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Raised FSH levels and IVF

(20 Posts)
kittyb Mon 06-Dec-04 21:20:51

Has anyone experienced this? We had our first consultation last week. I knew that there were no guarantees with IVF, but I just wasnt prepared for the possibility of not being able to start IVF at all. We have decided that we will have three attempts i.e. get blood test on day 1 and see whether the levels have gone down. After that its time to move on. I just wondered whether anyone else has experienced this. Any words of wisdom would be appreciated.

Christmassbee Mon 06-Dec-04 21:22:13

Message withdrawn

ladymuck Mon 06-Dec-04 21:25:03

Presumably they're worried about egg reserves? Out of interest whch hospital are you with?

kittyb Mon 06-Dec-04 21:28:06

I was 37 last week. The thought of an early menopause is also scary.

kittyb Mon 06-Dec-04 21:29:06

ARGC in London

ladymuck Mon 06-Dec-04 21:35:19

Well you're probably with amongst the best there esp as far as age etc goes. When you say that you have 3 attempts do you mean you'll give it 3 months to see if the FSH reduces? Will you be down-regging during this time?

No real words of wisdom - you're in good hands and I've found that taking it one step at a time is best.

kittyb Mon 06-Dec-04 22:47:26

Yes, we'll try for three months to see if the FSH goes down. If it doesnt go down I cant start the down-regging because the FSH level indicates that my ovaries wont respond to the drugs. Thats what came as such a shock, that I might not get to even start IVF. Just wasnt prepared for that at all. Am afraid to say that I made a bit of an a**e of myself on the (packed) train home, just couldnt stop crying. I didnt cry in the clinic because I hadnt actually understood what I'd been told, and I'm quite glad. Have this horrible fear of being the sobbing woman.

kittyb Tue 07-Dec-04 21:07:36

I'd really like to know if anyone has experienced FSH levels going down (hopefully), or sadly experiences of it not going down.

hester Wed 08-Dec-04 11:07:35

Kitty, I don't have any advice, but just wanted to say how terribly sorry I am that you are going through this. I can only imagine how worried and distressed you must feel. I really hope that the situation turns out to be not as bleak as it must look to you right now.

hugs and xxxx

Also bumping this up - has anybody else got useful information or advice for kitty?

rubyt Wed 08-Dec-04 11:39:22

I am 38 early next year and my consultant has asked fro blood tests on day 1 or 2 to check FSH levels but I don't understand why. Now that I have seen your post I understand its implications - but I don't understand what makes a FSH level high/what is high/can it be reduced/does it mean that IVF is a complete non=-starter? I am sorry but I don't have words of wisdom but may be in the same boat as you shortly..so if you want to talk....

hester Wed 08-Dec-04 11:47:13

rubyt, I don't know much about it, but a consistently raised FSH is a sign that menopause may be near. It does have to be consistently raised, though, and I think it can fluctuate (don't they usually want to take three or four tests over a series of weeks to know for sure?). Plus, your reproductive potential depends on how much it is raised; if it is not too high, it may well still be possible to get pregnant.

littledrummerbird Wed 08-Dec-04 16:08:01

kittb - Fsh levels chang every month. I think the key point is that they are consistently lower in younger/more fertile women. When I was going through fertility treatment, my levels moved up and down from month to month. Basically I was told not to have treatment on the months when my levels were high because the chance of a pregnancy were greatly reduced.

Do you know what your levels are?

kittyb Wed 08-Dec-04 19:30:11

rubyt - Zita West's book Fertility and Conception has a good chapter on IVF. Basically FSH levels give an indication of ovarian reserve and "if levels are raised, as your body tries to stimulate ovulation, it is likely that egg quality will be poor". There is no conventional treatment to lower, but reflexology diet etc are worth a try.

LDB - my FSH was 11.3. What were your levels like?

Thanks everyone for your kind thoughts

littledrummerbird Wed 08-Dec-04 21:45:41

My levels were around 6 when dd was conceived (I was 42 at the time). Tried for a sibling 2 years later, and initial FSH levels registered at a disapointing 24. Over the months, my levels dropped gradually to around 13. Don't know if it helped, but during the key months of being monitored, I made sure to exercise, eat well, virtually stopped drinking alcohol, reduced caffeine intake, took folic acid and a multivitamin, and had regular treatments with an osteopath specialising in fertility issues.

My fertility doctor told me that many clinics don't advise treatment for women when levels are over 12, but my clinic was willing to treat anyone with a level of 15 or lower. I did conceive a second time (though sadly miscarried), so my erratic FSH levels obviously were not a huge problem. By the way, this was all 2 years ago, so it is possible that there have been medical advancements/changes in treatment in the meantime.

Good luck. It's exciting and nervewracking - a real emotional rollercoaster.

rosies Thu 09-Dec-04 00:09:53

whilst i dont normally treat women who are taking clomid, (i am a maternity reflexologist), i do treat women who are going down the IVF path.

i did have one lady who came to me for a few treatments with raised FSH levels. she couldnt make an appointment one week because she had been for tests and found that things were favourable.

in honesty, i dont know what happened after that. she didnt call, so i assume she got pregnant and didnt want to come from treatments - perhaps being cautious, maybe doctor said no... i didnt like to impose.

DelGirlsRingAreYouListening Thu 09-Dec-04 07:20:41

Dont have huge amounts of advice to give but thought I'd tell you anyway. I had an FSH level of about 13 I think when I was 36 and they said I was peri menopausal. (dh was recently diagnosed with cancer at that time so that may have had an effect). Had 5 lots of IUI treatment, had to have lots and I mean lots of drugs to stimulate the ovaries but i'm now 21 weeks pg. Good luck

kittyb Sun 12-Dec-04 08:28:28

thank you all so much. This has made me feel much more optomistic. DelGirl congratulations to you and you dh, and well done for keeping trying. Did your FSH levels stay around 13?

LDB that drop in your levels is amazing. I am also trying better diet, multivitamins, etc and trying not to get stressed. I am anxious about the monitoring though, and going through the process of getting checked each month - I am worried about the emotional rollercoaster of hoping, then getting disappointing news, will I cope or will I be a pathetic sobbing mess (over the top I know but ykwim).

I'm also very sorry to hear about your miscarriage. I miscarried almost two years ago and know how feelings change about it as time passes. Thanks for helping me with this FSH thing.

Sorry if this is all a stream of consciousness (sp?), havent had breakfast yet!

littledrummerbird Sun 12-Dec-04 20:28:38

kittyb - Yes, it was a revelation to see how much levels could drop. I found it nervewracking to wait all month for AF, then drop everything and dash to the clinic for bloodtest, wait a few hours for results, and then get the good news that levels were favorable so an attempt could be made, or levels were too high so meant waiting a whole other month. Try to stay positive - though that's easier said than done. Good luck with it all, and let us know how you get on.

kittyb Mon 13-Dec-04 11:06:10

Will definitely let you know. We are having a break from it all over Christmas and will start the testing next AF in January

kittyb Thu 03-Feb-05 12:54:32

Hello again, FSH levels went down to 8 (vg), started short protocol, produced two follicles (not vg). Decided to do IUI instead of IVF and 11 Feb will be preg test. will let you know how I get on.

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