Of Course

I had blood drawn two Saturdays ago on CD2.  Last Friday, I realized I still hadn’t heard anything about the results.  Yesterday I was so busy at work I didn’t have a chance to call Dr. C’s office, so I called first thing this morning.

Of course the nurse started out by telling me everything looked good…followed by the phrase “with a few exceptions.”

Of course I panicked through the rest of the phone call, despite the fact that she kept saying it wasn’t anything to worry about.

Of course she used the word “borderline” to describe my FSH levels.

Of course I have the AMH of a much older woman.

Of course she kept saying it didn’t mean I couldn’t get pregnant; it would just take longer.

Of course I kept hearing “age-related” far more times than she actually said it (probably).

Of course this ruined the rest of my day, which I spent fighting off tears just to get through work.

Of course I told Hubby as soon as I got home and immediately crumbled into a sobbing mess.

Of course he reassured me that everything would be fine, knowing that I hate being told everything will be fine.

Of course he reminded me that we haven’t even tried yet, so save the tears for when we’ve actually failed at something.

Of course I replied that I already feel like a failure.

Of course I railed against every doctor who gave us unreasonably good odds, not knowing anything about my stats and having thus far not seen any actual sperm.

Of course I eventually calmed down, and Hubby used Dr. Google to convince me that it could be so much worse.

Of course I came here, asking for support and reassurance that my eggs don’t belong in a nursing home, being pushed around in wheelchairs and eating pureed mush because they’ve lost all their teeth, even though that’s exactly how I feel right now.

Here are the actual numbers:

TSH                  1.66           should be <2.5
Prolactin          12.5           should be <30
AMH                 1.22           should be >3.0
FSH                  10.1           should be <10.5
E2                     17              should be <40

Please, someone, tell me this isn’t as bad as I’ve made it in my head.

18 thoughts on “Of Course

  1. I wish I remember my numbers but I had low AMH at least and I still got pregnant with triplets once (subsequently lost them) and had a chemical pregnancy once – all via 3 IVFs. I did get pregnant, so technically two of the three IVFS worked though I never had a take home baby. I don’t know if that is encouraging or not. In my experience if your RE is not freaking out, then don’t either. I’m sorry I can’t be more specific with my numbers. I know it’s easy to say not to stress and nearly impossible not to. IF is beyond stressful – every part of it. I’m sorry that your numbers weren’t better and I wish you the best in your upcoming treatments.

    • Thank you, Kate. I appreciate the support. Hubby and I plan to meet with the RE after we get his bloodwork and SA results sometime in April. Hopefully that will help ease my mind a little, but it seems very far away right now.

      By the way, I would love to check out your blog, but for some reason blogger won’t let me without a google account. Any idea how to get around this?

      • You know, I don’t. 😦 I asked people on facebook who don’t have google and they said they could read it just fine, so I’m not sure what to tell you to fix it. I’ll just link my blogs below and see if that helps. You can get to each one through the other one.


        Ugh. I just realized I linked my old blog that I closed so that’s probably the problem. Those two above are the correct addresses. Old habits die hard. Like writing 2011 even though it’s March 2012. Sorry for the confusion.

  2. It’s not too bad. Really, it’s not! When my FSH was 10, my RE didn’t say a word about it. Age is on your side. Our nurse said today that 2 is normal for AMH and I think I remember them saying before that less than 1 was scary. Your E2 is fan-freakin-tastic.

    I know it’s going to weigh on you. Of course it would be way better if everything was well within normal limits and it sucks that it wasn’t. I hope you find some peace of mind!!!!

  3. Take a deep breath. I know a little bit about AMH, FSH and E2 and the others. I’ve been dealing with an RE for 5 months now, and have faced this particular scary scenario on more than one occasion.

    AMH is not definitive. If you plan on moving ahead with your RE you should be aware that it will take them some time to get your personal protocol right. Plus if you wind up doing straight up IVF you could still wind up with more than enough follicles/eggs.
    FSH can/will change monthly.
    E2 can/will change monthly.

    On my last IVF cycle I had no follicles on day 2. None. By cycle day 8 I had 3 follicles, no medications. If I had been seen around cycle day 5, I probably could have done a medicated cycle and had more than one egg retrieved. (Also I am not doing standard IVF but mini ivf)

    Even with that one, I still had a good cycle. In fact my most successful cycle so far, in 4 retrievals.

    Im not sure of your age, but I am sure I am older than you and in the 4 months Ive been testing so far, my FSH has ranged from 13.1 to 7.1 with no clear rhyme or reason.

    **There are some that believe that DHEA will help your egg quality if that’s a factor**
    **There are some that believe that Royal Jelly will increase your fertility**
    **There are some that believe wheat grass powder will lower your FSH**

    Your E2 might be a little on the low side, but can be remedied with medications. In fact none of these issues cant be overcome with some medications however, I think the most important thing I can impart to you is, once you go to an RE they still need to have time to figure out how your body works, and what works for someone else may not work for you. So you still have to be patient, and understand that the “I got pregnant my first time with IVF or IUI” scenario may not be in the cards for you.

    That being said, take a deep breath and if she says dont worry, try not to worry. I know its easier said than done.


