FSH Levels
36 Replies
jensta73 - April 7

Please help. My partner and I have been trying for a baby for 1 and 1/2 years with no joy. We are just about to begin a course of IVF. My first blood test result for FSH had disappointing results - my FSH level is 12.5 which means I may not respond to IVF drugs. I have had the worst few days of my life. I am only 32 and it seems that I am entering 'perimenopause'. I don't know if I will ever be able to come to terms with not having my own baby. I am trying to be positive but I don't want to be unrealistic. Has anyone else had high FSH levels? Please help.

 

isa - April 7

Jensta dont fret. I am 40, my fsh was one month 12.36 (usually around this number) and I respond magnificently to injectibles. One month I got 15-18 eggs but didnt have the blood work to convert to ivf and we did iui's. This month my fsh is 8. I have gotten pregnant twice (chemical pregnancies) and for some reason I have not been able to hold the pregnancy once the egg implants. I have not been told I have entered perimenopause by my RE and I respond very well. (I have dh factor problems). Do not worry. I would get a 2nd opinion about ivf at your age due to cost and get some other tests run (just my opinion). My doc says if your over 20 with fsh you need donor eggs, under 10 is great, 11-15 just means reduced ovarian reserve and reduced quality. It is still possible if all else is fine with you and dh to still get pg naturally or with iui. best wishes.

 

Ann - April 7

jensta73, I am the same way. We have been ttc for 2 years. I had my fsh done last year and it was fine--5.9. Then a couple months ago they checked it again and it was 12.9. I was so devastated!! I did a bunch of reading on the internet and there is so much conflicting information. Lots of what I read is pretty upsetting. However, when you read the statistics, it shows how many people get pg, but it doesn't show the statistics like "if you respond to the meds and produce eggs, the chances are..." I did clomid and had great response and last month I did injectibles with iui. My injectibles are the same one my RE uses with ivf. I got 3 good follies, but unfortunatly I also got a BFN. I am trying again this month. What are your plans?

 

jensta73 - April 7

Dear Ann and Isa. Youhave no idea what hearing your stories does for me. Thank you. At least you both assure me that there is a good chance I will respind to drugs. At the moment I am imagining having a poor response to the drugs and reaching the end of the road on my first attempt - at least you both prove to me that it is still possible to produce healthy eggs.
I am seriously dreadinf doing this IVF - I hate even being in the clinic - I am so frightened of that they are going to tell me. How do you get through all of this? I have had times over the last few days when I could not stop crying and I feel like I can't cope

 

Ann - April 7

jensta73, I have those times, too, where I feel hopeless. I just do what makes me feel better at the time. Sometimes that means I force myself to go for a walk or to the mall, and others I just stay home w/my head buried under the covers. Just try to keep open communication with your dh and take it one day at a time. I would love to keep in touch. Hardly anyone on the board seems to have fsh level problems. I am 36, by the way. So are you doing ivf right away or trying iui first? Do you O on your own?

 

jensta73 - April 7

I just also wanted to add that I too have found what is written on the internet really off putting and upsetting. I read one article that said 'IVF on women with high FSH is like scraping the barrel '(sensitvely put - thanks!). I also read that young women can respond well to stimmulation. So it is confusing. I was told by some one at the clinic to not read stuff like that on the internet because often times it is written by unqualified people. I wish you Ann and you isa loads of luck with your next attempts. Thanks again for your kind words. xxx

 

Tonya - April 7

Jensta, I also have high FSH...I just turned 35 and when my levels had been taken the 1st time is was 9, then 10, then 16, then 17 and this month was 24, so my RE cancelled the cycle. We have a girl, 5 years, and a son, 2 years...so I'm okay with us being finished with having anymore...at least not going the RE route, just timing and that kind of thing....but I would say not to worry and see about a 2nd opinion also...Isa, the one who replied to you here also had listed some other really good sites on the other thread "New Hope & Positive thoughts, part 8" they would have been posted around March 29th...here is another site I found: http://www.network54.com/Forum/248587/ Keep us posted, because I don't feel like it is as bleak as it sounds....good wishes for you...

 

jensta73 - April 7

Hi Ann - I would love to keep in touch too. We can be each others mascots! We are doing IVF this month - I begin down regulation drugs on April 20th and go in for baseline assesment on May 11th. Egg collection would be 2/3 weeks after that.
Have you tried IVF yet? We did not opt for IUI only because we felt that we have tried at the right times (I know because I have done ovualtion tests) for a long time now and I did not see what the diffrence would be. My doctor did agree with me when I said that to him but that is because there is 'a question mark over my fallopian tubes' - as I had an infection a while back. Although I have had a hysteralsp.. test and it was clear. Apparently they are only 85% accurate. I went into IVF thinking I had a good chance as I am young and all my tests to that point had been clear. I had an FSH test in August 05 and it was 8.1 and I also had a scan of my ovaries (lloking for overian cysts) and that was also clear. Although the doctor did say that the results showed a 3 to 4 result when really he would have been happier with 6. Not sure what he was talking about then though!
Have you had all these tests? Is FSH your only negative?

