Trying to Conceive with DOR

by Lori
(New Bedford, MA)

Dear Amelia,
I am overwhelmed. I am 40 years old and have been informed by a Reproductive Endocrinologist at Boston IVF that my chances of conceiving on my own are <5% because of diminished ovarian reserve.

My Day 3 FSH was 18.4. Because of my elevated FSH, I have been informed based that I am not a candidate for either an IUI or IVF.

The RE recommended egg donation as my best alternative for pregnancy. You were recommended by a friend.

I am a nurse and have always believed in Western medicine, however I am sad to think that egg donation is my only or best alternative. I can barely function beyond my sadness right now.

I just read Inconceivable and have been perusing your website. While both give me some hope---in my mind, I cannot get my arms around where to even begin to try to help myself in some alternative way.

I would love your feedback.

Sincerely,
Lori

Comments for Trying to Conceive with DOR

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Rating
starstarstarstarstar
FSH is Always Fluctuating
by: Amelia Hirota

Dear Lori,
I'm sad to hear that Boston IVF is putting so much emphasis on FSH levels. I'm sure that they are swayed by the fact that you're 40 and your FSH is 18.4. However, I would expect more analysis of your overall health before offering you a donor cycle of IVF as your only alternative to getting pregnant.

Clearly, it seems to me that they are more concerned about their success rates, than with figuring out why you're having difficulty conceiving. Sorry, but that is the nature of the IVF business these days and YES, IVF is big business.

Many of my patients that are having difficulty conceiving have presented with FSH levels in the mid teens and their ages are usually over 35 years old. I'm not scared of FSH levels under 20 and have seen a number of my patients get pregnant with FSH levels between 10 and 20. Like other hormones in the body, FSH is always fluctuating. Your FSH of 18.4 is not a deal breaker, nor is your age of 40.

Many cutting edge REs are looking to other tests like the Anti-Mullerian Hormone test to measure ovarian reserve. They are doing so, because they don't believe that elevated FSH levels always indicate low ovarian reserve. I'm more interested in your menstrual cycle characteristics, your other hormone levels, the health of your thyroid, any functional tests you've had, your dietary habits, sleep schedule and your partner's sperm quality.

I also have to make a point about sperm quality. Ninety percent of my patients tell me at their initial appointment that their partner's sperm is fine. That's what their doctors told them. Actually, 80% of the men are actually testing below adequate levels. You didn't mention if you had a partner, but if so, I encourage you to look closely at the semen analysis.

It's extremely important for both men and women to avoid all alcohol and caffeine products when trying to conceive. I find that just eliminating coffee and alcohol does wonders for a woman's chart, her cervical mucus and the quality of the sperm.

A number of my patients with elevated FSH levels were given the same "You're Out of Eggs" sales pitch and many tried IVF without success. However, after 2 - 6 months on my holistic fertility program, most couples have gotten pregnant naturally. While I do believe that acupuncture is very helpful in balancing hormones and reducing the effects of stress, I feel strongly that diet is the fundamental foundation to optimum fertility.

I hope that this is helpful to you. I would not accept the offer of donor IVF without taking charge of your fertility first. If you'd like to set up a phone consultation to go over your situation in depth, you can contact me via my contact page. In any case, I wish you strength in your journey. Good luck!

Sending Baby Dust Your Way,
Amelia Hirota

Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Get a 2nd Opinion
by: Anonymous

Lori-My FSH was 22 in December when checked at another clinic in MA. My RE there didn't want to cycle me any more. She thought we'd just be going through the motions. I started looking for a new RE. I found Dr. O at Boston IVF (he is one of the co-founders) and had a consult with him in late January. I do acupuncture weekly, take an herbal supplement from my acupuncturist and fish oil. Dr. O is willing to continue IVF with me. I recommend acupuncture and a consult with a Dr that is more FSH friendly...they do exist! Good luck!

Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Lori is Pregnant!
by: Amelia Hirota

I just wanted to let you all know that Lori became pregnant naturally after implementing the diet and lifestyle advice that I recommended. If any of you are told that your chances are nil because your eggs are old, please check our my preconception programs.

Often doctors tell women that their chances are poor based only on either age or FSH levels. I've seen numerous women in their late 30's and early 40's get pregnant with FSH levels as high as 20. Fertility is much more complex than just age and FSH levels. Good luck to all of you and don't give up hope!

Rating
starstarstarstarstar
More info
by: Anonymous

Can you tell me where to find your preconception programs? I am in the similar situation to Lori and want to do everything I can to conceive naturally. Thanks!

Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Preconception Program
by: Amelia Hirota

The preconception program that Lori used to get pregnant naturally involved Chinese dietary therapy and lifestyle advice. She had already read through the many articles on my site when she signed up for my Ask Amelia a Question!.

After she posted her question, we did a session, where we worked out a diet and lifestyle plan that was tailored to her needs. A few months after our phone consultation, she came in to the clinic for a full work up.

She was looking to add acupuncture and Chinese herbs to the program. Well, we got lucky and she ended up telling me at her next appointment that she was pregnant. Clearly, the diet and lifestyle changes are what worked in her case. I'd love to work with you if you are interested in putting together a holistic preconception program.

Sending Baby Dust Your Way,
Amelia Hirota

Rating
starstarstarstarstar
37 and FSH of 20
by: Anonymous

This is my daughter's second try at pregnancy. She was told she could not get pregnant After only one month of acupuncture, herbs and supplements she got pregnant and delivered a beautiful baby boy.

She used no contraception for one year and did not conceive, so she had her FSH checked, which was 20. She started acupuncture, herbs and supplements and got pregnant the first month.

She was told it usually takes 2-3 months acupuncture, herbs and supplements.
NEVER LET A DOCTOR TELL YOU NEVER!!!!

Rating
starstarstarstarstar
FSH and Poor Ovarian Reserve
by: Anonymous

I am always happy to hear positive outcomes regarding fertility. My battle started a year ago when I was diagnosed with poor ovarian reserve and high fsh. THe doctor basically said my chances of concieving were less than 10%, I am 43 years old and have never been pregnant and finally I married the man of my dreams and want a child and have been told I can't have one. To say the least, three clinics have advised me to consider donor eggs and no one has even tried any protocol, other than prescibing estrogen and progesterone. Any help would be greatly appreciated because I feel that most fertility clinics don't want to put the effort in when a female is over the age of 35.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Trying to Conceive FAQ.