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Really low sperm count - what to do

(37 Posts)
R05e Wed 17-Oct-18 21:13:46

My husband and I have been ttc for a few years now and have started our ivf journey. We have just found out that he has a really low sperm count. About 10% of what it should be. This is on top of my low egg reserve. We are devastated and feel so helpless. He has been referred for further tests but I do not know what for and if there is anything that can be done to help us. The hospital seemed more concerned with pushing us to start paying rather than actually trying to uncover what the problem is. Has anyone else had a similar experience or have any advice? Thank you so much kind people

Cherries101 Wed 17-Oct-18 21:32:23

Is he even a bit overweight? If so then losing weight, exercise might help. Needs to stop smoking / drinking too much. A lot of clinics have special diets (with wellman supplements) that men can go on to boost sperm count and motility - it’s actually one area that can be improved but need to give it 3 months.

R05e Thu 18-Oct-18 07:56:10

Thanks cherries101 - all sounds good, I just need to convince him now. Do you know what supplements are available? I have seen some online but they were in USA. The clinic seemed completely uninterested in finding any reasons why we have not conceived and were just pushing us to pay for more rounds.

bluebell34567 Thu 18-Oct-18 08:04:10

klomifen for your dh may help, i know it helped to someone very much with the same sperm count.
its just tablets to take.

bluebell34567 Thu 18-Oct-18 08:05:35

or it is called clomifene.

ronswansonstache Thu 18-Oct-18 08:11:38

My DP's on Proxeed for a few months as recommended by our clinic. Not for low count but high fragmentation, but they have reviews for helping overall quality. Will have to wait and see whether they work!

loopdeloo Thu 18-Oct-18 08:14:47

My husband doesn't have such a low sperm count but his is less than ideal and I have a very, very low egg reserve. We are not in the UK but our understanding from the clinic here has been that my egg reserve is more of the issue than his sperm count if you use ICSI. He was given some vitamins and given some additional genetic screening to see if that was a cause of the problem, and as it wasn't we were good to go.

I am on my second go at IVF and currently pregnant though it is very, very early days and I've had multiple miscarriages in the past so not going to get too excited but on both attempts the low sperm count has not caused a problem in embryo creation in the lab. I also have a friend with a child conceived through IVF with a husband that had a very, very low sperm count.

R05e Thu 18-Oct-18 13:51:06

Hi loopdeloo - we have already had our first round of icsi and we only managed three embryos. We had no pre tests done then as we froze these as I was having cancer treatment. It was mentioned at the time that hubbys sperm was a bit on the low side but the doc has only just mentioned how low it actually is. Do you know what vitamins your husband took? Also where did you have your treatment? I am looking at going out of the uk. Congrats btw 😘

ArnoldBee Thu 18-Oct-18 13:55:16

I can't see you mentioning your ages but if I was older I would be doing whatever was statistically more successful. If I had a little time I might take the longer funded by the NHS path. My husband had worse results than this and surprisingly we got pregnant more luck rather than anything else.

Iamneverfull Thu 18-Oct-18 14:12:11

Hi we have been trying for over 5 years, we recently found out my partner has a massive variocele. He had sperm counts of 3 million and under. He got referred to the urologist after dull aches and a lump and the scan revealed the variocele which he is now waiting to have embolised. Has your partner got any discomfort or lumpy veins? If so then ask the doctor to get him referred (tell them his pain is the problem). Variocele is a very common reason for low sperm count and can have good results. Best of luck to you

loopdeloo Thu 18-Oct-18 14:40:42

We are in France and get a few rounds of free treatments - if these don't work though and we have to spend money we would possibly look to the private clinics in Spain that have a great reputation (and we are old and running out of time). The vitamins were some kind of high strength vitamin E + zinc I think and after our first failed IVF they got us both to take a multivitamin antioxidants too (they never said but probably to help improve quality of embryos)... no idea if they actually have any effect.

They 'only' got 3 embryos last time (transferred 2 and the third didn't make it to freezing) and this time they 'only' got 2 and transferred both and so far at least one has stuck - not counting chickens though - but this is due to me only producing 3 eggs big enough to work with each time.

Last time I had the egg retrieval I was in recovery with a woman who was on her 4th retrieval - her husband had perfect sperm and she was producing at least 15 eggs and resulting in multiple high quality embryos but none of them would stick. I think about her a lot and hope so much for her that it worked as it was absolutely her last attempt. It made me realise, though, that so much of this is crossing your fingers and just trying to stay sane if things don't go the way you hope. So don't feel too disheartened by this news because you and your husband are managing to create embryos and it just takes one to stick flowers

Persipan Thu 18-Oct-18 14:48:07

If you're doing IVF anyway, this probably isn't that big a problem. As long as he has some sperm they should be able to do ICSI. So, try not to worry too much!

