi Highlove I remember you too, so sorry you're also going through IVF. It's been 4 weeks since our bfn, yes it is definitely crap!
Thanks for the info, yes we had emergency ICSI on the day as up until then DH's sperm results have always been fine so they never suspected a thing. The issue is they haven't actually tested the sperm for antisperm antibodies, only suspect it is due to that from what they saw when they were preparing the sperm. Also they only mentioned it as a ps in our letter which we were a little shocked by, never having mentioned it in our review with the dr. So we have no idea about % but they said to us that it shouldn't effect natural conception at all which I don't believe they can say that if they haven't actually tested??
Unfortunately the clinic were not really helpful when I spoke to them. All they said is their lab doesn't carry out this test and it would be pointless to if they are going to perform ICSI anyway, which I can understand but we still feel a bit unsatisfied by that.
We also had another complication in that they discovered a endometrioma on one of my ovaries. They left us with 2 options either carry on with ivf and they will up the stim drugs as there were potentially more follies there that would hopefully grow next time or have a lap to remove the cyst. We've since seen another consultant privately for his advice and are now going to do the lap. We were hoping to try naturally after thinking the endo was perhaps part of the issue. But the antibodies issue has now complicated things. I think by testing the sperm we just wanted to know what our chances were naturally really.
Our ivf cycle only produced 3 eggs, all fertilised but then 2 didn't quite make it and the third was grade D which was not good. We're changing clinics anyway as this was a NHS funded cycle and we're now going to have to self fund for any others. When have you decided to go for your next cycle?
Hope you don't mind a few questions. Did they test for antibodies before you went on clomid? Have they said to you that it shouldn't effect natural conception?
Thanks for your info, you take care too.
Hi there, no worries about the questions.
We'd never had a definitive diagnosis of why we weren't getting pregnant - one of my tubes is a bit ropey but the other is perfect, cycles can be a bit irregular but progesterone results generally showed ovulation...so it might have taken a bit longer but no reason why it just couldn't happen. But as the SAs done on the NHS (and privately after the vas reversal) all came back normal, we presumed it was me. We did actually get pregnant earlier this year on our first IUI cycle, but sadly I miscarried around 8 weeks. For various reasons we then had to go private and our clinic said they routinely do antibody testing, but that they always expect to find them after a reversal op. when the results came back it was a bit of a relief to possibly have a reason why it wasn't happening.
What's interesting though, considering what you've been told, is that our consultant said he was a bit surprised we'd conceived via IUI with the antibody test results we'd had. As I understand, the antibodies basically make the sperm 'clump' together which stops them doing what they ought. I'd wanted to try IUI again before proceeding to IVF but was persuaded that the antibodies meant our chances wouldn't be great. I don't really understand how, if the antibodies make the sperm clump, a normal SA doesn't show it. When we had the IUI though, I remember the nurse saying she'd had to basicially really shake the sample about as it was clumpy but we didn't really know what that meant and she didn't expand. As we then did get pg, we didn't think of it again till we saw the private clinic and he immediately said it would most likely be antibodies. Sorry, that's a really long-winded way of saying our consultant would completely disagree with yours in saying it shouldn't affect natural conception - he would say you can't with high proportion of antibodies.
Can you try another clinic, even if just to get the antibody test done? And I don't know whether it matters what is causing them? I understand that it's often a result of trauma to the testicles (hence common after vas reversal, apparently also frequently seen in rugby players too) but not sure if there are other medical reasons and if so, whether that can be treated.
We are going to try again in feb/mar and just hope we really were unlucky this time, rather than anything else. Lots of luck to you - let me know what happens from here x
We had the clumping too after the sperm Had been through the centrifuge hence why they suspected the antibodies. I'm so glad you've said that about the antibodies affecting natural conception, it's strangely makes sense for us too why things haven't happened in over 3 years. DH can't think of any trauma though that may have caused this so it's a bit strange in that sense. He has made an appointment with his GP to ask if they can test for it but I think the answer will no. Which clinic are you at now?
I am having a lap done in about 3 weeks time and then we are going to register with ARGC for our next round of ivf. I would have thought they would test for it right?
Lots of luck to you too Highlove let me know how you get on too x
We're at Care. I think if our next cycle doesn't work we will look at ARGC. But we're more than two hours by train from London so I think I'd have to basicially take a month off work, so it's a last resort. You have a really fantastic chance of success there, so fingers crossed for you. I'm sure they'll test for antibodies - I think they pretty much test you to within an inch of your life!
