male factor - low sperm count - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 02-16-2008, 12:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello,
I searched these forums a bit for information specifically about low sperm count but haven't found any, and can't see any search option. So if I'm repeating things that have already been discussed, my apologies and I'd love to know of previous posts on this topic.
My dh and I have been trying to conceive for almost 2 years now. I think for a while, my body wasn't working as it should...cycles were off. It appears now that they are regulated (thanks to a great naturopath). After a few months of trying knowing that my cycles were fine, the naturopath suggested my husband get tested. results came back saying his sperm count is less than 1 million. Of course he's devastated and wants to be very private about this. He's been to the same naturopath, started taking vitamins, minerals and herbs (vitamins E and C, zinc, selenium, ginseng) that help with fertility (aparently 90% of male infertility is nutritional based, according to info she gave us). he seems to be in the 10% as no change - still under 1 million. His doctor has referred him to a urologist, but we're looking at a minimum 1 year wait to see him, and he's the only urologist specializing in fertility in our province. Our naturopath has moved and states there is nothing more she can do. We're feeling a little lost. for dh, he really wants to know what the cause is and we're still wanting to be hopeful that there are solutions here. We're not sure we want to go through fertility treatments - so much money and no guarantees. We don't exactly have the money to throw at something that may not even work, and we're not overly keen of all of the medications and such that this would involve) It seemed as though I may have been pregnant back in the summer, but very briefly. I still hold on to this, hoping it could happen again.
I find myself stubbornly telling myself that there is a solution, we will find it and we will be pregnant. but then I hit low days where I wonder if my stubborn optimism isn't helping me - if it's impeding me of facing the "reality" of our situation and of finding realistic options here. dh sees another naturopath in a week, one with some different skills than our first naturopath. We're hopeful she'll have something to offer us, or some direction she can suggest. I would be very happy if we could avoid the technological route...not even sure we want to go there. otherwise, we then have to wait a year to see the urologist...that seems so long to sit and wait.
I'd love to hear from anyone else who is struggling/has struggled with this issue and if there is anything they can suggest!!
It seems as though there is little info out there on male fertility factors. Why is it that most cases can't be explained? that is very frustrating!
the good thing for us is that my husband and I have been very open with one another, we talk about this when we need to and try to be there for one another. I am thankful for this.

married to DH, mother to two amazing little boys born May 18/2010 and May 20/2013!

Infertility has been part of this journey - no more littles for us, but so grateful we have two happy healthy boys and we can now begin to heal from that experience

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#2 of 11 Old 02-16-2008, 02:02 PM
 
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There are heaps and heaps of threads on this. I'll link some after work - I'm late!! But, rest assured that you are not alone. You can try a google search (MDC male factor infertility, or low sperm count type deal, just include MDC, and results will pop up). It's true, the search function on the board could use improvement.

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For greater things are yet to come...

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#3 of 11 Old 02-16-2008, 04:03 PM
 
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We had a severe male factor diagnosis - poor motility, poor morphology, low counts - the SA trifecta. We tried acupuncture and herbs, but there was no change. Dh did have a varicocle, and repair of that helped motility and count quite a bit, but he still has very poor morphology, enough so that the sperm can't penetrate and egg. We are suspicious of a vaccine he was forced to get in college - particularly as we have met a fair number of other men in his age group, who graduated from college around 1990, with similar problems.

Anyway, we ended up doing IVF/ICSI for both our pgs. Not what you wanted to hear, I am sure, but we do have two beautiful daughters, and I would go through it all again for them.

There is a great website that gives a lot of basic knowledge on male IF. I think not much is known because drs have spent most of their time focusing on what was wrong with women - up until relatively recently, if a couple couldn't get pg, it was just assumed it was the woman's "fault." Like dh's urologist said, there is clearly some system malfunction, we just don't know what it is. I am hoping that will change soon.

ETA: Have you made the urologist appt. yet? If it were me, I think I would go ahead and make the appointment (you can always cancel it) and ask to be put on their cancellation list too. In the meantime, you can be trying other things.

Wife to Thomas, WAH mama to Sofia Rose 8/04, Ellen Marie 10/07, her twin sister Amalie Joy lost 7/07 , and Maya Grace and Hannah Miriam 4/10
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#4 of 11 Old 02-17-2008, 03:04 AM
 
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Hi! A bit of a tangent, but I am in BC and I have had great luck with getting into specialists earlier than my original booked appointment. I make the secretary my new best friend and call every single week to see if there are any cancellations and remind her that I can come on short notice. Might be worth trying, a year is a long time to wait. My dh also has male factor, we did IVF with ICSI, but he has also improved all of his issues with some fancy testicle cooling system he researched on the internet. ???

mama to two DD's, 7 and 3 (3 rounds of IVF and more FET's than I can remember)
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#5 of 11 Old 02-17-2008, 03:11 AM
 
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My DH had the same problems, all three, morph, count, mobility. It took three years to have our first baby, but she was conceived not long after DH started taking NOW brand Tri-Aminos. It has L-Arginine and two other amino acids, can't remember at the moment. But I have only gotten pregnant when he is taking this and a good multi-vitamin. Maybe not a miracle, but it worked for us.

