Male Factor?

posted by Melody 

Lots of lesbian TTCers joke that their fertility problem is male factor. Maybe for us it’s actually true. 

Apparently high levels of lead in semen are associated with low fertilization rates. The lead can make it difficult for the sperm to bind with the egg. At risk for higher levels of lead include men who are painters, plumbers, and printers. Guess what the guy who’s sperm we’ve been using for nearly a year does for a living. He’s a pressman. Maybe a change of donor will do us some good.

Also, motility decreases by 0.7% each year. Our previous donor was in his 40s at the time of donation. Our new donor is 20.

Won’t it be a kick if we’ve actually been dealing with male factor infertility all this time? It will certainly make me want to kick someone, that is. The counts have always been good, but the count and motility apparently aren’t the only factors in male infertility.  Even if count looks good, an older man’s sperm might be weaker, ie. less able to penetrate the egg’s membrane.

Vanessa and I have been discussing what a shame it is that the most fertile years are the years in which one is least prepared to parent. We don’t want our children to feel rushed into parenthood just because those are their most fertile years, so we’re going to seriously consider egg or sperm freezing as college graduation presents. Speaking from experience, I would take that over a car or a laptop any day.

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3 Comments

Filed under Gettin' Knocked Up

3 responses to “Male Factor?

  1. Lo

    Yeah, evolution hasn’t caught up…

  2. Co

    Interesting. I have always wondered about male fertility. I figured it had to lessen over time like ours, even though men can technically have kids much later in life.

    And yeah, that sucks about your old donor being older and a pressman. I am sure that just like there are 30-year-old women with the eggs of 40-year-old women and 30-year-old women with the eggs of 20-year-old women, men, too, can be more fertile sometimes than you’d expect from their age. But in general, probably not true.

    I hope the change in donor is just what your eggs need this cycle.

  3. Oh, I totally hear you on fertility being wasted on people too young to parent!

    My husband is 42, so I do worry about his swimmers. Some would say he should’ve started trying sooner… but he had to meet me first! And I had to finish school. I wasn’t ready to be a mom when we got married. I was 25, a completely different person than I am now.

    Good luck with that new lead-free and young donor!

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