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Sperm Issues Behind Unexplained Infertility

Like ovaries, semen changes over time, says the Center for Human Reproduction’s Dr. David H. Barad. Important changes even within the “normal” range of sperm parameters sometimes cause “unexplained infertility.”

Men sometimes are resistant to doing semen analysis tests. I have patients who come to me, who say I do not know why I’m not getting pregnant, but their husband has never had a semen analysis. Or their husband says I don’t have a problem, I have three children from my previous marriage, and we remind him that their three children are now fifteen, sixteen, and twenty years old. Things change, so it’s important to reassess the man and the woman. There can be subtle changes in the sperm counts and quality of the sperm that is sometimes undetected. People seem to cling to this notion of normal and the lower limit of normal that’s written on many semen analysis reports is twenty million, well if your count is twenty-one million, that’s like having a D grate at school, it may be passing but it’s not normal. Normal would be closer to eighty – one hundred million. So there can be subtle things like that, that somebody else may not be paying much attention to, that we can then easily respond to either in IVF setting or some other setting that can help people. It is often just a question of looking a little deeper and asking a few more questions.