Bad news


So we finally found out about my husband’s semen analysis. The story is that his concentration is normal…whatever that means but the motility and shape is abnormal and I was told I’ll HAVE TO have an IUI. I have an appointment with the doctor (who I don’t like) tomorrow to have this all better explained to me. I’m hysterical right now because not only can we not afford all that’s to come but I just can’t even believe this is happening. I really need some advice from those of you who understand this all better. What exactly does this diagnosis mean and what is involved in an IUI? Has ANYONE had it work on the first try? The nurse told me they’ll have do to two back to back…does this sound right? Should I continue on with this guy or should we go for a second opinion? I’m completely lost, terrified and heart broken. Someone please help


I think needing an IUI is kinda “good” news in the fertility world…it’s not as invasive or costly as IVF. And they can still use your husband sperm…it’s not like they told you, you need to use donor sperm.

It’s not an easy process…but definitely doable.



Let me clarify what I mean. It’s not that needing an IUI is the bad news, it’s the what if it doesn’t work issue. I see here people who have had 4 and 5 IUI’s with nothing. Then we might have to end up trying the IVF route, which we certainly cannot afford. I just wanted them to tell me everything was fine and I kept telling myself that it would be. Now the reality is that it isn’t and I’m terrified that it will only get worse from here. I mean ok, they say we need to do an IUI, but if it doesn’t work and repeated ones don’t work, donor sperm might become a reality. I don’t know if my husband will be able to handle that. This is a road I never imagined myself going down and I’m freaking out.


I went down your road a few years ago…I am so sorry you are facing this. I was one of those stories about IUI’s not working, but my husband had a very low sperm count, so we really weren’t good candidates for it anyway.

IUI’s are the “place to start” so I don’t think a second opinion would change their recommendation.

So sorry you are terrified…:grouphug:

Wishing you the best!


Is the “concentration” the count? Cause she said that was normal. It was just the motility and shape that was abnormal.

Do you think it’s right to go straight to IUI? I haven’t had anything else done besides bloodwork. All my hormone levels are normal and I ovulate but my tubes have not been checked and in all honesty, even though I’m freaking out, we’ve only been trying for 6 months. Does this seem like the best approach or should more testing be done before heading down this road? I DESPISE this doctor. He never takes more than 3 minutes with me and called me infertile on our first meeting, when we had only been trying for 3 months. Should I take his advice or see someone new before going the IUI route? Thanks SO much for your advice.


Ok well here is some good news for you, My husband had too thick of a concentration, low motility the count was not bad but could have been better, we got pregnant on our first IUI back in 2008 and had our little girl in Feb 2009, so yes it can happen on the first try.:cheer:


Ok, that’s hopeful!! Thanks so much : )


[quote=ChrisBKNY]Is the “concentration” the count? Cause she said that was normal. It was just the motility and shape that was abnormal.

Do you think it’s right to go straight to IUI? I haven’t had anything else done besides bloodwork. All my hormone levels are normal and I ovulate but my tubes have not been checked and in all honesty, even though I’m freaking out, we’ve only been trying for 6 months. Does this seem like the best approach or should more testing be done before heading down this road? I DESPISE this doctor. He never takes more than 3 minutes with me and called me infertile on our first meeting, when we had only been trying for 3 months. Should I take his advice or see someone new before going the IUI route? Thanks SO much for your advice.[/quote]

You have every right to be freaking out, IF is scary and shocks you. If you are not comfortable with your doctor then YES you need to find a new one. I am a nurse, IF is hard emotionally, we need to be well informed and have a RE that will take the time with us. There are many natural supplements that your DH can be put on to help with his SA, also if you haven’t had a fertility work up by all means you need to. IUI’s are a good way to go in many cases, but also only has about a 20-25% success rate and that’s with medications. Where you on BCP?? How long have you been off???I had all the ferilitly BW done before I ever started with ferility drugs, and HSG after all those failed Clomid cycles. Then before I ever let them do an IUI I wanted a lap to check my lady parts, as an HSG will only reveal if your tubes are blocked and any structural abnormailities. :grouphug: for such a tough time!!Be strong and speak up for yourself!!


