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Please help me understand what the doctor has said.

(15 Posts)
notasize10yetbutoneday Wed 24-Nov-10 09:02:59

Hi all.

Feeling a bit shell-shocked so please bear with me!

I went to the drs today as since coming off the pill on the 2nd october, I have been feeling really ill- lethargic, depressed, weepy, no sex drive at all (had no problems when on pill), greasy hair and skin and gained half a stone. Also had no period (except withdrawal bleed) since then.

I went to the doctors today and i suppose really I exoected her to say "oh, this is totally normal, you are just getting the pill out of your system", etc.

But instead she has referred me for blood tests tomorrow.

They will be testing me for levels of:
LH (luteal Hormone?)
FSH (Follicle Simulating Hormone?)
Underactive Thyroid

I'm in shock to be honest and didn't take a lot in. The results will be in by Friday she said. What exactly will the tests be looking for, in layperson terms? What should i be asking?

Sorry its a bit vague, just looking to hear from people who've been through the same thing?

LittleSquirt Wed 24-Nov-10 09:13:41

Hi there. So sorry you are so worried. I don't know for sure but the symptoms you have described seem to correspond to PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrom) so I think that's that your Dr is trying to establish. One of my friends went through exactly the same thing as you and it was found that she does have PCOS. Her Dr put her on metformin and she now has two lovely DDs!

Hope this helps and let us know who your Dr does say once she's seen the results of the blood tests. x

RamblingRosa Wed 24-Nov-10 09:23:18

I wouldn't worry. Those tests are all just to check your hormone levels. The symptoms you describe are all hormonal. It could just be - as you hoped - that it's just your hormones going a bit crazy post-pill. Or it could be - as LittleSquirt says - something like PCOS (which lots of women have and still manage to have children or a similar hormonal imbalance.

Try not to worry. I'm not a doctor but I think they're fairly standard tests for someone presenting with hormonal symptoms.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 24-Nov-10 10:15:12

Am glad to read that your GP is on the ball and has arranged for tests to be done. They are looking for a cause for your symptoms.
The tests are looking for PCOS or possible thyroid imbalance which it could equally be. Both can be treated.

BTW the pill leaves your system very quickly after taking the last tablet. Am glad you went to the GP when you did.

You need answers first and foremost.

notasize10yetbutoneday Wed 24-Nov-10 11:03:08

Thank you all. Yes, now I've calmed down a bit I'm pleased the dr is being so thorough and sending me for tests. You hear so many stories on here about people being told to come back after a year, etc.

Does anyone know what levels of LH and FSH should be, ideally, so what would be considered outside the normal range? Also prolactina nd thyroid?

I'm trying to avoid Google as I've already convinced myself I have all manner of conditions and am infertile sad.

RamblingRosa Fri 26-Nov-10 10:14:57

Your doctor will be able to explain what the "normal" levels are when the results come back. It shouldn't take long. Try not to worry.

spilttheteaagain Fri 26-Nov-10 10:56:02

Hi notasize10yet

LH: lutenising hormone that peaks sharply just before you ovulate and is what OPKs test for. This hormone is what triggers the release of an egg.

FSH: follicle stimulating hormone which causes about 15-20 eggs to start to mature in each ovary early in your cycle, each one encased in a "follicle". One follicle will become biggest and pop an egg out (ovulation). The other eggs then disintegrate.

I don't know much about the two hormones, only that they must always be considered together and not separately. It's the relative levels that are important (I think).

Thyroids though... I am currently being investigated for an underactive one so can give a bit of info on this.

Your thyroid is a gland in your neck that basically has control/influence over nearly everything in your body: metabolism, temperature, energy, mood etc due to the hormones it produces.
Your body makes TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) that makes your thyroid produce the hormones. If your TSH is very high then your thyroid is generally underactive (i.e. it is having to be kicked really hard by your body to do it's job). If TSH is very low then it is overactive (thyroid is working really hard without much prodding).

The hormones your thyroid should be making are known as T4 (thyroxine) and T3 (I forget what this is really called). Sometimes GPs measure "Free" T4 and T3, sometimes "Total". They have different reference ranges so it's important to compare your result to the right one.

Here is a good site for explaining it all.
Basically if your TSH is high and your T4 is low then you have an underactive thyroid (hypothyrodism or sub clinical hypothyroidism) as your body is working your thyroid really hard but not managing to make much T4. They treat this by giving you thyroxine tablets, so just giving you the T4.

Underactive thyroids can reduce fertility, increase risk of MC, increase risk of cognitive problems with the baby... because there is not enough T4 for you and the baby, so getting the tablets will bring your risk back to normal.

Underactive thyroids can be caused by anti-thyroid antibodies, which they may test you for. These attack your thyroid hence it appears underactive. Again treatment is to prescribe thyroxine.

Hope that helps you understand what they are testing.

notasize10yetbutoneday Fri 26-Nov-10 11:35:58

Thank you spilt the tea, that was really helpful but easy to understand at the same time. I hope the investigations for your UAT are going ok. No word from the doctor yet, but its DH's birthday today and we are going away for the weekend so that will help take my mind off it.

spilttheteaagain Fri 26-Nov-10 11:42:32

No probs, good luck smile

stripeywoollenhat Fri 26-Nov-10 11:44:35

hi there -
just to add, fsh and lh are looked at in relation to each other, the ratio should be as near to 1 as possible. if the level of lh is higher than fsh, that can indicate pcos.

fsh levels under 6 are excellent, 6-8 good and i think higher than that can indicate lowered fertility - the fsh level rises as you age.

prolactin can suppress progesterone production, which you need for ovulation and to maintain a pregnancy.

notasize10yetbutoneday Mon 29-Nov-10 11:30:40

Hi all

I rang the doctors this morning and the dr wasn't available to speak to so the receptionist gave me the results over the phone- the tests have come back as 'normal'. Which is good, obviously, but doesn't explain:
a) why i feel like s**t
b) where my period is
C) what to do next.

WWYD? I've asked the dr to ring me to discuss what to do next but im not convinced the hopeless recptionist will even pass the message on.

spilttheteaagain Mon 29-Nov-10 14:01:36

When the GP phones (or if they don't, make an appointment to go in and talk to them) then make sure you ask what the actual results are, get the numbers and the reference ranges.

"Normal" is often a big range and you can feel like shit, need treatment and still be technically in the normal range.

For example, with my thyroid the normal range my area uses for TSH is 0.5-5.5. The NHS guidelines state 0.5-4.5 for normal people or 0.5-2 for ttc/pregnant women with hypo/subclinical hypthyrodism. My result was 6.7 and they tried to just say it was basically normal. Now I have the numbers and have done some research I have insisted on further testing to check T4, T3 and recheck TSH (waiting for results) and results dependent, am able to push for treatment if I think I need it. Having the actual numbers is very empowering. Good luck.

iwilldothis Mon 29-Nov-10 14:27:45

I hope I'm not out of place saying this, but any chance you might be pregnant? Your symptoms sound similar to some early pregnacy it's just a thought.

notasize10yetbutoneday Tue 30-Nov-10 09:00:14

Thanks guys. Iwilldothis that was my first hope thought too- but I took a test at the beginning of november and the dr also did one last tuesday.

The doctor still hasnt rung so if she doesn't ring today I will make an appointment to discuss the results. You are right spilt - normal could cover quite a range and as you say being at the top of that range is likely to have an impact on how one feels.

spilttheteaagain Sat 04-Dec-10 21:24:45

How are you getting on? Did you get to speak to the GP?

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