Today I’m asking for your help. I need people to hear this message. I need people to know the truth. My heart longs for people to make educated decisions and not be bullied or tricked into avenues that may not suit them. I ask you today, to share this post and from the bottom of my heart I thank you. You’re going to change somebodies life by doing so – you are living by the affirmation – ‘be the change.’ Go be it.
Up to 60% your ability to conceive today, relies on your man having whipper snipper sperm. That’s a fair chunk of the puzzle when you consider most fertility treatments jump straight onto getting the lady parts happening with little thought for sperm quality. Since coming back from maternity leave (it’s nearing 1 year) I have seen one good semen analysis. ONE! That frightens the pants off me… There’s a lot of couples coming through my doors desperately seeking answers as to why they aren’t falling pregnant. Poor semen quality is such a rising trend, at times you’ll find me in clinic making a b-line toward daddy – the truth is, his sperm need to be in tip top order for conception and beyond.
Much of what I write here on my blog is drawn from first hand experience in my clinic. Just three weeks ago, one sunny Saturday, I left work a very grumpy health practitioner. I had been faced with not one but three very distraught couples. Each of them had been referred straight to IVF immediately after very poor semen reports, so bad in fact, all three partners had zero viable sperm. I spent a long time explaining to each individual case why this wasn’t actually the end of the world but a little gift, to have answers and a problem that was relatively easy to solve. What I needed them to really understand was that no amount of IVF was ever going to work with totally unviable sperm. What I was most furious about was the fact that they were being referred immediately to IVF and IVF accepting them knowing that it was virtually impossible to create a successful pregnancy without viable sperm. These couples were literally being asked to flush their money down the drain. Conception whether it natural or assisted requires at least some level in viability of semen. Without this, it is actually physically impossible for an egg to be fertilised; if the semen is 100% abnormal, there is no chance of fertilisation.
Here’s the deal. There are 3 parts to semen quality that are tested in your run of the mill analysis with acceptable ‘normal’ parameters’
- Motility (how they are swimming) in which 60% must be live.
- Morphology (how normal the sperm actually look) with at least 4% normal forms (what are the other 96% doing!?)
- The sperm count (how many there actually are) 50 million per millilitre
Semen analysis parameters are forever being re-adjusted to reflect what the ‘normal’ ranges are observed in a clinic setting for IVF. As the quality of semen declines, these reference ranges are adjusted to reflect the deterioration. This means that, these results are based on the ‘average’ results for those doing IVF not natural fertility. So if your partner is lining up for his semen analysis and it is coming back within ‘normal’ ranges, know these are reflecting what is adequate for IVF not natural conception. So very often I ask couples for their analysis results to be told “oh that’s not our issue – my specialist told me they are perfect!” When I have the opportunity to look at the specifics, I most often discover that perfect result isn’t anything to be hi five-ing your specialist over because they are very often, VERY average. Very low parameters are considered ‘normal’ nowadays. This is a huge problem for those trying to conceive in any case.
Sperm will literally ‘morph’ into all kinds of presentations (think two heads or two tails like something out of a sci-fi movie, wonky bodies or missing DNA) all a result of ill health or poor lifestyle habits. It can be from simple things like sitting down for too long or drinking too much alcohol. In fact, you’ll be told that if you have at just 4% normal forms, you have gang buster sperm. What in heavens name are the other 96% doing!? 4% normal forms in my book is so very inadequate. So many couples are literally throwing away chances every month because the chances of conception are very unlikely. Conception is a numbers game. If we can improve this result by just 5%, you’re already going to be well ahead and closer to having your healthy baby.
For successful, healthy long term pregnancies, sperm must be fantastic. It’s as simple as that. Of course the woman needs to be in good health too. I talk about many ways in my e-book, that men can improve sperm quality overall. It’s not hard, it takes around 3 months to start to see results and it works. I’d encourage any couple embarking on IVF to get the semen quality as good as possible. It really is key for success in both natural and assisted conception. It’s a subject so close to my heart. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.
Oh and before I go – last day to register for my gentle autumn body cleanse. Another way to get on track to successfully making babies.