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Antibodies in sperm "but all okay"??

(14 Posts)
SummerHopin Wed 04-Jan-17 14:04:07

We had a gynae consultation yesterday after ttc for a year as I have PCOS and problems ovulating. As part of the test procedure DH had to have a sperm analysis.....

The results came back with high number, good motility and good something else (basically 3 out of 3 good results) but there was a note on the result from the lab about the presence of antibodies in the sample.

The consultant didnt seem overly worried, but he said that IF we needed to have any kind of IVF then we would need to have ICSI because of the antibodies. I didnt think much of it at the time because we were more talking about my ovulation etc, but today I have tried to do a bit of research on antibodies and there are just loads of posts about antibodies and infertility and people not being able to conceive naturally after finding this out!!

Does anyone have any experience or advice please?

delilahbucket Wed 04-Jan-17 15:26:56

Depends on the percentage. My dp has 50% antibodies and we've been told that we have a less than 1% chance of a natural conception (hence why we have been trying for nearly two yearswith not even the slightest hint of a bfp). We were told to go straight for icsi to the tune of just under £5000. Whether they were after our money I don't know but I sure as Hell am not pregnant using the traditional method!

SummerHopin Wed 04-Jan-17 16:17:09

Hi delilah - funnily enough I saw your comment on another thread about needing help, thanks for responding!

I know I'm an overthinker, but I remember at the time yesterday wondering why it was noted specifically on the results by the lab team but the consultant didnt seem to think it was an issue?? We are being sent a copy of the results with the letter, so maybe the rest of his results were different to those who are then told the chance of natural conception is so low? The consultation was private with a fertility specialist gynae so I'm reluctant to think that we have been given the wrong advice by him (if it was a GP I'd be more inclined to think we had been palmed off).

Can I ask if the other parts of your DPs results were all ok? He definitely said that the count was really high and the other results were all good, so maybe that makes a difference?

Hopefully they will arrive tomorrow so I can do some more digging.

.....I'm so upset by it. Since I have PCOS I thought the problem was all me, and now that I'm on some meds I thought things were going well - and now this?!

I just dont know what to believe sad

Feilin Thu 05-Jan-17 19:58:05

My OH has good sperm but the antibodies mean they don't move . As we have been told this means technically he is infertile. We had icsi on NHS which failed and icsi private to tune of 6 and a half grand which worked. I hope your partner has some that swim mine didn't. Good luck op I wish you all the baby dust and luck in the world .

delilahbucket Sat 07-Jan-17 13:14:03

The only other thing that came up was morphology was borderline too low.
I initially thought they would find a problem with me, fix it, and we would be on our merry way. Never thought it would be dp and not treatable. They didn't even complete my tests so I haven't had a day 21 or my tubes flushed. On the other hand, I was doing bbt monitoring for several months and I had an internal scan two days before ovulation so they could see I was ovulating, so I suspect they figured all was ok.

delilahbucket Sat 07-Jan-17 13:15:27

I forgot to add, the only issue with me was a slightly high FSH for my age. They said that just means we don't have years and years to decide about icsi. They wanted me to have the amh test there and then but it was £60 and as we were undecided about icsi we didn't see the point in anymore tests.

SummerHopin Fri 13-Jan-17 13:20:56

HI ladies, me again,

Have finally had a copy of the test back and have been googling the parameters for normal sperm results. It seems he has way above normal levels on majority of the tests but the test for antibodies is positive. 1 of the antibodies came back negative and the other is 60%.

delilah - from what you said above this would give us a really low chance of conception, but the consultant at the appointment didnt say that at all, he just said that IF we have to have IVF in the future we would need to have ICSI rather than IUI so that they could pick the sperm used in the process.

Its odd that you were told you had such a low chance of conception?! Maybe I should have asked more questions at the appointment, but he seemed more focussed on my ovulation??

delilahbucket Fri 13-Jan-17 16:46:33

Well it's definitely affected us as it's nearly two years since we started trying and I've not had a hint of a bfp. 60% is quite high. Depending on which one is depends on how the sperm is affected. One makes the sperm clump together so they go nowhere and one is attached to either the tail, stopping them from swimming, or to the head, stopping them from fertilising.
Part of me wondered if the doctor we saw was only interested in our money as he swept past everything else to the price list very quickly.

SummerHopin Fri 13-Jan-17 16:56:30

Are you eligible for NHS then delilah? What are your thoughts?

Im currently on meds to get me ovulating so need to address that before even thinking about our next move. So basically we're not even on the start line at the moment!!! sad

EstelleRoberts Fri 13-Jan-17 17:28:38

My DH tested 'weakly positive' for antibodies. Our consultant explained that the jury was out on how much they might affect fertility (this was two and a half years ago), as some couples would struggle to conceive with them, whereas a certain proportion of men who have had no problems fathering children would also test positive.

As we had no other identified problems, we were advised that we could try iui if we wished, as the sperm would be washed, and this would wash the antibodies off. It obviously has a lower success rate than IVF, but we felt it was worth trying first, in our case. We were advised we would need ICSI if we did IVF, to maximise our chances. We did two unmedicated iui cycles with no success, but I had a small dose of Menopur on the third (small dose due to risk of hyperstimulation, as I had high AMH). In the event, we still only got one ripe egg, but I got pregnant and now have an 18 month old.

Are you able to call or email the consultant if you have questions? We could do that with ours (we were private at the Lister). It sounds like you didn't get chance to ask enough questions at the time. I find it can take a while to process the information in consultations, and it's only afterwards, once you have had time to think, that you realise what you would like to ask.

delilahbucket Fri 13-Jan-17 22:14:14

We would have to go private Summer as I have a son from a previous relationship. We can't justify the cost on a 20% chance and getting into debt before having a child seems ridiculous. Plus, I don't like the lack of long term research into icsi. It is suspected to come with a higher rate of birth defects as it goes against natural selection.
Antibodies cannot be washed off with the iui process. To be told that is ridiculously misleading Estelle. I do hope you didn't have to pay.

EstelleRoberts Sat 14-Jan-17 02:35:12

delilah sorry, what I wrote is slightly misleading, I see. I think it is not so much that washing the sperm washes the antibodies away, but that it instead washes away less healthy sperm in general. The antibodies will affect the motility of the sperm, those sperm will be washed away, giving the healthy ones a clear run, iyswim. It may well be this worked for us because DH was only weakly positive, so must have had some sperm that weren't affected.

The consultant gave us options of trying iui or going straight to icsi. I think he thought on balance straight to icsi was the better option, but we wanted to try iui first as it is a lot cheaper and a lot less stressful on the woman's body. I'm very glad we did, as three iui cycles cost far less than just one of icsi, and I didn't have to take lots of drugs or do egg collection etc. It won't necessarily be the right approach for everyone, though.

delilahbucket Sat 14-Jan-17 08:04:10

Estelle, I understand you now. Perhaps the antibodies your dh has are attached to the tail and I can understand why iui could work. Unfortunately for us they are on the head so can swim perfectly fine, they just can't fertlise. Our consultant said that when sperm get to an egg they fire an acid type substance to break through the outer layers. My dp's sperm cannot release the substance. Well, half of them can't!

SummerHopin Sat 14-Jan-17 18:41:02

Hi Estelle thanks for that. At the moment we are concentrating to getting my ovulation up and running but the letter we got today from the consultant said in black and white he felt that natural conception could be achieved with DHs sperm. So maybe he has the better of the two antibodies? If there is such a thing? I know the doc said that his level of good fast sperm was really high.

I think I will call the clinic yeah. You're right I keep thinking of things I wish I had said back then-hindsight is a wonderful thing!

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