Mommies In The Making

We all get graded

Friday’s IUI went wonderfully! It felt really good, like good to the soul kind of good,  to be back at the IUI stage. Violet did not have any bleeding afterwards and she did not feel anything during the procedure, this makes me think that the timing was perfect. Sperm count was 30 something million after being washed, which I think is good. One thing that struck me stange was the doctor said the count was good, but the motility was “umm, well about average for frozen sperm. But, motility is what goes first with frozen sperm, so that is to be expected” He stumbled with his words, but since he didn’t seem to concerned and I was thrilled to be there I didn’t dwell on it.

But see, I just could not let it go. I decided to do a little research since I remembered seeing on the sperm analysis sheet that the sperm lsited as having a grade of 2. I figured that I should probably know what “Grade:2” means exactly. And this is what I found out………

  • Sperm Motility: This part of the test assesses how well your sperm can swim. Obviously, the stronger the swimmers, the better as it is quite a journey for the sperm to make it from the uterus to the fallopian tubes. Sperms are evaluated according to a four-level grade system:
    • Grade 4 sperm are known to have progressive motility meaning they are the strongest and swim fast in a straight line.
    • Grade 3 sperm (non-linear motility) also move forward but tend to travel in a curved or crooked motion.
    • Grade 2 sperm are labeled as non-progressive motility because they do not move forward despite the fact that they move their tails.
    • Grade 1 sperm are immotile meaning that they fail to move at all.

Ideal sperm quality dictates that a man should have grade 3 or 4 sperm in order to fertilize an egg.

Non-progressive?! Not move forward?! Are you fucking kidding me?!? I did not expect that blow at all.  We are at 4 dpo and I am certain that there is no chance that this cycle will take. Does anyone have any experience with the motility analysis? Any hope out there at all??? It is rather sad how I am still holding on a tiny bit, even though there is not much hope. One site actually said that anything from Grade 0 to Grade 2 was ABNORMAL. Yes, they even used uppercase letters for abnormal, as if the word was not emotion inducing on its’ own. We are paying tons of money to have an IUI with abnormal sperm. Awesome!

Up until I this afternon, when I Googl.ed Grade 2 Sperm,  I thought that I would remain mostly unaffected emotionally if this cycle did not work. We had just come off a break of a few months and felt refreshed with the whole TCC thing. I was wrong. Dead wrong. I actually cried as I read the material on Ridiculous. I am really surprised with the feelings that came to me while I was reading…it was a feeling of pure defeat and exhaustion with the whole thing. I just want to have our child to be here…it has been way too long of a journey.

Disclaimer: I hate that my post was so gloomy. I was actually getting ready to write a hopeful post about how wonderful the IUI was and our day  off together on the day of the IUI. It was rather lovely.  Damn google. I felt a bit overwhelmed with the information and it all came out here. I promise to be more upbeat soon!


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7 thoughts on “We all get graded

  1. Oh honey, I’ve been there! My woes were about sperm count rather than motility, but I have done the Google, chat room, statistical analysis thing and cried my way through a 2WW. Don’t apologize. It’s an incredibly frustrating feeling. I wish I had some advice about motility, but I don’t know anything except that our clinic told me they “never see a 4.” I hope the situation is more hopeful than you think! Hang in there.

  2. Too much information is a dangerous thing. Please don’t do what I do every month. Don’t second-guess and let Google fuel your fears. Remember, this is just a number you glanced at. You don’t even know for sure of what it was referring to or if your clinic uses the same grading system. I found out, for example, that there are at least 3 different grading systems for embryos. If your RE said not to worry, try not to worry. Make your distraction list, find things to do and STAY AWAY FROM GOOGLE!

    I’m not saying this is advice I actually follow, but it would be good to follow. 🙂

    I hope you can find a way to keep that good feeling you had after the IUI. Your timing sounds perfect. And remember, 30 million motile sperm is an awesome count.

    *keeping my fingers crossed for your guys*

  3. UGG, that is SO frustrating, and I think you totally have a right to be upset, but before you do, ask your Dr to explain the grading system, he might have some light to shed “we have seen tons of people get pregnant with Grade 2” or the like..Also, maybe this is the same grading system they use for ALL sperm, since yours has been washed, its likely that it would less mobile, right? But thats the point of the IUI…(maybe?)
    You never know…keep the hope alive!

  4. as hard as it is, step away from google. it only brings heartache and stress.

    i am keeping my fingers crossed for you – sounds like your timing was perfect and with 30 million swimmers (a fantastic number!!) im betting your chances are pretty good! hang in there. ((()))

  5. Granted, we only did 3 IUI’s, but we never got a 4 either. Usually 3, but the time we got pregnant was “between a 2 and a 3”
    Man, sometimes we just know too much 😦 I think you still have a great shot and my fingers are crossed for you.

  6. I’ve heard from multiple people who would know (acupuncturist, doctor) that grade 2, while not the best, can certainly get the job done. Part of what helps is the IUI – they our sperm simply don’t have as much swimming to do as those released the old fashioned way. And remember, those analyses do not look at every swimmer – only a sample. There could still be hundreds of thousands of 3 or 4s in the mix. I do not think that you should give up on this one, though I certainly understand the despair that comes with this kind of information. I’m still hopeful!

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