Hi all -
DH and I have been TTC for about 1.5 years (not giving it our all, I'll admit). We have a 5-year-old son with whom it took 1.5 years to conceive - so that's three total years that I've been TTC. I have been hoping that this would be easy the second time around, but I finally got to the point where I was like, "This can't just be a coincidence!" So, although I didn't want to have to go this route (who does?), we started with some easy testing. I have to admit, I'm a little mad we waited this long.
My DH just got his SA results back and although the sperm concentration and volume looked good, the motility (movement) and morphology (shape) was sub-par. 50-90% is normal range and he's at 38%, which luckily isn't bottom of the barrel, but we'd like to help boost those numbers.
The doctor recommended extra dosages of vitamin d, vitamin c, vitamin e, zinc and L Cartinine. He's going to take those for a few months and if we're not pregnant, he'll get another test to see if there's been any improvement.
For those of you who have been through this with your partner, do you have any tips of other things he can do to help his sperm? Have any of you had success with this? And, how do you time BD with this? Any better positions?!
Thanks so much for your help - this is all new territory for us! Honestly, after three combined years of not knowing why we weren't getting pregnant, it is nice to have some little piece of the puzzle - a shred of certainty in 3 years of uncertainty :) I could have something going on too, but at least we have somewhere to start.
I've heard that Maca can help improve sperm motility. Do a search on it to make sure I remember that correctly.
How old are you? If you are in your mid or late 30s, I would get to an RE quickly. If not, I would just have DH take some supplements, and if you don't get pregnant in 6 months or so then go to see an RE. l-argigine, fertilaid, and omega 3s are supposed to help. All that stuff really helped my DHs semin analysis.
happy2beamama, good thing you went in for that test and have somewhere to start.
Make sure your DH doesn't use a laptop on his lap or keep his cell phone anywhere near his groin area. You know the rest of the other external factors that promote healthy sperm - no tight underwear, no saunas or too-hot showers, etc. - basic principle being to keep the testicles area cool.
Try googling ayurveda and fertility. If you have access to a good ayurvedic store, they have a lot of great natural concoctions and supplements to increase semen quality and volume.
Chk out this advice, see the latter part of the article: http://www.doctoryourself.com/fertility.html Get hold of a copper jug/cup if you can.
Good luck with everything!
SA is an easy way to start the testing. It's good to have that information. I've seen women on here talking about their partners going to acupuncture and that helping. Good luck!
keeptryst - thanks for that article - it was great to get some validation and more info about the vitamins that my DH is taking :)
I contacted a woman who has done Maya Abdominal Massage for me in the past. I trust her and she is a wealth of knowledge about fertility and I asked her if she had any ideas about boosting sperm quality and she said that Maya Massage is great for that too! She said that there can be congestion in the pelvic area, sometimes due to hernias or other things going on and funny enough, DH did have a hernia while we were TTC the first time around. He has since gotten it fixed, but she said that she can teach him ways to soften that area and help improve sperm. Pretty cool!
While I have you gals here - something surprising happened this month - I used OPK's for the first time. I thought they would be inaccurate (and they still could be), but what I noticed was that if these OPKs are right, I actually ovulate later than I thought I did. All the books say that you have fertile fluid when you ovulate and I had fertile fluid, but by the time I got the LH surge, I really didn't have fertile fluid anymore. In the past, I thought that once my fertile fluid was gone, I must've ovulated, so I'm wondering if all along we have been missing the window because we stop having sex when my ff is gone and in fact, I haven't even ovulated yet!! Not sure if it's all that clear and simple. Anyone else find this to be true (not a lot of ff when you actually ovulate)?
If I had a regular donor (ie DH or live-in lol) I would seriously just BD every other day throughout my cycle. It would be much easier than trying to pinpoint O, etc...
However, the only way to accurately know when you ovulate is by temping. OPKs can be unpredictable, and as you may have just learned, so can cervical fluids.
Keep trying! I say that you did it once, you can do it again! :)
Thanks, Stevi! You know, temps aren't totally reliable either. I did chart for a while, but some mornings I would wake up earlier and other mornings I would wake up, but then go back to sleep (and have a kid that sometimes wakes me up), so that could never be super consistent.
BD-ing every other day the entire cycle sounds TIRING! But doing that during the week or two of suspected ovulation (and before and after) isn't a bad idea.
I know everyone says that OPKs are unreliable, but now that I've used them, I don't see how they could be. Like pregnancy tests, they can only give a positive if the hormone is present, so there's no way for it to say it's positive if that hormone wasn't really there, right? Am I missing something??
OPKs work when you get a positive... I mean, you are fairly certain you will ovulate soon. The problem is when you don't get a positive. Some women have to test multiple times per day to catch the surge, whereas others' surge can last a couple/few days. Also, they don't say when exactly you will ovulate. I can ovulate as soon as the day of my positive OPK, but I know for most ovulation occurs a day or two later. And sometimes you get the surge, but don't ovulate.
And yeah, temps are only reliable if you have a regular sleep pattern. Which I usually don't either! LOL
Just came across this, sharing it here:
There is plenty of evidence to show that caffeine, particularly in the form of coffee, decreases fertility. Drinking as little as one cup of coffee a day can halve your chances of conceiving. On study showed that problems with sperm: sperm count, motility and abnormalities, increase with the number of cups of coffee consumed each day. Once again, it's important to eliminate all caffeine-containing food and drinks for at least three months before trying to conceive. That includes colas, chocolate, black teas and coffee, among other things.
keeptryst - thank you for that article (although my DH won't thank you since he is a devout coffee lover - figures, right?!)
Also, DH saw the Maya Massage therapist yesterday and had rave reviews. He had a hernia and got the mesh to repair it and she said that that can definitely cause some morphology and motility issues since scar tissue makes everything sort of get stuck. She also talked about how other muscles, like his IT band and lower back (and their relative tightnesses) can also lock things up for sperm. She taught him a bunch of self-care massage and gave him names of certain oils to help break up scar tissue.
It will be interesting to have his sperm re-tested in a few months because he is religiously taking all these supplements and doing the massage stuff and if he quits (or lowers) coffee - WOW!
So many pieces of the puzzle seem to be falling into place - Fx for you guys :)
I hesitate to even say this, but that's what makes it a bit scary - like what if we STILL don't get pregnant with all these little answers we're getting? I will save my worry for if we ever get to that place. Right now I am trying to cope with this 2WW that is throwing me the biggest loop ever.