I suggest that you speak with another doctor. While you would likely be facing the same issues there is NO reason why you should be with a doctor that you don’t like. These folks are getting good money - and a **** lot of money - too much to be jerks. If this is your OB, see a RE. If this is your RE explain to him that you need this all explained in minute detail. If he isn’t willing to do that, find a new doc. Just my 2 cents.

My first IUI failed, but we have friends who have had success right out of the gate. I’m heading into round 2 this month.

Someone asked me at work this AM how I was. A normal, innocent question. The answer that came to mind was to explain that I still wasn’t pregnant and for that reason alone everything sucked. Of course, I didn’t say this. Bottom line - all of these emotions you’re going through right now - we’ve all been there. I’m not trying to minimize your experience, but rather, want to tell you that you can tell us anything. We don’t judge. We’ll cheer your success and help you face the next day when you need a hand.

Best of luck to you and your DH!!


Thank you so much!! I haven’t been on birth control pills for years, like since my early 20’s. I had one pregnancy back in 2007 but had a mc at 5 weeks. There’s been nothing since then. My husband has a perfectly healthy biological 6 year old son. I have had only bloodwork done and the doctor completely zipped through the results, just telling me “you’re fine, you ovulate, hormones are normal, your husband is the problem”. And then he rushed me out of the office and gave me to the nurse who scheduled his second semen analysis, which was what we found out about today. Concentration is normal, shape and motility is abnormal. I’m fine with doing the IUI but I just feel like I don’t want to spend this kind of money until I make sure that is the ONLY thing we’re up against. I had an ultra sound a few weeks ago and the tech said it looked like one of my tubes might be blocked but when the doctor looked at the report, he said nothing about it. All he said was you have a cyst on your ovary, that’s good, it means you’re ovulating. And then never said another word about it. I’ve known more than one person who had a cyst on one or both ovaries who were told it would make conceiving difficult if it wasn’t removed or didn’t burst on it’s own. So isn’t this also something we should be looking into? This guy literally looks at me like he has no idea who I am when I go see him, talks to me for 3 minutes and now had a nurse call me with results to tell me the ONLY option I have is IUI. I just can’t help but feel like they’re trying to sell me a $650 procedure without being absolutely certain that it’s the answer. I’m going to keep my appointment with him tomorrow, see what he has to say and then find a new doctor. So in your opinions…should I just be shopping a new OB or should I get a referral for a RE?? I appreciate all of your thoughts SOOO much! I feel so alone and confused right now, much love to all of you. :flower:


I just have to say that joining this forum was one of the smartest things I’ve ever done. Thank you all : )


I’m wondering if they told you any details besides abnormal? I think there is probably a big difference between, say, 40% motility and 5% even though both may be technically abnormal. Same for morphology.


An RE. At this point. Request copies of your records from this guy and get a referral to an RE. That’s who should be doing an IUI, if that’s what you need.

I don’t like when I’m shuffled off to the nurse but my doc has made time for me every time I wanted to speak with him. They are there for two reasons - to make money and to help make babies. If the aren’t good at helping to make babies then (theoretically) they won’t make money.

Find a good doc.



IUI first try

hi there…

just wanted to jump on here quick…my DH and I did IUI (not for sperm issues though-but my age…i was 39 at the time)…well, our DD is almost 5 now and she is a result of that first try! hope that gives you some hope!



I wouldn’t say you need a second opinion, but has your husband had more than one SA? Mine did two about a week apart, because his motility was low the first time. It was a 10% better the second time around, but still lower than 50%.

If you’re not happy with your OB, I would definitely see and RE. Mine sounded about like yours. After a few months with my OB, I will not be going back to him when I do get pregnant.

We got our IUI recommendation in early December in a phone consult with the RE. Knowing that insurance wouldn’t cover anything, including meds, we decided to wait until at least January. Then waited again until February. I think having that two month time period to let it sink in, save a little money, readjust the TTC thought process, and process some emotions, etc., really helped. I didn’t want to take the time off, but we hadn’t decided how we were going to pay for everything yet, so it was almost a necessity. I ended up having a sob fest in January, arguing some with my husband over the whole thing, but mainly about my frustrations and fears. It has honestly made it SO much easier. I’m on my 2nd IUI, with AF waiting around the corner, but I haven’t “lost it” since then. I won’t say it’s been a cake walk, but just having that time made all of the difference for me.

