Low sperm motility
37 Replies
K - June 16

I have a low sperm count and motility. Sperm count is 3.5 million/cc and volume of 3cc and 1 hr sperm motility is 3% and 2 hr motility is 2% and there are 66% normal morphology and 33% defective heads. With this numbers, what is the probability of fathering a child? any suggestions?


Justine - June 16

K - My husband has low count (13.5 million), low motility (30%) and low morphology. We had to do IVF with ICSI for me to get pregnant - the woman does normal IVF and the sperm are injected into the egg. We were told there was virtually no chance of getting pregnant any other way. It worked first-time for us and I'm now 19 weeks. So you can father a child (if you can find a woman willing to do IVF.)


K - June 16

Justine, Thank you so much. Forgot to add this in my question. My wife is 27 yrs old and she has no problem with fertility according to her gyni. Let me check with a infertility specialist to know more about ICSI. Thank you so much and Hope you are enjoying your pregnancy! Good luck!


Justine - June 16

Thanks K - I was the same as your wife - they did lots of tests on me and all came out fine. I was 31 when I did IVF-ICSI and it worked first-time. I did hyperstimulate a little - I produced 22 eggs on the lowest dose of FSH but didn't have major problems. It often takes 2 to 3 attempts to work but 27 is a very good age and if your wife has no fertility problems this will help your chances a lot. It may well work first time for you too. We were advised by our hospital not to do IUI or normal IVF as with male fertility problems sperm sometimes cannot fertilise an egg. ICSI gets round this by injecting the sperm into the egg. It's a bit more expensive than IVF but increases your chances a lot - we were told to 30% per attempt compared to IUI about 3% and IVF your chances are much lower than average. I did the fastest drugs you could get - Cetrorelix (and Puregon) which you have to inject into your stomach every day for 2 weeks then you have a final injection of another drug. After that they take the eggs out of the women, the man produces a sample which is then injected to the eggs and about three days later the eggs are put back in. I then had to take progesterone suppositories for 2 weeks. I'd definately recommend the fast drugs otherwise you have to do 5 weeks of injections and the slower drugs have many side effects similar to the menopause. Cetrorelix is the drug which makes it faster and doesn;t have any side effects. The injections hurt for about 5 mins if you're thin but you get used to it - the best thing is for your wife to slouch her stomach/back if she's thin so as much fat sticks out as possible then it doesn't hurt. The egg collection doesn't hurt at the time but you can be in pain afterwards (take paracetemol) and you can bleed a bit too. Embryo transfer is totally painless and the progesterone is fine. Good luck to you and your wife - hope you get that baby soon - it's worth all the pain. It will be very scary for your wife so you'll need to look after her - I was terrified before I started treatment but its not that long if you go on the fast drugs. Best wishes.


k - June 17

thank you justine. If you don't mind, may i know how much it normally costs to have IVF- with ICSI done?


Justine - June 19

K - I live in England and went to a state hospital but had to pay (otherwise you wait 4 years) and it cost us £1,975 - I think that's roughly US$3,500. Drugs are on top of that but our doctor paid for those but they would have cost another £1,000 - the drugs I had are a bit more expensive than the cheap drugs but the success rate is higher and the cycle shorter. It's very expensive and costs even more here at private hospitals but it was the only option we had. Fortunately we only had to do it once. If you live in the US it's worth checking if your insurance covers it though I think it often doesn't. Normally hospitals say on their websites how much it costs and their success rates - these can both vary a lot so its worth looking around. Also its worth asking them what their policy is on freezing embryos - some are a lot stricter than others. My hospital was strict so binned all the spare embryos. If the hospital will freeze some of them (only top quality embryos survive freezing), you don't have to pay for drugs for the next cycle and your wife won't need to take drugs. In England you can keep frozen ones up to 5 years so you could use it for a second baby if it works first-time and some are frozen.


K - June 21

Thank you Justine, today i met a Urologist, He has prescribed some more lab works for me to rule out Varicocele and harmonal issues.. and he said we can decide based on the results. When i enquired b't IVF it looks like it would cost around US$8500 + medications for one cycle and may be more for ICSI. So, we are now working on ruling out other issues. Thank you so much for your time and effort. Will keep you updated with my progress.


