March 19, 2010

We're working on our morph

We finally got DH's SA results yesterday... almost 2 weeks after they told him "a day or two". The cover letter said the results were "normal", and in fact everything in the top portion was excellent. Sperm concentration, count, motility, rate of progression, viscosity - all well above the normal ranges. So that was cause for celebration.

BUT... The morphology section didn't paint as pretty of a picture. Only 3% of this sample had normal forms, with 87% head defects and 10% tail defects. The "normal range" on our report says >4% normal, "strict normal" is >14%, and the WHO says >30%. Women all over message boards report their docs giving them a less than 5% chance of conceiving naturally with our morph numbers. So I'm not sure why they told us all was good in the cover letter.

We immediately started Googling, and we have a game plan. We figure that since his total number of motile sperm and rate of progression are so high, there are actually more normal sperm with that 3% than there would be in a sample count closer to the threshold. Normal # motile is >15 mil, we have 256 mil. So we've got that going for us. DH is also going to make some behavioral changes to improve his morphology, like cutting back on alcohol and cutting out the occasional smoke altogether, eating right and exercising regularly. And, we've ordered a bottle of Pycogenol, a supplement many (online) say can improve sperm morphology in as little as 3 months. He'll start 200 mg/day once it arrives.

Even though I know that the threat of ART is still definitely in our picture, these results are actually a relief. At least we know what's up now. It'll no longer be a mystery and a cruel joke when AF comes about 28 days from now. I already expect it, and will for the next couple cycles. If we get to July, which will be our 1-year mark, then he'll have a repeat SA while I start my own testing. And if we have to advance to IVF or IUI, so be it. At least he has a lot of sperm, normal heads or not, and knowing that there are biological children in there somewhere is a major, major relief for me.


Dandelion Bud said...

You can't go by the WHO criteria. It's an ENTIRELY different scale. So, forget the 30% number all together.

Morph is a VERY labile number. Not that it's variable, but that many doctors strongly disagree on the value of the morph number... especially in the face of such strong other numbers.

I think you're going to be in decent shape. Worst case scenario, you might be looking at IUI - but I don't think your numbers are remotely bad enough for IVF to be in your future.

Good luck!!


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