2 Replies
riv - June 22

:) HELLO E veryone.

OK so here are my numbers :

Volume: 3 ml [ok]
Count: 51 million / ml [also not bad]
Motility: 20% excellent forward prog // 60% non-motile [ bad result]
MORPHOLOGY: 10 % normal 90% abnormal forms [ terrible result]
SO I HAVE A couple of Questions:
Do the abnormal forms get spread around both the non motile and the motile sperms ? IE, of the 20% which are exc forward prog, will 90% of those ('the good sperm') also be bad morphers, therefore leaving only a total of 2% of the sperm being both good swimmers and in good shape?
Or is it more that if the sperm is a bad swimmer (80%) these will also contain most of the bad morphers, ie the 20% which swim well are also likely to be in good shape ?
Do you see my point ? Basically are 20% of my sperm good to go, or only 2 % ?
ALSO- on the subject of ABNORMAL FORMs - is there a risk one of these
could get through and fertilise an egg ? If so, will the embryo be damaged in some way ? If so, is there anything one can do to avoid ?

ALSO, the 20% which have exc forward progression : I read that as between Y chromo and X chromo sperm the former are much faster swimmers than the latter: does that mean that most or all of my 20% exc forw prog sperms are likely to be Y chromos and therefore produce a male embryo / child ?

[There's a lot to think about isn't there ??]


RabbitEars - June 23


Let me start out by saying that my husband and I have similar problems. His stats are as follows:

Total count: 676 million (VERY GOOD)
Morphology 1%-3% normal forms (HORRIBLE)

we are both young (26 and 28 years old), I have no fertility problems and ovulate like clockwork. Our RE said that abstaining from alcohol should not increase bad morphology. I have heard that some vitamins, various acupuncture etc will work, but this could all be coincidental...I am skeptical. Our RE told us we have a very low chance of conceiving naturally each month, so she put me on clomid (to give my husband more targets to hit) and we are doing IUI's. We had our fist IUI on Monday, and now are in the 2WW. I am very nervous and skeptical.

With refrence to your post to the doctor on this site. He told me the same thing...ICSI or IVF (with injection of the sperm directly into the egg is your best bet and "good luck"). I just don't believe this is true. There are plenty of cases that have proven successful where there is evident male factor problems and the couple has gotten a BFP with IUI.

What percentages is your fertility specialist giving you? With those numbers, it does seem as though you will need some type of assistance. But I wouldnt rush into expensive IVF or ICSI without trying IUI with drugs first.

I also had concern about one of my husband's poorly shaped sperm (they look like golf clubs--bent over) reaching my eggs and making an abnormal baby. My doctor told me that abnormal sperm sometimes are capable of getting into the egg, but there is no evidence suggesting that the baby would be abnormal...

I am sorry for the long response. But I have had the same questions as you and no one seems to answer mine...Please let me know more about your journey to having a baby.

PS--my husband and I belong to an exotic wine and beer club and enjoy alcohol with our dinners almost every night don't feel like a criminal!!



riv - June 23

Thanks fr your input and let us know what happens with the IUI thing. :)

So far I have not spoken to a reproductive med specialist, just my GP who organized the semen analysis.
His view is that you put the numbers together so you start with 150 million sperms, of which 50 million are swimmers of which 5 million are in good shape ! - and that is generally considered 'enough' he says for the man to be 'basically potentially fertile' if there are no probs on the female's side. ... So his idea is to wait for tests on my gf before trying IUI or whatever. [see below on alcohol consumption.....]

Mind you -the same arithmetic would give you 6-9 million normal formed swimmers so......

I have a bit of a worry that IUI and even worse ICSI could increase chances of defective embryo simply because my understanding of normal fertilization is that the obstacles are there for a purpose - to weed out the bad sperm - so that if you reduce the obstacles in general then you increase the possiblity that a bad sperm would get through ! Hope there is some science which disproves that 'common sense' thought.

Also, I have read (ok on websites....) that Clomid has some effect of discouraging the poor lad Y chromosome sperm and therefore advantaging the generally stronger X chromos thus increasing the likelihood of female embryos / twins.......[ ok it's not PC to say it but I think most men want at least one son ....... (just being honest)..... ] ? Maybe when they are 'washing' the sperm prior to IUI they can also separate the Y from the X chromos ?? ;)

I don't see how a doctor can possibly say that a badly formed sperm fertilizing an egg doesn't increase the likelihood of an embryo or birth defect..... How can they know ? They can't go backwards from a baby with probs to its conception, and they can't deliberately experiment injecting badly formed sperm into eggs and then checking 9 months later as to how the neonate is !

Digressing for a mo, I must say I am impressed (jealous!) of your man's huge .....sperm count ! Does he have a sideline in porno movies ?? [just kidding] How long have you been trying for a conception anyway ? If there are no probs with you according to my doc's math he should be capable of getting you with child before too long - and you are still in your 20s so isn't it worth trying a full year the normal way ?

ALCOHOL !!!! I certainly think you should try the alcohol abstention thing. It is a pain, I know, but I have read quite a few articles which say that regular alcohol consumption does harm sperm production / morphology. Also there was an hour long programme on British TV a month ago on this very subject. They took at random an amateur football team - so basically mostly healthy-ish masculine men and measured their sperm parameters before and after a 3 (or was it 6) month abstention from alcohol and healthy eating programme. [Previously the men had basically subsisted, like most British men, on beer (large quantities thereof) and pizza.] About half of the men (from memory) showed a marked improvement in the quality of their sperm at the end of the experiment. Certainly that programme and the stuff I have read on the web has prompted me to abstain totally from drinking (and it is a sacrifice but I do want a boy and a girl soon!!! and I can always drink again once the 2nd one is on its way! ) . I have to wait another 6 weeks before it is worth doing the semen analysis again to see if 3 months' abstinence (from booze) has made a difference ..... But it can't help to try it can it ?

When working up to having a go at inseminating the ovum (! - excuse the Shakespearean turn of phrase -) should one first abstain from sex for 3, 4 , 5 or 6 days ? 3 seems to be the minimum advised....... some say that more than that is bad for the sperm, but some docs on some sites say the longer you abstain - up to a max of 6 days - the more you increase your chances by building up greater quantities of sperm w/o damaging their fertility parameters..... If I could find a consensus I would follow it.......... What have your docs told you and your horse ( sorry, hubby) ? :)



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