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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone

We saw the consultant last week and we need to have ICSI, Im going to start d/r in Dec..

Im still confused about my DH SA....

I asked the consultant how much sperm he actually has per ml and he said possibly a few thousand. The other 2 SA said under 1 million but noted there were hardly any sperm??

Anyway Im concerned when it gets to egg collection- when my DH provides the sample what happens if there are not enough sperm on the day? I asked the consultant if we could freeze any semen before hand and he said no its not worth it - one just has to pray that on the day there will be enough sperm and that there should be? MAybe im just being to paranoid and anxious?

Im not to sure why he said we cant freeze some before.... I think because DH sperm levels very low he doesnt think they will survive the freeze/thaw process.... I thought only a few sperm could be frozen and thawing them can be successful?

Also is it possible to find out how much sperm there is per ml? I dont understand why we not getting a specific answer....

We are seeing a urologist next week so perhaps he will be able to shed some light on this...

Im just a bit confused - dont understand why we cant freeze some sperm as a back up and also why we cant get specific numbers of how many sperm per ml.....

Has anyone else had these concerns or problems? Deborah
 

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Hi Deb,

We are in a similar situation.

My DH had <1m sperm, with 15% motility at last SA. We asked for some sperm to be frozen in teh event of EC, him not producing any. We were told not to worry but we still went ahead with teh appt to freeze.

My DH has had 3 SA in one week, as each one produced no sperm and suddenly the clinic is now concerned. He now has to have PESA. Can you imagine how devasting this woudl have been if this happened at EC. (I was due to have EC on 15th Nov)
If you want to have your DH's sperm frozen, then you should get it done, if only for piece of mind and possible back up. Even though our results were devasting, we still have time and my d/r has been extended to accomodate PESA.

I personally would not leave anything to chance and my previous experiences with our clinic is that sometimes you need to push hard for what you want and I'm so glad we did.

Best of luck.

Natalie x x
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Natalie

thanks for your response.., wishing you the best of luck for your treatment and DH Pesa...

We will speak to the urologist when we see him next week - the consultant was not keen to freeze any sperm as he didnt think it would do once thawed...

Do you know if thawed sperm can be used successfully? ie does it survive the thaw process?

Lots and lots of luck Deborah
 

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Hi Deborah

I cant understand why it should be a problem! A friend of mine just got pregnant in July with ICSI using frozen sperm from her dh who had been treated for cancer.  I'm sure this must be really common. Also my partner has very few sperm (under 100) and our consultant recommended to freeze a backup. It was really nerve wracking as he had to do the sample the day before i started down regging and if he didn't get any then we would have had to cancel the cycle... I was in a conference and he texted me to say they found five!! Luckily we didn't have to use them in the end but at least we knew they would be there. However I know they prefer to use fresh sperm if they are available.

We've now had 2 failed cycles and we plan to start again in Jan after following the Marilyn Glenville diet for 4 months. We may decide to do another freeze before we start because hopefully they will be better quality than the previous samples, but our clinic charges £50 per freeze so we'll have to see how confident we feel!

By the way, on the sperm counts... I'm no expert but they seem to have trouble getting good estimates of numbers when there are very few. e.g. partner's first result was zero, bjut when he did another SA we got back a result that said "< 500,000" which sounded great but in reality that could mean anything between 1 and 499,999. In fact then they told us an exact number (38) but don't know whether that was per ml or total. I think the way they count sperm is to put it on a plate that has a grid on it and sample all the sperm in one of the tiny grid squares. But when there's hardly anything there it doesn't work because there might be less than one per square. When we went for the second freeze they counted one in the square they sampled, but actually froze eight in total.

I guess that probably confuses you even more!

Best of luck with it

x A
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Annarose

Thanks so much for the info...

Found out more info from the urologist. The reason why they wouldnt freeze the last sperm was because the count was to low - they said it wouldnt survive the thaw process.To little sperm however from what Ive seen on FF website - other people's sperm get frozen - even if its a few??

However the urologist said we must try and freeze sperm- so my Dh is going to do a few SA up to my EC and hopefully there will be some sperm or enough....

