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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi girls,

I've just joined FF as we enter into the unchartered territory of the fertility clinic after over two years of unsuccessfully ttc  :(

Our stats are:
Me 33 (34 in a couple of months)
DH 38 (39 next month)
TTC #1 since Sept. 2008

Our baseline tests have revealed that:
I am OVing
I have a high FSH (16.2 (LH = 6.3)) and low iron level (27)
Testosterone = 0.7

DH has a low sperm count (volume = 5.3 / concentration = 3.8)
Progressive motility = 41
Normal forms = 2
MNSC = 0.03

In addition, I have Graves disease (thyroid - diagnosed and treated a few years ago so stable) and my last blood test showed that at levels of 4.0, I am within normal range, but this would need to ideally be at 3.0 for ttc. Not that I was ever told this until our appointment with the clinic this week...

So, there are not just problems with one of us, but with both of us.
So disheartening and a hell of a lot to get my head round.
I had guessed something was up and from recent tests, knew there might be a problem with DH's sperm, but didn't ever imagine we could be looking at a major problems with eggs too.

I know we're now in the best hands at BCRM and have already both had a whole load of further bloods, plus DH has a thorough sperm investigation coming up on 25th, so we're hoping we'll know more and it'll be better news at our next appointment in a couple of months.

In the meantime, I would love to hear from anyone in the Bristol area who is or has been in the same or a similar position to us for some advice and mutual moral support!

Good luck to you all - may 2011 be full of h&h pregnancies and babies!
 

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Hi just want to tell you , you are not alone with the the thyroid issues and iron. The pills I take daily for my thyroid condition I was  told depletes my iron I am on an iron pill ( Ferrous sulphate )3 times a day now. My iron count was at 7 when we started and my thyroid is holding strong at 3.5

Good Luck  ^hugme^  with your next set of app.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey Maryliz,

Thanks for your post :)! It's very reassuring to know I'm not alone in this! I was therefore really interested to read about the potential link between thyroid tablets and iron.

Could I ask what thyroid tablets you're on?
Also, did you just go out and get your iron pills yourself, or were you prescribed them by your doctor/consultant?
Are you also at BCRM?

Wishing all the luck in the world for your upcoming ICSI cycle!  ^hugme^

xxx
 

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I am on Levothyroxine, I was prescribed the iron pill by my consultant, I am at Landsdown till egg collection then we move to BCRM.

Just an FYI .
Levothyroxine is used for low thyroid function. Iron can decrease how much levothyroxine the body absorbs. Taking iron along with levothyroxine might decrease the effectiveness of levothyroxine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Oh, so you're under and I'm over... Still, there may still be a link. I'm going to make an appointment with our GP to discuss my thyroid levels, medication etc. and see if I can get a referral to a specialist, which I ought to have done when we first moved here rather than just presume what the doctors were telling me was right...

xxx
 

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Hi ladies,

Sorry to crash your thread!

Maryliz - I'm at the same clinic (Lansdown) so just wanted to say hi! Could I ask you a quick question re your thyroid - has Mrs R advised that your TSH should be under a certain level for ttc? I've got a follow up to see her soon and this is one of the things I need to ask her?

Hi Honor - nice to bump into you again! Afraid it was a BFN for me so planning my next treatment.

Best of luck to both of you. xx
 

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Yep she said it should be no more then 4.0 we got my Thyroid under control lots of bloods done over a years time to get it just right to move on and now I am on just .25 mircograms of Levothyroxine. She really knows her stuff when it comes to this I feel so comfortable in her hands.
 

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Maryliz - not sure if you've come across it but there's a thread on here for underactive thyroid which you may find useful http://www.fertilityfriends.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=249528.504. Have you started your treatment yet? I'll hopefully be doing another IVF cycle in the next few months.

Honor - would you mind letting me know how you get on with GP/Specialist & what advice re TSH levels etc - would be useful to know!

Take care xx
 

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Good Morning Poppy .. Yes started this down regulation on Christmas Eve, I am in the middle in the throws of stimulating for EC I go into see how many eggs I have stimulated tomorrow then on to ET I hope to be all ready for my 2 week wait monday morning. ( if my body works with me not against me).
 

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Good luck Maryliz - not long for you to go now. Will be thinking of you  ^reiki^
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi both,

Poppy: So sorry to hear of your BFN:( Good luck getting your next treatment sorted and fingers crossed for a successful cycle ^reiki^!
I've made an appointment to see my GP re. my thyroid, but it's not until next Thursday. I will though let you know what she says/suggests. I'm hoping she'll be able to refer me to the hospital to an endocrinologist who also specialises in fertility.

MaryLiz: Interesting what you said about being told your TSH shouldn't be any higher than 4.0. I *think* our consultant was also talking about my TSH level and said it shouldn't be higher than 3.0 (mine is currently 4.0) ^idiot^. I'm pretty useless with anything like this and so will be double-checking exactly what the situation is and should be with my GP and our consultant.
Also, good luck with ET and beyond:)!

xxx
 

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Hi Honor

Any info would be great thanks. Would also be interested re fertility endocrinologist as may be worth me going to see one privately - wonder if they also advise on FSH levels too? - might have to do some research on that one. The girls on the underactive thryroid thread have recommended one in London but don't know if there are any local ones to us.

