Wednesday, August 11, 2010

S/A wisdom, please

OK, finally found the piece of paper - phew! It's always a good thing when I can get my medical notes onto my blog before I lose them. (I had no idea that blogging would be this useful.) Here is what the results say:

Semen liquification: 30 minutes [normal range 0-30]
Semen volume: 4.5mL [2-6]
Consistency: normal
Sperm count: 122.1 million/mL [20-250 million]
Motility: 40% [50-60]
Progression Grade: "Sperm moving, no forward motion"
Abnormal Forms: less than 30% [normal is less than 30%]
Impressions: "Low motility with 1+/4 progression grade, other measured parameters within normal limits"

First of all, let me say, praise God that my DH stopped smoking 14 months ago. I am sure none of those numbers (especially the count) would be anywhere near that good if he hadn't.

My DH was told that the motility was the only real issue, but I think he just looked at it quickly, because it looks to me as though there are two abnormal readings there - motility (just a little low) and progression grade.

So what does "progression grade" mean? How high should it be? How big of a problem is it that it's that low? What sorts of things can we do to improve that? And what things can we do about the low motility? Are there any other numbers that the results have as within the normal range, but should really be higher? Is there anything we can do about those?

(I've heard that HCG improves - one of the sperm numbers, I have to look up which - maybe we could both be on HCG at the same time! That would be cute. Especially since our marriage will never result in either of us producing it naturally. And, I'm sure there are other remedies people have tried, and I would love to hear about them.)


  1. i think the progression grade to shoot for is 2.5 or higher but it is really subjective. no progression to me seems like a big concern. as is the low-ish motility, in general. if the sperm can't get to where they need to go...

    was this a post-wash analysis? again, if i were you (but this is up to you two, obviously), i'd ask for a wash and for an SCSA. the latter will give you a better idea of what's happening inside the sperm (i.e., DNA) whereas a simple s/a will tell you more about the outside.

    i hope that helps. i know it's a blow to find out that something might also be wrong on the male end of things.

  2. Forward progression should be a 2+: moving forward quickly. My DH's only measured 1+: moving, but not necessarily forward, and if they were moving forward, it was slowly. My doctor suggested Proxeed for him, a mixed vitamin supplement powder to be taken twice a day. We opted to purchase all the vitamins separately. Much cheaper. The Proxeed equivalent improved every number BUT forward progression. The other numbers were fine and needed no improvement, but I don't think it hurt to have greater volume and better morphology. I thought it could help balance out the poor progression. Here's a site that gives some info on the results of an SA:

  3. I have no advice to offer on this one, because we never had this done. It will be interesting to see what people say and offer as advice.

  4. You've gotten good advice. I'll admit I am really rusty on ex's SA was horrible (although it took me a year and two IUIs to find out, but that's another story), but he had a really high percentage of abnormal forms, as well as progression (also 0 fwd movement) and motility (I can't remember the percentage, but it was very low). He also had a lot of white blood cells, so they suspected an infection. After taking antibiotics, he was supposed to take vitamins (Proxeed does sound familiar). We separated before I could see the outcome, but he does have a child now.

    I would do a second SA, though, just to be sure.

  5. I don't have any advice, but I do have to thank you for reminding me that when we get back from our vacation Mr. JB has to get his swimmers re-checked (yes, we have one of those perforated Napro condoms awaiting us when we get home!).

    From what I can recall from Mr. JB's first S/A, things were good but they could've been better. He's been on a vitamin supplement ever since. Our Napro doc prescribes it and it's crazy expensive (about $500) from our compounding pharmacy. Thank God for our insurance!

  6. DH's issue was morphology, not progression or motility, BUT I do think one of the SAs showed that his were rapidly moving but undulating (a 3 out of 4 grade).
    Anyway, like PfH, we have him on the vitamin supplements that are the equivalent to Proxeed Plus. It is much cheaper, and has good results.

    Here's the website:

    Scroll all the way down to bottom.

  7. Looks like motility and progression could use a little boost. I second the proxeed, it may help. My DH had much worse numbers than this that were helped through increasing his testosterone and surgery. Seems to me that supplements would be a good place to start with your DH, but looks like there is a good chance that with these numbers you could conceive.