WE have also been doing Marilyn Glenville (not very strictly) so will be interesting to see if its had any effect on my DH sperm..

The counting of sperm is def consfusing - we cant seem to get a definitive answer - we will ask embryologist on Friday when DH goes for SA...

Im really sorry you have had 2 failed cycles....wishing you both the best of luck for Jan....

Thanks, Deborah
 

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Hi deborah

Found this board really interesting.  We have poor sperm, usually 1-2 million/ml and years ago asked about freezing but was told they would not survive thaw.  So we never asked again.  Had 5 IVF with own eggs in UK - some fertilisations but either did not progress or -ve preg result.  Have then had 3 DE cycles.  First got 2 eggs, pregnant and m/c 9 weeks. :'( Encouraged got no eggs from next donor, then 5 from next but no fertilisations.  This all taking about 2 1/2 years.  Appears sperm quality very variable. Last 4 cycles had ICSI.  What we really need is numbers of eggs as they do not seem to know what makes a good sperm so it is a bit of a lottery as to whether it will work or not.  In UK that is hopeless because of the lack of donors and long waiting lists so we have now been looking abroad.  It is standard there to freeze sperm and the clinic we are now with do not think there will be a problem with thaw - we will see.  Happily from our point of view they have a flow of donors so if we get a complete failure to fertilise again they will keep the cycle running and match us with a new donor within a week or two so we can have 2 or even 3 batches of eggs each cycle!!  This is obviously ideal for us if the plan works out in practice anyway.  We had sperm frozen on the first visit and Dh said it was a lot better as no pressure to perform to a timetable.  Cost to freeze was 80 Euros, about £60 I think.  In fact, we froze 2 lots because I was so paraniod about it all and they did not charge us for the second one at all!!  I hope this helps.

Anyway good luck with all you undertake, gf
 

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Hi Deb

All the clinics and consultants I have seen recently have ALL said they would use fresh, if any, on the day, then use frozen as back-up, then do an SSR if necessary.  The embryologist I spoke to on Friday also suggested DH producing a sample day before EC and one on the day.

Not one of them had a problem with freezing a sample with low numbers.

We have similar numbers to you, around the 1K mark and though it is true frozen sperm for us (meaning with non-obstructive azoospermia) is not as good as fresh, enough have survived and been good enough for fertilisation.  It is YOUR DECISION and you should insist on it if you think it is necessary and you can afford it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi Gf- thanks for the info.Best of luck with your treatment.

Claudine, thanks for the info. The clinic has now frozen 2 lots of my DH's sperm despite the fact they say its poor quality - there were about 3 or 4 sperm on the slide (healthy ones) and that was only one tiny drop of his sample so it cant be that bad. I insisted they freeze it - especially after reading about Nat's situation.... of having some sperm then going to NIL.

The urologist also suggested my DH doing a SA the day before ec but the embryologist said she didnt think this was a good idea or hadnt heard of this procedure. Do you know if they can culture (harvest) sperm the day before ec or what they do to it?

Also what does cryptozoospermia mean?

Thanks for info, Deborah
 

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Hi Deb,

Good effort at getting your clinic to freeze.  Even if it is for peace of mind.  Apart from anything else, they do not know right now how your DH's sperm will react to freezing, so to not do it seems rather shortsighted of them.

Our embryologist said that we are talking about such small numbers of sperm here that a sample the day before EC will probably not affect production of sperm the following day.  I believe they incubate the sperm, but how and whether all clinics have the facility to do this I don't know.  Ermey's DH had this at the Bridge.  I believe it is supposed to help improve quality.  Will probably be asking about it at ARGC.

Cryptozoospermia has been written in our notes, I know it's a funny one isn't it.  I have found definitions to be:
olio - less than 20million/ml
crypto - less than 5million
azoo - none
But that doesn't seem to relate to us, 1K is much closer to zero than 5million!  Azoospermia is also defined as none or few sperm in the ejaculate.  I wondered if it had anything to do with the fact that we seem to have intermittent appearance of sperm...!?
 
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