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#6 of 11 Old 02-18-2008, 12:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for all of the information. It is helpful to hear how others have dealt with similar situations. we want to try everything before we consider IVF...but that may be where we end up. Family doc has referred dh to the urologist, but when we phoned the uorlogist's office, we were told that it would be November before they would even contact us with an appointment date. This is very frustrating! We may keep calling, as crazyrunningmama has suggested, just to see where this all goes.
We'll also look to pick up the L-arginine/amino acid blend. This is the one supplement we haven't tried. since his numbers stayed the same after 3 months of lots of supplements, we wonder if it isn't some structural issue. it's all a guessing game at this point.
naturopath on Saturday...we're hopeful she will have suggestions.
thanks again everyone.

married to DH, mother to two amazing little boys born May 18/2010 and May 20/2013!

Infertility has been part of this journey - no more littles for us, but so grateful we have two happy healthy boys and we can now begin to heal from that experience

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#7 of 11 Old 02-19-2008, 05:54 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dena View Post


We had a severe male factor diagnosis - poor motility, poor morphology, low counts - the SA trifecta. We tried acupuncture and herbs, but there was no change. Dh did have a varicocle, and repair of that helped motility and count quite a bit, but he still has very poor morphology, enough so that the sperm can't penetrate and egg. We are suspicious of a vaccine he was forced to get in college - particularly as we have met a fair number of other men in his age group, who graduated from college around 1990, with similar problems.

Anyway, we ended up doing IVF/ICSI for both our pgs. Not what you wanted to hear, I am sure, but we do have two beautiful daughters, and I would go through it all again for them.

There is a great website that gives a lot of basic knowledge on male IF. I think not much is known because drs have spent most of their time focusing on what was wrong with women - up until relatively recently, if a couple couldn't get pg, it was just assumed it was the woman's "fault." Like dh's urologist said, there is clearly some system malfunction, we just don't know what it is. I am hoping that will change soon.

ETA: Have you made the urologist appt. yet? If it were me, I think I would go ahead and make the appointment (you can always cancel it) and ask to be put on their cancellation list too. In the meantime, you can be trying other things.
Would you mind telling me which vaccine? My husband had some vaccines aroun 1992 to travel out of the country and wanted to know if there was a connection too.

Thanks
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#8 of 11 Old 02-22-2008, 05:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fullofhope08 View Post
thanks for all of the information. It is helpful to hear how others have dealt with similar situations. we want to try everything before we consider IVF...but that may be where we end up. Family doc has referred dh to the urologist, but when we phoned the uorlogist's office, we were told that it would be November before they would even contact us with an appointment date. This is very frustrating! We may keep calling, as crazyrunningmama has suggested, just to see where this all goes.
We'll also look to pick up the L-arginine/amino acid blend. This is the one supplement we haven't tried. since his numbers stayed the same after 3 months of lots of supplements, we wonder if it isn't some structural issue. it's all a guessing game at this point.
naturopath on Saturday...we're hopeful she will have suggestions.
thanks again everyone.
DH and I went to a natural supplement store. The man working gave us Maca root in the fluid form. Amino acids Taurine and L-Arginine...Twice a day. Good for motility, count, etc.. Good luck

Shawna!! DH Kevin, DD Kaelen (12) DS Drew (10), Sam and Jocelyn 11 months and TTC!!
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#9 of 11 Old 02-23-2008, 12:09 AM
 
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My guy had a very depressing SA last summer and then started on Macca and Zinc. Two months later his numbers all doubled. He's doing pretty well on everything now except morphology is still a bit icky. I know you've tried supplements, but you may want to give Macca a try as well. It also really amped up (for a while anyway) his sex drive which in theory can't be bad for the whole process right?
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#10 of 11 Old 02-23-2008, 08:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by melissa1 View Post
Would you mind telling me which vaccine? My husband had some vaccines aroun 1992 to travel out of the country and wanted to know if there was a connection too.

Thanks
Measles, maybe MMR - he can't remember for sure, but knows that it was at least the measles.

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#11 of 11 Old 02-29-2008, 02:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We saw the new naturopath last week. She is trying to address some other health issues (not directly related to fertility, but as she says, this is what is physically present - restless legs through the night) with more vitamins/minerals. She has mentioned Macca, which I think dh will start soon. she may also increase his zinc levels. So here's hoping. He's also looking to start regular accupuncture, we found someone close by that does it.
I also wanted to mention the book Male Biological Clock. I ordered it as it seemed interesting. There is valuable info in the book explaining why some men have low sperm counts/poor morphology. I haven't even gotten to the chapter on infertility, but already we have learned a lot about the role that testosterone and other hormones play for some men with these problems. I knew that this could be a factor, but had never seen the explanation. It seems to be a possible problem for my dh. and thankfully there are solutions to this. It may not be the factor for dh, but it gives us the info to follow up with this doctor. A simple blood test will tell us if this is the issue.
I just wanted to share this, in case it can help others as well. many of you may already know this...but it's all new to us at our stage in this crazy journey.

married to DH, mother to two amazing little boys born May 18/2010 and May 20/2013!

Infertility has been part of this journey - no more littles for us, but so grateful we have two happy healthy boys and we can now begin to heal from that experience

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