FSH results 12 I'm in bits. Please advise!

(33 Posts)
yorkiebilb Mon 15-Jul-13 17:57:16

Hi,

I'm 35 yo and I've just had my fsh levels results come back as 12. I'm in absolute hysterics as I know that isn't good and my next appointment with the fc isn't until 01 Sep. I really could do with some advice from anyone who has been through similar. Please help. Thanks.

yorkiebilb Mon 15-Jul-13 22:13:52

Can anyone offer any help or point me in the right direction of where to go for advice please?

steppemum Mon 15-Jul-13 22:22:40

didn't want your thread to go unanswered, sorry, no experience myself (I don't even know what FSH levels are, just keeping you company and offering flowers

yorkiebilb Mon 15-Jul-13 22:40:08

Thanks v much. You're very kind.

It's a test which indicates ovarian reserve and quality. Over 10 indicates diminished ovarian reserve and likely poor response to ivf. Just found out this afternoon and its completely floored me. Was looking to see if anyone else had been through this/could offer any advice.

Solars Tue 16-Jul-13 10:23:17

Hi FSH levels can vary month to month, I have known mine to be 11 one month and than 7.6 the next month. So it's not all doom and gloom. The clinic I was at would prefer your fsh to be below 10 as you are likely to respond better to the ivf drugs, but they would carry on checking it until it was below 10. I have heard ladies saying that it can be stress induced so if there's anything that you can do to help in that department it may get your levels down. Hope that helps.

yorkiebilb Tue 16-Jul-13 11:20:32

Hi solars thanks so much for responding. I have read that fsh levels fluctuate. I suffer from anxiety so I guess this could have an impact as I know my stress levels are particularly high after ttc so long? I'm seeing a counsellor and having acupuncture so not sure what else I can really do to lower my levels.

Back2Two Tue 16-Jul-13 11:27:51

I'm no expert at all but, I have had my levels tested in the past more than once (not IVF related).

I think they have to test on a very specific day of your cycle (if you have a fairly regular cycle) it's day 3 and/ day21

Were you tested on a specific day? If not I'd stop worrying immediately as they change so much. Anyway, I was told that I had post menopausal levels of FSH by a rubbish GP who had tested me on any old random day. I went on to have two boys. I'm not menopausal now, 7 years later.

I'd advise healthy eating, exercise and all that stuff....keep a healthy weight, not too skinny.

I know it's horrible and it's easy to say don't panic, but these things are actually very random and the numbers often don't mean all that much conclusively.

yorkiebilb Tue 16-Jul-13 11:46:51

thanks back my blood tests were done on day 2 of my cycle so it was done at the right time. My blood tests before these current ones were done at a random time in the cycle by my gp so had to be repeated by the hospital.

Andcake Thu 18-Jul-13 21:05:44

Hi - just wanted to offer you a story of hope. I had a fsh reading of 11.9. I also had amh tests and afc which were both terrible. Despite that after 3 yrs of trying 2 mc I finally gave birth to my lovely son last yer at the age of 40. All were natural conceptions.
I do think stress can play a part Although I did other things yoga helped and actually calmed me own. Good luck

yorkiebilb Fri 19-Jul-13 10:03:53

Thank you andcake for offering me some hope. It's so nice to here a positive story after everything I read just sounding like I have very little chance. Did you change your diet, take any supplements or was it just focusing on calming yourself down?

Shellster52 Fri 19-Jul-13 10:17:56

Yorkie, just wanted to share my experience in case it helps calm you. In January my day 2 FSH was 4 IU/L. This month my day 2 FSH was 18. So as you can see, it varied considerably from one month to the next so don't panic, it could be lower again next month! I had two rounds of IVF between the two tests which is why the doctor says it was high. Have to wait until next cycle to test again. Did you have any Clomid, IVF before you blood test? Have you had an AMH test yet - what was that result. This result is a better determining factor for IVF if that is the path you are heading down. This is proven by the fact that I had a perfect FSH but a low AMH and had a poor IVF response while my friend had a high FSH but okay AMH and had a great response to the IVF meds.

