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Age 40, extremely low AMH, 17 weeks pregnant after failed IVF and failed Clomid. Here's what I did...

(36 Posts)
countrymumkin1 Wed 05-Dec-12 15:40:29

I wanted to start this discussion as I wondered if sharing my experience might help others.

I had been TTC for about 3 years, I had unexplained infertility, my husband's sperm is fine. In a nutshell, we did 4 cycles of clomid and 2 IVFs on the NHS. I found out I had an extremely low AMH (off the scale, it couldn't be measured) on the first IVF. I produced one solitary egg, although it did fertilise to a top grade embryo, it didn't implant. The second IVF was 100% better. Yep, I had the grand total of 2 eggs. This time nothing fertilised. A few days later I found out from a blood test I had in between IVFs that I hadn't ovulated. The fertility clinic told me my only opportunity was donor eggs. Whilst I told them I wanted to keep trying on my own (after all IVF cycle 1 was no different from a good normal cycle - if I could get my body to ovulate), they looked at me as if I was setting myself up for even more heart-ache. I felt grief like I have never known!

On my second IVF, I was already reading about alternative therapies and had started accupuncture to complement the IVF. After that failed and I did more internet research I read 3 books:

1. Inconceivable by Julia Indichova (a good positive story of a 40-something woman getting pregnant after being told she couldn't get pregnant naturally due to FSH levels. Talks about all the things she tried)
2. Making Babies - proven 3 month programme for maximum fertility by Sami David & Jill Blakeaway (lots about diet and chinese medicine)
3. The Infertility Cure by Randine Lewis (an excellent, thorough guide to understanding Chinese Medicine and acupuncture for the patient)

I then started Traditional Chinese Herbs, at a clinic in Norfolk. He is an excellent Chinese Medicine doctor (trained in China), but I understand there is a guru in London if anyone is down south. She is much more expensive though (but it would probably work out considerably cheaper than IVF even so). I just went to the one in Norfolk because he was near me.

So, in a nutshell, I got pregnant using Chinese herbs, acupuncture and a change in diet to complement the Chinese diagnosis + I also started to take Royal Jelly capsules. In all, I was pregnant within 2 months of starting this. I was over the moon to see the smiley face on the Ovulation Predictor Kit, didn't think that egg would end up being the baby that is now inside me.

So, fingers crossed all ends up ok. I won't be comforted until the baby is in my arms and it has been a bit rocky so far anyway, but we're doing ok right now.

Happy to talk more about this on this board if anybody would like to.

Best wishes to everyone.

blondebaby111 Wed 05-Dec-12 18:48:12

wow, what a lovely story. this will give hope to lots of women. Congratulations to you, bet you really can't believe it although i have heard of chinese herbs helping fertility. We have unexplainned too, just done 1st round of ivf and not sure if its worked yet ( had a neg test but still waiting for my period a few weeks later) . i'll keep my fingers crossed for you all the way smile how far along are you???

countrymumkin1 Thu 06-Dec-12 11:22:31

I am 17 weeks and 5 days. I really can't believe it at all. I seem to be very concerned about things going wrong or it not working out, but I am trying to stay sane and positive. I guess these worries are with many women, getting pregnant and/or being pregnant is much more stressful than I'd ever imagined!!

thinking of you for your ivf blondebaby111, hope it turns out well for you smile

wifeymerrick Sat 08-Dec-12 10:35:44

Please please try and enjoy ur pregnancy,u will regret it otherwise ! I'm the proud mummy of a icsi boy and we complimented our treatment with accupunture and chinese remedies ! I worried almost all the way through too so I know its not easy but honestly holding that baby in ur arms makes it all worthwhile ! X

blondebaby111 Sun 09-Dec-12 15:47:35

I know how u must feel countrymum, we worry that we are not pregnant and then when u finally get there its worry all the way..I'm sure I'd be the same as you. Sometimes in situations like this we all want to have a crystal ball and have a peek in the future so we know to stop worrying. Good luck with it all, I'm sure it will all go to plan xx

countrymumkin1 Wed 12-Dec-12 16:17:26

Thanks so much wifeymerrick and blondebaby111. I am trying to stop worrying and so far this week I have been better than last week, so it's progress. x x

brinks Sat 05-Jan-13 12:56:09

Hi, I'm a journalist looking for women who have conceived naturally after failed IVF. Please message me if you have a similar experience. I'm also interested in speaking to women who became pregnant after adopting.


serant Sat 05-Jan-13 13:01:30

What lovely story, congratulations.

nananaps Sat 05-Jan-13 13:03:36

Ahh how lovely!!

