This is an addendum to my last post.

I just spoke with our fertility clinic about my husband’s SA. I was obsessing over the morphology, so I called for clarification. And just as I feared — morphology is low (read: bad). In fact, it is very low (read: very bad). Only 1% of his sperm are shaped as they should be.


How can it be that, with sperm like that, we conceived a healthy baby girl the first time I ovulated back in 2010? And how can it be that, even in my last pregnancy, we conceived on my first ovulation if Honey’s sperm morphology is so rotten? Unless…the morphology is what caused my miscarriage. Maybe? (Maybe not?) And isn’t it possible that with a higher-than-normal sperm count (as Honey had), that there might be a smaller percentage of “good” sperm (but still the number of good sperm would be adequate)? And is it at all possible for the lab to get this wrong? I don’t know. I’m just throwing ideas out there and I’m not sure we’ll ever really have an answer.

Either way, they (“they” being the nurse I just spoke with) are now recommending IUI.

And I am crushed. I am not ready for IUI, not financially, not mentally or emotionally, not right now. I just can’t do it. I can’t.

And I can’t quit crying either because now it’s feeling like this cycle is already a bust and like we may never be able to give my daughter a sibling. I feel as if we’re already at the end of the road.

Today, I wouldn’t mind if the Mayans are right. Wouldn’t everything just be easier if the world ended next month?

17 thoughts on “Addendum

  1. Oh friend, there is always something to worry about, isn’t there? Look at what you said above, you concieved….twice…both on the first tries at each ovulation when you didnt even know about any counts. Sometimes I think we know TOO much…and we had similar issues when we first started this ttc stuff, but each sample of his has been different…so you never know. Obviously the IUI decision is up to you, but you know you can get pregnant once you ovulate! Fingers crossed for you!

    • Thank you, Katie. You’re so right. We know too much! I’m starting to think blissful ignorance is the way to go, especially since I don’t think this is going to change our plan of attack for now. Just trying to hold onto the hope, knowing that we’ve done this before without help!

  2. I’m so sorry to hear that the results are bad. From my understanding sperm count and quality can change over time, but I also think your rationale that a low morphology with a high count still equals a good group of healthy sperm. And it only takes one. So try, as hard as it is, not to lose hope about this cycle. If it doesn’t work, maybe with time to digest the information, discuss it with your husband, and talk to the doctor, IUI could become a viable option down the road. *hugs*

  3. NO. No, no no. I will not let you do this…

    The husband’s morphology is also low (2%), and no one ever told me until well after the initial SA was done. Actually, that number didn’t even come up until the SECOND SA we had done, because at that time they did a more exact morphology test… I can’t remember what it was called, but they examined the shape closely, and the swimmers were just a BIT funny-shaped. Two doctors told me that this did not bother them in the least, and that we should continue to try the good ol’ fashioned way… you know, with drugs and doin’ it instead of IVF.

    Now, I suppose it depends on what kind of testing you had done, but I will tell you that my miscarriage cycle was my first pregnancy, and that was also the first time I tried injectables. I had done 4 IUIs with Clomid before that, and had zero luck.

    Now, I know the miscarriage thing is scary, and I asked my doctor if the morphology is what caused mine. He said that the one study that mentioned a correlation between miscarriage and morphology was skewed, and that it wasn’t something he believed to be completely accurate. He said that miscarriages happen, low morphology or not, and that I should not worry. He also said that he would not change my treatment plan if we got a third SA, because he firmly believes that the issue we are having is with my weak eggs, not hubby’s occasionally funny-shaped troops.

    Please don’t consult Doctor Google! I have been there, and it did me NO GOOD!! As a fellow miscarriage survivor, just know that you can do this. You can continue to try, and every step you take to make this new baby a reality is a step in the right direction. IUIs are not a big deal, although I once thought they were too, and hey – if IVF becomes a reality, then the majority of couples with MFI and morphology issues find ICSI to be a one-stop solution!

    Hang in there, and don’t worry. Many doctors don’t care about morphology at all… Find out what your doctor thinks, and go from there. In the meantime, that’s what your IF Sisters are for, right? 🙂


    • Well, you have a great way of making a girl feel better. 🙂 Thanks for all the great information. I will definitely be talking to my RE when I meet with her at the start of next month. *Hopefully* she will be as unconcerned as your doctors are!

  4. Ugh, I’m so sorry. When I read your other post, I assumed it was the opposite…that 1% of the sperm had a problem. I know it’s hard, but you had a baby once already; keep the faith that it will happen again. *hugs*

  5. Sorry lady. No fun, at all. From reading others blogs I would request a second SA.It seems like they can change dramatically. Like Katie said, you’ve already conceived twice with your husband’s sperm. It isn’t an impossible feat.

  6. I’ve heard too that sperm count can change from count to count. In my hubbys case we had one at 40 mil and the next at just 14 mil. I say try it again!
    And take some time to wrap your head around the recommendation and what you think you need to do – even if it means sitting out a cycle. Do something to pamper yourself and remind yourself that you’re awesome.

  7. I am so sorry you received this news today! We received the same news almost 4 years ago. I too would ask for another SA as they can vary. I think since you have conceived twice, that it is a good sign that IUI is not needed! If you are not ready, then I would not feel pressured into doing something you are not ready for! Wishing you the best!!

  8. Okay, everyone has pretty much said what I would say, but let me just reiterate: get another SA before you make any decisions about IUI. Stats can vary widely from one sample to the next. Also, from what I understand, morphology is the sperm stat with the least impact on quality. A funny-looking sperm might be just as good as a perfectly shaped one. Everything else looks good. It’s hard to get this kind of news–just when you think you’ve got one problem solved, another one pops up–but try not to freak out about it too much. Try to focus on your little follicles for now. Sending hugs.

    • I was hoping you’d reply to this post! I kind of think of you as the SA expert. 🙂 We will definitely get another SA and it is reassuring to know that morphology is a little less worrisome than other things. It at least leaves some room for hope. Thank you!

  9. I’ve got nothing very useful to say except that this stuff changes so much. Our donor sperm which was supposedly ‘top-quality’ had hugely varying numbers for each thaw – once 13 million, the next time 26, I know it’s different with fresh samples but still worth bearing in mind.

  10. We found out last summer that my husband’s morph level was 2%. I posted about it and got some good input here, if you’d like to check out the comments:

    I second the advice for a follow-up analysis to see if this was just a fluke (perhaps it is, given your first-time-lucky history – fingers crossed!). And it’s great his total count is high so you will have more options available, as painful as it is to have to choose these options.

    I know it’s difficult news to hear, but it’s not the end of the world (unless those damn Mayans were right after all), and you will get through this. Have a good cry, and then I have no doubt you’ll regain your strength and drive to move forward. Hugs xxoo

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