Just Starting - What tests should I get?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-22-2004
Just Starting - What tests should I get?
4
Mon, 11-22-2004 - 11:58am

Hi there! This is probably most ridiculous of me, but I'm interested in seeing if the possibility of getting pg exists. From what I'm reading, the chances of pulling this off at my age (44) is a million to one given Downs, propensity to miscarry, etc. The outlook is actually beyond quite grim! But I'm "curious". We have not yet "tried", just assuming "IF" we persued this, I would have to immediately jump into IUI or IVF. But I'm curious as to where I stand medically so I have a tentative appointment this afternoon for a basic blood test to determine FSH, etc.

2 Questions:

1. I still have monthly regular periods that are like clockwork. No history of female problems. My initial thinking was that if I'm still menstruating, that means I must be ovulating. Now I'm reading that one can still have monthly periods but not ovulate? This doesn't really make sense to me. I don't get it. What's up with that? Is this true?

2. What basic starting tests should I request? I understand FSH is important. What else should I make sure they test for? I'm probably going to get over to the docs later today for this so any quick replies would be appreciated. I don't want to miss an important test.

Thanks!

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-22-2004
Fri, 11-26-2004 - 8:13pm

I hope that your FSH test came back good. Was it day 2 or 3 of your cycle when the test was done? That is ideal.

A test to see that you are still ovulating, is the day 21 progesterone test, or 7 dpo (days past ovulation). Anything over 3 means that you are ovulating. Plus, you would want a result I believe 10-15. Don't eat anything, or drink much before the test, so try to have it first thing in the AM.

Once you have passed the progesterone hurdle, FSH, and estrodial (usually tested with FSH on day 2 or 3), then you might want to get an xray of your uterus and fallopian tubes. I cannot remember what the name of the test is. It checks for blockage.

If you have not done so already, and if you don't get pg in 3 months, I would go see an RE, who would know more about these tests.

Good luck

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-28-2003
Fri, 12-03-2004 - 11:13am

The previous post had some great suggestions.

Cathie

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-22-2004
Mon, 12-06-2004 - 2:30am

Well - I typed this big long post and it didn't go through. :(

I had the FSH & Estradiol tests done while I was on vacation. Talked my regular doc into ordering them to be done at the nearby hospital. Sadly my FSH was 19.2 with E2 at 52.
Needless to say I was bummed out. I tried not to look at the results but couldn't help myself. It was done on CD3. The lab range for FSH is 3-14.4. E2 0-84.

I think my e2 is ok, but the fsh looks quite grim. The fsh range for post menopausal is 21.7-153.0 with 90.5 as the median. Hence if I'm 19.2, I'm not too far away from the 21.7 menopause?

Nevertheless - I'm bummed. I have an RE appointment for Wednesday. I know he'll want to retest everything anyway? So I'm questioning telling him the result or not. I'm sure if I do - He'll tell me to turn around & go home.

Here's the thing... After about 8 years of 100% abstinance, I started smoking about 2-3 years ago. Alot. Stupid eh? I know this has affected me internally and I am aware the effects smoking has on earlier menopause, etc. I also read it can raise FSH. My (probably pathetic) thinking is to quit tomorrow, cut the coffee, diet pepsi, etc. and get healthy (quickly). Wondering if that alone my lower my fsh. The other thing - due to my reading of the last 2 weeks, I bought Vitex and L-Arginine. Started taking that about 1.5 weeks ago. This particular AF that I was tested on was my first ever oddball AF. It was weak/light. Historically, they have been regular and pristine. I question if the vitex and/or L-Arginine messed me up a bit or it is just a horrible coincidence that at the VERY moment I decide to get serious about all this - at the very same time - my body started to shut down this month. :( What are the chances!

Anyway, I'm bummed about the FSH. It's one thing to be 44. Another to be 44 with high fsh I guess. Not sure what to do or think. Been 1/2-tempted to cancel the RE appt. Like maybe I'm beating a dead horse?

What does my estadiol result mean? Is there anything "good" about that for IUI, IVF, etc? Or does it not matter in the grand scheme of things? I know - many issues/questions. Sorry! But I'm all ears & I thank you. OH - I can take blazing honesty. :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2004
Wed, 12-22-2004 - 10:57am

Hi there,

First of all welcome to this board! Even though it does move a little slowly, the women on this board are wonderful, supportive and gracious in sharing valuable information you might not find elsewhere.

You need to run out and get a copy of a very inspirational book by Julia Indichovna called "Inconceivable". It is written by a woman who was 43 and had an FSH reading higher than yours I believe. She turned her life around, started taking herbs, doing yoga, drank wheat grass juice and more and lowered her FSH considerably. She got pregnant at 44 and had a healthy baby girl.

I have been pregant 3 times in my 40's, unfortunately I miscarried all of them so I am currently looking for a "sticky" one.(I had a particular health challenge this year --- recovering from chronic fatigue syndrome, so I took a break from working on conceiving until I felt strong and healthy again).

I think you need to surround yourself with positive stories and there are many of them. Just look in the archives of the Pregnant over 40 board and you will find women over 44 having had healthy pregnancies. Anyone who tells you defintively it is not possible is just buying into the negativity. There is a lot you can do to increase your chances and if you are really serious about it get as much information as you can about it and get yourself as healthy as possible. Also I think getting positive and staying positive and happy is a big step in the right direction.

Another thing that I read was that Iman, the fashion model who is married to David Bowie had been trying to get pregnant with no success, then she heard something from a tradition in her country (she comes from Somalia, East Africa) that just spending time holding a baby would increase your fertility. Sure enough she did just that and at 44 she got pregnant and had a healthy baby. It was her first!

Another excellent book to pick up is "The Infertility Cure" by Randine Lewis who is a very well known acupuncturist who specializes in fertility issues (her practice is located in Texas but she does consult with people remotely). She seems to have a very high rate of success with herbs and acupuncture. And there are studies that show that acupuncture combined with IVF greatly increases healthy pregnancies.

Anyway, I wish you all the best in your journey.

Baby dust your way!!!!!

Jadu