Advice please. Sperm clumping together?

Hi wondering if anyone can shed any light I had my 4th nhs iui today and today as well as the first 3 iui's my hubbys sperm has been clumped together first month was 40% then 2 @70% and today 63%. I have asked why and they dont seem to b able to answer us fully. They don't seem to be concerned. I have been reading up on this and I fear this could be due to antibodies? Does anyone know if there is a separate test not done on at this stage to confirm antibodies We r on waiting list for ivf. Will we get answers at that stage? I cant help feeling this is why we r not achieving pregnancy. Could a pregnancy still happen? I no they wash the sperm and separate them but I've read if there's antibodies it mite not be able to get through the egg anyway? Thanks in advance!

4 Replies

  • Hi

    I can't speak about IUI as my partner and I are going straight to IVF. When our clinic did a sperm extraction and found 3 (yes 3!!!) 'twitching' sperm they were advised they might be able to get more, or less, next time round but they can't predict it. It's something to do with how sperm is produced; it's not even and consistent, so there is no guarantee of the quantity (or quality) they will get. IVF with ICSI can still work with 'lazy' sperm - it only takes one after all.

    Good luck x

  • I don't know about Iui either, but we have clumping, but other half has spermicidal antibodies being why we were told we needed icsi from the get go, that was at the nhs fertility initial testings clinic. I'd assume if there were antibodies there, they would have known by now, but maybe worth asking about the clumping and any reasonings directly to your clinic xx

  • Thanks for ur reply girls yes u would think we would no. Hopefully I'm worried over nothing! well I'm in the ttw so if no postive news I will ring my consultant himself and ask him directly! Xx

  • Hi Babyhope87. Sperm antibodies come into play when they are used to protect the body when it comes under attack from alien cells and infection. This is what happens in about 10% of men who suffer with infertility problems. It is often caused by some infection such as mumps or chlamydia, and even follows a vasectomy reversal. In fact anything that upsets the testicles can cause it. What actually happens is that the antibodies do their job in protecting the sperm, but unfortunately, in many cases they cause the sperm to “clump” together. Imagine trying to run with 10 people holding on to you – well, this is like the sperm, they cannot swim properly to get to the egg and penetrate it. Antibiotics and/or steroid treatment are sometimes tried, but they can carry serious side effects, so are rarely used. Generally, all that is needed is for the sperm sample to be washed in order to separate the sperm. Occasionally enough can be rescued to use in intra uterine insemination, but are often lazy swimmers. If IUI doesn’t work, then often a decision is made to try an IVF cycle or perhaps ICSI if they can’t swim properly. Hope all is soon resolved, and you can proceed with further treatment. Diane

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