Poor sperm count and partner not ovulating
by Shiftyfella, Oct 25, 2007
My partner and I have fertility problems in that my sperm count was checked twice with the results of 7 million per ml the first time and 11 million per ml the second time. Also, we purchased two ovulation tests, one on the expensive side which can be re-used and tests are done from saliva, the second being tested with urine. Both tests proved negative ovulation, ie. although my partner has a regular menstrual cycle, she does not ovulate at all. The urine test always proves negative and the saliva test, in which fern-like structures should appear at ovulation time when viewed through the magnifier on the test kit, show no such structures at all.

So, our questions are:

Why does my sperm count vary so much with each test (I abstained for more than 3 days prior to each test), and how do I improve the count to be at level required, which I believe, should be over 20 million per ml?

What could be the reasons why my partner does not ovulate? She is in her early 20's and has never had any diseases or illnesses that could affect her in any way. Her doctor advised her that there is no reason why she cant ovulate if she has a normal mentrual cycle and she also advised us that fertility pills should help.

by Forum-M.D.-SP, Nov 12, 2007
Dear Shiftyfella-

Let me try to answer your questions:

1) First, even though your ovulation prediction kits are coming up negative, regular periods are very suggestive of ovulation. The best way to test for this is to have your wife go for a blood test for progesterone on day 21, 22, or 23 of her cycle. If the progesterone value is > 3, then she is ovulating regardless of what the tests are saying. If it is < 3, then the tests are accurrate.

2) Second, regarding your sperm count, you ask if they have varied a lot. In fact, counts of 7 million and 11 million per ml are pretty consistent; both demonstrate low counts. Variability in sperm counts would be a count of 10 million on one occasion, and 20 million or more on another, as an example. Whether or not anything can be done to improve the counts depends on whether or not there is a treatable cause. Most of the time, low sperm counts are present for reasons we do not understand. Sometimes they can be due to medications or drugs (e.g taking testosterone or anabolic steroids), sometimes due to a varicose vein in the scrotum called a varicocele, sometimes due to hormonal reasons, rarely due to a testicular tumor (so rare that you should not lose sleep over this).

I would recommend that you as a couple see an infertility specialist and have the sperm count repeated in a specialized andrology lab, which fertility practices often have on site. Also blood progesterone testing on your partner, and a full infertility workup.

Sometimes there are treatments that will improve the count. Many times the count is what it is, in which case IVF would be the treatment of choice. Regardless, as your partner is young, your chances of having a baby are very good. You just need to get evaluated so that the right direction can be figured out.

Good luck!
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Member Comments (3)
by babygirl_garcia, Oct 26, 2007
I really can't answer your question as to WHY your sperm count differs so much if you are waiting at least 3 days in between ejaculation.  I do know a few things that are supposed to help increase sperm count like: NO drinking alcohol or caffeine, wearing boxers instead of briefs, make sure you don't ride bikes, horses, anything that will jar your boys. I've heard of pills and herbs you can take to increase sperm count, but you'll have to look into that...it has been so long since I've read into these things.  My husband has a good sperm count but I am anovulatory like your wife is. I am 26, but have Polycystic Ovarian disease.  Usually you don't have a normal menstral cycle if you have this though.  You could have a regular period but your wife may experience abnormal bleeding, clotting, severe cramps. The only way to be diagnosed with this is to have a blood test or have an ultrasound of her ovaries to make sure she doesn't have multiple cysts.  Some women just don't ovulate all the time "EVEN if they have normal periods". Until your trying to get pregnant, no one ever tells you this. Keep doing the ovulation tests.  If ya'll are in a hurry to get pregnant, then I would try starting out on some Clomid pills that the doctor can prescribe and are virtually inexpensive.  This helps women ovulate if they can not on their own. There is a risk of having twins but it is not common, and further multiple births beyond that are VERY uncommon. Your wife should also NOT drink Caffeine, eat healthy, start taking prenatal  vitamins every day, so she can prepare her uterus incase she does ovulate to prevent misscarages.  If you do start taking Clomid with your GYN doctor make sure the doctor keeps up with blood work and vaginal ultrasounds while on the drug to measure the progression of the growing egg and to keep an eye on how many eggs are trying to ovulate. My Fertility specialist said that too many GYN doctors just give women Clomid and tell them what days to have sex, but never keep track of their progress like they are supposed to. Hope some of this helped, Good LUCK!!! I myself have just been buying book after book on infertility and have learned a lot.
by Shiftyfella, Oct 26, 2007
Thank you so much babygirl for your informative response to my post. I shall look into the information you have kindly provided. I never dreamed that trying to have a baby would be so hard for some people. We will request an ultrasound coz these polycystic thingies are so common. I hear stories of them being the size of tennis balls sometimes. I will also take your advice and cut down on caffeine and wearing boxers instead of jocks so my boys can breathe a little easier.
Thanks again and good luck.