Well, here I am writing about something I never envisioned – the quality of my husband’s sperm.
Take a second to giggle like a grade schooler; it’s okay. I have. 😉
Randy visited our RE’s office last Wednesday for his semen analysis and, let me tell you, the conversation we had afterward was hilarious.
Of course, I had to ask all kinds of questions. The one thing I really wanted to know (because I’m secretly a two-year-old) was the type of materials they had to help him.
He said, and I quote, “They had several magazines and a video straight out of the ‘80’s.”
“Did you watch it,” I giggled.
“I tried,” he deadpanned.
Apparently it was that good. HA!
Anywho, he left the clinic after being informed they should have the results by Friday. For me, hearing that was perfect! I can wait 48 hours. No big deal.
Unfortunately, 48 hours turned into 120. The clinic called late in the afternoon on Friday and Randy missed the telephone call. By the time he realized it was too late.
Let’s just say I blew a gasket. No joke. While I’m not proud of the way I handled the situation, many of the things I said needed to be. He needed to know all of thoughts that have been plaguing me for months but couldn’t bring myself to share with him. Missing that phone call was the straw that broke the camel’s back, as they say. Just one of the many lessons in relationship communication.
I busied myself this holiday weekend with friends and chores hoping to keep my mind occupied.
When I went home for lunch this afternoon, I woke Randy up and made him call for the test results.
I sat beside him on the bed and held his hand as a means of support (and a way of grounding myself, I guess). I could hear the muffled voice of the IVF coordinator and Randy repeatedly saying, “Okay.”
When he hung up the first words out of his mouth were, “Everything is okay.”
Apparently, he has quite a bit of spermies in there. Something like 300 million. However, only 25% of them were active. The clinic normally likes to see 90 million sperm with a 40% activity rate. But, they weren’t concerned about the 25% in Randy given the large … ahem … quantity of them.
I asked about morphology and received, “Everything was fine.”
I asked if he needed another test, “Nope.”
Naturally, since I didn’t hear these things for myself, I started Googling. I found these stats from Resolve, the national infertility association:
What are they looking for?
- Sperm count
- Ability of sperm to swim (motility)
- Velocity or forward progression of the sperm
- Size and shape of the sperm (morphology)
- Total semen volume
- The liquefaction of the semen (the ability to go from normal gel-like state at ejaculation to a liquid state)
2 5 milliliters is a normal volume. A very low volume indicates that the seminal vesicles may not be making enough fluid or that these ducts may be blocked. It may also indicate a problem with the prostate gland.
40 million to 300 million is the normal range for the number of sperm per milliliter. Counts below 10 million are considered poor; counts of 20 million or more may be fine if motility and morphology are normal.
Motility and Velocity
2 aspects of motility will be evaluated
- The number of active cells as a percentage of the total number of cells (rated from 0-100%, at least 50% should be active)
- The quality of the movement of the sperm (rated from 0-4. A score of 2 or more is satisfactory.)
At least 30% of cells should be normal shape according to the WHO (world health organization)
Reading this, of course, just left me with even more questions.
So I called the IVF coordinator myself and left her a voicemail.
Is that wrong? It’s not that I don’t trust what he’s told me. Not at all. I just don’t think he has all of the answers to my questions. Thankfully, he understands my NEED to be in control when it comes to some things (okay, a lot of things).
While I wait to hear from her, I can’t help but think of the see-saw that is diagnosing infertility. It’s been a constant up and down since May. First my lone tube was in jeopardy. Then it wasn’t. It could be male factor infertility, but then it’s not. Now we’re back to the possibility of my tube being damaged. One of these days, though, the see-saw will be level. I choose to believe that.
Part 2 later this week!