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I think I'm hormonially imbalanced! Can anyone advise?

(22 Posts)
Spaceman Thu 19-Jul-07 11:34:49

We've been TTC for 1 year now and it's been a crap year. After 2 miscarriages and an ovarian cyst (now gone)I am now beginning to doubt I am even ovulating! This is because, after having a couple months off trying after the 2nd miscarriage, I bought 2 packs of ovulation testing kits. One expensive clearblue brand and a cheaper brand off the internet. After weeing on sticks every day for two months I NEVER got a postitive. After three months of trying we haven't conceived again. My periods are all over the place and I often experience a brown discharge before my period begins. I read on another thread that this is a sign of a hormone imbalance.

If it is indeed that I am 'progesterone difficient', which would explain the miscarriages and irregular periods, as well as the recent absence of ovulation, what are my chances of conceiving again? I have booked an app with the doctor to request a consulation with a specialist but would love to know anything in adance.

Thanks for your help. xxx

chevre Thu 19-Jul-07 11:46:48

poor you! i am not an expert about hormones but the fact your cycle is all over the place indicates possible ovulation problems. your gp should be able to arrange a day 21 test pretty quickly which will indicate if you are ovulating, i appreciate this test will be difficult if you are unsure of your cycle.

i am not a big fan of the sticks as i think they just add to the stress and are pretty hit and miss re. times of day etc.

good luck and hope the doctor is helpful.

Spaceman Thu 19-Jul-07 11:55:28

Hi, thanks for the message.

I think a blood test could be the way forward. I was testing first thing in the morning, at about 7 a.m. The instructions didn't say to do it later in the day but I've recently learnt you should test between 2 and 8.

I'm wondering if balancing you ostrogen/progesterone levels is a simple thing to do?

I got PG with my first child the first time we tried, three and a half years ago. It was easy - no complications at all - but my periods were normal in 'those days' and I never had this brown blood appearing. I think this is something that has happened after giving birth (via c section)first time around. I'm also 34 which I'm sure doesn't help.

chevre Thu 19-Jul-07 12:04:29

omg - you are me! 'cept i am 35.

Spaceman Thu 19-Jul-07 12:09:45

Are you experiencing some of the same then?

chevre Thu 19-Jul-07 12:13:44

dd is 3.5, conceived in a mather of 'let try oh look i'm pregnant'. had a section and now been ttc for nearly 2 years. i had a few cycles with the brownish stuff a day or so before i was due and had 2 chemical pregnancies. my cycle is reasonable regular with the occasional stress or illness related delay.

had 21 day test so i am ovulated but dh's sperms isn't too good. we are off to see teh consultant next week but am not expecting much to come from it tbh. how are you coping generally? i found the 1st year really tough.

Spaceman Thu 19-Jul-07 12:37:13

Oh we are so similar, aren't we?

The last year has been awful. Miscarriage one happened on my DH's birthday and, six weeks later, miscarriage 2 happened on my birthday. The two PG's were very close together and so my body has gone haywire.

The frustration of not being able to get PG, mixed with the rise and fall of all the hormones is only part of it. I am also coping with the blame that I inflict on myself because I've left bearing children into into my 30's; there's also guilt because DD is without a sibbling and really wants one; and there's fear that we'll never be able to fill a gaping hole in our family, which we all want to fill so much.

To make matters worse, people think we should be content with the one. Not a day goes by without me counting my blessings for DD, but I'm not finished with having babies yet and, by having a child already, you also know what you're missing out on.

I expect it's the same with you, you try and carry on as normal but inadvertantly, you have to put your life on hold until you know the direction you are heading in. For example; we want to move house soon. Where and when will all depend on how big our family gets. It's all these little things that make it all the more pressured.

Would love to know how you are coping too.

chevre Thu 19-Jul-07 12:43:22

god it is hard. i have not guilt about waiting so long. i was only ready when i was ready. but my god the guilt aobut dd not having a sibling is horrendous and the longer it goes on the bigger the age gap blah blahlblah.

the first year i was a crazed freak prob. hormones etc. i put on loads of weight etc. then last august i decided that maybe it wasn't going to happen and we had a break for 3 months i started to get fit lost the wieght and felt loads better. still fairly crazed when i get my period and dh was away last ovulation which started me thinking 'maybe we could store it...'. but i am much better. i would give yourself a rest and try and be good yourself for a while.

we moved before ttc our second in the expectation of having more. i am glad we did cos i love were we moved to but the big empty rooms are a bit sad.

i know what you mean about the counting your blessings.

if one more well meaning person tells me to relax or how they went on holiday blahdeblah....

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 19-Jul-07 12:49:59

Hi Spaceman

I think you are wise to see the GP with a view to getting a referral to a gynae at a subfertility unit.

I would also stop using OPK's; at best they are misleading and if your periods have become more irregular over time they are not worth using.

The brown blood needs to be investigated further; this is often "old blood". Do you have any other symptoms e.g painful periods.

The day 21 test is done to measure progesterone (if your periods are irregular this can be done according to calendar days). A day 3 test can also be done to measure LH (luteinising hormone) and FSH (follicle stimulation hormone). Both these levels should be compared against one another as if only looked at separately they can look okay.

HTH, any other questions just ask

Spaceman Thu 19-Jul-07 12:52:39

I suppose you just learn to live with it as you have done so that it just becomes part of your life.

Do you think it is because of the low sperm count? Are you considering any fertility treatment?

