Question about sperm washing
3 Replies
katiebug2007 - November 8

my husband and i had our first iui 10 days ago. He has a low sperm count (13 million) and low morphology (10%) but good motility (85%). When we had the IUI the nurse told us his sperm had been washed and he had 6ml, which she seemed to think was good. what does that mean? Thanks!


babyinabasket - November 13

Hi Katie Bug!!

Put simply, sperm washing is the technique used to prepare sperm for IUI. It must be washed first to remove the sperm from the seminal fluid and separate the good swimmers from the slackers. If the pre-wash count is 20 million, that is the TOTAL count including the couch potatoes, crazed wigglers, and confused surfers. A post-wash count includes ONLY the champion swimmers who made the team.

Most doctors consider anything above 2 mil post-wash to be a good count. In our case, DH NEVER had a [i]pre-wash[/i] count above 2mil! In fact, our son was conceived thru at-home IUI with an actual post-wash count of 220,000!

The technique we used is called "swim up" because the sperm do just that. The semen is placed in the bottom of a little glass vial and a sperm prep fluid is layered over it. The healthy sperm "swim up" into the sperm prep solution, leaving the unhealthy, dead or nonmotile sperm behind. Then we drew off the sperm solution containing the best swimmers directly into the IUI catheter and immediately did the IUI.

I suspect that a big part of the reason why we were successful with such a low count is that, because we did the wash and IUI at home, the whole thing only took about 60 minutes from ejaculation to IUI. The sperm was processed quickly and didn't "sit around" for even a minute. Also, labs usually use a centrifuge to spin out the sperm several times. Research has shown that acceptable post-wash counts can be acheived with just a swim up. Labs are starting to move away from the centrifuge now and toward swim up, especially when the procedure is done in the doctor's office.

I hope this was helpful. If you need more info, check out[url]http://www.babyinabasket.n

Jennifer Kerr


Brianandjena - November 21

Hey everyone, I Just called my doctor (i have a different ins than my husband) miine covers iui etc. and he has low sperm count and morph. I just called my doc and am waiting for a call back. I asked if he thought that we should go to a urologist.. has anyone ever went to see a urologist and what are your views?


miloskorac - June 13

Hello Jennifer,

What kind of sperm prep fluid you have used?



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