I noticed that too re the TSH levels - this is the problem I'm finding and its driving me  ^idiot^. Every clinic seems to be different and they all have different levels that they require FSH, TSH, AMH to be. Ultimately we all want to give ourselves the best chance and its soo difficult to make these decisions. Think my brain is going into meltdown  ;)

Let me know if you have any luck re getting an AMH test too - might be worth explaining that you want one that gives your actual level of AMH. The one I had which just gives me negative to antibodies isn't a lot of use! Don't mind paying privately for it but might see if i can get it cheaper than that clinic in Bristol.

Got my follow up in a few weeks so lots to discuss! x
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hey Poppy,

Rather strangely, we have just received a letter in the post from the fertility clinic, a copy of letter to our GP to explain what was discussed at our appointment.

Apparently, my FSH level was 7.3 from the bloods they took on Monday, which has cheered me up and on no end :)!
Anyhow, given that my four FSH results have now been as follows: 12.3, 3.2, 16.2 and 7.3, I am now even more convinced that my thyroid may be at the root of all evil (i.e. failing to conceive).

My TSH has risen, which I am guessing means more under than over ^idiot^?
Anyhow, our consultant has recommended stopping my medication completely and having a blood test in 3 weeks' time to check TSH, FT3 and FT4.

So, we were told TSH should be no more than 3.0, Maryliz told it should be no more than 4.0 and a lot of people on here say they've heard or been told no more than 2.0...

Definitely something to discuss with my GP and the consultant.

I'll also ask my GP about the AMH when I see her next Thursday and report back on that one.

Take care,

xxx
 

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Hi Honor,

That's brilliant news - I would love an FSH like that!! Mine was only 'normal' about 10 yrs ago!  As my TSH is only a teeny bit over can't really blame my thyroid for my high FSH although I'm trying my best to  ;)

Yep I know what you mean re the TSH levels - because we can share info so easily on here from girls at the other clinics I'm beginning to think that we know more than some of our drs! Its convincing them to try stuff which is the hard part! x

 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hi Poppy and Maryliz,

How are you both doing? Just wanted to report back after having seen our GP yesterday. I have to say, I came out all wound up and upset, as she just seemed so dismissive of the whole situation and surprised that I was "bothering" to ask her certain things and be doing my own research :mad:. I did though manage to discuss everything I had planned to; so:

1. AMH
Doctor's reply: "Where did you hear about that?"
Nice... ::)
Basically, no, the surgery doesn't test this and so I need to ask our consultant.

2. Blood test for TSH/T3/T4 3 weeks after coming off medication
Doctor's response: "Why has he taken you off the medication?" / "Why does he want you to test your levels in just 3 weeks' time?"
Er... ??? because he obviously knows more than you do about thyroid issues and ttc. He obviously just wants to see what happens when I'm not on nay medication and imagine he'll ask me to test my levels again in another few weeks time.
She did do me the form and I've booked a blood test for 8th Feb. (I think...)

3. Referral to the hospital to see a thyroid specialist
Doctor didn't seem to think there was any point.
I argued that I blatantly should have been seeing one in the first place (without necessarily pointing the finger after she'd told me there was no need when I first saw her after moving here last year ;)) and that surely it's my decision.
She said our consultant works closely with someone at Southmead and so she's sure he'll refer me if need be but did agree to write and ask him if he thinks I need to see someone.

4. All thyroid and FSH results from Pisswyth and Bristol
She was very reluctant about this and seemed to think I was wasting my (and presumably therefore her) time.
She did though say I could fill in a form at reception to request them.
Done. Already ready to collect.:)

Usually I've found her to be nice and helpful, but yesterday she just irritated me by seemingly trying to make me feel stupid for actually giving a damn about our situation and wanting to try and find out more about it so that I can understand what's going on, what the consultant tells us/suggests and what potential solutions may be.

She asked if I was stressed about it - I felt like saying "Well, I wasn't until seeing you";), as although it is obviously a difficult, horrid situation to be in, worrying and always on my mind, I have felt like I'm doing all I can to understand and deal with it, that I'm being proactive and positive ^bigbad^. If I wasn't doing my research and working on it like a project, I guess, then I'm sure I'd just be wallowing in it.

Anyhow, I now have an FSH blood test booked for 4th Feb. (AF permitting...) and a thyroid one for 8th Feb.
I'm going to collect the results I requested today or Monday (surgery just up the road from us).
DH went in for his semen analysis Tuesday and so that should now have been analysed (for DNA etc.).
And we've had our letter through with our next appointment with the consultant on 10th March.

So, we're getting there:)!

Hope all's well with you both ^hugme^.

xxx
 

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Hi Honor,

So sorry you had crappy consultation yesterday - its so frustrating.  ^hugme^. I really don't think people have a clue but its so upsetting when you get that attitude from your GP. We're only trying to give ourselves the best chance after all.