Justine - June 21

K - Good luck with the tests. ICSI is normally a bit more expensive than IVF (£300 more in our case) but we were told with my husband's stats (13.5m count, 30% motility and 3% morphology, 6cc volume) in IVF we could well get no eggs fertilised. the more eggs that fertilise the higher your chances because the doctors have more to choose from and select the best ones. With ICSI I had 22 eggs (normal is 10 to 15), 20 were good enough for ICSI, 4 broke as they injected the sperm, 16 were successful injected and 12 fertilised. The embryos are then graded and we had 2 highest grade embryos which were put back in on day 3 after egg collection. Your wife's eggs should be very good if she's 27 and all her tests are fine. Hope you get your baby soon.


m - June 26

Hi. My dh had low sperm count ( 12 mil) and motility (50%). He took vit C and Zinc for 1 month and his sperm increased in count and motility to become on the low end of normal. after 3 months his count was 27 mil with 85% mot. If she has no problems maybe you could try the vit C and Zinc for a couple of months then test again. If it works for you It would be a lot cheaper and no harm done.


K - July 5

m, Thank you for your reply. My urologist say that my sperm motility and count are too low to be increased using any drugs. 3% motility is considered severly low it seems. Thank you.


K - July 5

Justine, I've got all the labwork reports and i have no other issues that can be treated to bring my sperm to normal. So the only option I have is IVF with ICSI. Now i'm looking at options.. When i enquired it looks like it will cost $16000 (including drugs) per cycle in US.. sounds too expensive.. btw, i'm exploring options of getting it done outside US and finding that UK,Germany,Spain, India and Greece are better and affordable options when compared to the cost here... From your reply i understand it would cost around $10000 in UK including my flight and accomodation...Do you have any idea on this. Thank you again for your time..


Justine - July 5

K - That's expensive. I know in a lot of Europe the state pays for IVF but that'll only be for residents. A US girl on the Problems getting Pregnant section of this website said IVF was very cheap in Belgium - can't remember how much she said but it was much cheaper than we paid - I think she said about $1,000 plus the ICSI bit. The health service in most of Europe is very good esp. in Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Belgium and France. All the UK clinics are listed on the HFEA website (IVF regulator) - www.hfea.gov.uk. Their website is excellent and the publications section is esp. useful - its worth downloading the 2003/04 Your Guide to Infertility from their publications section. They also publish success rates by clinic. My clinic had a long waiting list even to go private - about 9 months as it was a state hospital. This is why it was cheap - a private hospital costs more here though success rates can be double. It may be worth you posting a question on the Problems getting pregnant section of this website though not many girls on here seem to be doing IVF. Costs seem to vary a lot in the US too so it may be worth you looking round there as well. My guess is the cheapest places will be in Europe but not in the UK. In England IVF is very regulated and there are many rules and forms (e.g you have to pass an ethics committee and can only put back 2 embryos if you're under 40). I know Italy is not the place to go as many fertility treatments are banned there for religious reasons. My husband is French and I know their health system is very good. Good luck.


Justine - July 5

K - I found this website - its a hospital in Belgium that treats foreign patients. http://www.azvub.be/CRG/ENG/index.html - there's info. in english on the site. It says ICSI costs euro 4,200 plus drugs for foreigners and says treatment starts within 2 months. I've no idea how that compares with other European hopitals.


KT - July 15

K and Justine - thanks for the great read! I am 32 and my husband is 36 and we have been TTC for over 6 mths and he just found out he has 91% nonmotility. Is that too low to try the zinc and vitamin C? he is so down, it makes me sad that I cant do anything to help him. what kind of numbers do you need to be successful with IUI?


merlee - July 15

KT, the only way of knowing is to try it for 2-3 mo. then re-test. It is worth a shot and soooo much cheaper. While you have your hubby on Vit C and Zinc you might as well take it yourself to increase your chances after his count goes up. Good LUck


merlee - July 15

KT, my DH count went form 12 mil. to 40 mil. and 50% mot. to 85% mot. in just 4 months on just Vit C and Zinc.


Kerri - July 16

how much vitamin C and zinc? My husband is taking a men's multi-vitamin--is that enough? His count is still rather low-10 million per ml, 4ml in volume,45% motility, and 5% morphology. Are our chances good for IUI???



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