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Putting Sperm to bed. For now.

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Hubs and I made a pact last night. We agreed that we would not worry too much about two tailed mutant sperm right now. Hub’s count at 43 million is not bad–not ridiculously amazing, but definitely not bad. 74% of his swimmers are swimming pretty damn well, which is awesome. And although only 7% of them are absolutely perfect, I have been reading that this doesn’t necessarily mean the slightly imperfect ones can’t fertilize an egg, or that an egg fertilized with non-perfect sperm carries any genetic abnormalities. Plus, there are ways for Hubs to improve this percentage with supplements.

I’m making an executive decision: I simply can’t take on another worry. It’s feeling like almost too much to be trying to deal with the diet, the gross green drink, and the whole not ovulating that I may seriously go ape shit on someone if we have to deal with male factor infertility as well. For now, I will attempt to stay positive, and also have a conversation with my gyno in the next couple of weeks to reconfirm what he told Hubs. Hubs said Gyno genuinely did not seem concerned with the 7% number, and said that if need be, we could do an IUI to improve our chances, but that he sees couples get pregnant all of the time with these numbers. I guess if I was ovulating normally, I wouldn’t be so stressed. I just feel that every time I do ovulate is this precious moment that may not come again for months. It adds a lot of anxiety to things, and I would like to work on managing my anxiety better.

Lastly, there is a blog I read pretty consistently written by a gynecologist who practices in NYC at one of the premier fertility clinics there. There is a TON of info on his site as he has been blogging for 5 years or so, but I came across an interesting article he wrote on sperm morphology which has put my mind at ease.

Sperm Morphology Mythology: basically addresses the issue of “low” percentage and says that many men fall into a 2-6% category due to very strict guidelines for sperm perfection.

If anyone has questions about any IVF procedures, HSG, or fertility drugs and treatments, I have found Dr. Licciardi’s Blog to be extremely helpful, simply because he has dealt with so many cases over the last 20 years in practice, and explains things in a very straightforward way. In fact, the entry he just wrote this month answers SO MANY questions about fertility procedures, I would highly recommend a visit to the blog!



About Sunny

I'm a happily married, 31 year old gal who is just starting her journey to conceive. I also have ovaries that may need a jump start. This blog is an attempt to channel my obsessive research on my Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome into something a pregnancy test. That would be awesome. I also hope that other women with this condition will find support in this blog. There are a lot of us out here! Happy reading, whatever your journey may be.

14 responses »

  1. I like this doc’s blog, too. FWIW, once they told us my husband’s SA was fine, we didn’t ask for numbers and I kinda don’t want to know. I feel like you–I just can’t take on one more worry, and if the docs are ok with it, I’m not going to question it. I love the title of your post! Ha!

    • Yeah, I kind of wish we would have just left it at “fine”. I don’t like having the added thing to worry about, especially if the doc doesn’t seem to think there will be a problem. It’s so hard to let go and trust medical professionals to do their jobs, but I think that for the sake of my sanity, I’m going to have to loosen the reigns on trying to find out any and everything about test results. It’s absolutely crazy making!

      • Yes, it is so very hard to trust that the health care professionals are doing their jobs. It’s just one more way we’re forced to release some control of baby-making–we have no idea when it will happen, first of all, then we’re forced to trust strangers to make our most intimate health decisions. Ugh.

  2. Those numbers are really great! I definitely wouldn’t worry about it! I do have to say, though that it is good to question the Drs. Sometimes they have so many women with so many different problems that they forget to stop and address YOU and your problem. I drive 88 miles each way to my RE and most days I am there for 10 or 15 minutes. I wish they would take more time to talk with me and make my trips feel like they are more fulfilling. Thanks for your AWESOME blog!

    • YES. I totally agree. I sometimes feel like I’m being evaluated as a general statistic, instead of based on my own individual issues. I always question my doc. Usually he’s pretty good about his advice, but I’ve been disappointed a few times.

