Fuck You FSH

22 Jan

As if a level 14 FSH wasn’t bad enough! My recent day 3 FSH fertility testing of ovarian reserve came back 20.5. It is true that when I do something I usually take it to the extreme, so well done!

When I got the result, yes I wept. But I am over it now. There is simply no point in dwelling on it or getting trapped in a state of defeat.

So what’s all this FSH stuff about:

FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) is synthesised and secreted by gonadotrophs of the anterior pituitary gland. It regulates the reproductive processes of the body and is the main hormone involved in producing mature eggs in the ovaries. FSH is released to get a follicle going at the beginning of every menstrual cycle.

FSH is the same hormone that is contained in the injectable gonadotropins which are used to produce multiple eggs for infertility treatment.

When a woman is running out of eggs the brain senses that there is low estrogen. This signals the pituitary to make more FSH in an attempt to stimulate the ovaries to produce a good follicle and estrogen hormone. The woman’s body never gives up trying to produce follicles and will continue to create FSH its whole life (this says something about the biological clock that clangs at a certain point in a woman’s life perhaps).Women in menopause have high FSH levels above 40. As women move toward menopause their baseline FSH levels will steadily increase.

Yep, this is meant to be FSH.

By measuring FSH on day 3 of the cycle an indication is gained as to how hard the body in working to get a follicle growing. Basically, the higher the FSH the lesser the quantity and quality of the eggs.

Some doctors also believe that as levels go above 9, a reduction in response to ovarian stimulating drugs is also seen.

With so much focus on my aging body (amount of and quality of eggs), I can’t help but recognize how young I feel in every other way. I’m fit, healthy and energetic. And truly, I could give 20 something girls a run for their money in many areas.

I’m also fun. Some might see it as immature which, is totally premeditated and on purpose. I mean who really wants to grow into a serious and boring middle age woman? Well, some women may, but I don’t.

Seriously, in many ways I have really just begun living my life. I’m now over most of the trappings and baggage from my childhood.

So fuck you FSH. You are just not pulling your weight and following suit! You are the loose screw in an otherwise well performing engine – okay, that is dramatic! My FSH isn’t going to lead to it all coming undone but it is fucking with the grand plan.

Many doctors don’t even bother to take FSH levels when starting IVF. My doctor is of this school of thought. The only reason that I had the test was that the nurse from the fertility clinic where I did my orientation advised me to do so and then advised me not to proceed if my FSH was over 13. She said it would be in my best interest to wait for the next cycle and see if my levels were lower then.

When I research this for myself I find no proven benefit in waiting for a menstrual cycle with a lower FSH level and then stimulating straight away for IVF. As in any other profession, all doctors are different and I just have to accept that.

When choosing a doctor many factors come into play. I chose my doctor for several very good reasons and I trust him. So I wait for him to return from holidays on 31st January and we will make the decision together.

Let’s face it, I only need one good egg. Well, I would like two really because I want to put two back (no, I am not scared of the prospect of twins).

Conclusion:

Don’t get caught up on the FSH trip like I have. There are many factors involved in reproduction. FSH is just one of them.

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