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Discussion Starter #1
Hello! I would really appreciate your insight!<br><br>
My history: TTC #1 took 2.5 yrs, including a MC at 13 wks (I was 33 when MC). At close to 2 yrs of TTC #1, my husband and I did the usual infertility tests. My husband's test results were great. Mine were OK (normal for my "advanced" age of 35 at that time). The HSG was done by a medical resident in a military hospital, it was excrutiatingly painful b/c he couldn't get the metal tube into my fallopian tube, and the attending physician had to take over. So, my left tube spasmed and the dye wouldn't go up. At that time, I opted not to pursue fertility tx. The Drs wanted to do Clomid and IUI, just wasn't feasible at that time with my husband's work. 4 months after that, I found out I was pregnant! Our son will be 3 in July.<br><br>
I turned 39 in March and we are TTC#2 (since Aug 2009). DH is 48.<br>
My charts and OPK indicate that I do ovulate, with luteal phase 9-11 days. I use progesterone cream once I ovulate, which does lengthen my LP by 1-2 days. My charts look the same as when we were TTC #1 (ovulate day 15, LP 9-11 days). I've been working with a holistic doctor since Feb to treat hypothyroidism. I'm on dessicated thyroid med and she just increased my dose. She also has me on Lugol's iodine and fish oils. I'm wondering how long it will take for my thyroid to normalize, so my fertility is optimized? I am hesitant about seeing an RE, since I prefer not to do anything invasive. I have bad memories of my HSG and do not want to ever have one again. Would an RE be open to how the holistic MD is treating my hypothyroid? She doesn't adjust meds by TSH (as TSH only measures pituitary function), she adjusts based on BBT. On the other hand, I wonder if there is something wrong that may have a simple solution. I'm curious about Femara, need to read more about it, but sounds like less side effects than Clomid. Does it work even if I ovulate on my own? So many questions, I know.<br><br>
So basically, how long should we keep TTC#2 while my thyroid gets back to normal, before seeking out an RE? Thanks for reading this and I appreciate your help in thinking through all this.
 

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Honestly, if there is any indication at all that you might need any kind of Western medicine intervention, you should run, not walk to an RE. The simple fact is that time is not necessarily on your time. I don't want to sound harsh, but every time I have spoken with an RE or OBGYN, age is one the things they focus on first. They are not trying to be alarmist, but just realistic.<br><br>
I am sorry you have had such a bad experience with the HSG. That dr. sounds dreadful! Mine was painful enough even with an experienced practitioner who knew what he was doing. I have had 3 losses (1 ectopic, 2 uterine) and in fact only last week I spoke with an RE and have embarked upon a plan of treatment (I start Clomid on Wednesday, because it looks as though my cycles are out of whack and I may be anovulatory). After a few months of "shall we just do this again ourselves?" as well as having acupuncture, TCM and fertility yoga, I just feel that we need to make the most of every available assistance out there, even ones that we had previously considered "too much." Part of it is my personality - I like to feel as though I am exerting some control over things, even if is has no impact on the outcome. So for me, consulting with an RE and getting some advice that I trust, has been a huge psychological boost. So personally, I would not hesitate.<br><br>
I hope that was helpful, and I wish you all the luck in the world for #2!
 

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Also - I would hesitate to use an OTC progesterone cream. Vaginal suppositories, on prescription, are evidently much more effective. I think it's pretty inexpensive, too.
 

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I would go now, too.<br>
I'm just recovering from a miscarriage and the doctor told me that at my age - 37 - I should get a referral to the RE after six months of trying, not the year they'd suggest to a younger women.<br>
Honestly, I'd go sooner if you're having lots of well-timed sex based on your fertility signs.
 

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I agree. I'm not very knowledgeable about AMA, but believe you could be ovulating bad eggs. There's no way you would be able to tell on your own. They just - deteriorate - as we age.
 

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I agree with everyone above. I'm 37 and have had multiple m/c. It took us a while before really deciding to see an RE and I've found it to be an incredibly reassuring experience. If you find a good doctor, he or she will be direct (and scientific) about what's going on. In my case, I had fibroids that *might* have been a problem (we'll see), but I would have never known on my own. It was also reassuring to find out that my ovarian reserve is healthy and I'm ovulating regularly. Even if there's no real problem, it's nice to honestly hear "keep trying" from someone who knows what he or she is talking about.<br><br>
Also, I can't deny the impact of age. I feel like I didn't want to hear it or think about it, but age does increase the chances of needing to try more times and/or for longer. Why not have an doctor really tell you what might be going on? I find it very comforting, and our RE doesn't push anything at all on us - I was afraid of someone pushing me to ART immediately.<br><br>
Good luck! I understand how nuts this process is...
 