WhatelsecouldIbecalled Thu 18-Oct-18 16:50:34

My DH has low count and low motility as well as only 1% morphology. He has been taking high dose vit c, wellman conception tablets and cq10 100mg tablets. We have seen an increase in count from 2million to 7million. Still not the 15 million to be normal but certainly better. As well as an increase in motility.

loopdeloo Thu 18-Oct-18 17:26:43

Oh I'm glad Persipan has echoed what we were told re: ICSI meaning the low sperm count/motility not really being a problem once you are doing IVF - nothing we can do about my egg reserve but at least it's one less thing to worry about. He is very sporty so did cut back on cycling but is a non-smoker, light drinker much healthier than me and that is really interesting to hear what a difference vitamins have made for your DH Whatelse.

AlphaBravo Thu 18-Oct-18 19:25:19

A tin of Heinz tomato soup every day. No joke. It has a good amount of absorbable lycopene in it. My brother's SC went from very low to one of the highest his consultant had ever seen in a man in his 40's. We copied it and my Husband's went up millions over 3/4 months.

R05e Thu 18-Oct-18 20:26:21

Do you mean like a lump in his groin? He has recently had one there which he has had before but we thought it was an infected in growing hair? He went to gp who seemed less than concerned

R05e Thu 18-Oct-18 20:31:52

@whatelsecouldibecalled that’s fantastic news on your dh’s count. Mine is 1.6 so I will definitely be looking into these supplements

R05e Thu 18-Oct-18 20:35:18

Thanks @loopdeloo you have been a great help. Why have you selected Spain in particular as your next port of call? We have been looking at clinics in Czech Republic but I have no idea where to start

Cherries101 Thu 18-Oct-18 20:58:53

Care fertility have a special sperm diet and recommend Wellman supplements

loopdeloo Fri 19-Oct-18 07:07:25

@R05e to be honest Spain was first mentioned by the gynecologist in the context of donor eggs, which he brought up straight away when it was clear how low my egg reserve was. I absolutely baulked at the idea cried but having done some research and some questioning, have started to think again on the issue, though for as long as we are still trying with my eggs I haven't let my entire focus be on that question yet. Since then I have heard Spain mentioned by a few people who actually have done the research and feel it is the best place to go in terms of success but I haven't looked that closely just yet. If I still manage to produce 3 workable eggs then we would try first with own eggs in Spain but are prepared for the fact that I may simply run out of viable eggs very soon.

loopdeloo Fri 19-Oct-18 07:18:08

We were fobbed off by our (lovely) GP for quite a while when I was worrying about our failure to get pregnant and us running out of time and if I allowed myself to dwell on it, I would regret letting that pass for so long. I subsequently went to hospital out of hours with a miscarriage and there they asked us how long we'd been ttc and said we needed to go see a specialist. Might be worth paying for your DH to have a private urology scan or whatever in order to help your chances of this happening naturally as well as pursuing IVF but, as said, low sperm count/motility is not so much of an issue with ICSI.

Aurea Fri 19-Oct-18 07:24:51

Nutritional therapy can work well. Google Dr Marilyn Glenville.
Good luck!

ckc45d10 Fri 19-Oct-18 19:26:25

Yes, as a few mentioned, CoQ10 may help to support fertility in men. A water and fat-soluble form absorbs better. Here is a little background research for you: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3800531/

Thesnobbymiddleclassone Fri 19-Oct-18 19:29:03

Have you tired something like preseed lubricant? It's meant to help keep the alert alive and help them along.

dreaming174 Sun 21-Oct-18 00:31:45

My husband originally got a sperm count of 67 million (I know not bad) and a morphology of 2% which we wanted to improve (he also has a varicocele). In about 5 weeks, he stopped drinking, and started taking cod oil and these:
www.vitacost.com/natures-plus-procreation-male-fertility-support
I'm pretty sure the same as wellman but just all that's available in our country.
His recent test was 4% morphology and 90 million sperm count.
I should say he already ate really healthily, we just improved it more, and already works out most days and plays a lot of sport which I'm sure helps.
If your partner can improve his overall health and fitness, and reduce drinking and smoking, it would benefit.

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