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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Am new to this subject having last week finding out that my husband has a low sperm count (<1million) after nearly a year of trying. Has now been referred to a urologist. So shocked at the news, didn't really find out what would be achieved by this referral. We have an appointment in 2 weeks.
Any idea what will be discussed/tests etc and what happens next. All a bit much for me to take in at the moment but need to start to understand more about our issue.

Thanks x
 

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hello furface

You sound very similar to our situation. We didn't get referred to a urologist but sounds a good thing to do.

You probably know the normal range is 20 millionish so without wanting to scare you it will probably be described as 'sever male factor infertility', that is basically what our situation is. You may find that ICSI is recommended for you - where they isolate a single egg and a single sperm and inject the egg with the sperm. This is done when there aren't enough sperm or enough good sperm to just leave them in a dish with the egg and let them do their work. But the success rate of ICSI is comparable with normal IVF, downsides are that it costs about £700 per cycle and also it has only been done for the last ten years or so, so not as much is known about it. There is some talk about a slightly increased rate of birth abnormalities from ICSI but it doesn't seem to have been conclusively proven.

You don't mention what your own reproductive healthi s like, thye will probably want to check you both out. For you it will mean blood tests at a couple of pointsin your cycle to check you are oulating properly and have the correct hormone balances. For your husband he will have to do more sprm tests and have blood tests to try to find out why he has a low count. It can be a genetic cause or it can be something which just happened to him at somepint (my husbands was put down to 'testicular damange') but from my experience they won't bother trying to improve it if it is consitently low as cutting out drinking and taking vits etc is more for those who have a moderately low count. They will probably moveonto the treatment options which are ICSI as described above or sperm donatoin.

I had embryos transferred today, this is our first ICSI cycle and we had our first appointment with our GP in Jan this year following trying for over a year. So it can move quite quickly. I would advise trying to find out as much asyou can whilst waiting or your husbands appt. etc because there is loads on the web. The Human Fertklisatoin and Embryology Authrity has loads of info and it rates all the clinics on thir perofmrnace.

This is of course assming you want to go ahead with treatment. not everyone does,

Hope that isn't too rambling or blunt, I just saw your post and you reminded me of how I felt 4 months ago.

The worse buit for me was finding out that we had a problem, atleast now ou have something to focus on - I am sure like us you were getting pretty depressed tryong every month and it never working.

Anyway take care, and good luck

Kitty.
 

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Hi

Not much to add to Kitty really except we did go to see the urologist. Its not that bad at all. Our doc checked my husbands testicles for varicous viens and asked him a few questions about his health in general. he also asked about childhood illnesses like mumps etc so it might be worth finding out about that before you go.

He then sent him for another sperm test and a few blood tests.

btw on a positive note when we went we thought we would have to have icsi aswell as hubbys sperm was 2.9 million with high mortality and low mobility but doc giave him some hormone tablets and told him to make some lifestyle changes, diet etc and it improved loads. its the low side of normal now but we have been told we can try IUI and then IVF if no luck.

I know its a shock when you hear news like that but try to keep positive.

Good Luck Linzi xx
 

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Wow Linzi that is amazing about your DH's sperm count. Just goes to show, I would quite like to know what caused my DH's problem, think we should see a urologist next time around if this cycle doesn't work. Just read through my first post, sorry for the huge number of typos - due to writing v quickly late at night. Also noticed a mistake, ICSI is about £700 more than IVF, not £700 alone (if only!).

Good luck Linzi and Furface

kx
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Linzi and Kitty,

Kitty - good luck with your ICSI - Linzi - good luck with your IUI - I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for you both.

What can I say. Thanks both so much for your support and sharing your experiences. Didn't realise there was so much to know about this subject and theres me thinking it was just about IVF. I am going to research this as much as possible to ensure I ask all the questions when we go to the urologist, so that I go away with hopefully as many answers as possible.

You say that ICSI is about £700 more than IVF. What is the going rate for IVF these days? My doctor tells me that we will have one free go on the NHS but thats it. Can I have ICSI on the NHS? Any idea on the approx waiting times for private referrals for either of these? Sorry for so many questions but until we see the consultant I have so many unanswered questions just buzzing around in my head.

Regarding me, my doctor did recommend that I have a 21 day ovulation test to make sure that part of me is okay. I had that done on Monday, so am awaiting the results of this now.

As I said earlier, I really appreciate your support and experiences. This is a great help. At the moment we have not told anyone else. We thought it best to wait for the urologists results and go from there. Its great to have someone else to share my thoughts, concerns and worries with and also to know that I am not alone in the way that I am feeling and thinking. I desparately want to shout out why me but then I read all the other postings and realise there are an awful lot of us out there all going through the same or similar experiences and it really is good to share this with those that understand. I'm not saying that my friends and family won't understand or support us, but its not quite the same as someone saying I know exactly what you are going through.

Sorry to ramble on......

Good luck to you both and heres to a positive result!

F x
 

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Hi furface!

I was completey ignorant about all this aswell. I spent hours scouring the internet. I've also picked up loads of info from ff. Said to dh its no surprise I'm not pregnant, I've just been having lots of sex and hoping for the best LOL. Clearly not the way to go.

At my clinic IVF is about £3000 and ICSI about £700 more like kitty but I think they vary a bit. We do not get any free goes. As far as private referals goes i just rung the clinic i wanted to use and made an appointment, then rang my gp and said i needed a letter which i picked up the next day. i rang on the tues and had my first appointment on the fri. its really quick privately - apart from when the docs take their 6 week holidays (not joking actually mine really did that)

I only told a couple of my friends we are having trouble and none that we are starting treatment so i'm incredibly pleased to have found this site. and so is dh coz hes doesn't have to listen to talk about cm and af etc anymore :) Plus i also agree with you, the couple of friends i have told are very nice about but keep saying just relax and it will happen. AARRGGH - if this was the case no one would be infertile!

Kitty, re my dhs sperm he did used to smoke about 40 a day and his diet was appalling. The smoke he gave up inbetween tests about 6 months apart which did make a difference but it shot up loads when he altered his diet. don't know if it was coincidence or not really.

good luck to you both and let us know how you get on
linzixx

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi Linzi,

Thanks again for more advice!

Our appointment is on 22/06, so will hopefully find out more then. Have also now found out that there are some recommended vitamins for my dh to take, so subject to his doctor confirming okay (as he has ulcerative colitus) I am going to get him started on these. Holland Barratt won't know whats hit them when I go in with the order!!Luckily he doesn't smoke, and has a fairly good diet, so I am hoping these vitamins will help in some way. Great news that you were seen so quick. I am hoping when we see this urologist he can depending on the results gets things moving for us.
Have found out that my nhs has around a 12 month waiting list and as I'm 34 and my dh is 43, we don't have time on our hands, so it'll be the private option for us.

Speak soon and hope all is well with you :)

F x
 
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