As far as our diagnosis, our RE said he didn’t think that IUI was “unreasonable”, so there’s always that fear that we may have to move to IVF, and there is no way we can afford it. But, I asked what DH could do to help improve his motility, and here’s what the RE recommended:

Take Vitamin C 200 mg daily in the morning
Take Vitamin E 200 mg daily in the morning
Take L Carnitine 1 gram in the morning and evening
Take Pycogenol 100 mg in the morning
Take CoQ10 75 mg in the morning (can take up to 150 mg a day

Keep in mind that it takes about 90 days for sperm to mature. Honestly, I don’t know if his motility has improved, but he wasn’t taking any supplements at all, so we figure it can’t hurt!

After our diagnosis, we went straight to injectables, and skipped the clomid (I’d already done 2 cycles). That also depends on the office, but you shouldn’t do any more than 3-4 cycles on clomid. And my RE doesn’t usually do more than 3-4 IUI’s because it becomes more cost effective and chances increase with IVF.
The b2b IUI’s is standard for some offices, but not all. The physical aspect of the IUI isn’t bad, really similar to a pap, with some possible cramping (That can be worse than a pap, but caused by the meds as much as the IUI itself). Hubs does his thing, they process it, to rid the bad and keep the good, then put his boys/girls (lol) in a catheter which they then put you know where!

You’ll get through this! Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Hang out on here and join a thread. It does help. :babydust:


You should definitely go to an RE, if you’re starting to consider fertility treatments. Obgyns can do IUIs, but their job is really to treat pregnant women and an RE’s job is to get women pregnant. Obgyns don’t have the specialized training in infertility that REs do. Also, you said you don’t like your doctor and you really need to trust the doctor working with you on your IF. So, while you don’t have to get a second opinion and most likely they will give you the same treatment protocol, you might want to find another doctor you trust.

And I agree with what others have said about the SA. If your husband gets a poor result once, they should really test him again because, sometimes there can be reasons that it comes back abnormal, such as previous illness, etc. It might be just a one-time thing. However, even if it turns out to be an issue with his sperm, the good news is that there’s still a lot they can do. And they didn’t tell you that you had to go straight to IVF.

Before you do any IUIs, though, you should have an HSG. This way they can tell if your tubes are open before you spend money on the IUIs. Because, if your tubes aren’t open, the IUIs aren’t going to work. Someone else mentioned doing a laparoscopy first, too, but many doctors now don’t think that’s necessary. They usually only do that if the HSG comes back abnormal.

As for the money part of it, I can so relate!! I am one of the ones who did multiple IUIs with no result. I did 5 IUIs, which were all BFNs! Now I’m doing IVF and I really had hoped it wouldn’t come to this. I didn’t think we’d be able to afford to do the IUIs and now, here we are, paying for IVF. And our insurance doesn’t cover anything for infertility. We had to make decisions about how far we would go, how much money we would spend, and how far into debt we were willing to go. You’d be surprised at how much you’ll do to try to get pregnant. Just take it one step at a time and try to only do what you’re ready to do and comfortable doing.

Good luck and I hope you get your BFP soon!


Chris…I have a question for you and a couple of suggestions. First, has your DH had more than one SA? If not, I highly suggest having another 1 or 2 done to make sure things are accurate. I say this because my DH had 1 done where the RE said he had great concentration (meaning count) but the motility and morphology (which is shape) were very very low. Like less than 5% chance of us conceiving without IVF. However, he has had 2 SA’s since and we’ve done 2 IUIs, all of which he was off the charts GREAT with concentration, motility, and morphology. So my point is, get more than one done to be sure. There are also many naturalistic remedies available that may be able to help if he really does have an issue.

As far as IUI goes…it’s not really bad news, but I understand wanting to understand that this is the route you want to go if there are no other options. I would see an RE…I started with my OB/GYN then went to one RE and now on my second RE because I wasn’t willing to accept the opinion of the first RE as fact. I was 25 when I saw the first RE and was told IVF was my only option. Now come to find out that is DEFINITELY not the case. So definitely be your own advocate. From your posts, I get the feeling that you are questioning what you have been told, which is not a bad thing. Be your own advocate, and do your research. I have found this is very helpful when talking with my RE and understanding what options really are available to me.