Also, my IVF doctor said that age is much more important in determining assisted reproduction outcomes. I have a friend who is 43 and has a higher AMH level than me but she had a worse IVF outcome because of her age. There is still time for you yet!

According to the book, 'Infertility: The Hidden Causes' page 179 & 180:

Test FSH on day 2 or 3 of cycle. Normal range 2-20 U/L. The ratio of FSH to LH should be close to 1:1.

What unit of measurement was your FSH result in?

Shellster52 Fri 19-Jul-13 10:18:33

Oh, and start taking wheat germ daily to help with your FSH levels!

yorkiebilb Fri 19-Jul-13 12:38:48

Hi shellster thanks for your comments. No I hadn't had an meds prior to my blood tests as it was my first set of tests done by the specialist to establish if there was anything wrong. I'm not sure of the measurement that was used either and was just given the number over the phone. My lh levels came back at 6 so my fsh is currently double the lh number. I haven't had an amh test done as they don't offer them on the NHS. Maybe I should get one done privately?

I've briefly spoken to the specialist who wants me to have my fsh repeated in 2 months time and see what that figure is.

Where do I get wheat germ from? I've heard wheatgrass is good but feel very confused about what I should/shouldn't be taking!

Shellster52 Fri 19-Jul-13 14:41:11

Okay, so I gather you have been trying for a while naturally with no success and this is the start of your treatment. When they told you the FSH result, did they tell you what the normal range should be for day 2 or are you just worried yours is high based on other women's numbers on the internet. I just wanted to mention the unit of measurement so you can be aware that different countries use different units so you are not alarmed if others report much lower results than yours.

I was emailing a friend in America who was doing IVF and she thought my results were way high until we realised that Australia uses a different measurement. I am not sure how the NHS system works and how much an AMH test would cost. I guess if the FSH test is free, just wait and see if it comes back lower next time - if you can remain calm for that long! I know what the stress is like as I anxiously await my next IVF and pray that I have an improved outcome.

As for the wheat germ, my friend in America took wheat grass which she says is the same as wheat germ? She got 10 eggs her first IVF, 15 her second and 25 her third! Not sure if all credit goes to the wheat grass as she did take other supplements as well.

I personally am taking wheat germ after reading this website:

http://blog.drmalpani.com/2011/04/i-have-low-amh-level-what-should-do-i.html

I had an antral follicle count done last cycle and I had 8 follicles. I will have the scan done again next cycle and I hope the wheat germ has helped and I have more follicles so I can't personally report any success yet. In the meantime, here is another woman that took wheat germ with success in case it helps relax you:

I am 27... My highest FSH was a 69... I started taking wheat germ oil capsules and that helped to lower my FSH to a 29

http://www.fertilethoughts.com/forums/high-fsh-premature-ovarian-failure/666541-good-re-has-seen-success-high-fsh-2.html

I just got it from my local supermarket in the health food section and add a tablespoon every day to my protein shake.

Andcake Fri 19-Jul-13 18:12:25

I tried loads of things in my 3 year journey...
After dhea I had my first bfp but that ended in mc
I took dhea from biovea and I think it did help.
I opk like crazy but realised I had a short luteul phase which I think contributed to my second mc. B50 from holland and Barrett I think sorted that to give me my baby.
I also think zinc, coq10 and flaxseed oil really helped. Also no caffeine or booze (except on special occasions.) I took wheat grass shots once in a while and tried to to cut down on sugar.

I was told I had a 1% chance with ivf and 1% without it ... But then started taking dhea and got my 1st bfp....so kept on trying naturally until one stuck :-)

Andcake Fri 19-Jul-13 18:28:15

Just read more posts in the thread and out of balance fsh and lh can be a sign of pcos and might make all the high fsh discussions mute.
I would press for an afc count as this will determine pcos or decreased ovarian reserve before doing too much. As for example the brilliant dhea would make pcos worse.
Keep us updated
X

lozster Fri 19-Jul-13 22:35:24

I'm another one who took (micronised) DHEA and got pregnant next ivf cycle. You need to take it for 3-6 months ahead of treatment.