  3. I almost quit TTC (#2) after a miscarriage last fall because my RE epically FAILED to explain what was going on and why they wanted to do a D&C and generally did a poor job of making me feel comfortable with what was going on. The day they figured the pregnancy was terminating the nurse called and told me that I wasn’t progressing, stop taking the progesterone, and I will start to bleed soon. That was IT! I was LIVID and cried for like 3 days.

    I ended up seeing my OB the day before my D&C and he took 20+ minutes to discuss what was wrong and why they were suggesting a D&C, and what other options I had. My RE ended up apologizing, but the experience was not good!

    Sorry…this was kind of off topic, but it taught me I need to be more aggressive and involved in my medical issues.

    • Not off topic at all! Feel free to vent on here whenever you’d like 🙂 God knows, I do a lot of it! Docs can be SO FRUSTRATING sometimes.

  4. Yeah, I would not worry about it much. Of course, since you are sitting there popping vitamins by the handful, I think its a good idea if hubby does so as well, its so darned easy.

    Fertilaid is supposed to be a good one, and also check his D levels, Vitamin D deficiency linked to male infertility, and increasing it improves multiple parameters, though morphology is not among those mentioned. But, it can’t hurt, and supplementing if your deficient makes you much healthier overall.

    Dr. L is my RE, not very impressed with his practice. He may be right on the morphology– it seems like a far less important thing than count and motility, but many of his policies (especially his stance on thyroid) drive me batty. NYU did ONE study, and of course that is enough to disregard every other study out there on the topic–gah.

    • Wow! What a coincidence that he’s your doc! And even more appropriate that we’ve been bitching in this thread about questioning/trusting your doc! Curious to know his stance on thyroid…

      In regards to the vitamins, Hubs has agreed to start taking his very own alongside me. He hates (absolutely hates) swallowing vitamins, so I need to pick my poison on recs so that he’s not taking 20 different varieties. I’ve heard Fertilaid is supposed to be good.

      • To explain his stance on thyroid, this intro is first needed.Many,many studies show that that women with TSH high than 2.5 (but which can still be in the normal range) have a difficult time conceiving, or have a higher number of miscarriages. Women with high TSH fall into two categories, depending on the presence of anti-thyroid peroxidase antibodies. Women with high TSH and anti-thyroid peroxidase antibodies are at higher risk because many people now think that is indicative of a more autoimmune situation. There have also been a few studies linking elevated TSH levels during pregnancy with lower IQs or a propensity for ADHD in the children. While this association is not strong, it is somewhat logical because severe hypothyroidism results can cretinism in the offspring.

        Now, there have been gazillions of studies done on this subject, with not all studies showing these associations. His group has done one study, has found no association and hence decides to ignore all the other literature out there. This drives me nuts. As a scientist, who has looked at a many,many studies and done quite a few myself, I know how easy it is for one small factor, that you cannot figure out, to sway everything. With all the literature on thyroid out there, its safer to assume that where there is smoke, there is probably a fire. Plus, treating with thyroid hormone (which is all that is needed), when managed correctly to make sure you do not become hyperthyroid, is perfectly safe, cheap and is no work at all, its just a pill to swallow every morning.

        He does not advocate this for his patients. I am his patient, but I’m ignoring his advice and getting my thyroid (I have both the very mildly elevated TSH levels and the auto antibodies) treated by a colleague of his who is an endocrinologist and does believe in the studies that this guy does not. Grr. The only nice things I can say about him is that he always orders all the tests I ask him for and he did a magic HSG, 5 seconds, zero pain.

        Btw, people who have PCOS are far more likely than the rest of the population to have thyroid issues.

      • This is such a wealth of info! Thank you so much for the thoughtful response. I’m glad that you are able to get the meds prescribed by another doctor. It’s ridiculous to think that one study would negate a wealth of info out there that links high TSH with miscarriages!

  5. I too have read that there is a pretty big range for what can be considered normal regarding morphology. Not that that really helps. :p

  6. Hi Sunny, This article popped up on NPR this morning. I thought of it when I read your post.


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