Tag Archives: FSH

Meeting with the new RE

We had our meeting with our new RE this week, Dr. H2. Overall it went well, I liked him a lot. Kind, easy to talk with, organized and no bullshit. He had all my results and his recommendations typed up when we got into his office, and he reviewed everything with us from that sheet (and I got a copy of it)!

My FSH is up to 15.3 (from 13ish in Sept. 2015). So worse, but not by much. My AMH, however, is still 1.2 (I was 1.24 in Sept. 2015) so that is encouraging. Honestly I’m surprised (and thankful) it hasn’t changed more. All of my other labs are normal, and the clotting lab I was concerned about is not even elevated according to Dr. H2 so that’s good news. He did an ultrasound and my AFC is 8ish on CD 6 with 4 follicles one each side (and a huge cyst leftover from last month). So that hasn’t really changed either. He also said I can do a saline sonogram in my next cycle so I will be scheduling that in the near future.

As for his opinion on my most recent miscarriage, he thinks it was likely due to the fact that a unicornuate uterus has areas of poor blood flow. While one treatment for RPL is IVF with PGS, he does not recommend this in my case since they cannot control where that embryo will implant and I do make normal embryos so it likely won’t help. (It makes me think back to how we were gong to do IVF and then I got pregnant and it worked out. I wonder how that would have ended up.) He suggests baby aspirin and progesterone, both of which I’m already doing. I also asked if he thinks more of my miscarriages were normal embryos and he said most likely yes.

I don’t know why but I feel strangely validated by that bit of information. If I had to wager a guess, I would think that 4/6 of my pregnancies were actually normal, although I can only prove 2 (my live birth and my most recent miscarriage). I mean who really knows but finding out that the last one was normal really makes me question the poor eggs theory (although I still believe my egg quality is lower for my age given my AFC and FSH). He is also the first RE who said this to me. Everyone else said it was more likely my eggs (although I don’t blame them bc no one else had the chromosomally normal miscarriage as evidence). I guess I would have liked to hear this sooner but there was no way for that to happen.

Armed with this new information, I am really beginning to believe that it is a miracle that I have my beautiful, spunky, fabulous toddler and I feel even more lucky to have her.

As for now, the plan is to keep trying and hope the next embryo is normal AND implants in the right spot. But who knows if lightening will strike twice!

The next steps

Just a quick update to say I finally got my referral to the new RE and they had a cancelation so I’ll be meeting him next week. Most of the RPL labs I did last time were ordered and to my knowledge they look normal. Except for my beta 2 glycoprotein 1 came back positive. I did not have this drawn last time and from my research this can cause blood clotting during pregnancy contributing to miscarriages. Apparently to be considered an issue the test needs to be positive twice with 3 months in between tests. So it’ll be interesting to see what he has to say about that. I also asked for my FSH, E2, LH and AMH to be run for comparison.

Honestly I am mostly interested in a thorough uterine cavity evaluation looking for polyps or anything else that could cause issues. But if anything else can help us that would be great too!

I ovulated on CD 13 this month, which is unheard of for me. My earliest ovulation date is CD 17. Now I’m wondering if this in a one-off or if it’s an indication of my declining fertility. I guess only time will tell.

I have basically cut out all refined carbohydrates, sugar and alcohol. And I’m about to wean off the caffeine too! It’s been easier than I thought it would be so I’ll be keeping it up for as long as I can. I figure it can’t hurt, right?!

Emotionally I’m doing well. It took a little time but I have been going about my life and have been feeling pretty happy, all things considered. I hope we will be able to have another baby but if that is not in the cards, I think I’ll be ok. My husband said to me recently if I wanted to stop trying he is ok with that, even though he does want another child. It really helped to hear that. So we shall see.

Hope everyone else is doing well.

A Diagnosis? Sort-of…

As I write this, I am two tests away from a complete RPL work-up (according to my RE Dr. N). This is what I’ve had done (please note that my lab values normals are according to the Kaiser Lab and my RE). I have loosely grouped the tests below based in my understanding of them.

