IVF Drugs and High FSH

by Michelle
(Minneapolis, MN)

Hi Amelia,
I am on IVF drugs and have been taking Synarel for 2 weeks, but it did not work. My IVF cycle was then stopped and will not start until my next period. The doctors say that I have high FSH. The treatment they have recommended is IVF with ICSI. How can I improve my chances with my next round of IVF.

Many thanks in advance for your time.

Michelle

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Questions about Synarel
by: Amelia Hirota

Hi Michelle,
Why was Synarel prescribed? It's generally used for endometriosis, so I'm wondering if you have endo? Do you know why Synarel was used in your case?

You might be interested in this information on Synarel from Drugs.com: "Although Synarel usually stops ovulation and menstruation, there is still a possibility of becoming pregnant while taking the medication. Since Synarel could harm a fetus, be sure to use a nonhormonal, barrier form of birth control such as condoms and diaphragms. If you should become pregnant, stop the drug and tell your doctor immediately."

What is your age, FSH, and your partner's age and his sperm numbers? There must be some male factor, if your doctors are recommending ICSI. If your IVF cycle was canceled, I'm assuming that you weren't responding to the drugs and weren't producing a lot of follicles. Is this true?

How long are your natural menstrual cycles? 30 days? How many days do you bleed? What is the color or flow of your period like? Do you have any cramps or clots? Do you have any EWCM (egg white cervical mucus) midcycle? What ART (assisted reproductive technology) procedures have you undergone so far? Clomid, IUI, gonadotropins, IVF, etc?

Please respond in the comments area and I'll be happy to give you some advice.

Best regards,
Amelia Hirota
Licensed and Board Certified Acupuncturist and Herbalist

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IVF Drugs
by: Michelle

Hi Amelia,

Many thanks for your reply. I had read the information about Synarel before. The doctors me gave an option of either nasal spray or injections. The spray was decided because of the amount of injections which I would have to take. I have never been told that I suffer from endometriosis!

I am 39 years old and my partner is 33, his sperm count was 9 million? They say that there are slight abnormalities with the sperm and believe that ICSI would give us the best chance of conception.

I went for a scan on the 15th day of taking Synarel and was told that I should stop this medication and not to start with the next stage of injections. This was based on the blood test which was taken the same day to check if down regulation had occurred.

I was informed that a cyst (follicle) had formed and that I should wait until my next cycle before recommencing with Burselin injections. I had a further scan 2 weeks later and it looked as if the follicle had not released the egg. Why would that happen and what are the consequences of this?

My natural menstrual cycles are 28 days and last for between 4 and 5 days. The blood flow starts off dark and very scanty, then goes bright red, with no clotting, nor cramps. In fact, it is very uneventful. I do get EWCM during the cycle. I have recently started taking my temperature to see at what point EWCM and my temperature surge occur.

At present, I am waiting to start the IVF course. I'm justing waiting for the okay from the doctors to recommence with the Burselin to induce down regulation and then for the FSH to get the little girls moving!! I am hopeful that this will be sometime in August. I have begun exercising more and have been using acupuncture for 5 weeks.

Do you have any suggestions that may be of assistance at this time to help with the process?

Many thanks,
Michelle

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IVF Drugs
by: Amelia Hirota

Hi Michelle,
I'm am concerned about the effect the IVF drugs are having on your body. It's not a good sign that your ovaries are making cysts. That is a side effect of the IVF drugs.

I'm not an expert on IVF drugs nor on IVF protocols, so I won't second guess what your reproductive endocrinologist is doing. However, it appears that your body is not responding well to the drugs.

From a Chinese medicine standpoint, when the body isn't responding well to IVF drugs, it may be because the body is fighting being "taken over." An IVF cycle involves flatlining the hormonal response of the body and then superimposing the desired "super stimulated" hormonal response on the "silent" body.

Sometimes, I find with women who are diagnosed with unexplained infertility or a slightly high FSH (10 - 20), who have good, regular, healthy menstrual cycles that their bodies reject the IVF drugs. I've seen patients that failed to conceive with repeated IVF cycles and went on to conceive naturally on their own.

I have 2 questions. What is your Day 3 FSH and does your husband have a total of 9 million sperm or 9 million sperm per milliliter? Also, how many milliliters are there in one ejaculate?

I would recommend that you continue charting your cycles to see if you can gain some insight into what's going on with your body. Sign up for my one of my courses where you can learn more about enhancing your fertility naturally.

I hope that you and your husband are not drinking any coffee, tea, or alcohol. Also, make sure to eliminate artificial sweeteners, processed foods and hydrogenated oils. I would recommend that you continue with the acupuncture and I encourage your husband to get acupuncture treatments and take prescribed Chinese herbs.

Best of luck to you!
Amelia Hirota, Licensed and Board Certified Acupuncturist and Herbalist




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