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A little help please!

April 26 2016 at 11:23 AM
HopefulDad  (Login HopefulDad)

A little background. My wife and I have been trying to get pregnant for a little under a year now, with no luck. We didn't think we could get pregnant at all due to my wife having some chronic back pain issues, etc. You can imagine how pleased we were when our bouncing baby boy arrived 19 months ago!!! We caught baby fever!!! We are trying for another but we are having some difficulties.

I'm 39. I had a test done, and my boys swim.

She's 38. She had an FSH of 12.4 on day two. Normal thyroid.

Her OB said it would be a very tough road, and seemed to come across very pessimistic. We scheduled an appointment with a RE later this week. Looking for a bit of background on what to expect. What is considered HIGH FSH for a 38yr old? What treatment options would we have? What are our chances?

Any feedback is appreciated.


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Re: A little help please!

April 26 2016, 8:04 PM 

Mini IVF maybe.

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(Login green.elephant)


April 26 2016, 9:41 PM 

It's been a few years for me, but I think my FSH was around there too.... My RE tested my AMH which he said is a good indicator of your egg supply. Unfortunately, my AMH was in the gutter - but the simple test saved me going through a lot of unlikely to succeed fertility procedures and we skipped ahead to an egg donor (again, just due to my low AMH - not my slightly elevated FSH). So, in your shoes I'd ask your RE to test AMH. Good luck!

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i think you have hope

April 27 2016, 8:03 AM 

hi HopefulDad,
I think you have good chances due to proven fertility. That does indicate a positive sign in my opinion. I would suggest you go to a high fsh friendly RE. I do not think your wife's fsh is incredibly high. Mine has never been that low, even at a much younger age and ***MENTS I found success -but that did take me several years of monitored cycles trying everything but the kitchen sink** END MENTS. It is higher than "normal", sure, but not impossible to work with. I definitely wouldn't call it shocking if you guys conceived again, even soon (so keep trying in the meantime)! The length of time it took for you to have your baby boy could be an indication that this is not a new issue. You probably hadn't had your wife's Fsh tested previously. I really would not panic yet. It's imperative you get an antral follicle count done. That will be very indicative of what you are up against. Also what were the other levels E2, LH, AMH if tested? Again it might take several cycles and lots of determination but please do check back after your appointment if you have questions.
Off the bat I probably wouldn't go with a high stimulation protocol if IVF is suggested. And so you know some centers have a cut off of FSH of 15 in the cycle you would have IVF done. Meaning over 15 they would make you wait for another cycle to begin. FSH does fluctuate so that may or may not affect your situation.
The "Over 40 board" has lots of great info as well and is much more active than this board.
Bottom line is I think it's way to early to think about donor eggs but definitely a good option to know about.

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LC ment in original post

April 27 2016, 9:54 AM 


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success mentioned

April 27 2016, 10:42 AM 

Well you definitely have hope. I think anything above 10 is considered high for any age, but 12 is definitely not bad. At 32, my FSH was 18 plus. At 34, my FSH tested 32. I ended up getting pregnant at 32 and then at 36 (1 mth shy of 37) with these numbers. A lot of docs discourage you with high FSH, even just mildly high like your wife's, but it is certainly possible.

I would see a high FSH friendly RE. If you proceed with IVF, you need a protocol for poor responders (you can come back to this board when you get too that point and ask for input). I would probably ask for high FSH friendly REs in your area. This board may be able to give you some suggestions.

I ended up going to CCRM which I believe is the best in the nation. For someone like your wife with mildly elevated FSH, they would probably be excellent for her. It requires travel, but in my opinion, it is well worth it. They are also pricey but do phone consults. I achieved success at CCRM when I was 32. I then tried them again, but failed, went to Cornell (they have great protocols for poor responders) and failed, and went to HFI in Houston and used a Cornell protocol that was tweaked by my doc and had success on a cancelled IVF cycle.

Your wife needs to also have an AMH test and an antral follicle count done which will tell you more about her numbers. However, given what you know so far it seems like you have a good chance if nothing else comes up. It will just take patience and persistence.

Also, if you don't have any issues where IVF is completely necessary, I think it may be worth doing a low dose medicated IUI cycle (like 75 menopur once a day) with a trigger shot. This is what ultimately worked for me when my FSH was 32 plus. I was also eating low dairy and low gluten. Don't know if it had an impact, but it is the only time in my life I did it and was able to get pregnant without IVF so it may be something to consider.

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