High FSH and infertility in general - Mothering Forums
Infertility > High FSH and infertility in general
Iriemama's Avatar Iriemama 10:38 PM 12-19-2012

So I'm new to this whole infertility thing and have a few questions.  First, I am 35 (36 in a month) and

I have a 7 year old from previous relationship.  I am now married to the man of my dreams and we are ttc.  Originally I thought, no problem, I'll have this within the first couple of tries because I'm known as what some might refer to as a "fertile myrtle," but I digress...that's for another forum.  Anyway, I started tracking my cycles back in February 2012 and had 30-31 day long cycles and bled for approximately 5-7 days.  I did that for a couple of months and then stopped.  Since I was married in August, I started temping and charting and immediately noticed my cycles have decreased to 23-22 days and my bleed time is 3 days (no more, no less).  This is dramatic drop.  My luteal phase is also 9 days long which I think constitutes as a luteal phase defect.  So, after 6 cycles of trying with temping and BDing around ovulation day with no success, I decided to see an OB/GYN.  Of course, she immediately wanted to prescribe me Chlomid, which I'm not so keen on (I am not interested in carrying multiples whatsoever and I'm trying to go about this the most naturally way as possible).  So I convinced the OB/GYN to order some lab tests for me (CD3 FSH, TSH and HSG, oh and a sperm analysis for my husband).  All the tests were fine except my FSH which was 11.2.  Now, everything I've read has been so doomsday and it is truly freaking me out.  It seems I have no other options but egg donor insemination.  Is 11.2 really that critically high?  Am I truly perimenopausal?  Also, I'm now being told that I'm on a ticking timeline because once my FSH reaches a higher number (15 or 20...I can't remember which) I will no longer be accepted as a patient for IUI and IVF.  So of course, this now puts me in high drive to try and figure out what to do, and I'm devastated and at a loss.  I should also mention that my husband has some male infertility factor as well (his motility is 34% and needs to be more than 50%).  Currently he is taking supplements that we know can help with this issue.  Anyway, in the meantime, I'm still tracking my cycles and we are bding up to 5 days before the suspected ovulation date and we also BD on the day after "just in case."  We have even been using an Instead cup to help hold the semen inside, close to my cervix and then I have the big O to try and get my cervix to grab those suckers and bring them closer to the uterus.  Who knows if it's working because this is our first cycle doing this.  Anyone in a similar situation?  I feel stuck between a rock and a hard place not knowing how to keep this experience as less medical as possible but also needing to figure out when I should bite the bullet and use the more extensive opportunities the medical community can offer.  On a side note, I've also thought about at home ICI or IUI but have to gather more information on that.

 

Thanks for listening to my long ramble, I'm just starting and am overflowing with questions and in need of hearing that there some people who can relate.   Mostly, I want to know if my high FSH and my DH's low sperm motility are enough to warrant us to full on jump into the medical side of ttc.

 

Thanks for hearing me out....any advice or personal stories of being able to relate will be much appreciated!



michellyaqua12's Avatar michellyaqua12 12:01 PM 12-20-2012

Are FSH and TSH the only hormones they checked? What was your TSH? Many doctors aren't aware of the new normal range for TSH (0.3-3.0) and when TTC the range is even narrower (around 1-2) so don't accept "normal" for an answer; get copies of all your test results and check for yourself.

 

I don't know much about high FSH, but I've heard before that FSH and estrogen affect each other. As in, if your estrogen is really high, that could suppress your FSH, making it appear normal when it's not. I don't know if the reverse is true -- that low estrogen could cause a false high FSH -- but it's probably still a good idea to get the other CD 3 tests done to look at the whole picture. I do know that FSH varies each cycle, so you should at least get a second test before any diagnosis is made. Also, there are some REs (reproductive endocrinologists) who think FSH is more an indicator of egg quality (for the cycle in which it was tested) and that AMH is a better indicator of ovarian reserve.

 

I think you should skip the OB/GYN and go straight to an RE. REs are much better equipped to handle these kinds of situations. They will most likely push for medical intervention and it may be a more aggressive treatment option than you want, but remember it's their job to get you pregnant so they will advocate for whatever will give you the best chance in the shortest amount of time. You can always say no, and/or ask about alternatives.

 

Btw, you can't really do IUI at home, because the sperm need to be washed before being placed in your uterus. It is dangerous to insert unwashed sperm. I've heard that you can rent/buy the equipment to wash it and insert it, but that will probably cost you a lot more than just doing IUI with a doctor who knows what they're doing. Anything that you can safely do at home (ICI) will probably have the same success rate as just having sex. (Sperm washing also gives you the best sample so I don't think insemination without that offers any benefits but I don't know for sure.)