We had given up completely.

7 miscarriages, 5 years of ttc. All tests normal.

Just gave up completely, accepted life as it was...which incidentally is very good.

Another mc in March/April. I trotted along to get the pill (COMPLETELY against everythng we had been doing for over 5 years...)
Waited patiently for 1st day of period, which is when you take the pill apparently.
It didnt arrive, so presumed i had retained products from my mc as i felt so unwell.
Nipped to EPAU and there on the scan was a wonderful little baby with a heartbeat wriggling around!!
So, here i am. In 3 weeks time i am going to meet my real live miracle!

Cant believe it, still cant believe it.
BUT miracles DO happen. grin

nananaps Sat 05-Jan-13 13:04:19

im 42 btw!

countrymumkin1 Sun 06-Jan-13 09:24:20

nananaps that is absolutely FANTASTIC! After all you have been through, that is just so wonderful.

We had the 20 week scan just before Christmas and all looked lovely. I'm starting to get bigger now and just reached 22 weeks yesterday.

Congratulations to you, not long to go now! x

TheAccidentalExhibitionist Sun 06-Jan-13 09:36:54

Nananaps, I've been following your story on MN. It inspired us to keep on trying for a baby despite 5 miscarriages. After thinking it just wasn't going to happen for us, seeing that it happened for you has given us hope.
Countrymumkin1 thanks for posting this, I'm using a combination of herbal medicine and homeopathy to prepare my body for pregnancy. I figure I've got nothing to lose right? It's certainly made me feel more balanced.

countrymumkin1 Mon 07-Jan-13 16:52:10

TheAccidentalExhibitionist sounds great what you are doing. That's exactly how I felt 'preparing my body for pregnancy' or more sort of 'getting myself working to conceive and support pregnancy'. My Chinese herbal practitioner prescribed me herbs to support retention of the foetus in the first 12 weeks too, so not sure if that is something you will also be having. 'Retention of foetus' is not exactly how the Chinese herbalists will describe it, but it's all to do with balance inside your body (liver, kidney etc) and also your female parts as I understand it! I actually had really high HCG readings at one of my tests around 12 weeks and my blood was sent to St Barts for further testing as they thought it was the herbs. My Chinese doctor also thinks it could also be the herbs pushing my HCG up to keep the pregnancy strong. I will be thinking of you and wishing you well for a happy healthy pregnancy in the near future. xx

nananaps Mon 07-Jan-13 17:21:15

keep going, keep going...repeat after me...keep going smile

TheAccidentalExhibitionist Mon 07-Jan-13 20:05:16

Thanks both of you, I'm going to try and find a Chinese herbalist now grin

countrymumkin1 Fri 01-Feb-13 12:09:36

TheAccidentalExhibitionist How are you? Hope you are well. Did you find a Chinese herbalist? Here's an interesting article referring to a very good one in London (who is probably a bit pricey because she trades on being a fertility specialist - my acupuncturist thought she was a bit too expensive [having said that she is MUCH cheaper than IVF]), but you can probably find a good one in any large town. Where is your nearest town?

twinklestar2 Tue 05-Feb-13 22:13:22

Could you tell us the changes you made to your diet?

countrymumkin1 Fri 08-Feb-13 15:21:46

twinklestar2 Hi there.

The changes I made to diet were all based on Chinese Food Energetics. Here is a good site to find out more:

The changes I made to my diet were purely to do with my diagnosis from Chinese Medicine so it will be different for everyone. My diagnosis was this

spleen and kidney yang deficiency
liver chi stagnation
blood deficiency
I was also cold and had a lot of damp.

