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Initial fertility tests - what have people done, or considering? (TTC)

(66 Posts)
CC81 Thu 23-Jul-20 10:53:52

I find the 'not knowing' part of TTC really stressful - in terms of my fertility - which I think has an impact on my general wellbeing (and thus probably natural fertility). Aaaagh, the irony!

I'm wondering how useful it would be to get a private consultation and pay for an AMH test, to check egg quality/quantity. Is anyone else looking into the same thing, or has done it recently?

I know hormone tests are available via GP - but the NHS is obviously under pressure and it's tough to book blood tests on the right days (i.e. CD3-5 for FSH etc. and CD21 for progesterone). Especially as my cycle went randomly wonky last month, so predicting dates is unreliable. I had the same tests last summer and they were normal, but the results may be different a year later and I don't want to waste precious time (I'm 38).

One of our local clinics offers a 'Fertility MOT' where you pay about £400 for a couple to have all the tests (including AMH) and a consultation.

Alternatively, if I get a GP referral, I can get an AMH test at the clinic for about £170 - but I'm not sure how the results would be interpreted (the clinic said they'd fax them to my GP, but the GP sounded unsure and said she'd need to check with a senior partner at the practice).

It's all a bit confusing and frustrating. We've been TTC for about 6-7 months and I've got worried in the last month because I had the random long cycle. I literally don't have a clue what to expect, this cycle - I've started temping, using OPKs, etc., to try to get some idea.

If things don't settle down, I think we'll end up doing the initial MOT thing. But if they DO get back to 'normal' - i.e. cycle length, signs of ovulation - I'll be more inclined to see how the NHS process goes.

OP’s posts: |
wishfulthinking101 Thu 23-Jul-20 11:11:23

Hello, sorry I can't offer any advice but didn't want to run and read.... I'm in the same position as you- just starting to look at what further tests/treatments we could do.

Good luck smile

Bells3032 Thu 23-Jul-20 11:15:04

I am looking to doing tests too. We haven't started TTC yet but my husband is undergoing hormone treatment due to a childhood brain tumour. I want to have an MOT before we go any further as if I have issues we'd take a very different route than if all is ah ok with me. Looking to get my coil out in the next month or so so will have to wait until then i think.

Nichola2310 Thu 23-Jul-20 11:22:34

After 9months of TTC number 2, I booked a couples assessment with a private fertility clinic. I'm almost 37 and my DH is 44 so i don't think we can afford to wait.

The tests are an ultrasound on me and blood tests to check AMH and TSH and a semen analysis for my husband. It was £580, which then includes a 1hr app with a consultant to go through the results.

I've actually already done home testing kits for AMH and TSH but the clinic won't accept these, so in hindsight I think they were a waste of money.

We have a NHS referral for a SA for my DH but the lab has still not reopened so that's why we decided to go privately.

I think it depends on your age, if I was 30 I probably wouldn't be going for tests after 9 months of trying.

Nichola2310 Thu 23-Jul-20 11:24:26

Sorry just seen you're 38, if you can afford it I would be inclined to book in for tests now.

CC81 Thu 23-Jul-20 11:52:29

Thanks all! Massively helpful to read your thoughts smile

I've just had a chat with the local clinic, as writing the original post made me realise that I really do want to know more about our health situation. We're very lucky that we can afford the initial 'MOT' quite easily, so it seems silly to wait and get increasingly stressed out by the GP process alone.

I'm going to see how my cycle pans out over the next two weeks, so I have a better idea of timings, then call again to book (they usually have availability within a few weeks).

@Nichola2310 - Your situation sounds very similar to mine! Both my husband and I are in our late 30s and TTC #2 for 6-7 months now. Our first was conceived immediately when I was 35, three years ago.

I considered the home test kits, so it's also useful to know your experience with these. I'll leave it!

The clinic said the results of the MOT should tell us about the quality and quantity of my eggs; and also whether there are any indications of other barriers. Also where my cycle is up to; and whether I've ovulated. Then also whether my husband's swimmers are in good shape.

So... at least we'd then know:
A) All is fine and we should stick at it or
B) There's a problem - so we can see if it's possible to tackle it

I think even in the event of B, I'd feel less stressed, being equipped with more knowledge.

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TheDaydreamBelievers Thu 23-Jul-20 12:12:59

I've had bloods (hormones and androgens) done via gp as I have had no period for over 4 months. Obviously that means that they are hard to interpret as no cycle to speak of so less of an idea what they "should" be. They have also referred to gynaecology though again not sure what for! We are in our 30s and decided at 6months we will get a sperm analysis done as wouldn't want to wait for me to regulate/go for treatment then find out there are issues on his end too.

Nichola2310 Thu 23-Jul-20 12:20:26

@CC81
Snap! My son was conceived on our 2nd month of trying, almost 3 years ago.

We waited until he was 14mths before starting to try for number 2, and now wish we had of started sooner.

Good luck with your tests.

CC81 Thu 23-Jul-20 15:07:45

@Nichola2310 - We decided to wait until our daughter was 2, so there would be a 3-year gap (as we didn't feel ready any earlier that than)... but yeah, I can't help wondering if sooner might have been wiser. The first time we expected it to take ages, so it was a shock! It's the opposite this time.

I breastfed until our daughter was 13 months, then after that my periods went a bit weird for a while - hence getting blood tests last summer. They then seemed to settle down for the last 12 months, but now (of course) I've had a wobble again. Probably stress.

@TheDaydreamBelievers - Hope you manage to get some answers. I know how worrying it is when even one cycle goes weird, so none at all must be very stressful. I think you're right about sperm analysis - we've no reason to think my husband's will have changed since our first child, but you never know.

