Post # 1
Hi Everyone, I’m back from a weddingbee break with a question. Hubs and I are now beginning our 11th cycle TTC. I’ve been referred to the Fertility Specialist who will see me just as soon as I complete some blood work, and hubby gets his sperm analyzed. Not surprisingly, Hubby is less than thrilled about doing the SA. I completely understand his hesitation – it’s pretty yucky business, and what if it comes back with bad results? I mean, this is his manhood at stake, right? But seriously, what if the SA results are bad? Is there actually anything that can be done to improve sperm quality? If not, what’s the point of knowing that your sperm suck?
**Obviously, we’re going to do it since that’s the prerequisite for seeing the specialist. But wishing naively that we could stay blissfully ignorant of this potentially depressing news.**
Thanks for the help!
Post # 3
There is stuff that can be done if his results are abnornal in any way, so it’s worth doing. My husband didn’t like the results of our SA, so I understand that yours feels like his manhood is at stake, but… that’s ridiculous. 🙂 His manhood isn’t at stake any more than your womanhood is at stake when you have fertility testing done.
Anyway, here’s what they look for, as far as I understand:
Count: to make sure he’s got enough
Motility: to make sure they move well enough to get up to the egg
Shape: abnormally shaped sperm can have a harder time penetrating the egg.
In our case, my Darling Husband had normal count & motility, but too many abnormally shaped sperm. This meant that our doctor recommended we do IUI instead of intercourse when I was ovulating, so that the sperm wouldn’t have to travel to reach the egg, giving a normally-shaped sperm a higher likelihood of reaching the egg. I imagine they’d recommend the same for low count or motility.
Anyway, after a year of trying, the IUI worked for us & I am now pregnant.
Seriously, do the SA! Information is power. 🙂
Post # 4
it is a very necessary test when you are trying to get pregnant….do it.
Post # 5
- Wedding: August 2013 - The Liberty House
They need to know what the problem is in order to fix it. It’s a lot easier to see if there is a problem with his sperm and to fix that, so it is a logical first step
Post # 6
@razzzzzz: I don’t know much about it, but isn’t it smart to find out if the problem is with you or with him then the options for fertility treatments are different?
Like it could be something wrong w. you or him or a combo of both. I don’t mean wrong in a mean way obviously. But hopefully anything that’s wrong can be corrected.
Sending you good luck!
Post # 7
we havent gotten to that point yet, but i hear its very necessary, but one thing that the doctor told my hubby that could improve his sperm count is Zinc, which he just started taking and apparently sweet potatos/yams…GL 🙂
Post # 8
An SA is really important if you are going to be considered for Clomid. Because Clomid can be dangerous to take long-term, you can only take it 6 times in your life. The fertility specialist will want to make sure that other things are working before they put you on this medicine. if they put you on it while something else is actually the problem, then each month you’re just wasting cycles you can take Clomid.
Post # 9
SA is very important. My BFF and her Darling Husband were TTC for over a year with no results. They thought it was her since she had issues with fibroids, etc in the past. After the SA it turns out he has azoospermia. Essentially he is not producing any sperm and there is no way for them to naturally get PG. Frustrating since she had been beating herself up thinking it was her.
Post # 10
The SA is SUPER important!!! I was referred to a fertility specialist for issues with me and after an SA found out Darling Husband also had issues. He had to have 2 surgeries – one to diagnose a problem and one to fix it. Had we not done the SA we never would have found out about his issues and would have been trying and trying. We got pregnant 5 months after the surgery to fix his issue.
He had a blockage that was prohibiting the sperm from being released in the ejaculate. So, even though he ejaculated there were no little swimmers in there.
Post # 11
@razzzzzz: As other PPs have suggested doing a semen analysis is very necessary to rule out infertility stemming from your husband. I completely understand your husband’s fear about getting bad results (and I’m sure you’re scared too). I have the same fear for ourselves (we will be getting one done in the New Year since we’re on Cycle #20 with no luck).
However, if he does end up having bad results, there ARE things that can be done. I don’t know all of them, but I know there are meds that are sometimes prescribed. Depending on what’s causing the low count, there could possibly be surgery involved. There are supplements out there like FertilAid for Men. The treatment would really depend on the diagnosis.
And yes, it’s definitely a yucky business. There are ways to make it easier on your husband though: You can buy MaleFactor Semen Collection Kits (basically a non-spermicidal condom) and it allows you to collect the sample through normal intercourse. It takes all the embarrassment out of producing the sample! I’ve also read that they usually get a lot better sample when it’s done this way.
I’m really surprised there isn’t more awareness regarding this method of collecting the sample when it’s such a common thing for fertility testing and for IVF and IUI!
Post # 12
Oh my, this is all very depressing. Thank you to all the replies. I’ve searched Dr. Google for information about abnormal SA and have only gotten more confused. I was hoping that there would be a simple solution, like, just take more Vitamin X! Supplements like FertileAid & FertileBlend are suggested, but I can’t seem to find any reputable source showing success rates.
Assuming abnormal SA, I gather that the possible outcomes are (1) Darling Husband needs surgery, (2) IUI, and (3) no way to naturally get pregnant? 🙁
Anyone have an abnormal SA story with a happy ending to share?
Post # 13
I googled it and I found a ton of resources regarding “abnormal sperm” (And poor sperm analysis reports) and there are LOTS of links:
It can be as easy as stopping your bad diet, stopping alcohol or just taking a vitamin every day.
Poor sperm analysis isn’t the end of the world! Depending on what’s wrong (if anything), there are options out there, and your doctor (Or fertility specialist) will be able to point you in the right direction.
Post # 14
- Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort
@razzzzzz: “Assuming abnormal SA, I gather that the possible outcomes are (1) Darling Husband needs surgery, (2) IUI, and (3) no way to naturally get pregnant?”
I haven’t gone through this personally, but best friend and her husband had a SA and his count was low, but not disasterously low and they were able to conceive by having less sex (but at the right times) so that his sperm count would have time to recharge. They’d been having sex too often and he couldn’t make nearly enough sperm fast enough for the next time.
Post # 15
@razzzzzz: Yes, I have a few friends with MFI who have had improvement in their semen analyses with prescription vitamins.
Also, it will tell you if you have a shot with naturally trying, or if you MAY benefit from IUI, or if you will need to use IVF with ICSI to conceive.
Post # 16
Surgery is an unlikely recommendation, unless he has a varicocele (which his doctor would be able to see on physical exam, so that’s unlikely). There are a few simple interventions which can help with sperm count — don’t wear briefs (boxers are better), don’t take hot baths or use hot tubs or saunas, don’t ride a bike. Basically the swimmers don’t like heat, so keep ’em cool.
If the problems with his sperm are serious enough, IVF can be the solution.
But why worry about bad news if you haven’t gotten it yet? Basically, they have to test because they shouldn’t do all kinds of heroic intervention with you if they’re not going to work because the sperm is not going to make it. Even the tests they do for women to check for causes of infertility are pretty invasive — I had the hysterogram, and let me tell you, that was no fun.