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Trying to conceive
12/04/2014 at 22:29
Feel weird asking this but here goes. My SIL and I are really close, and we've spoken a lot about fertility as she and my BIL have been trying for far longer than us and are now going to see their GP about it as they've had no success. During one of our conversations it came up that my BIL has a low sperm count; he found out by accident as he went to be a doner and they must have told him after that. Firstly - does anyone know if low sperm count is just one of those things that happens to anyone? Or can it run in families? My husband has two brothers and his oldest brother has two girls of his own. I don't think there were any problems there.
Secondly - if it does run in families, should I suggest my husband get a sperm analysis? What would it achieve? Also I'm not sure if he knows his brother has a low sperm count and I don't want to drop that into conversation out of respect for BIL's privacy (plus I don't think he knows I know). I want to be sensible and sensitive about this as I know it could potentially be quite destructive for a male ego (and I don't mean that in a nasty way).
TIA for advice xx
13/04/2014 at 09:26
Like female fertility, there are many possible reasons for a low sperm count a lot of which are down to environmental factors. You don't say how long you've been trying for now your BIL/SIL but I personally wouldn't be suggesting to your H that he needs to go for a SA. If you havent conceived after at least a year of trying your GP may send you both for tests one of which will be SA (you might have to have been trying for two years depending on your age). There are also occaisions where men's sperm count can go up so your BIL may not still have an issue. I'd continue to assume there is nothing wrong with either of you and enjoy ttc. If it comes to it, your GP can discuss any tests and ask about the family history when I think it will be enough to say they have also struggled with no further details known unless your H does know and feels it is important to mention.
Hope that helps
13/04/2014 at 19:04
Hey Enjayee - no advice about the sperm count but occasionally lurk on ttc boards, as when I was trying, people were so helpful and supportive to me. I couldn't really get on with temping. I started to get really down about it when nothing seemed to work (albeit in reality 7 months was not so long, but at the time it felt like an age), particularly when everyone around me seemed to be announcing. I splashed out on a CBFM and it worked first cycle - I wonder if that was a possibility for you? Hope you are ok xx
13/04/2014 at 21:35
I'm not sure about it running in families, I guess there is always a chance but I wouldn't let it worry you unnecessarily.
Semen tests can vary wildly, as KK says a lot is environmental. It takes 60-90 days for a sperm to be made, grow to maturity and makes its exit (so to speak). If the man has been ill or stressed in that time, or had a poor diet, or drunk a lot of alcohol/smoked/drugs etc it can have a big impact of the semen analysis that follows. Equally if they have been well and eaten well, their sample may be much improved.
I think you have to have 3 samples, with at least 12 weeks between each, and them all to be low count, before you are officially diagnosed with a low count.
Also, childhood illness such as mumps or testicular trauma can also be to blame - which of course your BiL May or may not remember having!
15/04/2014 at 21:08
Firstly, sorry for the tardy reply! Was typing yesterday and then my computer battery died. Also a bit annoyed as I'd just typed something out only for the tab to unexpectedly close, I must have leant on the mousepad wrong!
Secondly, thank you for all your replies. You are of course right that I shouldn't mention it to him. We've only been trying since September but in December my gyno found what she thought was a polyp, which turned out to be overgrown tissue. Either way, it was acting like a natural IUD so December - February inclusive were effectively out. So only tried for five cycles which I know isn't long at all but I am a ridiculous person in that it is already getting me down - all I seem to see are pregnant women and scan pics on FB!
Ducky, that is interesting about having to have three samples - BIL found out when he went to donate sperm and they called him and said the count was low so couldn't use it (FYI I live in Denmark so not sure if it works the same as in the UK). But they have been trying for over a year and have their first appointment with the doctor very soon. They are also two years older than us at 36 and 37.
We're currently on holiday in America and will be crying out for a healthy living detox! We possibly do drink a bit too much throughout the month and I suggested to H yesterday that we really try to improve our lifestyle (we're not alkos but I know we overdo it on a weekend) and eat the right things. The only thing that worried me is that my H is a typical Scandinavian and LOVES his coffee - sometimes he can go through five or six cups a day. Pretty strong stuff as well. However I read that caffeine doesn't actually have a negative effect on sperm ... not sure though, there are so many conflicting pieces of info out there!
Thanks again xxxxx
15/04/2014 at 21:09
Ceejay, I have been thinking about a CBFM ... if we're not successful next cycle then I think I'll definitely look into that.
01/05/2014 at 12:27
Hi, i just popped on here for a nose and saw this. We had what we thought were problems TTC and H had a sperm test, which while not actually low, wasn't great. We made some changes to diet, eating more healthily, taking vitamins, wearing loose underwear, stopping alcohol etc. and the 2nd test was better. You could suggest he did this in a 'let's both get healthy for a baby thing' and say that you've read about things that can effect sperm count. Good luck, it's a frustrating process, but very few people don't conceive in the end.
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