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Does anyone know about sperm counts/morphology? Most of DH's sperm are 'abnormal'

(19 Posts)
roughtrade Tue 08-Sep-09 14:54:24

His results show a sperm count of 13.3 million and only 2% of them are normal

How bad is this?

ABetaDad Tue 08-Sep-09 15:10:42

It is very low.

The solution may be to go for ICSI.

roughtrade Tue 08-Sep-09 16:41:34

I don't understand as we already have a DD conceived 3 years ago without even trying. What would cause so many of them to be abnormal now?

Our GP seemed fairly optimistic about it - she said he has to go for repeat tests as samples can vary over time. But if this result is so bad, is there any chance of further results being any better?

Do you know if there's anyway of improving it Betadad?

DH is gutted

ABetaDad Tue 08-Sep-09 17:03:29

That does seem very odd indeed. Generally poor morphology causes sperm to not swim straight or not to be able to penetrate the egg. The thing is that the abnormality may not actually affect his sperm ability to fertilise your egg which is why you got pregnant last time or you may have joust got very very lucky - you only need one. It may of course have got worse in the last few years.

I am sure you can Google as well as I can but there are certain causes that could have happened in the last few years.

I know they can get a sperm sample and spin it in a centrifuge and enhance samples but I do think getting one good sperm and injecting it straight into the egg might be the way to go.

I know that from personal exprience that IVF is a psychologically and physically very rough thing to go through though. Your DH needs an awful lot of love and support. He probably feels just about as low as it gets right now. Questioning his manhood, even questioning what purpose he even has in your life.

However, he should not feel that way because he has sperm, he has fathered a child, and he has a good chance of fathering another one if he and you want to give it a go with IVF using the ICSI method.

He will need to give lots more semen samples to test and to extract enough sperms to get one for the actual fertilisation.

roughtrade Tue 08-Sep-09 18:31:38

Thanks for your advice Betadad.

I doubt we could afford IVF, and we wouldn't qualify for free NHS treatment as we already have a child.

It's ironic as his lifestyle is loads healthier since we had DD. Now he drinks a lot less, has quit smoking (although he was only ever a social smoker) and his diet has probably improved.

I know what a blow this is to him so will be extra nice. He's hiding out back with his tomato plants ATM which is a sure sign that he's upset

Mouette Tue 08-Sep-09 18:33:18

My DH also got a poor result from his first sperm test (although I don't remember how bad it was). He did some more tests and they turned out better. We did conceive twice without any issues. I agree with the doctor, it's worth repeating the tests because men manufacture a whole new batch of sperm every couple of weeks. So there's always the chance it was a dud sample. Does your DH have a healthy lifestyle? Things like smoking, alcohol, being overweight, etc can affect sperm. All the best x

Littlefish Tue 08-Sep-09 18:36:34

We also conceived naturally with a morphology similar to yours, and also a poor count and motility. We were told we would need ICSI, but I found out I was pregnant naturally the month before we were due to start IVF.

However, nearly 5 years after dd was born, we haven't been lucky again sad

I know another person who has also conceived naturally, having had ICSI to conceive her first child.

We gave up alcohol, caffeine, red meat, cow dairy (switched to goat), aspartame, almost everything with preservatives in, and took up acupuncture (both), yoga (me) and chinese herbs (dh) before getting pregnant.

Good luck - and be kind to your dh and yourself.

Littlefish Tue 08-Sep-09 18:38:04

Just to add to what Mouette said - sperm takes approx 3 months to produce, so a nught of heavy drinking can really mess things up! Have a look at "Natural solutions to infertility" by Dr Marilyn Glenville. We found it really helpful.

Hobnobfanatic Tue 08-Sep-09 18:50:34

Roughtrade, my DP had 3 per cent normal and has to have a retest... Except I've just conceived naturally - the same week that I had the letter from our consultant recommending IVF (not just for DP's probs)!

He took a men's multivitamin (boots and Tesco do their own version, which is cheaper), cut down on caffeine etc.

Good luck!

HC1 Wed 09-Sep-09 08:57:12

Just wanted to say. My husband had a test which showed only 2% and then a month later it showed 7% so results can change. Like you we conceived last time within 6 months. I had been told it probably wouldn't happen naturally as I have PCOS. Thia time we have been trying a year and I am on clomid. Here is hoping - like someone else says it only takes one.

roughtrade Wed 09-Sep-09 10:11:19

Thanks for all your positive stories everyone, it gives us a bit of hope.

DH says he's going to cut out caffeine and alcohol and do more exercise. He's already taking some men's vits which I bought him a couple of months ago.

roughtrade Wed 09-Sep-09 10:16:24

Also DH wants to know if flu can affect your sperm?

He had suspected swine flu / virus the week before the test.

Mouette Wed 09-Sep-09 11:00:48

I think it's quite possible. DH was told to avoid hot baths and tight underwear, and not to use a laptop on his lap, as sperm are very sensitive to heat (so, logically, if the body temperature goes up because of an infection, that might affect sperm too).
I think sometimes people get pushed on to IVF rather quickly - often there are other solutions that could be tried first. IVF is very stressful, expensive, and the success rate is actually rather poor. All the best.

londonlottie Wed 09-Sep-09 11:33:35

Message withdrawn

roughtrade Wed 09-Sep-09 13:49:03

Thanks for that

I think DH is really clinging on to the flu thing as the reason for the lousy results, and is just hoping the next test is better.

Also does anyone know how long men are supposed to <ahem> abstain for before the test?
We got conflicting advice from the GP and the hospital.

Littlefish Wed 09-Sep-09 14:25:04

I think it was 3 days when dh was tested, but that might have changed. I would go with what the hospital say as they are the ones who will be doing the testing.

LadyoftheBathtub Wed 09-Sep-09 14:35:14

My DP had an "abnormal" sperm result although they didn't give us any more detail than that. We were worried but then conceived DS soon after and I'm now pg again a few years later - it took a while but was unassisted. A lot of things can affect sperm, eg stress, illness - but I think it takes a few months then for that sperm to come through (as it were!) so this result could have been affected by something weeks/months ago. Don't give up hope and remember these tests are never 100% reliable. My GP told me the fact we had conceived before was very positive and meant we would be likely to again, even at nearly 40.

ABetaDad Wed 09-Sep-09 15:53:04

roughtrade - the advice I got before semen anaylsis and IVF samples was to ejaculate 2 days before the sample is to be taken then abstain until sample collection.

The sample is supposed to be fresh and in good volume. Two days is optimal.

FertilityFairy Thu 10-Sep-09 13:49:32

There are some key supplements that can help with morphology: vitamin A, vit B12, folic acid (yes men should take it too!), vit C, vit E, zinc. As well as those good idea to take co-enzyme Q10 and amino acids L arginine and L carnitine. Zita West's book Fertility & Conception has really good section on a this and tells you how much of each to take. Sperm responds really well to supplementing with vits and minerals and after three months you could see much improved results - d
octors will hardly ever tell you this for some reason. Having said that morphology does seem to tbe most difficult parameter to improve. The improvemnts your DH has made to his diet and lifestyle will definitely help too and he shouldn't give up on those. Lastly as other posters have said, results can be unreliable (and definitely susceptible to flu) and should always be repeated before drawing any conclusions.

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