Post # 1
I posted recently about my heavy periods, endo, and needing a saline ultrasound. After the ultrasound my doctor gave me fertility labs to complete and a semen analysis for my husband. I had a follow up appointment from the labs and my doctor said everything is absolutely perfect with my numbers. Yay me! My husband’s semen analysis had great numbers as well however 97% percent of his sperm is abnormal and only 3% is normal. The abnormality was “Amorphrous head”. The doctor seemed concerned when he was telling me. The doctor referred us to a urologist. He has an appointment in a week but I don’t want what to expect? Is this a fertility crisis? Is this something alot of men have? Should I go to the appointment with him?
I have endometriosis and hypothryoidism so I was expecting me to have the issues not him. The doctor is putting me on a couple months of birth control to help my terrible periods while we figure out what the next steps are.
I have to “what to expect before your expecting” and there is tons of information on female reproductive but very little on male reproductive issues. I’ve also used “Dr.Google” and still haven’t found much information.
I did read that “lifestyle changes” could possibly help his sperm but he’s active (works up 5 days a week), oh nly drinks one cup of coffee, takes multivitamins and fish oil, drinks rarely, and is in great health overall.
Post # 2
My husband has male factor infertility causing us to need IVF. At his first urologist appt they did a repeat sperm analysis (I guess each sample can vary so they don’t rely on just one). They also did a testicular ultrasound to try to find a cause for his low numbers. They did and he was diagnosed with varicoceles (like varicose veins in testicals), which is sometimes treatable. We didn’t have success even after vein removal. We successfully did IVF with ICSI for my daughter, and then somehow got pregnant naturally with baby number 2 and I’m 20 weeks pregnant! Take it one step at a time and see what the next tests say. I know for my husband, and for most men, it’s a huge blow to their confidence to find out there’s a problem with their sperm, so he may need some time to process the information. Best of luck to you!
Post # 3
Update: We went to his urology appointment and left even more confused. The urologist did a quick exam on him and asked some basic questions then said “There’s nothing I can do to help you”, if you are ready to seriously pursue fertility treatments, you need to go to an RE but you may not have issues conceiving normal, who knows? Umm what? My Ob/gyn referred us there and they weren’t even going to do a repeat SA. I called the OB office back kind of upset and they said I could pursue fertility with them or go to an RE.
I’m so lost.
Post # 4
I’m really sorry you had that experience! Was this a reproductive urologist? If not, i might consider a second opinion because it sounds like this doctor was not used to dealing with infertility issues.
If you are going to pursue treatment, I would absolutely move on to an RE. An Obgyn is not trained to *get* you pregnant, that is an RE’s job. I’ve seen a lot of people in other infertility groups get really bad advice from an OB.
As to whether you can get pregnant without intervention – it might be possible! But, the person best equipped to answer that question is an RE. If I were in your shoes, whether I aggressively pursued fertility would depend on age and how long I’ve been trying. We moved to the RE fairly quickly in our infertility journey – our first infertility appointment was less than a year after we started trying. I felt strongly that tme was not on our side although I was only 32 at the time. Almost 3 years later, still not pregnant so I absolutely do not regret moving to that step as quickly as we did but obviously that’s a very limited view.
If I were you, I’d recommend at least a consultation with an RE. See what they say about the abnormal sperm analysis. Maybe they will recommend a second appointment with a infertility urologist. If you aren’t ready for treatment yet, then take your time. But at least if you meet with the dr, you may get some better answers.
Post # 5
get to an RE and don’t bother with an OB for fertility issues. The RE should have a urologist they work with that can help you too. My husband has a varicocele and retrograde ejaculation and we had our daughter via IVF with ICSI. They can do amazing things – we lucked out that the day of my retrieval my husband got a good sample but we had some frozen sperm that they extracted from his urine as a back up. Seriously science is wild! We actually got pregnant naturally after her but it ended in miscarriage.
Post # 6
definitely get to an RE and don’t pursue any fertility stuff with an OB at this point. They aren’t equipped for most issues. As for the urologist, I would be stumped too. I’m not sure what that all means but I would just have a consult with an RE, where they can further explain the meaning behind things and also give you information on your options. I’m guessing the recommended route to a child will be IVF with ICSI.
My husband has a diagnosis of azoospermia, in other terms no sperm. It was a blow but we came up with a plan of donor sperm and we are on our third cycle of IUI.
Post # 7
Are there andrologists in the US? The urologist we worked with was horrible, but the andrologist suggested certian things for us to do.
Post # 8
normal semen morphology is >4%, so 3% isn’t that far from normal. There are vitamins that he can take if you get a copy of the book It Starts with the Egg.
Post # 9
My husband has low morphology. It was 2% and a few months later it was 3%. We did conceive naturally a few months after he started making lifestyle changes. Lots of supplements, better diet, less alcohol and wearing snowballs underwear. Unfortunately it was an ectopic so we have moved onto ivf. My clinic feel the low morphology isnt really an issue but I see many clinics recommend icsi. But it can be improved.
Post # 10
There is hope. I am in the same boat. Dh has less than 1% morphology so your numbers are great by comparison! As others have said, go see an RE. OBs really don’t know that much about fertility and are really useless in this scenario. I am not a doctor but based on my own experience, as we are going through this right now, you may need IVF with ICSI to conceive with low morphology. IUIs may not be successful for you (they were not for me), but everyone is different. You can try taking certain supplements (Dh has taken Proxeed) however this did not improve his morphology. There is very little research out there on how those numbers can improve. I had a previous RE tell me it’s hopeless with low morphology. I left that RE and am now working with one who says all you need is one good sperm per egg. For many women in IVF that’s less than 15. So although it is overwhelming and invasive, IVF with ICSI is most likely your best shot.
Post # 11
Sorry that urologist wasn’t helpful. Depending on how long it’s been, I’d definitely do a repeat SA. DH had a reading of less than 1% normal on his first test and when we retested 2 months later he had 9% normal and a high enough count they weren’t concerned.
We ultimately pursued IVF for other reasons, but 2 of the 3 REs I talked too weren’t terribly worried about morphology since his count wasn’t also low — even if it stayed at <1%.
In your shoes, I’d definitely see an RE, even if you’re not looking towards treatment now. By the time you’re doing testing, it’s best to see someone who specializes in fertility. Your OB’s job is to deliver healthy babies; getting people pregnant isn’t really their field of study. I’d recommend meeting with a few to make sure you’re with a doctor who is a good fit for you.
Post # 12
I’m terrible at updates. I’ll blame it on grad school.
I am going to contact an RE at some point in the next couple of months. My husband believes since the urologist said he couldn’t help and because he said you may be able to conceive naturally he thinks I’m not being patient enough. I’ve found this proces to be confusing and frustrating and I can’t imagine what everyone else has gone through. My gynocologist does fertility as well since it’s a larger practice but I would rather pursue an RE instead because of everything I’ve read.