Semen analysis for donor--freezing - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 05-26-2010, 10:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all of you wonderful mamas/papas. I have a question about semen analysis.

My donor's results came back normal (even though he smokes)--yay! However, I'm paranoid about freezing. His volume is kind of low, so they'd only be able to get a scant 2 vials per donation, and he's only able to donate 3-4 times to the clinic before the FDA regulated window (7 days from testing/exam) closes. We're hoping we've timed it right that one of those donations can be a fresh IUI so it won't be frozen, but still...

Any experiences with freeze/thaw issues? Especially with known donors?

Our clinic recommended bringing his partner with him when he donates (typically they see higher volume and motility when the donor enjoys the process more), but he's single, and that would be one hell of a date!

Mostly I'm looking for reassurance! His count was 80mil, motility 56%, Kruger Morphology 21% normal--so, great, average, and good, in that order. The andrologist gave his sample a solid "B to B+." I just don't want to spend the $1,000 on his exam/testing/freezing if his B+ goes down to a D- after freezing!
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#2 of 11 Old 05-26-2010, 11:42 AM
 
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I am a former andrologist. I think it will be fine. It sounds good to me, at least. Sometimes numbers can go down a little with freezing, but from the numbers you gave, I think it will be ok. There are always risks none of them will take even with fresh IUIs, but it sounds at least good to average with what you've reported.

And that would be one crazy date! Some clinics let you bring the sample in instead of collecting it there-ours did so long as it was there within an hour. You can probably check and see if they will let him. Maybe he can collect more that way, even if you bring it in for him.

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#3 of 11 Old 05-26-2010, 12:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think he lives a bit too far from the clinic--it's in the same city, but with traffic could take almost half an hour to get there. I'll bring that up with him, especially for his Saturday donation (no work traffic to deal with).

Thanks!
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#4 of 11 Old 05-26-2010, 11:20 PM
 
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Have you done a freeze test with the donor? Only between 1 in 7 to 1 in 10 men have sperm that survives the freezing and thawing process. It's vital to check that if you're planning to do IUIs or ICIs or anything that's not IVF with the frozen sperm. I'd definitely do that test to potentially save $ and heartache.

Good luck!

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#5 of 11 Old 05-27-2010, 12:13 AM
 
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Where did you get that info? We *never* had that issue out of all of our freezing. Since I have never heard of this being such a big issue, I did some research. I did not find those statistics. Here is one bovine study: http://jas.fass.org/cgi/reprint/71/1/199.pdf Can you share some research? Having never faced even near those stats in my human patients and in my animal science classes, I'm interested in why that would be.

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#6 of 11 Old 05-27-2010, 01:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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According to our clinic, they tend to lose 40-60% of the sperm upon freezing. Which is why a lot of men don't have enough to freeze--if you start around the low/middle normal (say, 30million), if you lose 60% upon freezing, and only have 50% motility, you're down to 6 or 7 million, which is insufficient.

I asked my clinic, specifically, what they thought, and the andrologist said that since he's got 80 million, with almost 60% motility (and his morphology if 150% of average!), even after thawing we'd probably have over 20 million live/swimming to inseminate with.

I did ask about the freeze/thaw test, but my clinic does not do that as a part of their regular analysis.

He goes back for his real testing and the start of his week of donations next Thursday! Wish him luck. Oh yeah, and us!
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#7 of 11 Old 05-27-2010, 09:43 AM
 
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Given you previous history, I think a freeze/thaw test is absolutely indicated.

I have found my former clinic's andrologist, and my last two REs, and a lot of the andrology literature to be overly optimistic about success rates with frozen sperm for IUI.

Yes, 20,000 is still A LOT, but..but..but.

Also, get him to take a vitamin C supplement, starting like now. And possibly look into ways to bring his sperm count up to start with. Especially because he smokes, and smoking is well-known to be deadly to sperm. My old clinic had a policy of not treating smokers for infertility until 3 months after they'd quit. I'm not saying I agree with that, the infertility treatment was very stressful, and I saw MANY patients coming out of the clinic and lighting up furtively as soon as they hit the street.

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#8 of 11 Old 05-27-2010, 10:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Right now the only way they'd do a freeze-thaw test would be if I went ahead with the full exam/testing. So we might as well have him make as many donations as possible, and if he thaws poorly, we'll do more IUIs back to back.

He's been cutting back on the smoking since we asked him. He was at 1/2 a pack a day, now he's down to only 3-4 per day, sometimes less. He takes a multivitamin, with a high dose of C, every day--he was doing it for the winter only (usually he'll take less or a different one in the summer when he tends to eat more fresh veggies and get more D from the sun, and less colds to deal with), but kept up with it just for us.

We are hoping we've timed everything appropriately so that one of his donations can be a fresh IUI. I'm on fertility meds, so ovulation will be planned/monitored, and HOPEFULLY it'll be on CD 16-18, which would fit into "the week", but would be after the required 3-day wait for his blood/STD tests to come back. (he was tested recently on his own already, but the clinic requires that the results be back before doing IUIs). If this cycle works, we'll keep his swimmers on ice until DW is ready to carry, and then hope that we have enough left (6 vials, again, if this round takes) to get her knocked up.

I'll find out tomorrow how many follicles I'm making...maybe I'll be a candidate for IVF, and freezing won't be an issue!
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#9 of 11 Old 05-27-2010, 11:42 PM
 
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I actually got the stats from the head of a sperm bank. It was based on data from both his own bank and banks around the country (sorry I don't have any studies to cite, though).

I still think that a freeze test is a good idea for anyone freezing sperm from a KD -- perhaps you can request one just as a separate procedure (that is, if you're paying for each donation day). I just think that you want things to be optimum on the sperm side of things and don't want to learn, a few months down the line, that numbers have been low, thus lowering your chances each time.

Of course, everyone has to make their own decision on this one. Relatively speaking, though, it's a quick, easy, and not too expensive test that could save a lot of time and money in the long run.

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#10 of 11 Old 05-27-2010, 11:50 PM
 
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One last little point - the FDA rules say the donor must be tested within 7 days of the donation.

Some clinics interpret that as "he gets tested, you've got seven days" others interpret it as "two week window - i.e. seven days of donation, test, seven more days." The latter is the literal interpretation.

Also, nothing to say you can't do a second round of donate, test, donate in a few weeks/months, only IF you need to.

Good luck!!!! I got my fingers crossed for a successful IVF for you, because then the freezing isn't an issue and neither are his counts.

SPBC Finally a Papa! Elise Ember Soleil - 10/3/10 - 4:09 AM - 6 lbs 8 oz My daughter eats donor milk! Human milk for human babies!
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#11 of 11 Old 05-28-2010, 08:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks all--

megincl: I did ask them to do the freeze test, but they do not do it as a separate procedure. I don't know why. And they are the only clinic in our area that does semen analyses (other docs just refer patients to them!)--maybe some GPs/urologists do that, but since neither he nor I am a patient there, this was our only option. They will also double check the counts before each IUI and determine whether they need to schedule another one for optimal chances.

FTMPapa: hmm, I hadn't thought of that. I will ask them about it today--I have an appointment in an hour. And if they interpret it that way, then we might be able to ask him to spread it out over 2 weeks and donate 6-7 times instead of 4 in one week (which he's stressing over a little).

Kate
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