New@41, high FSH - Donor Egg mentioned

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-25-2005
New@41, high FSH - Donor Egg mentioned
Mon, 04-25-2005 - 9:20am

Good morning, Ladies.

More story is not unlike so many of yours. I am 41 living in Virginia, TTC 2yrs, with high FSH history and irregular menses that indicates perimenopause. My treatment history is unsuccessful IUIs - chem preg and negative -plus a natural chem preg. Two IVF cycles were cancelled due to low response. These treatments were managed with our previous RE.

Over the last 8 months, I've been doing acupunture and chinese herbs during our break from med treatments. I feel much better physically with peri symptoms except irregular menses. I really thought this may be helpful

Our new RE reviewed my records and states that the pratice will not do treatment with IVF or IUI cycle with my own eggs. With my history, he says, that pregnancy is less than 1%, and that donor egg would be the best solution or adoption. I've never had a clomid challenge test, although our insurance may require a day 3 fsh test to meet a requirement that donor egg is the best solution.

I am glad to find a place to talk with women in my age group about infertility. Its difficult enough and support is key to keep moving forward in a positive direction.
I appreciate anyone's insights to what I've mentioned and sharing your experiences.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-30-2005
Mon, 04-25-2005 - 11:40am


My story is not so different from yours. I am 42 years old with a high FSH. I had a cancelled IVF cycle last year due to low response. They told me I could try again but that they felt the response would be the same and even if they did retrieve some eggs and were able to fertilize them that I only had about a 5% chance of pregnancy but with donor eggs, a 60-70% chance of pregnancy.

I felt that that would delay me even longer in trying to concieve if I kept trying with my own eggs and I would probably end up waiting even longer to have another child.

I chose to use donor eggs and I was very lucky as I had a family member who was the donor so I know the family history. We were able to fertize 14 eggs, 7 are on ice, 2 were transferred and the 5 that were left did not make it to blastocyst stage for freezing.

Anyway, long story short I am 5 weeks pregnant.

I hope some of this information helps you in your decisions.

Good luck and best wishes to you.


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-25-2005
Mon, 04-25-2005 - 2:35pm

Thanks, Robin.

It does help to hear your story. That is wonderful that you had someone in your family donate. I hope the next 7 to 8 months are smooth for you.

We would be using an anonymous donor and have thought we wouldn't share that we exercised the donor egg option. One of the struggles I have is how to handle the future of people saying the baby resembles me or my side of the family when we will know the baby can't. Of course, you try to select a donor that has similar hair and eye color. As I write this it seems so petty.

Did you have any of these thoughts when you first started out?


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-30-2005
Mon, 04-25-2005 - 3:30pm


Your thoughts are not petty and we thought about this a great deal and even spoke with a counselor about how we would react because we did not want to tell anyone about using donor eggs. The only people that knows about the donor eggs that actually knows us is the egg donor and my daughter. We at this point in time, have no intention of telling anyone about the donor eggs. You girls on these boards know about this but you don't actually know me.

As far as dealing with someone asking or saying that the baby looks like you, that might just be the truth as I know a lot of people that are adopted and somehow do resemble their adoptive parents.

Anyway, I look at it this way. This is my baby growing in my uterus and it will be me loving, nurturing, feeding and raising this baby so that is all that matters to me but this is a big decision and I know that as I put this off for 7 months before I called the doctor back about moving forward with donor eggs.

If there is something else you need to talk about, let me know. By the way the IVF message board might be more helpful to you and there is a lot of people over 40 trying to do IVF on those boards.



iVillage Member
Registered: 10-14-2003
Mon, 04-25-2005 - 5:32pm

I just read a post on another board. She is 41, 13 weeks pregnant and her FSH was 107!!

She said she had FSH numbers through the roof beginning at age 38.

She said "It has been so much fun to visit my OB/GYN who told me I would never be able to concieve. He continues to be baffled and amazed"

~*~ Catherine (50y) & Rob (45y)
Our 1st precious baby together - m/c @ 8wks - Feb 14, 2004 & many early chemicals.
My 3 children : 17y, 27y, 30y. Plus 5 + previous babies lost.
My FSH is 8!
"Every truly great accomplishment is at first impossible."

