Male factor infertility questions

Hi all, I'm extremely new to this and I've never posted on a forum before, though I feel that seen as I'm searching them almost daily at the moment it might be a good idea to start talking.

Myself and my husband are in the extremely early stages of what I expect to be a male factor infertility diagnosis. We have been TTC for just over a year, all my tests have been very positive and so far so good. Unfortunately my husband has had two very poor semen analysis results and we have now been referred to a fertility clinic.

I'm sure we'll get lots of information once our referral comes through, however I can't help but want to be slightly ahead of the game. I'm wondering if anyone has any information on the chances of a natural conception when morphology is 4%, primary motility is only 3%, and complete immotility is 56%.

We obviously know those numbers are pretty bad. I guess I'm just after a feel for how bad.

We're off to the chemist tomorrow to explore multi vitamins, and hubby is stopping his baths all together (he really loves a good bubble bath, around 3 a week lol!). We are 30, neither of us smoke or drink, and we are both healthy weights. Hubby thinks he could be a bit more active so is looking into that too. But the fact that we are so healthy makes me think his problems are likely going to be down to a genetic factor, and so our efforts may be in vain.

Thank you in advance to anyone who reads this. I'm mentally struggling with this quite a bit, and really appreciate any time :)

16 Replies

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  • Hi, my husbands results were actually much less than yours he is also really fit and healthy, doesnt drink/smoke etc. We were trying for 2.5 years before they would even test us and a year later im on my 2 week wait of icsi a form of ivf. Have they told you that you would need icsi? With male fertility they dont seem to find a reason why its bad which I find very strange but I think on nhs it is because there are not many things that can improve it unfortunately. We did both start taking the wellman/wellwoman supplements, he ate a diet rich in proteins and thing s like brazil nuts etc and stopped drinking caffine and his sample slightly improved but still would need icsi. They only need to get a few healthy sperm for it to work, things like motility dont matter as icsi bypasses the need for them to swim to the egg. If all your test have come back postive (mine did too) that increases your chances of it working, you just have to get your head around it being conceived in a different way. Any questions please just ask or pm me, i know how hard it all is, big hugs xx

  • Thank you so much. Can I just ask, I've read a few things about ICSI, did you make the choice for that over IVF? Did you feel that there was many pros and cons between the two?

    I'm getting far ahead of myself, as we haven't actually seen the specialist yet. The referral seems to be taking an age! I can't believe you had to wait so long even for testing, that must have been so difficult for you both xx

  • Hi, they didnt really give us an option really I think in certain male fertility issues they always use ICSI as much higher chance of fertilisation and i think they said success rate had gone up at our clinic to over 56% for icsi which is great. The consultant explained process really well for us as we were both worried about it. I ended up changing doctors as would go every 6 months or so n they kept saying keep trying you are young n healthy n will be fine! I wish we had paid privately as soon as my husband did his sample it was obvious that it was not fine and we could have started this process years ago. Just finished my first cycle parts of it really hard (i think more emotionally) and the medical parts have been much easier than i expected. Depending where you live in country is how many goes you get free on nhs, we get 3 as we live in Cumbria, best of luck x

  • The postcode lottery is just terrible. Will be keeping everything crossed for you, thank you so much for the comforting information.

    Please do keep me updated. It seems as though you're doing amazingly well coping with all of this for this long, really rooting for you x

  • Hi jc10133 my husband to has the same thing but not as bad. We to have had icsi through the nhs. We have had 2 fresh cycles and 1 frozen but been unsuccessful so far. Hopefully having another fet on weds all being well. Keeping everything crossed we are lucky to have our dreams come true this time. It is all very scary when you read up about it on the internet but its not that bad when you start. All the nurses at my clinic are so lovely and helpful you enjoy going to your appts. You will see them all so much you end up on first name terms with them. Dont worry about your husbands problem as i keep getting told it takes one to get you pregnant. Keep trying  naturally in the mean time while you wait, but dont put any pressure on yourselves. Try and relax and stay calm through the whole process as stress doesnt help at all, trust me. Good luck with everything. If you want to chat about anything let me know.  Take care xx

