Sperm Analysis – Wife Tells All
If you are anything like me, you scour every detail of any kind of result you get regarding fertility treatment. Us Type A women can spend hours interpreting our own results and be dead on to what our doctor later explains to us.
I once dealt with long-term foot pain and Google told me I broke my sesamoid bone in my foot after hours of research. The common sense side of me knew there was no way it could be true when my doctor had already X-rayed it. However, lo and behold, my second opinion discovered that is exactly what was going on.
I took a similar approach to our sperm analysis results and can say I feel very comfortable discussing our results and what they mean. I wanted to share our results and our thoughts around it with you all in hopes that it provides you with yet another area to research!
A couple days after my husband took the test, my doctor’s office called with the results. Since they weren’t positive, I followed up a couple of days after that to discuss in person with my doctor. I thought this approach was good as we had several days to let the news sink in, do our own research, and prepare a list of questions.
Unfortunately, my husband couldn’t make it so I was on my own for this follow-up appointment. I’m currently just seeing my OBGYN for our infertility so imagine sitting in a waiting room knowing you are about to be told you won’t get pregnant naturally all the while you are surrounded by pregnant women looking over their ultrasound pictures. I almost threw up.
The actual appointment was pretty short as I knew what was going to be said, knew what questions I had, and I’m not much of a talker to begin with. I absolutely love my OBGYN and he always makes me feel much better about things. I don’t know if it is his bedside manner or just the fact that whenever I see him we are making a plan to move forward and try something else that increases my hope. However, this visit was a little different. I really felt like I left in shock and it took a few days to feel normal again.
Our Sperm Analysis Results
When I was reading about others’ results, I got a lot of “motility was low”, morphology was off”, but it was tough to find a full analysis. So, I’m sharing ours with you!
|Characteristics||Score||How we did|
|Volume||4.1ml||This is awesome!|
|Color||Yellowish||This is off from what it should be|
|Round Cells||6||This is high|
|Sperm Density||72||Over 15 is normal, so this is awesome!|
|Total Sperm Count||295 million||We only needed over 39 million, so we are looking good!|
|% Progressive Motility||30||32 is normal, so we are just a wee bit below normal.|
|Total Active Count||89 million||Again, we only needed 20 million, so count wise we are definitely in the clear!|
|Total Motility||40 million||We are right on the line of what is normal. I'd like it a little higher, but at least it isn't horrendous.|
|Motility||1%||This is where we really think our problem is coming from.|
Sperm Analysis Results Summary
Now that you have scoured our results (I hope my husband doesn’t kill me for sharing!!), I want to share with you our thoughts on it.
First of all, my OBGYN interpreted it wrong. While it’s still not great, it’s much much better than he implied when I met with him. Our results came back hand-written and he thought the 295 million count was actually 29.5 count. When you have low count, low motility, and low morphology, you essentially don’t have many good ones. However, if your count is really good and you have low motility and morphology, the extra count can overcompensate for those other areas.
For example, if your count is 1 million and your morphology is 1%, you have 10 thousand normal swimmers. However, if your count is 300 million and your morphology is still 1%, you will have 3 million normal swimmers. That’s a huge difference even though the morphology is the same in both cases. This is what happened when my OBGYN misread my results. Things are looking better than he initially thought, which has definitely helped us cope a little better. Sorry for all the icky math, but I wanted to make sure this concept was easily understood!
Overall, we are ecstatic about the count! I can’t believe he has that many and we are really happy about that even though it took several weeks to realize they were misinterpreted! While the motility is lower than normal by 2%, it’s so close we don’t think that is having a huge impact. However, we are really concerned about the overall quality of the swimmers. They are a bit off color, not shaped right, and have a lot of debris. Something isn’t right.
We are working really hard to improve the quality of our swimmers. I’ll be coming back to share exactly what we are doing to improve upon our results because I know that’s probably what a lot of you going through this will want to hear about. Make sure to subscribe on the right to receive an update on what we are doing when it goes live!
We have had a really hard time deciding what to do next since we got those results. I can’t even begin to explain how tough it has been. I also plan on sharing another post dedicated entirely to our next steps, all the options we considered, and future plans. But for now, I’ll just let you know that we will be trying our first IUI next cycle! We are still trying to determine the level of medication and monitoring we use, but we know we will be doing an IUI. I’m excited and nervous, about how it has gone with everything regarding our infertility journey.
I’d love to hear the encounters you all have had with male factor infertility. Feel free to ask me questions about our experience and next steps! I’m an open book!