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Archive for the ‘low sperm count’ tag

Infertile Men are Fathers, Too

By Tracey Minella

June 17th, 2012 at 8:56 am

If you are a man who wants to be a father, but infertility is standing in the way, I don’t have to tell you how tough it is getting through today. If male factor infertility is all or part of the problem, there’s often an added level of misplaced guilt as well. And if you’ve lost your own dad along the way, the day is even worse.

I could tell you to take care of yourself today, but you’re probably more concerned about your wife or partner. How she wants the baby, the card and the homemade clay presents that Father’s Day is supposed to be about.

If you’re seeing your own dad… and siblings with children will be there… there can be guilt about not making grandchildren yet and the sense of urgency to do so while he’s still alive. But you will manage, despite the ache in your heart, to smile for your dad today and to play a little catch with those nephews.

And you may have to endure the insensitive and hurtful comments…sometimes directly targeted at your manhood… by ignorant brothers or in-laws. You know the ones. I won’t repeat them. But you’ll laugh it off to keep the peace and pretend it’s the barbeque smoke stinging your eyes.

Today I want you to know that you are a dad. You’re a father “in-the-making”.

Good dads are selfless. They put everyone else’s needs before their own. They take care of their wives and their parents. They often hide their pain. Without realizing it, some practice their “dad skills” on nieces and nephews. They get stronger by facing and overcoming adversity. Their commitment to their wife deepens by battling this challenge together.

All this crap you are going through… this journey… has either given you or fine-tuned all the traits you need to be a great dad someday.

So, Happy Father’s Day to a great dad-to-be. And I hope that next year will be the year of the baby to complete the deal.

To our patients who have already become fathers, Happy Father’s Day. Enjoy those miracles… and their homemade clay presents!

Happy Father’s Day to the wonderful doctor dads of Long Island IVF…great men and loving fathers/grandfathers who use their gifts every day to help build our families.

And finally, Happy Father’s Day to my husband Adam, not just for being the wonderful father I knew he’d be, but for hanging in there during the many years of our own 7 fresh IVF cycles journey to parenthood.

If winning a free Micro-IVF cycle (valued at $3,900.00) would assist you on your infertility journey, please enter Long Island IVF’s “Extreme Family-Building Makeover” Contest. Details are on the April 23, 2012 blog post or click here:


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Tell us how you get through days like this. Did anyone say something hurtful? How did you respond?

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Are At-Home Sperm Tests Any Good?

By Tracey Minella

March 30th, 2012 at 1:40 pm


Nothing can substitute for a complete, professional medical evaluation of your sperm. And these kits don’t even come close.

The new at-home sperm test kit may be convenient and private, but even in the best light, it only gives a small amount of information…information that many men might misinterpret. And it can’t definitively answer your question about whether you can father a child.

It’s the last blogging day of the month, so this post is dedicated to the guys.

At-home sperm tests only test sperm count. You mix your semen with drops from the kit and, similar to a woman’s ovulation test kit, you wait for a reaction and try to interpret what the lines mean. Simply put, if the lines show, your count is considered in “Normal” range, or at least 20 million per milliliter. If you get a negative result, your count is considered “Low”, or under 20 million per milliliter.

The danger here (aside from doing the test wrong or interpreting it wrong) is that the guys who get a “normal” result may wrongly assume their sperm is fine, and not follow up with an evaluation by a Reproductive Endocrinologist or Urologist specializing in male infertility.

And their sperm may NOT be fine at all.

There is more to an evaluation of sperm than measuring the count. You need to know the motility…which is how the sperm moves. You need to know the morphology…which is how the sperm is shaped. These at-home tests do not evaluate these two crucial factors in determining if male infertility is an issue.

A man with a normal sperm count may make enough sperm, but what if they don’t swim (move) well enough to meet the egg? What if they have two-heads or other mutations (morphology) that would affect their ability to fertilize an egg?

Consider all the time, expense, and sometimes invasive testing a woman has to undergo for her own complete evaluation. Shouldn’t the man who wants to father a child have a complete, thorough semen analysis (and any other recommended fertility-related tests) by a medical professional rather than relying on a $40 OTC kit, that doesn’t answer the question “Can I father a child?”

Long Island IVF’s male reproductive specialist, urologist Yefim Sheynkin, MD, can answer your questions and more. Read about his qualifications, specialties, and expertise here:

So, here’s the re-cap:

You take the at-home test, get a positive result, and interpret it to mean you have no sperm issues. Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. You have no idea if you can father a child. And you’re out $40.

Or, you take the test, get a negative result, and hopefully, that result at least forces you to make the appointment with the medical professional to investigate the reason for the low count, and to find out if there are other issues with your sperm, hormones, and/or anatomy that will give you an idea if you can father a child. And you’re out the $40.

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Would you rely on an at-home sperm kit? (Or let your partner rely on one?)

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Putting All Your …Sperm in One Basket

By Tracey Minella

January 31st, 2012 at 10:05 am

It’s the last day of the month and that means it’s “Just for Guys” day here at the Fertility Daily blog! For those who don’t know it, I always post something of particular interest to the boys on the last blogging day of the month. You know, just to remind them where their place is…Oh, just kidding! (Where would we be without them?)

So, today I’m sharing a true miracle story especially to inspire the guys with male factor infertility (and their loving wives).

The man was tested. No sperm. Not low motility or low count.


But thanks to advancements in assisted reproductive technology, he underwent a testicular biopsy…a procedure to search tissue for sperm, one at a time. A team of three scientists spent 9 hours searching his tissue for sperm.

They found one. A single sperm. And they froze it.

The wife underwent IVF and wasn’t a super egg producer herself, according to the article. But, with ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection), they fertilized one of her eggs with that single sperm cell.

And she conceived. Against the odds.

They have a little girl now. To read the whole story, click here:

Fortunately, Long Island IVF patients have easy access to our on-staff male reproductive specialist, Dr. Yefim Sheynkin. His unique experience and many years of expertise in reproductive medicine, microsurgical treatment of male infertility, and sperm retrieval techniques for in vitro fertilization are unparalled.

If you have male factor infertility, please ask your RE about all of your options. Get evaluated by their on-staff reproductive urologist. The best centers will have one. You may have more options than you think.

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Do you find stories like this inspiring? If you were diagnosed with severe male factor infertility and were a candidate for a procedure like the couple in this article had, would you consider it?

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