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irregular shape reported on SA
dmr959 posted:
So, my husband's results came back that the quantity and quality was fine (I didn't get #s), but that he has an irregular shape to his sperm. I was told that he needs to be retested to see if it's accurate. If so, they may have to "wash" the sperm and then do something similar to IVF but it's "not that expensive". This info is very overwhelming. Anyone have any info on this?
AmyAALC responded:
Check out my post on Morphology "Normal Forms".

There are a number of lifestyle activities that can impact morphology (smoking, drinking, excess heat to the testicles, poor diet...) as well as some medical reasons for low morphology (varicocele).

Have him start on the sperm health lifestyle guidelines (also found in some of my earlier posts) to make sure to rule out simple day to day causes that may impact that morphology. A male fertility blend vitamin can also rule out any dietary deficiencies that may cause the lowered morphology.

I would also recommend a recheck. Morphology can vary from lab to lab as well as from technician to technician. Human produce quantity over quality when it comes to sperm. Depending on the type of morphology testing used as low as 4% can be classified as normal. If his counts are off the chart and motility it is likely the morphology is of little concern as long as he does have some normal forms. For instance if he has 200 Mil sperm with 60% motility and 4% normal morphology he still has 200 x 60% x 4% = 4.8 Mil perfect sperm cells in his sample and only a select few make it to the egg so almost 5 Mil should be plenty.

If you have been trying for over a year with no pregnancies IUI (intrauterine insemination) would be a great next option to get a higher number of sperm cells closer to the egg increasing your chances of pregnancy. It can take 3-5 IUI's for a successful pregnancy. Price for IUI can range from a few hundred dollars to a thousand depending on how much monitoring of the ovulation they do for the female and if they use ovulatory medications.

If his second SA comes back with low morphology you might want to have your husband seek the attention of a urologist with male fertility training to address the concern and see if there are any underlying causes to his lowered fertility. Males are often overlooked and couples don't even look into addressing the male factors before heading into IVF.

Amy Perkins, MS, TS
Arizona Andrology Laboratory & Cryobank
International Center for Vasectomy Reversal
dmr959 replied to AmyAALC's response:
Thank you for the info. I was advised for him to have a recheck, but he'll be out of town for a few weeks now. I do not have the specifics on the test results, but I will get them. He did recently have some blood work done, and he has high cholesterol and was told he needs to reduce his sweets and starches and to take fish oil too. Could any of that affect his sperm?

We haven't been trying for long, but I am concerned as we are 38 and 40.

Thanks again.
AmyAALC replied to dmr959's response:
Health can have an impact on fertility so it is possible his high cholesterol is having a negative impact. Regular exercise and a healthy diet would be a great place to begin. If he should end up on medication for cholesterol make sure to check with the pharmacist that it does not impact fertility.


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