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PKM

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Posts: 146

Reg: Apr 17th 2009

Location: Surrey

Children: 1 boy age 20

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Friday, October 30th 2009, 11:45pm

Improving Abnormal Forms count

Hi

I wonder if anyone can help. My DH first ST showed 89% abnormal forms and the second 91%. We're having ICSI at the moment.

However, if this fails and for future reference - is there anything you can do to change this level and improve the forms.

We're concerned because he's always done a lot of exercise, he stopped cycling (2hrs per day) a few months ago when we found out this was not helping. But there is a suggestion that hot baths, hot car seats and tight trousers can also be very unhelpful.

If anyone can enlighten us on this or share some links to research and findings on abnormal forms and what can (if anything) be done, I'd be very grateful.

I'd be interested in knowing what the best diet supplements are too.

Thanks
PKM
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Posts: 2,505

Reg: May 2nd 2007

Children: A boy and a girl, both living in London

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Saturday, October 31st 2009, 8:38pm

RE: Improving Abnormal Forms count

Hi,

Humans are not a very fertile species, and even the most fertile of men or of sperm donors will have far more abnormal sperm than normal sperm. However a great deal is currently being made of the impact of sperm morphology on male fertility, and the picture is still very unclear. There are two major criteria for assessing sperm morphology, World Health Organisation criteria and Kruger Strict Criteria. By the former it is rare, even amongst known fertile men, to see over 30% of sperm totally normal; whilst by the latter mode of measurement, values greater than 10-12 percent are seen as normal. So according to whichever criteria was used, your DH's sperm picture could be seen as normal.

The sperm is predominantly a carrier to transport the sperm along the female genital tract and up to the egg surface, where the tail drops off and the head is drawn into the egg. Some sperm defects quite clearly render the sperm incapable of doing this, either because the tail defects mean that the motility is not adequate to propel the sperm through the cervical mucus, or the shape of the head of the sperm is so abnormal that even a normal tail cannot propel it through the mucus. But even quite abnormally shaped sperm can have totally normal chromosomes, if this can only be delivered to the egg.

The sperm concentration, sperm motility (percentage of and quality of), and the fertility of the female are all of, at least equal, if not more importance. So all of these parameters have to be taken into consideration in determining the reasons for a couple's failure to conceive.

There is no doubt that excessive exercise can affect the sperm picture, mainly because of the overheating that this can cause to the testicles. There is some compensation I suppose, in that the wearing of shorts whilst cycling allows better circulation and cooling than when wearing heavy trousers or a uniform. But if he wears any sort of support underpants whilst training then even this benefit is lost. If he also takes too hot a bath or a shower after training then this will also cause overheating and reduce sperm production.

The effects of such overheating are difficult to predict, as in most cases the problem (if there is a real problem), lies more in the way his testicles have developed, or have been affected by environmental factors since birth, including chemical and viral influences. In general I would feel that overheating alone is rarely the sole reason for a markedly reduced sperm quality or concentration. But by paying attention to any significant overheating factor, and perhaps by increasing his intake of vitamin C and zinc he may see some benefits. I have certainly seen some dramatic benefits in some men where overheating was very major factor. It is certainly worth a try but it would be 12-16 weeks perhaps before he can expect to see any sustained change in his sperm picture from such life-style changes.

Good luck,

Paul
Fertility Scientist and Andrologist
Fertility Counsellor, Holistic Therapist and Hypnotherapist
Providing Fertility Information, Assessment and Enhancement.
Natural family planning teacher.

PKM

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  • "PKM" is no longer a member of FZ
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Posts: 146

Reg: Apr 17th 2009

Location: Surrey

Children: 1 boy age 20

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Monday, November 2nd 2009, 11:02am

Thanks for the advice Paul.

We saw the embryologist today and she said it was actually 99% abnormal on Friday and rather than the large numbers with elongaged heads from previous test they were now all sorts of odd shapes.

The odd thing is that when his first two children were concieved over a decade ago he was doing EVERYTHING wrong in his lifestyle, drinking, diet, no exercise etc etc.

Now he is t-total, healthy and fit. It makes no sense.

We got 1 fertilised out of 11 and that one has made it to ET today - so fingers crossed - but if we get here again they are going to try a new form of selection called 'slowing' where they use different chemicals slow the sperm and to help them select the good ones. They are only testing this at the moment but she thinks we'd be ideal to try that with.




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