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Also, I agree about the progesterone cream. I initially went the acupuncture/OTC cream route (before starting with the RE). I thought acupuncture was awesome, calming, and an overall great experience, however I don't really think it changed anything about my fertility. I also used the OTC cream and got pregnant while using it. I had my progesterone tested at the beginning of that pregnancy and the cream hadn't changed my levels at all. Now I'm using suppositories, which jacked my progesterone level up nicely.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all your replies! I don't have anyone in real life who is going through this, plus I'm a very private person, so it really helps me to get your upfront, honest feedback! I think that part of me is in denial....I really don't feel "39". And I was really hoping that I wouldn't have to deal with infertility again. Every month we time "things" just right and every month I hold out hope that this will be the month that I get pregnant. Goldfinches, what does this mean "I'm not very knowledgeable about AMA, but believe you could be ovulating bad eggs." Does this mean that even if I'm ovulating, my eggs aren't healthy enough for conception? What helps that? Do Clomid and Femara only help with ovulation or do they also help with egg quality? Are there any books or resources that I should read before seeing an RE? I would like to know as much as possible about all this, so I can understand everything and know what questions to ask.<br><br>
This past year has been stressful, we moved across the U.S. and my husband started a new career. I'm still finding my way, trying to find good Drs. I'll post in the Finding your Tribe to see if I can find good RE recommendations in my area (Michiana area, N. Indiana/S. Michigan). I drive an hr to see the holistic MD, as I didn't like the local Family Practice MD. He took me off my thyroid med (wouldn't renew RX from previous MD), told me I didn't have hypothryoid, told me that it wasn't any big deal if it took me over 2 years to get pregnant again! So I finally found this holistic MD that is helping me with my thyroid and I feel SO much better since being on the thyroid meds. Will I need a referral before I can make an appt with an RE, or can I just call and make an appt?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Rose_S</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15397066"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Goldfinches, what does this mean "I'm not very knowledgeable about AMA, but believe you could be ovulating bad eggs." Does this mean that even if I'm ovulating, my eggs aren't healthy enough for conception? What helps that? Do Clomid and Femara only help with ovulation or do they also help with egg quality?</div>
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As you age, your eggs also age. So, I guess you should look at it this way, you ovulated your best eggs in your younger years. The eggs you're ovulating now may not be as good in the sense that they may not fertilize as easily, or they may be chromosomally abnormal. I believe the only way to tell this is to do something like IVF where they actually remove your eggs. I'm not sure if they can look at them and tell how they look? I don't believe Clomid helps with egg quality, and I've never used or researched Femera, sorry.<br><br>
I just moved from the Chicagoland/northern Ohio area, (yes, a wide spread there, ha!). I used Dr. ******'s office in Naperville, IL, and Dr. Bopp out of Indy. (he has a satellite in Ft. Wayne, IN.) I was happy with both of them, if you need to go that route.<br><br>
All the best!!!
 

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Regarding egg quality, our RE did a test called the AMH (anti mullarian hormone) test, which is a sort-of measure of egg quality. Basically, the harder this particular hormone has to work to push out an egg each month, the less viable the eggs are. So, by testing the level of the hormone in your blood, they can tell how hard your body is working and, hence, guess at how "healthy" the eggs are. A higher number means you're consistently ovulating lower quality eggs.<br><br>
The test is pretty new, and our RE is at Columbia Women's Reproductive Care in NYC. The doctors are all researchers/academics, too, so I think they might do some things that aren't offered as standard practice. I googled it when they first mentioned it to me (about 6 months ago), and it seemed to be pretty new and not frequently used yet. However, I think an FSH test is used to make the same kind of determination.<br><br>
Of course, there's always the chance that eggs will have chromosomal issues on any given month and the older we get. And I know what you mean about age. I don't feel 37 at all! It's been a frustrating process to admit that my eggs are aging no matter how fit I feel, how young I think I look, and how regular my cycles have always been.<br><br>
BUT, all that said... when we first consulted with them, our RE's said that statistics show we had a 70% chance of having a successful pregnancy within another year even if we did nothing at all. So we did the minimum and I'm pregnant again. So far so good... I'm nervous as hell, but hoping this is finally it!
 
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