Low sperm count – finally finding the cause!
Back in 2009, after trying for a number of months for a baby, we had a feeling something wasn’t right and decided to have some tests done. My husband’s sperm test came back low with just 10 million – however for some reason at the time we were not informed of this result and were simply told that the sperm had a ‘sluggish’ movement, our chances of conceiving naturally were low and we may need to consider IVF. Nevertheless after 10 months of trying to conceive I became pregnant and we have a beautiful daughter. We presumed if we conceived naturally once it could happen again, we realised it may still take a bit longer but it could happen.
Several years passed with no luck, I had been unwell for a couple of years and we thought it was probably due to this but after regaining my health and still not conceiving we decided to seek help. My husband’s sperm test came back extremely low; we retested it over a few months – the lowest came back as 1 million. We were devastated.
We decided to contact the doctors who had tested him back in 2009 for the test details and it was then that we were given the results which had showed 10 million. Again we were told our chances of conceiving naturally were highly unlikely and we should consider IVF. This for us was not an option; it wasn’t something we wanted to do. We realised we may just have to accept we would not have another child and felt very blessed and fortunate that we have our precious girl. However the question we wanted answered was ‘why?’ Why was the sperm count low? And why had it decreased even more over the years? The doctors all seemed to brush off this question when we asked, as being just one of those things. For us it just didn’t seem right though. He was fit and healthy, eats well, barely drinks alcohol – surely there must be a reason!
On searching online my husband came across the Fertility Focus website and decided to contact Juliette for some advice. The only problem was she was in New Zealand and we are in the UK. Turned out this wasn’t a problem at all and Juliette was happy to speak with us on Skype. Obviously it’s a very personal topic to discuss but Juliette was so easy to talk to as well as very understanding and extremely knowledgeable. She seemed to genuinely care about our situation. But most importantly, Juliette confirmed our thoughts – there must be a reason for the significant decline in sperm count. Her suggestion was that my husband may have a varicocele and to check at the doctors. So my husband went for an appointment and he did indeed have a varicocele.
Our feelings on this were mixed. It was a relief to at last have a possible cause for what had happened, but on the other hand we were angry that no-one had suggested this before or even examined him! My husband had surgery to correct the varicocele. Seven months after the procedure his sperm test results showed a significant increase – 14 million (up from 1 million at its lowest!). We were amazed – this is almost within the normal range and the consultant said it should increase even more. So now we will just keep trying, using all the advice which Juliette has given us on conception, in the knowledge that now it really could happen. After several appointments with consultants who gave us no other options other than IVF, it was so refreshing to speak to Juliette about her approach to fertility. We are so grateful for all Juliette’s help to enable us to achieve the diagnosis and increase our chances of conception naturally.
S.A. United Kingdom