  4. Oh, sweetie… I’m afraid you’ve booked a ride on the roller-coaster! If you take every little test to heart, you’re going to drive yourself nuts!
    I don’t have experience with all of the tests you took, but my FSH was 3 and almost all my eggs were still bad! How is this encouraging, you ask? Well, the reverse is often true. Numbers might look devastating and prove to be meaningless in the end. At some point, you have to accept that there is little you can do to change things (but things usually have a way of working out in the end!) The one thing my doc did prescribe for better quality eggs – which, in the end, is what is really important – is 2,000 mg of L-Arganine. Any supplements you take, B12, royal jelly, etc. should be taken for at least 90 days to take effect (that’s how long the egg cycles before it’s released) – so start now!

    Sending you great, big hugs! You ARE going to be okay!!! xoxox

    • Thank you. I know. Just a minor freak-out. And the reason I never had myself checked out before. Because I would have continued to freak out unnecessarily, even before Hubby started treatment. I will keep those supplements in mind, though.

  5. Those numbers are really not that bad! And from what I’ve read, AMH should actually be between 1-3 to be considered normal. Over 3 is indicative of PCOS. Unless you aren’t in the US, then ignore that ;). But, really, your FSH isn’t terrible and I would say you should be able to conceive with some help! I sure hope you get your BFP soon!

    ICLW #47

  6. This isn’t as bad as you are making it out in your head. There. 🙂

    But I totally understand and empathize with the freakout. FInding out my AMH was low and FSH was high were 2 of the lowest points in the last 3.5 years, and there’s been a lot of bad shit. Really takes a shot at hope and sense of time and all those complicated things. Such a sucker-punch.

    My AMH was 0.6 when my RE tested it 2 years ago and less than freaking 0.1 when Sunshine Clinic tested last fall. Apparently these numbers can vary a lot depending on the lab, and I have heard that 1.0 was the new normal since this is being tested so much more now and the averages are shifting. I’ve read some stuff that low AMH is linked to low Vitamin D so might be worth checking that out — vitamin d is getting more attention for lots of reasons these days so is good to check anyway. My FSH was ~8-10 for a while before it jumped up last fall (21.5), and it wasn’t until then that my doctors expressed concern. My RPL doc insists that these numbers do not necessarily reflect egg quality.

    And these numbers haven’t meant shit in terms of my ability to GET pregnant – happens pretty fast for us, 1-3 cycles. Of course I know that’s not totally reassuring seeing as how I HAVE NO BABY. They do mean a bit more with things like IVF and how well you’ll respond, but it doesn’t mean you won’t respond at all, it just means maybe you’ll get like 10 eggs instead of 20. But that’s to be expected to some extent anyway between a 23 yr old vs. a 33 yr old. That’s why only the spring chickens get to be egg donors.

    So I say don’t freak out. Not yet. It’s good information to have, it means you should move forward as aggressively as you can… but you are already doing that. You are doing everything you can right now. So I say take a deep breath, and move forward with hope.


  7. I can’t tell you that it is or isn’t bad because (1) I’m not a doctor and (2) the reality is sort of meaningless because what you feel is real. Meaning, you feel it, so to tell you not to feel anxious is pointless.

    I can tell you that my FSH was higher and I did conceive 5 times and carried (mostly) to term (okay, to 33 weeks) 1 time. The reasons for my losses were two clotting disorders, so what I’m saying is that it wasn’t my higher FSH that stopped me from conceiving.

    • Thanks, Mel. That’s really all I wanted from Hubby, just the acknowledgement of my feelings, but bless his heart, he always tries to make me feel better.

  8. I have followed you over here from baby center and although I am not a blogger I have been a lurker as I feel we are living parallel lives. My hubby started hcg in October and we added hmg in February after seeing no change in sperm parameters. His testosterone is steady around 800 now. Anyways I am 29 and have had the exact same results as you regarding fsh and amh. My re was not very concerned. I tested three additional times on cd3 and the other two times it was more in range. I started acupuncture and some supplements such as royal jelly, co-q10,and b12

    • Wow, Tara, our stories do sound eerily similar. I think I remember you from babycenter. I shouldn’t be so heartbroken. I knew we were headed for IVF anyway, but lately doctors have been saying really hopeful things, and I guess it got to me. I’ll be interested to see what happens with you guys, too, since we’re on a pretty close timeline. Good luck!

  9. I think everyone has covered the don’t panic message pretty well so listen !! It’s hard the amh diagnosis was the lowest point for me it really was but you know all it really means is they start you on more drugs if you do ivf apart from that it means nothing. So don’t dwell on it xxx

  10. I’m late to this post, but I know how unsettling it is to get this information over the phone and at work. Not fun. Sorry you had to find out at that time. My AMH was 1.0 last time they checked (I was 27 at the time) and my RE said it wasn’t typical, but not horrible. She didn’t seem too worried about it and said it may mean that they will have to push harder on the meds (this was when we thought we were doing IVF). However, she said I had a good chance of getting pregnant doing an IUI (with a donor, obviously) without meds like clomid or femara. She was right, I was able to get pregnant with a natural cycle. The RE just stressed that it doesn’t indicate the quality of the eggs, just the quantity. Hope this has helped a little!

  11. Pingback: Throwback #MicroblogMondays | Something Out of Nothing

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