RE: AMH - the NHS will organise this for you then bill you. I'm not sure if you know but it is ok to combine some private tests/medication with what the NHS provides though you do need to stick within the rules. I had it done twice - once the consultant drew the blood and charged me £90. Next time I was sent to hospital phlobotomist and got an invoice for £50 5 months later - by which point I was pregnant.

yorkiebilb Sat 20-Jul-13 18:38:14

Thanks for the advice and nice to hear some happy stories and fingers crossed to those still trying. Looks like dhea is the way to go. I don't think it is PCOS as I've read that LH is higher than fsh with pcos. I'm going to try and get my ahm and afc checked - have put it off as I was so stressed out waiting for my fsh blood test results that I wasn't quite ready to go through that all again but I guess it's best to know the full picture sooner rather than later.

Andcake Sun 21-Jul-13 14:40:39

Sounds like a plan. Although my afc was always low seeing the little follies always made me feel that although it was too few for ivf one was there each month so I just had to try and catch one. A lot of the supplements I used were for egg quality.
Now I just need my af to get back to normal after ds to try for a 2nd miracle. I almost feel guilty thinking about it.

rabbitonthemoon Mon 22-Jul-13 15:44:52

Hello yorkie I come to offer support as I am in a very similar position to you. I have had fsh readings of 9.5 and 10.2. It is shit really. I'm 36 and feel like my ovaries are wizened and shrivelled. We have been ttc for two and a half years now and about to start first ivf in the autumn. Ahead of then I will need my amh and fsh testing, probably next month. The whole thing came as a right shock as my family give birth in their forties and have late menopauses.

My consultant at my clinic said that elevated fsh does not mean imminent menopause and that I might not even enter peri menopause for another decade. He also said that he sees loads of women with borderline fsh conceive naturally and that in his book we are still unexplained. All I know is that I'm not pregnant and currently the fsh seems to be the pointing finger and I'm expecting my amh to be a big sack of horseshit amd for the cons to say ah ha you are an old un inside after all. Also on my letter to the gp he wrote that with my fsh time was of the essence sad.

There is very little on mumsnet about fsh. So, I am going to start a new fsh and amh thread to document what happens to me, for people to find when they get similar results. It would be great if you come and keep me company.

rabbitonthemoon Mon 22-Jul-13 15:45:43

Also, my fsh is double my lh, woe is me. And is it just me that disregards stories of high fsh success and hones in on the less encouraging tales?

Andcake Mon 22-Jul-13 21:47:54

Just to point anyone struggling with their is gnosis to
http://www.network54.com/Forum/209394/
Very American but lots of info

yorkiebilb Tue 23-Jul-13 21:55:36

Thanks andcake for the link. With regards to dhea how did you know how much to take?

BombJack Wed 24-Jul-13 10:26:14

My wife (39) took DHEA for our third child (born this week).

I really, really think it helped. We'd been trying for a year to conceive naturally without success. Our IVF clinic had suggested we not go for more treatment, due to low AMH results.

My wife's low AMH, began rising after only 1 week on the DHEA. After 2 months on DHEA, the ovulation tests were coming back much more strongly, with well-defined lines. Previously, the ovulation tests almost always gave a faint line, whenever they were done.

In the third month, we fell pregnant, and have just had a baby boy! This is our first naturally-conceived child (previous two were IVF).

In the States, they recommend 75mg of DHEA per day, loaded towards morning/midday (as it can affect sleeping). We went for 50mg, half in the morning, half at midday.

