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  • Low sperm count after I/O?

    My husband went in to the Reproductive Medicine clinic today to make his first "donation" of sperm. He had his orchiectomy 3 weeks ago and will be having the RPLND within the next few weeks. The doctor/nurse at the clinic this morning told him that his sperm count was only at about 4-5 million and that this should be his only donation since it was so low. They went on to tell him that the sample would not be good enough to use for artificial insemination and that if in the future we wanted to use it for Invitro that there would only be a 50/50 chance of getting pregnant. They also told him that it is not likely that his sperm count will get any higher. I thought maybe since it has only been a couple weeks since his 1st surgery that maybe his count could go up eventually. Anybody know anything about this?

  • #2
    Angela:
    It is quite common for a tc patient to have a low sperm count. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't store as much as possible. In my sons case by his third visit his sperm count was normal. To my knowledge you're the first person on the forum who was told not to make deposits when there was viable sperm in the sample. If it was me I would keep going to the bank. The odds of 50/50 are better then 0 and the more samples the more opportunities for the 50/50.
    Son Jason diagnosed 4/30/04, stage III. Right I/O 4/30/04. Graduated College 5/13/04. 4XEP 6/7/04 - 8/13/04. Full open RPLND 10/13/04. All Clear since.

    Treated by Dr. Rakowski of Midland Park, NJ. Visited Sloan Kettering for protocol advice. RPLND done at Sloan Kettering.

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    • #3
      Ok, I'll talk to my husband about making more deposits. It just sounded like they weren't being very positive about this whole thing at the clinic today and I am pretty disappointed at that.

      Does sperm count usually go back up after all treatments are done and the cancer is "gone"? My husband will not be having chemo or radiation.....just the RPLND. I'm just wondering if there'll be a chance we would be able to conceive the "normal" way in a couple years.

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      • #4
        Usually, they take the sperm, feeze it, thaw it and if it is viable after the thawing they will tell you to continue to bank the sperm. If the sperm was not viable after the thawing its a no go. It's my understanding that you need very little sperm to do IVF. (Brian, can you chime in here?) I will tell you that I conceived my son and my husband had less than 1 million sperm. The doctors told us for all intents and purposes, he was sterile. This was five years before my husband was diagnosed with TC. At the time we were going to fertility specialists no one mentioned the posibility of TC. The conception of my son was a miracle. Hopefully, you will have one too. I don't understand why they don't let him continue to bank sperm even if the counts are low unless they don't think he could recover the numbers quickly enough. Dianne

        PS. When we were told that my husband was sterile, we were going to do artificial insemination using donor sperm. The doctor said that they would "mix" the sperm with his so we would never know. It sounds like crap now but at the time it sounded good.
        Spouse: I/O 8/80; embryonal, seminoma, teratoma; RPLND 9/80 - no reoccurrence - HRT 8/80; bladder cancer 11/97; reoccurrence: 4X
        Son: I/O 11/04; embryonal, teratoma; VI; 3XBEP; relapse 5/08; RPLND 6/18/08 - path: mature teratoma

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        • #5
          Well I may not be the Brian, Mom was talking about I do have my sheet from The University of Iowa Sperm Banks in front of me:
          They say that 40% of the motile sperm retain motitity when thawed.
          "The number of motile sperm pre-cryopreservation required for medically assisted reproduction techniques ranges from less than 10,000 (invitro fert with micromanipulation) to 20 million (artificial insemination)"
          They go on to say that a couple with less than 20 million is likely to require in vitro and embryo transfer.
          I tried to find a current link to program but like all big hospitals their web site is a big mess of old articles and not much in the way of help. Here is their home page


          If he has a million sounds like enough to get the job done from what the doctors told me if they can find sperm they will try to make a baby

          Good Luck
          5-1-2006 Right IO - Stage 1 Nonseminoma Embryonal and Yolk sac - Surveillance Baby on the way Born 7-20-07

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          • #6
            make as many deposits as you can afford to make!!!!!! that woman is dead wrong with her facts!!!! if at all possible your husband should try and wait at least three days in between each deposit. that will allow him to produce more sperm for each ejaculate. in my case i only had 4 days to deposit before surgery and each deposite was lower each time i made it. so if he can and has the time to do it, it will help with having more to store. now with that said, my count was only in the 1-2 million range with my "main" deposit. each after that was less and less. we used 2 viles for our IVF and it worked for us the first time. my wife only produced five egggs that we retrieved. out of those five that were fertilized, we had three that were in great condition to implant. and out of those three, it only took one to make us our little girl!!! so please don't let some nurse discourage you with statistics. if statistics were accurate i wouldn't have had cancer in both testicles, huh! our fertility specialist said we had more than enough sperm and i was very low. if you can afford it, IVF will increase your chances rather than A.I. if you need more help please ask! best of luck and my thoughts and prayers will be with you. Brian
            diagnosed 01/15/2005 bi-lateral seminoma stage IIa,4cm lymph node, right I/O & partial left I/O mar/2005, 18 days of radiation, remaining left I/O- aug/2005, surveillance, Wife did IVF oct/2005, DAD OF BABY GIRL born 08-02-2006!!! testosterone implants May 2008

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            • #7
              My husband made a donation too and the count was approximately 1 million. The sperm bank said the same thing that we probably couldn't do artifical insemination.