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Juno231 Thu 23-Jul-20 18:14:11

I'd say give the GP a try first. I had my day 3 done the very next day after calling (two weeks ago) and have had no problems scheduling and then rescheduling my day 21. The local GP clinics are probably quieter than normal rather than under pressure like most people assume.

Secondly - the private tests would have to be redone by the NHS if you needed to act upon it, so can be a waste of money that way - might as well go straight to the NHS.

Lastly! I know you're 38 but the AMH count only really matters if you're going to go for IVF and will need to harvest eggs. Otherwise it doesn't matter if you have 500 eggs instead of 5000 or whatever as you ultimately only release one per month and it's the quality that counts rather than quantity. And I'm afraid AMH only really checks for quantity.

I'd also read "It starts with the egg" and get yourself on the supplements listed in there to boost your egg quality. Ubiquinol immediately springs to mind for instance.

CC81 Thu 23-Jul-20 19:09:47

Thanks @Juno231 - I started taking ubiquinol and B6 last week, so fingers crossed!

We intend to twin-track NHS and private, to tick all the boxes. Nothing to lose except cash!

I had the GP tests last year, which was fine when my cycle was more predictable, but not so much this month sad Unfortunately appointments are like gold dust and even getting through on the phone can take days, which is really stressful.

The private tests are more than just AMH - it's also scans to check ovulation timing etc, which hopefully I'll find reassuring. Also womb lining, potential blockages, various other things.

I totally see where you're coming from, but if it turns out we need IVF, we'd be considering a private route anyway (but will see where the NHS route goes too).

I simply want as much medical info as poss, in the least stressful way!

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CC81 Thu 23-Jul-20 19:11:07

PS - Had a GP apt yesterday and the next available blood test apt is a month away. Usual experience sad

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Tink2019 Thu 23-Jul-20 19:25:55

@CC81 we spoke to our GP a couple of months ago (I'm 34, but have very irregular cycles, it didn't seem like I was ovulating and have many PCOS / endometriosis symptoms) who was happy to refer but warned waiting times are currently long, so we took the plunge and went private - have had SA, AMH, baseline hormones and a pelvic assessment scan. The baseline hormone test I actually had done on the NHS then results were sent to the fertility clinic, so you may be able to do some private and some on NHS. Best of luck x

CC81 Thu 23-Jul-20 22:51:50

Thanks @Tink2019 - Have you had the test results yet? How are you doing?

OP’s posts: |
Tink2019 Thu 23-Jul-20 23:20:13

@CC81 We've had AMH and SA back - all fine, the rest I think they'll tell us more about at next consultation but bloods seemed normal and the antral follicle didn't seem to indicate PCOS so 🤷🏼‍♀️ Hope can get the ball rolling soon x

CC81 Mon 27-Jul-20 14:55:23

@Tink2019 - It's great that you've had some encouraging test results - hopefully you can now make some progress.

I'm due to ovulate around now, if things are working 'normally'. I've had EWCM in recent days and felt yukky (which has been a past symptom), but no positive OPK yet. Will keep testing.

Also watching BBT, but it seems to be all over the place (I think the measurement conditions are probably non-ideal - I often wake up too early, briefly - then fall back asleep... so when I test on waking properly, it's not quite right).

Once I have a better idea of how this cycle is panning out, I'll probably book the 'MOT' at the private clinic.

OP’s posts: |
CC81 Mon 27-Jul-20 14:56:24

PS - @Tink2019 - What's 'SA'?

OP’s posts: |
bb077 Mon 27-Jul-20 15:06:14

Just started a new thread did see this one !
Been ttc after MMC in January so asked doctor for some tests and she did thyroid which was normal and 21 day and fsh and LH she's not calling me till Thursday but my results are on my app what do you guys make if this ? I'm 43
Can anyone help ?

Serum LH = 41.3 IU/ml
Serum FSH = 64.7 IU/ml
Serum Progesterone =0.6 nmol/L
Serum Oestradiol = 92 pmol/L

CC81 Mon 27-Jul-20 15:09:25

@bb077 - Good luck for Thursday. Which app is it? One that your GP uses?

Wish I could help but I have no medical knowledge! As you can probably tell from my posts, I'm pretty new to TTC issues.

OP’s posts: |
bb077 Mon 27-Jul-20 15:11:36

Thanks cc81 it's patient access it has my records on so I can take a peek at test results and notes ect

Juno231 Mon 27-Jul-20 15:20:32

@bb077 are these your day 3 results? I thought day 21 tests only checked for progesterone.

bb077 Mon 27-Jul-20 15:23:36

@Juno231The progesterone was day 21 and they did the other tests from the same vile

FlorenceFlounce Mon 27-Jul-20 15:39:50

bb077

*@Juno231The* progesterone was day 21 and they did the other tests from the same vile

You can’t test FSH, LH or Estrogen on day 21 and use the results to draw any kind of conclusions about your fertility, it’s the wrong part of the cycle and not valid 💐

If those had been your day 3 results I’d have said you were in perimenopause! Xx

bb077 Mon 27-Jul-20 15:46:58

@FlorenceFlounce thanks for your reply I will ask my doc for day 3 I did do a urine fsh at day 3 which was positive and day 10 and 21

My LH and fsh has been constantly high this cycle

I'm just finding this distressing as I desperately want to replace the child I lost

bb077 Mon 27-Jul-20 15:48:59

bb077

*@FlorenceFlounce* thanks for your reply I will ask my doc for day 3 I did do a urine fsh at day 3 which was positive and day 10 and 21

My LH and fsh has been constantly high this cycle

I'm just finding this distressing as I desperately want to replace the child I lost


Top CB monitor cartridge the machine has said low all cycle
Middle wondfo LH
Bottom FSH

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