High FSH

So ever since I was diagnosed back in November 2015, I have known that I have a high FSH level. FSH stands for Follicle Stimulating Hormone and is a very, very important hormone level when it comes to fertility.

If the egg number is low, the body needs to work harder to get ovulation, so it increases the amount of FSH in an effort to push the ovaries. A high FSH means the egg number is reduced, sometimes to levels so low that pregnancy is not possible.

They say that you are supposed to test FSH levels on Cycle Day 3 (aka, the third day after you start having a menstrual cycle) for the most accurate results. I have only had the chance to do two Cycle Day 3 FSH tests in the last year during natural cycles – one in November 2015 and one in August 2016.

Both times my FSH was 34.

Anything over 10 is considered high.

What I’m now learning, is that it is very hard to find a fertility clinic who will proceed with IVF if your FSH is over 20! I did not realize this until I had that devastating doctors appointment last week.

What now?

I am simultaneously researching ways to bring my FSH level down – as some people have done it before with supplements, acupuncture, dietary changes and Chinese herbs – while also trying to find a clinic in Canada that will treat patients with high FSH levels. The one thing I have going for me despite my incredibly bad AMH and FSH numbers is my age. I am only 28. Very, very young to have these types of numbers. That’s why time is of the essence right now.

I did the whole acupuncture / Chinese herbs / supplements thing before and it did not bring my levels down. That said, in the last 6ish months I haven’t had some of the bad symptoms I had my first year with POF like hot flashes and night sweats. I also just had two natural cycles very close together. One in August and one in October. So I am hoping that’s a good sign and means something.

I am still feeling very down and upset. It’s Thanksgiving weekend in Canada and while I had a wonderful weekend with family I also struggled to think about what I am thankful for. Last Thanksgiving I was sure I’d have a baby or be pregnant by now. I no longer feel the same way about next Thanksgiving.

I just started listening to The Art of Waiting on Audible. I have been meditating every morning and I am trying to focus on other things besides infertility. It’s tough though. It’s like this big black shadow or pit in your stomach that is always, always there.

Devastated

After waiting for over a month for my appointment with a new doctor – a doctor who is one of the best in the country when it came to IVF; a doctor who I knew helped my friend get pregnant even though she had low ovarian reserve – I ended the call feeling completely devastated because as soon as she heard how high my FSH is she wrote me off. She said no amount of drugs can make my body make an egg and when I told her about success stories I’d read about / heard about online she basically said they were hard to believe. She said if I get a cycle next month I could fly down to Vancouver and they would do an ultrasound and see if I have any follicles and then could go from there but that was basically the only next steps I was given from her perspective. She did say she’s going to a big conference soon and is going to talk to some other doctors in her field and see what they say, but ya, I was really hoping for some encouragement, ideas, plans for going forward and I got none of that from her at all.

I ended the call feeling so so devastated and upset. I just feel like giving up on this whole fertility thing. I spent all of September not thinking about it and focusing on living my life and it was so wonderful. Don’t get me wrong, every pregnancy announcement on Facebook – and I think there were 2 or 3 of them – felt like a knife stab to the gut, but with the exception of that it was a really great month not stressing about my stupid bodies inability to have a baby. This call today has kind of pushed me to the edge and I just really feel like giving up on all of this and focusing on other parts of my life that bring me joy for right now. This whole thing feels way too upsetting and frustrating and painful to continue dealing with.