              If and when you do it, find the best fertility doctor. They are the ones who can actuallly tell you the percentages and then try it. You never know unless you try versus taking someone's opinion.
              Wife of Kevin Murphy
              Diagnosed 7/16/04 100% Choriocarcinoma
              Oriechtomy 7/20/04
              4xBEP 8/04-11/04 BHCG:1200 (lung only)
              Rediagnosed 12/27/04 BHCG: 50
              1xVIP 1/05 (lung)
              HDC/Stem cell Indiana 2/05-4/05 BHCG: 51-4.5 (lung)
              HDC failure 5/05
              3xGemzar/Taxol 6/05-9/05 (lung only)
              VP-16 w/Avastin 9/05-1/06 (lung only)
              Cyberknife 5" lung tumor 2/06
              cyberknife 6 brain tumors 3/06
              1xOxaliplatnin 3/06 (liver, lungs, kidneys, left hip)
              Passed away 4/13/2006

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              • #8
                he can make other deposits as he wants to. i hope they weren't allowing you only one deposit. was that the case? and yes go and see a fertility specialist who does the process of IVF and AI for women. usually it is called a women's clinic of some sort!
                diagnosed 01/15/2005 bi-lateral seminoma stage IIa,4cm lymph node, right I/O & partial left I/O mar/2005, 18 days of radiation, remaining left I/O- aug/2005, surveillance, Wife did IVF oct/2005, DAD OF BABY GIRL born 08-02-2006!!! testosterone implants May 2008

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                • #9
                  Angela,
                  Check your PM.
                  ________
                  Live sex
                  Last edited by BeachTech; 08-12-11, 12:14 AM.
                  BeachTech
                  Diagnosis
                  Diagnosed May 2005
                  Stage IIa
                  Pure Embryonic Carcinoma
                  One 2.0cm tumor in testicle
                  One 1.0cm tumor in lymph node

                  Treatment
                  Radical orchiectomy
                  Two cycles of BEP
                  Two cycles of EP (the Bleo was causing lung issues)

                  Complications
                  Pulmonary Embolism (Almost died)
                  Extremely low red blood count (Required 4 blood transfusion)

                  Status
                  In remission since August 2005
                  July 2011-tumor markers clean!

                  Favorite Question
                  "Which testicle did they remove?"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    My doctor told me there is a technique called intracytoplasmic sperm injection where they can use a single sperm to fertilize an egg. If you end up doing IVF, make sure you go to a great clinic, the doctors and lab make all the difference.

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                    • #11
                      Thank you all for responding. It's nice to be able to get accurate information from people who've actually been through or are going through this. We don't feel so alone or lost in dealing with all of this and that is such a good feeling to have.

                      I guess they didn't tell my husband that he couldn't make anymore donations, they just said it wouldn't really pay because the sperm count wouldn't be any higher. They said they have enough to try IVF 5 times and each time there is a 50-50 chance (But it's also $10,000 a try.)

                      I think since I wasn't at the clinic for the "donation" I wasn't understanding what my husband was telling me they were telling him. Now I wish I would've been there, but at the time I didn't think I should be.

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                      • #12
                        yes, it is expensive. fortunately ours worked the first time! my only concern with having only five donations is that if for some un-for-seen reason your husband encounters problems with the other testical you will be limited. just a precautionary thought!
                        i know this is kinda off the subject but i contacted my local and state and federal congressmen and represenatives and spoke with them about why this procedure cannot be covered by insurance or at least some type of goverment assistance. we all know they give plenty assistance to others who spit 'em out left and right and are non productive citizens! who knows what will be done if anything but i'll keep following up with them. you all may want to do the same!!! we were able to deduct it from our taxes this year, so that did help some but not nearly enough!!!! best of luck with everything, brian!
                        diagnosed 01/15/2005 bi-lateral seminoma stage IIa,4cm lymph node, right I/O & partial left I/O mar/2005, 18 days of radiation, remaining left I/O- aug/2005, surveillance, Wife did IVF oct/2005, DAD OF BABY GIRL born 08-02-2006!!! testosterone implants May 2008

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                        • #13
                          In some States, fertility coverage, including IVF is mandated, just like mental health coverage is mandated. Unfortunately, PA is not one of them. We have also found that certain insurance companies cover it. The HMO my son had when he went through the surgery and chemo covered IVF. His company changed providers last July and his current provider doesn't cover it. So be sure to check. Also, coverage may depend on a medical reason, of which TC certainly applies. Dianne
                          Spouse: I/O 8/80; embryonal, seminoma, teratoma; RPLND 9/80 - no reoccurrence - HRT 8/80; bladder cancer 11/97; reoccurrence: 4X
                          Son: I/O 11/04; embryonal, teratoma; VI; 3XBEP; relapse 5/08; RPLND 6/18/08 - path: mature teratoma

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                          • #14
                            Resolve.org has information about which states require coverage. By the way, our insurance company told us they wouldn't cover the sperm banking costs, but I submitted the claim anyway and they ended up covering a chunk. So don't take no for an answer.

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