Therefore, there were certain foods I should incorporate into my diet (lamb, beef, coconut, cherries, oats, ... - I could go on but they are a list of things that were relevant for me) and certain things I shouldn't eat, or eat a very limited amount of because they encouraged cold/damp conditions (pork, dairy, wheat... again I could go on, but this was relevant to my diagnosis). I was also told to not eat anything raw (re the cold/damp) and to have plenty of slow-cooked foods/stews. Also, I went organic completely. I felt amazingly well doing this, I have to say.

I hope the website above helps you to find out more, but it is definitely worth seeing a Chinese Medicine specialist to get diagnosed, so you can make the choices that are right for you.

One thing I forgot to say that may also help people is how much I spent on herbs and acupuncture....

I spent £70 per month on herbs (2 weeks worth) and about £70 per month on acupuncture (2 sessions a month). Initially, you need to do more acupuncture, but once you've done it for a bit, you can cut down to 2 per month.

Really hope this helps. Let me know how it all goes.


twinklestar2 Fri 08-Feb-13 20:44:27

Thx for posting, will have a thorough read later.

We've gone organic too as much as we possibly can. Expensive isn't it?!

countrymumkin1 Wed 20-Feb-13 17:09:34

Yep, I did find the organic expensive, especially meat. Think I must have got better at using every bit of food rather than what I used to do, which was let things sail past their sell-by date without keeping an eye out ;-)

Let me know how you get on, I'll be thinking of you.


SJNB Mon 10-Mar-14 17:00:37

Dear countrymumkin,
I am in a similar situation to the one you were in, please could you tell me the details of the herbal medicine doctor you used in Norfolk, please? Thank you.

countrymumkin1 Mon 24-Mar-14 15:44:20

Hi SJNB. Sorry this is a late reply, I don't come on often.

His name is Dr Ye

Norwich, Norfolk

Tel number 01603 444 292

He doesn't have a website. It's a typical Chinese set up. Accupunture is in one room with two beds and you may find he consults with you in what we would see as a waiting room. However, if you can look through this, you will be pleased with the results. I trust him implicitly. I also took herbs in first 3 months to help with retention etc.

If you want any more thoughts, direct message me as I seem to get notified via my email of these.


PS I saw a different accupunturist called Justine Oliver who is a fertility specialist. Dr Ye isn't billed as a fertility specialist, he is a generalist, but knows his stuff!

ana123 Fri 22-Aug-14 21:11:26

Hi everyone, I have read so many sad stories about low AMH that I decided to write about mine. I conceived a beautiful boy when I was 30 with out any effort. I used Mirena since then for 4 years. I haven't been able to get pregnant again and I have been trying for almost 2 years (Now IM 37). A year ago I got all my tests and everything was fine except for my AMH which was almost undetectable (0.16). Although I haven't get pregnant yet, last month my OB did all my yearly tests and I was very happy to see that the AMH went up to 0.84 normal/low. If I could increase the AMH levels (which the doctor had said was impossible) that means that AMH measures not only quantity but also quality. What did I do? during the whole year I stop diets (eat regular healthy food with lots of veggies and fruits), drank fertili-greens every morning, coq10 ubiquinol, maca, pre natal vitamins and DHEA. I hope this gives you hope... Before going to IVF, IUI or any other expensive treatment, try to increase your AMH levels. This also increases your chances that any of those treatments works. Now I'm going to start with Clomid. I will keep you posted.

marys0775 Thu 09-Oct-14 17:27:28

I am just beginning some fertility consultations and recently had an "undiscovered" ectopic pregnancy that was very life-threatening. I was wondering if you would be available in private message? I have a few questions relative to the low AMH i have been told i have.

anast1977 Mon 10-Nov-14 14:47:46

thank you countrymumkin1 for sharing a good story, i have one daughter she is almost 2 years old and i had 2 miscarriages after she was born.
went to 2 different doctors and my AMH come out as 0.38 with one doctor and 0.50 with another one. they are pushing for IVF, i ahve no problems getting pregnant but i can not hold the baby.
i started accunputure, diet, exercising more, cutted caffeine, alchool, soda....using ovulation kit.
fingers crossed! hopefully i will have good news smile

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