I have been thinking lots about adoption, but am really craving for that baby in my tummy. I have a bit of a journey to make before I could consider adoption I think.

Spaceman Thu 19-Jul-07 13:00:31

Thanks Attila,

Are all three of these tests taken from the same blood sample, and will the GP do it or the gyne? Also do you know what waiting lists are like for treatment/consultation and if having it done privately is cost effective?

Do you also happen to know if hormonal imbalances are easy to correct, or if they are likely to ever correct themselves? Is it possible that my first pregnancy, having a c-section, the two miscarriages etc could be the reason behind it all and that it will straighten out over time? Sorry so many questions. I feel like I'm having to learn more about it every day.

In answer to your point about the brown blood; I don't have painful periods particuarly. I have been having this discharge off and on for at least a year. It was apparent with both my miscarriages and I'm sure it's a luteal phase defect. I never noticed it before TTC, but that's not surprising as I wasn't really looking out for it.

Thanks for your advice.

xx

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 19-Jul-07 13:23:06

The GP may do some blood tests (they are done as two lots - i.e on day 3 then a couple of weeks later the day 21 is done) or he may decide to refer you straight away to the subfertility unit. I waited six months to be seen by such a unit.

I would say initially at least you are better off under the NHS. You need a diagnosis first and foremost.

You need to be careful with going private as although there are good practices there are also many poor ones. Do your researches thoroughly before parting with your hard earnt cash.

I have PCOS and this has meant that my hormone levels are awry. PCOS can be controlled but not completely eradicated.

The cause of the brown blood certainly needs to be determined; any bleeding between periods should be investigated to ascertain the cause.

LPD is something that some GPs are not totally au fait with and some deny such a problem exists.

With best wishes

chevre Thu 19-Jul-07 13:34:34

hi spaceman

i would consider iui if dh's sperm is up to it. other than that no, i don't think i could face ivf it is too full on. it is hard enough ttc naturally i couldn't bear teh added pressure of ivf both financially and physically. the only outcome i am really hoping for from seeing the consultant is an explanation adn possibley some advice. dh has mentioned adoption but i don't want to give up on carrying another baby just yet.

manuka Fri 20-Jul-07 07:48:39

Hello haven't read all the thread but I can say that after having a few episodes of hormone imbalances I can HIGHLY reccommend two complementary methods which are extremely effective.
Herbs are very good and very quick at sorting these problems working with your body. You must visit a qualified herbalist as they will give you something tailored for your personal circumstances.
Also accupuncture. I stopped ovulating after 2 misscarriages. Had accupuncture (and reflexology. both work on same principals) and very quickly conceived dd.
A lot of people disregard these therapies but I have been a practitioner in complementary therapies for 11 years now and I have seen how effective these treatments are.

muddyboots Fri 20-Jul-07 17:46:12

I agrre with you Manuka. I've just started to have accupuncture to try to solve my short luteal phase. My temp drops and I start spotting 9 days after ov. Have to admit, this is only my first cycle but have ov on day 15 rather than 18/19 so feeling quite positive about it and less helpless.

Have also started taking a low dose of vitamin B6 which is supposed to help too.

Sorry to hear about your miscarriages Spaceman. This has only been a problem for me since I miscarried in December, before that my cycle seemed to be fine.

I'm going to give it a try for a month or two before I visit my GP. I suppose it depends on what sort of person you are really and your belief in alternative therapies.

manuka Fri 20-Jul-07 19:20:06

I used to think complementary therapies were a load of guff until I studied a few myself and realised its not a load of old bollocks! Herbs for example are obviously chemicals - organic chemistry- which is the basis of all modern drugs anyway. Some herbs contain hormone like chemicals which is how they can balance our hormones.
And physics teaches us that everything is ultimately made of energy particles and this is what accupuncture works on.
Luckily more and more scientists, doctors etc are waking up to the fact that these ancient therapies have real substance.
All the gps at my practice do accupuncture and homeopathy.
The fertility specialist I was booked in to see was very interested when I told him I didn't need my appointment thanks to accupuncture. He said he'd heard that quite a few times.

ladylush Tue 24-Jul-07 09:38:50

I think I have a hormonal imbalance too. I've had 3 m/c in the past 18 months and am desperate for a sibling for ds (who is 3). I have started reflexology and am hoping this will sort out the imbalance. I get brown blood before my period too and the bleeding lasts a long time. I seem to have no trouble conceiving - just carrying.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 24-Jul-07 17:39:23

Ladylush

Am very sorry to read of what has happened to you.

I would ask, nay insist, on a gynae referral; there may be an underlying cause/s for the miscarriages. Specialist advice should be sought as a matter of course.

Reflexology may help but may not address the symptoms of the underlying problems. I would urge you to seek conventional help as well as doing the reflexology.

ladylush Tue 24-Jul-07 20:35:31

Thanks Atilla. I am supposedly due to be seen by the recurrent miscarriage clinic but no dates yet. My GP said they only do standard blood tests - nothing more. I am not shunning medical advice, just doing what I need to prior to getting access to medical help.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 24-Jul-07 21:09:40

Ladylush

I hope you get an appointment with them soon.

Wishing you all the very best

Attila x

ladylush Wed 25-Jul-07 21:20:26

Thanks Atilla

ladylush Fri 27-Jul-07 14:16:49

Apparently my hormones are now balanced At the first session the therapist said there was a problem with my pituitary gland and my uterus (and I could feel pain)but in the second session everything was fine.

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