Best of luck to you.


We have Severe Male Factor and IUI’s were never an option for us. I ditto much of what has already been said about additional Semen Analysis and also you having more tests.

I WOULD 100% recommend finding a new doctor! This is a very stressful and personal process, and going through it with a doctor you do not like (which I did for three cycles) does not help you! I stayed with the RE that I did not like because I was not afraid to speak my mind and work with the doctor for my treatments. I have done a lot of research on my own up to this point and felt very comfortable questioning my doctor about why she wanted to do something and why not do something else.

I read a book by Dr Silber (he is a renowned infertility doctor who has specialized in male factor infertility), the book is called, “How to get Pregnant with the New Technology”.

I would not be afraid of money. I totally understand this. When we were told we would only get pregnant with IVF I was floored. At the time we put the money together and paid for our first IVF. What I found out through all that we have been through, we can afford way more than we think we can. I might not have been able to do my procedures as fast as I have (treatments 2 through 5 were covered with insurance when we moved 1800 miles away from friends and family for a job), but I would have been able to afford the treatments if I had made better changes in my life. We paid two house payments for almost 2 years after moving from TX to MA. Those extra house payments would have definately paid for IVF.

Anyhow, don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself. Doctor’s are very knowledgable, but you are paying a lot of money, so it’s important for you to understand what you are paying for. It’s important that you advocate for yourself. If you don’t feel comfortable with your doctor you need to move another one. And I would ONLY do fertility treatments with and Reproductive Endocrinologist. It’s one thing taking clomid because all the tests show everything is fine and another thing for tests to show a problem and you start treatments that may or may not work. The RE is trained to deal with difficult situations and know best whether IUI or IVF is best.

Good Luck with whatever you choose!


I wouldn’t do an IUI with an OB, and I wouldn’t do it w/o getting an HSG to check your tubes even if you think there might be a question about them. My first IUI worked… we got pregnant. It was ectopic. No one ever mentioned an issue with tubes to me. I had an HSG after (my left tube was removed) and nothing was wrong with the right. But what if I had that HSG a few months before? Maybe I wouldn’t have had to suffer (and almost die) from a ruptured ectopic.

My OB didn’t do IUIs, only clomid. And I was never monitored (had I known then, I would have ran to an RE!). And DH and I were unexplained IF. I had recurring m/c’s, but blood work found a blood disorder and baby aspirin, folgard and heparin injections have helped me carry 2 babies to term (well this one will be term next week officially). My first RE, during the first visit, told us we would only get pregnant via IVF. This is after 2 m/c’s (one natural pregnancy, one on clomid). We weren’t willing to spend that type of money yet so we opted for IUI (no reason since DH’s sperm were fine, but it does take a huge step out of timing issues). And as stated above, we did get pregnant, but it wasn’t meant to be.

With sperm issues, I agree with everyone else saying that you want multiple SAs done to be sure. And before you do costly treatments you might want to consider a full work up on yourself, with a doctor that can explain your results and who actually has expertise in IF (not an OB/GYN).

Best of luck!:babydust:


First of all :grouphug: Im sorry you are freaking out and scared

Second, get him a repeat s/a. Maybe a couple before you jump to anything. Usually MFI is dx AFTER a few s/a.

Third, IF he ends up being MFI have him schedule and appt with a urologist that specializes in male infertility. An RE might know how to read an s/a but a uro might be able to tell you what is causing the issue and fix it. (person story)… We were told IVF with ICSI was our only hope of having another child. I scheduled DH an appt with a uro. Well dh’s sperm issues was because of his low Testosterone. Uro put him on 50mg clomid and i put him on vitamins. That put us in IUI sperm ranges. So we did our first IUI. Bam… BFP with triplets after TTC naturally for 7 years 11 months. Now yes we did end up and lose them all. But we got a BFP. There is hope. Don’t lose that hope. Yes some go through a few IUI’s but you can’t look at how many IUI’s a person has been through and think it’ll be you. Everyone is different. Goodluck :slight_smile:

Fourth, Do NOT see a OB for infertility issues. OB’s are trained in pregnant women. RE’s have extra training in GETTING women pregnant. Its well worth it to take the step to an RE.

If you have any questions or just feel like chatting please feel free to pm me :slight_smile: