Question re: FSH levels

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-30-2003
Question re: FSH levels
6
Fri, 04-09-2004 - 11:23am
Well, I've started to check into IVF clinics...yesterday I had my FSH level tested and it came back higher than expected (11.5). The doctor was very nice and said they would still be willing to work with us...but that our chances are smaller given this number. I knew anything over 10 wouldn't be good...

Any experience for anyone in this area? Is 11.5 just too high to consider the cost of IVF? (Most of it is not covered by insurance for us...) Thanks...

Margie

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-05-2004
Sat, 04-10-2004 - 12:07am
Hi

I also have high FSH levels, I get them drawn every month on cd3. They were 10.2 and 10.7 the past two months. In Jan it was 14.4 which changed my odds according to the success ranges. When DH and I had the initial consult with my RE, he gave us success rates based on age and on FSH levels. He also said that your odds are only as good as your highest FSH. Although, I've read that there is some thought that lowering your FSH will increase your chances in that particular month.

My RE, who is wonderful, is part of a hospital based program. I feel like we work together on my treatment plans. The nurse there told me that if a patient requests it, the RE's are willing to try IVF as long as you're not over 45. I've read that some clinics don't like to work with High FSH patients because it may lower their success statistics. That's why it's important to find an RE willing to work with High FSH levels. It sounds like your Dr is willing to do IVF regardless of your level. So that's good. My thought is that odds and statistics aren't conclusive, there are cases where women with very high FSH levels have gotten pregnant and delivered healthy babies.

After rereading your post, I see I may have gone off on a tangent, sorry.. I can't offer any advice about IVF as my DH and I have decided to keep trying injectibles for the time being. My insurance doesn't cover IVF, it only covers infertility treatments that 'correct' the cause. So my lap was covered, but my IUI's and meds are not because they are a one time attempt.

Good luck on your decision, do what you feel you want to do. Don't let anyone talk you in or out of IVF.

JnAnB

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-30-2003
Sat, 04-10-2004 - 9:12am
JnAnB: Thanks...this particular clinic is connected to a hospital and I agree with your comments about the pluses of that...we are also looking at 2 other clinics, but I know this one is our top choice and since they're willing to work with us, I'll be very surprised if we go somewhere else.

You mention your FSH level going down. Did that just happen naturally or are there things I can do to try & lower my level? I always assumed FSH was kind of out of your control...maybe not?

Anyway, thanks again for your post. I really think we will proceed with the IVF...after 2 more tries with the injectibles & IUI. So far, the toughest part of our fertility journey has been the emotional part of our lack of success. With the IVF in addition to the emotions, the financial impact is really astounding. They are estimating $20,000...most of which is not covered by insurance. Wonderful if you have a baby...but gulp, if you don't.

Take care.

Margie

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-27-2003
Sat, 04-10-2004 - 3:55pm
Dear Margie,

I just read an incredible book (I saw it mentioned on this board some time back), called Inconceivable by Julia Indochiva. She, at the age of 42, had FSH levels over 30 and was told she had no chance, even with IVF. She "self-treated" with a vegetarian diet (including wheatgrass juice), yoga, visualization, and other therapies and her FSH levels started coming down. After a year and a half, she found an RE that was willing to work with her...then conceived on her own.

I realize the remedies mentioned in this case will not apply to everyone. But, I found it very inspiring that a woman who keeps trying (and some of those therapies really took perseverance) may have better chances than are given her by standard medical personnel. I highly recommend the book, if you are interested.

All the best to you and I hope whatever road you decide to take ends in a BFP and a healthy pregnancy!

Lisa

42, dh 45

TTC since 7/03

Follistim cycle #3

Cycle day 25

Expect to test on 4/14 or 4/15

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-26-2003
Sat, 04-10-2004 - 5:26pm
Hi Margie,

11.5 is on the high end but most clinics will take you up to a 12 so that means there is a chance. There are also some ladies who have had unusually high FSH do to a high fasting insulin level. This lessens the quality of the eggs therefore gives you the higher # BUT there are meds such as Metformin that help that and improve the quality of the eggs! So FSH in itself is not the only thing they should look at when testing for fertility. You should request to have some blood work done. You must fast for 12 hours and one of the things they should test is that fasting insulin level. (they should also test your thyroid, not just the basic but a full workup) In range is for fasting insulin levels are up to 20 however, to have the best quality eggs your level should be at 10 or a little under. If this is this case you should be put on these meds. They are really to control diabetes but you can have a low dose and it will help you even if you are not diabetic. It is also good because it will help you to avoid getting gestational diabetes when you get PG which would be common if your #'s are on the high end and are also common with us older gals in general.

I hope this helps!!!!

**********Baby Dust coming out to you!!!!********

Lisa
Lilypie Baby Days
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-30-2003
Sun, 04-11-2004 - 12:05pm
To both Lisa's: Thanks for your posts. I went ahead and bought the book mentioned...should get it within the next week. I'm not a vegetarian...but meat isn't a big thing for me...so, I'd be willing to give it a try.

I will also ask my doctor about the insulin testing. Can that be done at any time during your cycle or does it need to be done at a specific time?

Thanks again....

Margie

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-26-2003
Mon, 04-12-2004 - 5:39pm
Hi Margie,

The insulin test can be done at any time of the month. You just can't eat or drink anything for 12 hours prior to blood test.

Let me know how it goes!

((HUGS))

Lisa
Lilypie Baby Days