 

jensta73 - April 7

Hi Tonya - thanks for that. I often think that trying natually is the best option anyway. What do you mean by look at other options? Do you mean donor eggs or adoption? I have thought of it but I just feel so sad at the thought that I maight not be able to carry my own child. I also feel totally gutted and responsible for the disappointment my partner feels

 

jensta73 - April 7

Tonya - I have just realised that you wrote 2nd opinion! Not option. Sorry.
Lots of luck to you and thanks for writing back xxx

 

Ann - April 7

jensta73, I have done all the tests, including the hsg (tubes clear) and a lap (found mild endo that they think they removed all of). I was shocked that I had any endo, because I've always had pretty easy afs and had no endo symptoms at all. So unless the endo has returned, the fsh is my only issue. I have also done 6 rounds of clomid 5 of which I also did iui and 1 iui with injectibles. I am going to try the injectible/iui route one or maybe 2 more times. At this point, I am leaning towards one more iui only. The reason I may do 2 is because my current RE doesn't take my insurance for ivf, so I will have to switch drs to do ivf and I am sure that will take a while to get everything lined out. With all my iuis, I was getting monitored, so the timing should have been good at least most of the time. I did read that women with high fsh level are sometimes slow responders to the hcg trigger. My ob/gyn used to do the iui the same day as the trigger (which was for 4 of my iuis), so I do wonder how well those were timed. What do you mean by regulation drugs? I am in a suppression 2 weeks now. My dr has you take BCPs for a couple weeks before he starts the stimulation meds to make sure you don't get over-stimulated. Do you know what meds you will take yet? Have you done the shot class yet?

 

jensta73 - April 7

Ann - it is all very confusing. I am not entirely familiar with all of the abbreviations you use. I am going to start down regulation in 2 weeks which is where they stop everything from happening and then go on to stimmulate my eggs to the max. They are putting me on the 2nd highest dosage of stimmulation drug - this together with the fact that they have not recommended IUI's for me or anything else have led me to believe that my outlook was not great. What I have heard from you girls today is encouraging. Maybe they are not recommending IUI for me as 'there is a question mark over my fallopian tubes'. I think their main concern for me is that I will not respond to the drugs - it that what you were saying you heard too? What does BFN mean? You say you had a good response to the drugs what happened after?
I sympathise with you - I know exactly what you are going through and I feel exaclty the same. I have coped my talking to my partner about adoption and donor eggs - assuming the worst somehow helps me feel calmer about the whole thing. If ever you are having a down day just contact me - are we able to give out email addresses?

 

Ann - April 7

jensta73, sorry about the abbreviations. I am so used to using them! BFN=big fat negative, which is all I have gotten so far, unfortunately, with pg tests. Down regulation is the same as suppression, then. During mine, I take BCPs (birth control pills) and Parlodel, a drug used in women with high prolactin levels but I am not sure what it does for suppressing the system (my prolactin is not high). After I had the good response to the drugs (by good response I mean produced mature follicles), I took the hcg shot to make me ovulate and then the dr did the iui (my RE (Reproductive Endocrinologist) does the iui 36 hours after the trigger shot). Your dr probably just is on the aggressive side (a good thing, I think) to not recommend iui first. I set up a hotmail address a while ago to be able to speak that way. If you would rather email, my address is [email protected]

 

Ann - April 7

Also, have you only tried naturally so far--no drugs or monitoring at the dr during your cycle?

 

Jenny - April 7

Yes - that is the bizarre thing. I am English by the way - I suspect you are from the US? I went to Bupa who did the hysterasalpingogram and scanned my ovaries. He said everything was in working order. They did a test to see that I was ovulating (day 21 I think) and the FSH whcih is was 8.1 in August . They would not even give me clomid - they were saying - she is young and we should not start intervening early. I was led to believe there was nothing wrong. Then I went to a new infertility clinic who near enough told me all my tests had limited accuracy and then did the FSH test that read 12.5 - I was in total shock and severe worry. Like you say I think they want to act aggresively because of the FSH test. I have been told I need to give it 'at least one go' - it's very difficult to tell if high FSH levels is a really bad indicator or not.
How is your partner coping? Mine wants me to be really positive but I dpn't want to get another shock.
Do you have support around you? Has you doctor said why IUI has not worked. I have a freind who had unexplained infertility and had been trying for 8 years. She did clomid and 3 goes at IUI all unsuccessful - she then did IVF and it worked first time. She went on to have another baby but did not know until she was 5 months pregnant.This was a women who never had periods. There are so many exceptions to the rule. It makes you think you may as well say your paryers rather do your research! I will say one for you and me tonight! xxx

 

Jenny - April 7

Also Ann - my email address is [email protected]. I am off to bed now. Sweet dreams. Try not to worry too much and remember to say your prayers! xxx

 

Ann - April 7

Yes, I am in the US (Dallas). England? Very cool. My brother just moved back to the states from London. What is a Bupa? My dh ("dear husband") copes much better than I do. He thinks I should just not worry about it and that we will get pg. It is finally starting to hit him how serious this is with my fsh results a couple months ago and the last 2 BFNs. Absolutely no on in my "real" life even knows we are ttc. So, this board is all of my support. It has really kept me sane! I know what you mean about being "too" positive--I don't want to set myself up for a bigger disappointment. I have put it into perspective by just thinking, "I am going to do everything possible to get pg, and if it doesn't work, I will deal with it after I try everything." My dr hasn't said anything about why the iuis didn't work. Do you have much support in your real life? Have you already discussed the ivf process with your dr? I am surprised they checked your fsh at cd21. The time to check that is cd3, which is the day your fsh is highest. I've also read that your fsh can fluctuate from month to month, so maybe getting pg will happen on months when it is lower. Hopefully we will both end up pg like your friend!

 

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