Edited 4/25/2005 5:38 pm ET ET by witch_power

~*~ Catherine, mom to three grown men - Jason, Michael & Joshua and Granma to Christopher & Leia.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-10-2004
Mon, 04-25-2005 - 7:39pm

Hello Sherry,

I read your post and I can identify with it. I too, am 41 (will be 42 in Oct) I have been trying to conceive a little over 2 yrs. 2 years ago in April I was successful, however miscarried due to a blighted (sp?) ovum. I tried for a few months again then went to a RE last April. I haven't gotten to IVF, unlike you my FSH was good, all tests were good. I did the clomid challenge, then did a cycle on my own with clomid, then clomid w/IUI, then injectibles w/IUI. The first round with injectibles, I felt I Ovulated before I was supposed to and the RE assured me I hadn't so I tried again and out of an experiment did an OPT on the second round, not sure whether the meds would affect it and it came out positive the one day I used it. Told the doctor and sure enough I had Ovulated before I was supposed to. I had to abort the IUI (all which was very stressfull since I was paying out of pocket) At that point the doctor said I had poor Ovarian reserve and he had one more option for me but I should consider IVF w/ a donor egg instead. (That was December and I have not been back to him. I instead have been trying acupuncture and herbs, like you. My cycle is regular but shorter than it used to be (approx 24 days), with spotting starting up to a week before my menses.

A few months ago I posted a question on this site about what the ladies thought about donor eggs and would they do it if given the opportunity. I was (and can say still am) uncomfortable with it. However in the past few weeks, I have been thinking about it more and more. I have called another RE in my area and am considering going there. I was so glad to see your post and then Robin's. I know no one that has gone the route of donor egg. I too have many of the concerns that you have. I wondered not so much if people would say that it looked like my family and I would know it wasn't but more that someone would say it looks nothing like me. Like it wasn't my child. I guess there is a bit of ego involved. I find it conforting to see other women, going through the same thoughts as me.

If you would like to talk more that would be great, however I have found comfort a this moment knowing that someone else is in the same situation and that I am not alone in these feelings and thoughts.


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-25-2005
Tue, 04-26-2005 - 8:37am

Hi Lisa,

I so appreciate your story and am glad that you know there are now two people who can offer support. The clinic I went to offers a counselor to talk with and a support group for donor egg. Although I've yet to meet the counselor, she just had a baby by way of donor egg, so I am very interested to hear her story and talk through some things.

When you mentioned about comments about the baby not resembling you at all, I thought about a discussion my husband and I had just the other day about his biological sister. She looks nothing like their biological parents, while my husband has a striking resemblance to their mother. So much so, people often comment about it upon meeting them. Of course, this is something I always knew, but just never sat back and took a long hard look at. It makes me think about some serious questions I had and what is important.

A 45yr old friend, who is not TTC, and I were talking about our lives now and how we both remarried later in life. She said, they made a conscience decision several years ago that with her eggs being 45 yrs old it wouldn't be good for the baby's health to try to conceive. With the high risks of everything that could go wrong, they couldn't put the child through a life of ill health and then dealing with her own ailing parents since she is a only child states away from them. It made me really rethink my past IVF experiences, my two chem pregnancy losses and low response to drugs. I personally haven't known a woman at my age that has given birth to a healthy infant. With what my friend said, it made me refocus about the long-term health of my baby. Its just something that I needed to revisit given the new REs diagnosis or reaffirmation of the previous REs statements even though she helped us through the process of trying with my eggs.

Robin had such a good point about nurturing the unborn child in the womb and giving life to the child. My husband had said something similar just days before, but I think its different for me to hear it from her. Two years ago when our first RE mentioned donor egg we quickly said "no thanks." Now, I am surprising myself about how open I am to doing it, more so than I ever thought I would be. I still have questions to ask, but am becoming more comfortable with the idea.

It all makes me think about the big picture of having a family. How much does it really matter whether my child resembles me. Resemblance is like carrying on family heritage and connecting somehow with the family, but I've realized in writing here that for me, it may be less important than I thought. Last year, my mother and father both died at 68 years young from cancer and stroke related problems, respectively. I miss my Mom so very much. She was a lovely, beautiful woman and we were very close. I do not look like her, except for our slender feet and hands, but we did share many similar personality traits and mannerisms. I see now that these things, along with so many others, are the most important, in the end in my life.

I know I've talked on about so many things and I thank you for listening. It helped me to do so and cleared up a few things for myself in the process. Thanks so much for writing and I would be more than glad to talk with you and others about donor egg. It helps to talk things out.

We are still trying to sort through some insurance questions so for now we are in our the 'think tank'.

Hugs to you, Sherry

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-25-2005
Wed, 04-27-2005 - 7:47am

Wow! I wonder what treatment program she was on, if any. This is great news at 50 years old and at any age.