Would be really interested to hear what ARGC say about the antibodies - do please report back!
Hi Highlove I hope you may be able to just clarify how your DH was tested for the antibody. I assumed it would be via a semen analysis right? My DH went to see his GP but the person he saw was just a trainee (I think) and didn't even know what antisperm antibodies were and said they had to consult a colleague. Anyway the surgery came back to my DH and said to come and pick up a blood form to carry out the test. Is this right? My simple head just assumed it would be a semen analysis?!
Oh by the way this is Solars, I've just name changed to WinterSolstice!
Hi winter we have been ttc for 7 months now. I had a chemical pregnancy a few months back. We had DHs SA results a week back. He had 9% tail and 16% mixed antibodies. The fertility specialist added it up to 25% and said it should be 10%.
DH has a high count of 138m and 51% motility. Morphology came in a 2%.
Because of the chemical pregnancy I believe we can try and conceive again. Sorry about your failed ivf DH has been taking Wellman conception, vitamin c and selenium pills. Hoping they improve the morphology, because there's not much cure for antisperm antibodies. The usual not heating the nuts up and keeping it cool down there but not much else you can do about them
The fertility specialist said the Antisperm bodies cling on to the normal sperm - "clumping" and prevent them from reaching the egg . So we are going for frequent sex this month as they are supposed to reduce the more you ejaculate. Not sure if I have helped or just Rambled!
Also not many clinics across the uk offer ASA (antisperm antibody) tests. Luckily ours did ASAs otherwise we wouldn't have known!
Weird that they don't do them everywhere.
Thanks Redstrawberry that's really interesting to know about the frequency of ejaculation supposedly reducing the antibodies, we may give that a shot whilst we try and get DH tested somewhere. Can I ask which clinic you got your husband tested at? Was it NHS or private?
Lots of luck that you get another BFP very soon x
Hi, sorry for the delay. Yes it was a semen sample not a blood test. On the back of our exchange last week I did a bit more research (courtesy of dr google, I should stress!) and I think (stress - think) that blood tests are actually done for women suspected of having anyisperm antibodies. So that could have caused the confusion with the GP? Although I'm far from an expert, I don't think GPs are generally that clued up about more complex and unusual fertility issues.
Red strawberry - at my clinic 60% is the point at which they get worried about antibodies. So 25% may be a bit on the high side but possibly not worryingly so? I know it is so frustrating no matter how long you've been trying but 7 months really isn't that long at all so hopefully you've just been unlucky so far and it will happen for you soon.
Thank for that info highlove useful to know its 60% and you have no idea how relieved I feel!
I hope we get that bfp soon too and it's just been unlucky. On cycle 8 now.
The clinic we tested at was in the west midlands winter and yes it was nhs and not private.
Hi both, just thought I'd let you know about some interesting stuff I've just found. Apparently there is evidence that a high dose of vitamin C can prevent sperm agglutination - have found lots of stuff on the net about it. Obviously I've no idea
if it's bollocks how accurate it is but seems worth a try since its cheap and safe. 1 gram a day is the recommended dose as far as I can tell. Anyway, just thought I'd let you know x
Also found this old thread on antibodies: http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/conception/1082777-Antisperm-antibodies/AllOnOnePage
Hope that link works...some interesting stuff..
Oh Highlove seems worth giving it a try with the vitamin C. DH's gp will only offer a blood test and said that we would have to go private for a semen analysis so we're going to wait until we go to our next clinic to get him properly tested. By the way I couldn't open your link.
Does that work? Sorry trying from my phone..
Thanks highlove - I had DH on 1000mg vitamin C per day and also zinc and selenium since we found out. Doing another SA in February so will update you guys to let you know if its worked!
It's red strawberry here - name changed
Is there anybody still out there??? I can't find much about sperm antibodies apart from this old thred. I'm in the same boat! It's been 4 years of ttc, 1 failed ivf with Icsi and can't affored any more! 1 operation to remove a large cyst, Im now 41 and am trying clomid yuck! Did anyone ever get their happy ending??? Really need to know if there is still hope or if I need to try harder to accept it, I'm really staring to loose my mind, I'm just not half the person i was before we got on the ttc ghost train! Did anyone get a happy ending?
I work in a semen analysis laboratory and just to confirm. Anti sperm antibodies can be routinely tested for in the lab or you can be referred to a different lab
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.