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sasha146

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Monday, July 20th 2015, 10:39pm

How to improve sperm

Hi ladies

I'm looking to see if anyone has any experience of trying to improve sperm quality/quantity.

My dh prob has every problem there is with sperm, our results have never been great but 4 years down the line we have no sperm to progress with icsi, embryologist said things like this happen all the time and even a common cold can be the cause but we have such extreme problems anyway I'm not getting my hopes up.

So what I'm wanting to no has anyone been in this situation and managed to improve sperm quantity and if so what did you try?

I no all the basics like no smoking, drinking, hot baths etc etc but have never tried any vitamins etc.

Has anyone tried wellman?

We are pretty much prepared to try anything

Thanks in advance

X

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Tuesday, July 21st 2015, 1:19am

Hi sasha

In the lead up to our last 2 icsi's we tried wellman to improve quality as opposed to quantity and also zinc. Our last cycle was successful and we had a relatively good sample on both. Not sure if it was down to the vitamins or not because we were only successful on one cycle and it was the cycle with the least good sperm sample. My theory was no harm in trying though as we had tried everything else.

Good luck x

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Tuesday, July 21st 2015, 10:33am

Hi Sasha

You could have a look at the Zita West range of vitamins for men. You could also have an appointment with one of their nutritionists. Sure they could do that over the phone. It isn't cheap but I think anything like Wellman (i.e over the counter, broad spectrum stuff) will only give you a maintenance dosage - that's not really enough. A qualified nutritionist will point you to professional ranges of vitamins and minerals to try. This can all add up though to a substantial amount of money a month - I was spending 60-80 quid a month at one point.

I know loads of stuff about fertility nutrition for women, which I could share with you, but nothing about men - we did MESA early on. My husband didn't drink for nearly a year (because it was delayed a couple of times) and he was good with hot baths, eating loads of antioxidants etc, but I am sure there could have been loads more we could have done to prepare for his sperm retrieval. There's so much more info out there in the last few years.

Wishing you luck
xxx

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Tuesday, July 21st 2015, 10:38am

Thank you ladies, Jenny I'll have a look at zita west I think I always assumed that was more for female fertility problems .

Do you mind me asking what MESA is?

Thank you

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Tuesday, July 21st 2015, 8:58pm

hiya

Zita West definitely do stuff for men - worth a look.

MESA is a form of sperm extraction - think the term used depends on where sperm is taken from. In our case, the epididymis.

Hope things are feeling a bit less scary.

xx

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Tuesday, July 21st 2015, 9:25pm

Thanks Jenny, I'm with you now we have only just touched on sperm retrieval, do you have much experience of this?

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Wednesday, July 22nd 2015, 3:08pm

hiya


we did ours back in 2008 so I am not very up to date. It was a very simple procedure. My husband had a general and he would have recovered very quickly had he not got an infection, but other than that, no problem. He is a brave sort, but really this is nothing compared to what we go through.

It was a very nervous time for us as we were told to expect having to use a donor, but they got it very wrong - we got mature sperm from epididymis, 18 straws in total (generally they would only thaw one straw per cycle). There is also something called TESE - that is when sperm are taken from the testicle. As far as I know, these sperm aren't fully mature (they need to go through epididymis for that) but this doesn't stop men being fathers. I would do your research and see what they say now - it may well have changed some.

Looking back, it was by far one of the easiest bits of the whole IVF process, but it was stressful - I can still remember going for a coffee on my own waiting to know whether we would even get a chance at doing IVF. It is our anniversary today - nine years - and we found out we would never have kids naturally six weeks after getting married. Tough, but we have got through it.

xxx

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Wednesday, July 22nd 2015, 4:47pm

Hi Sasha

Just to add, my DH had a TESA where juvenile sperm were retrieved from the testicles and you know our outcome so it can work that way too. If you want any more info on this let me know

Xxx

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Wednesday, July 22nd 2015, 5:16pm

Thanks ladies

Net any info would be great.

Jenny I know how you feel on the morning after my wedding one of my bridesmaids told me she was pregnant, we got married in the April and found out in the June we would never have children naturally, we were also told icsi would work and we were wasting our money but we took the plunge and I know have a 3yr old son, we obviously have had sperm just not very much so fingers crossed they find some from somewhere although I have been told they no longer freeze sperm and freeze eggs instead, this may just be my hospital though.