Genetic:
Chromosomal analysis on myself (normal)
Cystic fibrosis carrier (negative)
Chromosomal analysis on my husband (normal)

Clotting issues:
Lupus Anticoagulant (negative)
Cardiolipin Antibody (negative)
PT/APTT (13.3/30.1seconds, normal)
Factor V Leiden and prothrombin mutation (negative)
Homocysteine (5.7, normal)
Beta 2 glycoprotein IGG, IGM, IGA (all <9, normal)

Hormonal:
Testosterone (19, normal)
Hemoglobin A1C (5.1%, normal)
Fasting Glucose (83, normal)
Thyroperoxidase antibody (27, WNL)
TSH (2.11, my RE wants <2.5)
Prolactin (12, normal)
Vitamin D (25, normal)
AMH (1.24, low, want >2)
FSH (13, high, want <10)
Estradiol (<50, normal)
LH (3.6, normal)

My husband and I are taking a 10 day course of Doxycycline just in case there is an infectious component to our losses.

These are the two tests I have left to do:

Progesterone level at 7 DPO
Saline Infusion Sonohystogram (SIS) to evaluate for fibrosis and polyps

After I ovulate this month I’ll do the progesterone and I’ll be doing the SIS hopefully next month (there were no openings this month and the test apparently has to be done after your period stops but before CD 12…obnoxiously short window). Hopefully these will be normal. I will update once I have those test results.

So, what does my RE have to say about all this? Basically, he thinks the reason for my miscarriages is due to poor egg quality. Since my AMH and FSH are abnormal, my ovarian reserve is low and my egg quality is on the poor side. His exact words are: “When the [AMH] level is between 1 and 2, this shows egg quality is starting to change. It’s what we call the “gray zone”. It’s not bad, but makes it harder to conceive. Once the level drops under 1, we know that the number of quality eggs remaining are much lower. It is harder to conceive and we tend to see more miscarriages.” And “Your FSH of 13 is high (over 10), showing hormonal evidence of ovarian aging.” His recommendation is to start taking 75 mg/day of DHEA since research shows this helps improve egg quality and reduce the risk of miscarriage.

Of course I was freaking out and immediately asked him if we should proceed directly to IVF because I would really like to have a child that is genetically mine. He, however, says “Since you are still young, I think your egg quality is better than the AMH level.” I guess he thinks we should be ok with these numbers, but only time will tell.

I visited an acupuncturist recommended to me by co-workers who gave me some dietary tips, supplements, and will start my treatments next week. He does not think the DHEA is necessary at this time but did not tell me to stop it since my doctor told me to take it. He does not think my AMH is too terrible but is hoping to work to lower my FSH and my TSH. His plan is to relax me and increase blood flow to my uterus and ovaries in hopes to improve my egg quality and help with implantation.

My plan is as follows for the next 3 months (we will still continue to try naturally as I make these changes): DHEA per my RE, Co-q 10, vitamin e, vitamin c, prenatal vitamins, b-complex vitamins per the book “It Starts With The Egg”, and 81mg aspirin, diet changes, and acupuncture per my acupuncturist. I am also continuing to exercise. At the end of three months I will ask for a repeat of my AMH and CD 3 FSH/LH/estradiol to see if there are any changes. As long as they are not worse, I will probably continue on this supplement regime as we keep trying naturally. If the numbers are worse, I am going to start exploring the idea of IVF with PGS. I may also start exploring the use of medicated cycles to maybe try and ovulate more than one egg to increase our monthly chances but from what I am reading, using these types of medications is not great for people with increased FSH (since my ovaries are already working harder to ovulate each month). That’s something I will need to discuss more in depth with Dr. N after three months. If we do happen to conceive, we will see what happens and if we have another miscarriage I will strongly consider proceeding to IVF (my hubby isn’t wild about this option).

My long term plan if I cannot successfully have a baby is to do donor eggs, so at least my husband can have a biological child. I would still like to be pregnant/breastfeed if possible.

Obviously this could all change but it’s the plan for the moment.

I’m not sure how I feel about all this. I was convinced that something was wrong, but I was not expecting it to be ovarian reserve or egg quality because I am still relatively young (32 next month). Also, it really does feel like a “sort of” diagnosis since I’m getting pregnant. And I’m not wild about my TSH. I wish I could convince my doctor to treat it as I think it could only help. But it’s not my realm of expertise. I’ve done a ton of reading and it seems like there is a chance we will be able to have a baby, it will just take longer. Honestly, being well versed in medical crap is more like a curse because I can’t just listen to the doctor. I’m constantly researching and asking questions but if there is anything I’ve learned in my nursing career it’s that you have to be your own advocate in the health care world or you will never get what you want or need.

Any thoughts? Or any suggestions? Or can anyone point me in the direction of bloggers with a similar problem?