Iriemama's Avatar Iriemama 12:10 PM 12-20-2012

Thank you so much for your reply.  FSH and TSH are the only tests they ran (I know, neglectful huh?) and my TSH is 1.4 so it's fine.  Had I known more beforehand I would have asked for the Estradiol, AMH and progesterone tests.  I'm trying to get a referral for an RE, but my OB wants me to come in to go over the labs before she gives me the referral.  Such a PIA, knowing I have enough reason to see one.  Now, they keep saying that they will send me to an endocronologist, but I keep insisting to see a RE and they say it's the same thing, is that true? 

 

Thanks again so much for your input.
 


Corey Whelan's Avatar Corey Whelan 12:53 PM 12-20-2012

Hi Iriemama, I am sorry you are going through this.  The FSH test was really designed to determine your ability to conceive through assisted reproductive technology. It gives your doctor the ability to determine if your egg quality/quantity may be a cause for concern.  Any number over 9 is considered high, but that doesn't mean you won't ever produce another viable egg.  The advice you've been given of going straight to an RE is good advice.  There are some good videos on The American Fertility Association's YouTube channel that might help, including one on ovarian reserve testing (FSH and AMH) and also on advanced maternal age (sorry, I know how that sounds at your young age - you are still young, if only your ovaries had gotten that message). The channel can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/user/AmericanFertility?feature=mhee 

 

The AFA website might also be a great resource for you www.theafa.org.  There's a national referral list of RE's up there you can access.

 

I get it about wanting to do this as naturally as possible, but additional information couldn't hurt. If I can help in any way, please contact me directly at [email protected]

 

I so wish you the best of luck and happy holidays.

 

Corey Whelan

Program Director 

The American Fertility Association


Corey Whelan's Avatar Corey Whelan 12:57 PM 12-20-2012

Here's the link directly to the ovarian reserve testing video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJuSNcnrNXs&list=UUSVqJbCg2eidy_Zv5ab-y9A&index=3

 

It will give you full information on the FSH And AMH tests.  Both test for egg quality/quantity.  The difference is the timing.

 

Missed your question on endocrinologists vrs. RE's - not the same thing.  You need an RE.

 

Again, best of luck. 

 

Corey


deborahbgkelly's Avatar deborahbgkelly 05:12 PM 12-20-2012

I want to chime in that acupuncture can help with egg quality and uterine flow. I had diminished ovarian reserves when I got pregnant with my sons last year. Though they passed, we think that had something to do with improved quality, but I think the acupuncture probably gave me an extra edge. If you check an RE's website, you can probably find a link to the studies that talk about how acupuncture helps with success rates. It's specific to ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology), but should give you an idea: http://www.conceptionsrepro.com/mind-body-wellness/Fertility-Yoga-Acupuncture.aspx.


deborahbgkelly's Avatar deborahbgkelly 05:12 PM 12-20-2012

I want to chime in that acupuncture can help with egg quality and uterine flow. I had diminished ovarian reserves when I got pregnant with my sons last year. Though they passed, we think that had something to do with improved quality, but I think the acupuncture probably gave me an extra edge. If you check an RE's website, you can probably find a link to the studies that talk about how acupuncture helps with success rates. It's specific to ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology), but should give you an idea: http://www.conceptionsrepro.com/mind-body-wellness/Fertility-Yoga-Acupuncture.aspx.


Iriemama's Avatar Iriemama 08:34 AM 12-21-2012

Thanks everyone.  I checked out the YouTube channel and it was very helpful and coincidentally, right before I saw the last post, I had just gotten off the phone with an acupuncturist.


LizzieStewbutt's Avatar LizzieStewbutt 07:02 PM 12-21-2012

You may also use this forum http://www.network54.com/Forum/209394/

 

It provides a WEALTH of information and debunks a lot of that scary crap you read about those with high FSH.  You will find that a lot of these women have conceived with much higher FSH levels.  You will need to find an RE that is high FSH friendly...although I really don't think you fall into the HIGH category...be wary because some apparently try to convince you to go the DE route, which is an absolutely beautiful option to becoming a mommy, but I would say try all you can with your OEs first.  

 

I received the DE speech, but my FSH was significantly higher than yours at one point, then went down to a 12...however, after my LAP, they discovered that my ovaries are very small, which is indicative of severe DOR. I'm 32 with no children.  It will take a lot of patience, prayer, yoga, meditation, self-loving, natural living, supplements and good old fashioned endurance to see if we can get my sweet ovaries to pop out that one golden egg. If not, then according to the RE, my uterus is very healthy to carry DE thumb.gif

 

Take a deep breath. namaste.gif


MarionLS's Avatar MarionLS 12:53 PM 12-22-2012

Have you heard of the Conceive Easy TTC Kit?

 

It's a blend of natural ingredients that is supposed to help w/ 9 different causes of infertility - including high FSH.

 

Good luck!


Iriemama's Avatar Iriemama 04:53 PM 12-22-2012

Thanks for the truly generous advice everyone!
 


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