  • Thank you so much, wishing you all the luck in the world for Wednesday xx

  • Hi JC

    We too have male factor infertility, low count (less than 2 million) & motility. We were referred for ICSI. Hubby had genetic testing for Cystic Fibrosis & chromosomal abnormalities but everything came back clear thankfully. The doctor pretty much told us there was nothing we could do to improve things and that it's just one of those things. They were a bit worried that it may decline and get worse so we've frozen some sperm just in case though will try for fresh on the day, due to start treatment in May. We also got told not to stop trying whilst waiting but the chances of conceiving naturally were really low. Was sad to hear all of this but more for my husband as he feels like it's his fault but doesn't make me love him any less. Just took time to get our heads around everything. Good luck on your journey!!x

  • Thank you all so much, I'm so grateful for the replies. Just knowing that other people are getting through this is really inspiring.

    Hubby hasn't accepted that things are that bad yet, he just wants to wait to speak to the clinic when or referral eventually comes through (whenever that may be!). I totally understand and admire his mindset, I think I just feel more aware that IVF it ICSI is going to be the direction we head in.

    I can't explain how grateful I am for your time, and I wish all of you the best luck in the world. Stay strong and I'd love to keep up to date on your progress xx

  • Actually I think you can make huge changes by stepping up diet, cutting out the alcohol, getting enough sleep and exercise.  Along with quitting the baths and laptop use!  Make sure mobile isn't kept in his pocket either.  My hubby had 0 count and then really low and after some changes it got up to pretty normal levels.  Keep in mind these counts come and go.  I feel for you coz I remember the stress it caused when we found out, but you are in a strong position because you are both young. Good luck!  And yes, check out the multi vits -  there's a whole bunch that I pumped into my hubby when we were going for IVF. 

  • Thank you! I agree, there's nothing at all to lose by trying, and everything to gain if it has some positive effects.

    Got the multi vits today :) we're still keeping very positive, hubby even said my dream of twins might end up coming true haha.

    I hope your journey is going really well? x

  • My partner has very low sperm count. We had our first ICSI in January which unfortunately failed but have 4 frozen embryos. Have a look into proxeed - it has really good reviews xx

  • Hi lianm8, I'm sorry to hear that your first ICSI wasn't successful. Thank you so much for your message. I can't believe how nice everyone's been. Wishing you so much luck xx

  • Hi all. So I got told today by Ormskirk Hospital that my partner has a low sperm count (they didn't give me the percentages) so have been referred to IVF at Liverpool Hospital.  How long is the usual wait for the first appointment to come through and what happens at the first appointment?  My blood tests came back ok.  I also have Endometriosis but they have said that it's not blocking anything so I should have no problems with fertility.  Been told the only hope to reduce my symptoms is to get pregnant x

  • Hi amzjp,

    I'm sorry to hear that it's all a bit up in the air. They didn't give us or actual results initially, but my husband made an appointment with the GP and asked for a print out. I recommend that if you can as it is nice to know exactly what the figures indicate. We waited 2 weeks for our referral letter, and then another week and a bit on top to get the first appointment (which is actually this coming Tuesday!). So as yet I can't tell you what to expect.

    I rang the fertility clinic as soon as I knew who they were just too get a feel for them and ask a few questions, so maybe you could do that?

    I hope you get some answers soon x

  • Hi JC10133 - Just a quick one as I know you've had a lot of responses! 

    My hubby cut out caffeine, alcohol, all processed food etc and started taking wellman conception. His count has gone from 1 million to 5 and all other factors improved which is amazing and I don't believe a coincidence as he has always had a low count so it's well worth making these small changes. 

    Good luck with everything x

  • Thank you so much for that. I believe that lifestyle changes can have great effects so I'm really happy to hear that you've had some real proof of that. Hubby's count is actually pretty good, it was the motility that was seen as the big problem, below 4% :/ We've got our first appointment with the fertility clinic on Tuesday, so I'm hoping we can discuss having another seamen analysis.

    Thank you so much again, I hope that things continue to get better and better for you x

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