Thank you both for the info

X

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Thursday, July 23rd 2015, 4:07pm

My DH had borderline count and below normal morphology and motility. For 3 months I made him wear boxers, not put his laptop on his lap, no exercise like cycling (which he hates anyway) and getting up regularly at work so that air could circulate (I hate to think what he said to his work colleagues about why he had to take a walk every hour). In addition to that he drank more water and took a general vit supplement as well as extra vitamin C and selenium. I also sent him to work with foods that were rich in Zinc. At the end of the 3 months we were going forward to IVF and another sample was taken, this time his results were within normal parameters albeit at the low end. The biggest improvement was to the morphology with less abnormally shaped ones that tended to swim straight rather than round and round in circles (which figures because he doesn't ever ask for directions and we frequently end up driving like that!).

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Net

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Thursday, July 23rd 2015, 7:34pm

Sasha, my DH took vitamins, gave up booze and ate well / exercised for about five months prior to the TESE. The op was very quick under a general, it wasn't sore he said and they managed three vials of sperm. We've only used one in the first round of ICSI as luckily two frozen embryos worked for us.

My DH's circumstances are different to yours as his issues are due to the absence of the tubes to take sperm out of the testicles but have you discussed sperm extraction with your clinic yet?

Hope you get some answers soon. Good luck xx

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Sunday, July 26th 2015, 6:28pm

Hi again Sasha

I don't know why a clinic would opt to freeze eggs over sperm. As far as I know, freezing eggs is much less efficient than freezing sperm. Check this out and ask why. Could it just be a financial thing on their part....? Sorry, but cynical after a long IVF journey.

xx

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sasha146 (26.07.2015)

sasha146

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Sunday, July 26th 2015, 6:50pm

Hi jenny

To be honest I didn't ask too many questions as we had just received our results and I just wanted to get out, I'm at a private hospital so I doubt it's to do with cost, they did say freezing eggs wasn't as effective so I'm not sure if the reason esp when it's male factor issues it makes sense to freeze if/when you get it, they never used to freeze eggs as I had 23 eggs first time I would have had plenty left over but I will be asking a lot more questions if/when we go back

X

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Sunday, July 26th 2015, 6:53pm

Hi net

Stupid question time but how many sperm are in each vial?

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Sunday, July 26th 2015, 8:35pm

I think how many are in each vial differs depending on how many they get and what quality they are. If you don't get much viable sperm then there will be less vials in total as well as less in each vial, they have to make a payoff between having enough in each vial to give a sporting chance of fertilization but not to put all your eggs in one basket.

Get yourself a notepad and write down any questions you think of between now and your consultation or you risk coming away and thinking "oh god why didn't I ask that". It's easy to go completely blank when faced with the expert and they can often be hard to get hold of afterwards to answer questions.

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sasha146

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Sunday, July 26th 2015, 9:11pm

Thanks Grace

I must admit my hospital are very good I have the direct number for the embryologist I can phone her at any point but I hate asking questions over the phone I'm more a face to face person.

I will see what comes of the results on the 10th of August, to be honest I'm not sure how much more we can take, it's about £6000 for icsi and £2000 for sperm retrieval, I need to win the lottery lol

X

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Monday, July 27th 2015, 8:50am

My embryologist was called Vlad, I was most disappointed when I finally met him to find he didn't look like Dracula!

Sadly it is expensive and so horribly frustrating, hard as it is try to stay positive, so many things can change. When was your last sperm test? they shouldn't be closer than about 3 months apart because apparently it takes 3 months to make a sperm! (they swim about a lot before making their way out). Even if there are no sperm in his ejaculate it is still possible that there are some further down in the process that can be extracted by other means.

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sasha146

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Monday, July 27th 2015, 9:19am

Thanks grace

Our last one was the 10th July, another on the 10th August and take it from there, we only have to pay for one so any follow up test is free so no harm in having it done, we have had sperm in the past so the embryologist was hopeful of seeing some again but although we no what my dh problem is we don't no what caused it therefor we might just have been lucky first time round to see some sperm.

Not sure I could face sperm retrieval it's just another thing to add to a long list of things that might not work.

Vlad that made me lol

X

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Monday, July 27th 2015, 11:28am

Hi sasha
My husband went to see a Chinese herbalist and took Chinese herbs for 3 months along with the usual wearing looser boxers, no cycling, no laptops close the family jewels etc. he stopped drinking for 3 months as well. And he stopped taking whey protein- which he took after gym sessions. We both went to reflexology- which was lovely but Not sure how much it helped!
It helped loads I can't remember the number count increase but it was significant. So much so that the consultant asked what exactly he had done as it could help others.
The other thing was that at one of the tests previous to him making changes he had had a bad virus for a few weeks which was lingering. His result during that time were the lowest ever.

We were gutted when we found out ICSI was the only way but keep focussed as it does work and the intensity pays off

Baby dust to you x

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