I’m a planner, I like everything on the calendar, and I’m very organized. So when R & I started TTC last fall I assumed that in just a few short months I would be pregnant…no problems. Well each month I had what I thought were symptoms of being pregnant, and it’s almost like I had pregnancy/TTC amnesia every month. Near the end of my cycle I would be driving myself crazy on the internet trying to see if a pain in my underarm could be a pregnancy symptom. Something I quickly found out was that nearly everything can be considered a pregnancy symptom, from indigestion, exhaustion, hiccups, breast pain, headaches, etc, the list goes on and on. Also, something I didn’t think about was the fact that I had been on BCP since I was 17 years old. Having “natural” cycles for the first time in a decade was tough in and of itself. My hormones were all over the place, then you add on to it getting my period each month and finding out I wasn’t pregnant. EMOTIONAL ROLLER COASTER is what it is! I tried ovulation predictor kits which helped narrow down your “window” to get pregnant, special lubricant (PreSeed), Mucinex during my ovulation week to help thin out my mucus, and finally temping & charting.
They say the average healthy couple will conceive within 12 months of actively TTC, but I was already pretty antsy after only 9 cycles. I decided at that point to make an appointment with my OBGYN, and R & I both had some testing done. For me they wanted to start out with blood work on CD 3 & CD 22. The CD 3 blood work was to check my egg count and the CD 22 was to check to see if I had ovulated. For R they wanted to start him off with a SA. Luckily since we only live a few minutes from the lab they let him collect his sample at home, then bring it in. He just had to keep the sample (which was in a sterile cup) between his legs or under his arm to keep it at body temperature before getting to the lab to drop it off. My testing came up fine, but unfortunately R’s revealed he had a pretty low sperm count. The office wanted to retest him before diagnosing him though. Just to be sure there wasn’t a problem getting the sample too hot/cold during transport they wanted him to come into the office to give his second….which must have been super awkward, sorry honey. His second sample came back worse than the first, so at that point our OBGYN did blood work on R to check his hormone levels and to screen for Cystic Fibrosis then referred us to a RE for further assistance……his hormone levels ended up being normal and CF was negative….which means there is no real “reason” his sperm count is low, which is frustrating. It would almost be easier if there was a “problem” they could fix to help increase the numbers.
There are three things they look at with the SA results: count, motility (speed), and morphology (shape). Here are the results from R’s repeat SA:
- Count: 9 million
“Normal” sperm count is around 250 million/ml, anything under 20 million is considered low, and anything under 10 million is “very low”.
- Motility: 80%
Not a bad number, but could be higher
- Morphology: 12%
“Normal” sperm morphology is anything over 18%