Some links below regarding DHEA studies. Some of these studies have been done by scientists who hold patents in DHEA-related treatments, so that knocks their credibility somewhat. Still interesting reading though:

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2992540/
www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100701145535.htm
www.rbej.com/content/9/1/67
rd.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10815-007-9178-x
www.rbej.com/content/8/1/140
www.rbej.com/content/9/1/116
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20638339

(May need to copy-paste the 4th link in the list, rather than clicking it).

Obviously, none of this is scientific in any way. Just our experience, so please read with the due amount of skepticism! wink

BombJack Wed 24-Jul-13 10:28:51

....and here's a link to the (micronised) DHEA we used

www.iherb.com/Nature-s-Plus-DHEA-25-with-Bioperine-60-Veggie-Caps/7498

iherb is a good, safe site. I've used it for years for various bits and bobs.

Andcake Wed 24-Jul-13 12:48:59

dhea - i varied my does over the three years - but mostly it was 50 mg in the morning. when taking 75 i got very bad acne (well worse than normal).

read the links i'd definitely encourage it.

BombJack Wed 24-Jul-13 13:06:10

And another quick disclaimer....

DHEA is illegal in the United Kingdom under the Misuse of Drugs Act (class "c", schedule IV). This means it is illegal to use without a prescription.

So, if you want to tick all the boxes, it might be worth getting a specialist to write you a private prescription for it. Some are willing to do this, but not all, as DHEA is less well-known over here in the UK.

Slky79 Tue 06-Aug-13 08:49:55

Hi, I just registered because I want to share my success story with you. I was diagnosed with diminished ovarian reserve FSH 27 AMH <1.1, went through 2 IVF cycles with only 2 follicles per cycle and ended up falling pregnant naturally. I just went for an early ultrasound at 6 weeks 3 days and everything looks fine. I didn't do anything different or special. No acupuncture, herbs etc. I personally think it was my age (I'm 34) that was the big factor for me pushing out a good quality egg that particular month. Anyway, hope this gives some hope to you and that everything works out smile

NothingsLeft Sun 11-Aug-13 22:52:42

I had hight FSH and very short luteal phase before being diagnosed with coeliac disease. It's a big cause of infertility. Resolved once I went gluten free.

beginnings Wed 14-Aug-13 22:32:15

My first FSH result was 14.4. I am sitting here hoping that my 15mo stays asleep all night as I'm 35 weeks pregnant with number two and could do with a decent night's sleep!
Number one was the result of a lot of help. Number two was the result of my body having figuring out how to do this. By the way, my AMH is 2.4 so no barrel of laughs there either.

Do get an AMH test - they're not particularly expensive, around £100 I think. Then talk to doctors about short protocols for Ivf. The clinical evidence says they don't make much difference in terms of response but anecdotal evidence shows that they do. In my case it did help. Also make sure you get your immunes checked. That's pricier but a bunch of them can be done by your GP.

There is evidence that Dhea does help but if you do go down the ivf route, I think something like a short protocol may be more effective.

PM me if you would like further details of the clinic I used and the name of my consultant. She was recommended to me as someone who was good as dealing with people with low egg reserve.

yorkiebilb Thu 15-Aug-13 22:27:11

Thanks all for your comments and for coming on and posting your success stories - it gives me some hope!

I've just had an amh test done so waiting for the results of that to come back. My progesterone test shows I ovulate but my levels are still a bit low (27).

Awaiting next fc appt on 9th sep. Do anyone know what the next steps will be? Do they even bother with clomid or IUI for high fsh?

beginnings Fri 16-Aug-13 18:57:31

I think that probably depends on your results and circumstances. We went straight for IVF as the view was taken that it made more chance to work aggressively with the eggs that I have left than to leave too much to chance . The success rates for IUI are much lower. Don't know about Clomid but it was never suggested as a treatment for me.

AnyFucker Fri 16-Aug-13 19:05:04

Just before I was diagnosed with POF my FSH was measured at 18 and LH of 11

I went on to have 2 dc with the assistance of clomid

Keep looking and keep hoping x

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