My GP has really upset me as she thinks I should give up trying and told me this during my recent 2ww. Was so upset as she made me feel really guilty that 'I would be spending all my DS childhood trying for another baby & would probably regret it'. I was really annoyed as had previously discussed we would do another fresh cycle if this one didn't work and even worse she has gone through IVF herself so I thought she would be more understanding! Needless to say I won't be going to see her anymore!

Re AMH

Have finally managed to get this done via my consultant as they now use TDL (The Doctors Lab) -  google it if you need more info. Got the form & a testing kit from my cons & then had blood taken at local hosp. You then send it off to TDL (everything is provided in the pack) & the results come back via my cons. TDL will invoice me direct - think its about £40ish. Might be worth asking your cons if they have a similar agreement as if so its a straightforward procedure. Otherwise you'll need to find a private clinic like the one you kindly sent me the link for but they charge way more money  ::)

Re Thyroid Tests & Specialist

It would be worth seeing a specialist who deals with fertility & thyroid. The girls on the Thyroid board have recommended one in London so if you need the info PM me. Apparently he can prescribe medication & do a letter to your Cons detailing what your levels ideally should be. At least that way you have the info to back you up & you could get your testing done locally and he could help interpret results & sort out any problems. I have discovered that sometimes it makes life a lot less stressful & speeds things up a hell of a lot if you do the odd private consultation with someone who knows their stuff - its so worth the money!

Re your FSH tests etc. Not sure how it works in your area but here I can get the blood request forms from my GP or Cons & can then just turn up at the local hosp without an appt & sit in the queue to get them done. At least that way you don't have to book an appt at your surgery as not alwas easy to work out which day you will need them done...

Anyway take care & let me know how you get on. I've got my follow up next week & a million questions but not sure if I'll get very far!

x

 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hey Poppy,

Thanks for your reply  ^hugme^.

Although it's good to know I'm not the only one left reeling/upset after a visit to the doctor, I was shocked and upset for you that your GP could have said what she did :( - I thought their job was to help you, not demoralise you or pass judgment. I don't for one minute imagine you are letting your desire for another child get in the way of giving your DS all the love and attention he needs. I'd definitely see another doctor next time...

Thanks for the info re. AMH! Glad you've finally sorted it and hope you get the result you want. I've copied and pasted the info into my "FSH/AMH" word doc. ;)

Thanks also for the info on the specialist who deals with fertility and thyroid in London; I think someone else mentioned him too. I think though I'm going to wait and see what our consultant says at our next appointment and what's happening with my levels now I'm off the medication. Also, we're unfortunately just not in a position financially right now to fund any private appointments etc. ourselves.

Hope you have a lovely weekend, and GOOD LUCK for your follow-up appointment next week!

xxx
 

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Hi Honor,

How are you? Sorry its taken to long to reply!

I got my AMH results back & it was just over 8 - it puts me in the poor reserve category but given my age & endo damage I was really pleased! Both me & my cons were expecting it to be a lot lower so it gives me a bit of hope!

Follow up appointment went pretty well - just waiting for AF and then I can start my next cycle. Going to be on higher dose of stimms this time so hopefully that will do the trick & encourage a few more follies to grow.

I know what you mean about the financial side of things - its such a lottery. You only get 1 cycle of IVF here but obviously none if you already have a child - its so expensive.

When is your next appt with your cons? Let me know how you get on & best of luck with your treatment.

Take care, xxx
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hi Poppy,

Thanks for your message ^hugme^. I haven't been on here for a while and so it was nice to have a message when I logged on just now!

That's great news that your AMH was better than expected  ^clapping^ - you must be relieved! I'm also glad your follow-up appointment went well and that you're now preparing for your next treatment cycle. When is AF due? I guess you don't have too much longer to wait until you can start :)

I hope BCRM offer more than 1 cycle of IVF, if it's going to come to that...

Our next appointment is 10 March. Today I had a blood test for my thyroid levels and so I hope the results are looking better now I'm off the medication. I've as yet to have my FSH tested again, as my damn period is now ca. a week late and so I've already had to cancel 2 appointments and have now decided to just wait until it starts and hope I can get in to make another. If only I could be excited/hopeful that my period is late, but it's not like it hasn't happened before and after all this time, and now, of course, knowing the odds are stacked against us, it's VERY unlikely it's anything other than a late or missed period. I did test on Saturday, stupidly, but it was a BFN :(

Good luck with everything, and let me know how you get on!

xxx
 

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Hi Honor,

Lovely to hear from you  :)

Yes it was nice to get a better AMH than expected although still a bit nervous about my next cycle as you never know what response you'll get to the drugs until you actually do it! I'm def more prepared this time although its hard in some ways as I know what to expect - I seem to get all the side effects from the drugs going  :eek:

AF arrived today so got planning appt next week & then start down regging on day 21. Really hope the higher dose of Gonal F does its stuff but I'll be pleased if I manage more than 3 mature eggs this time.

Good luck with your next appointment - are you going to ask about having your AMH tested? My cons has now decided that FSH is irrelevant after only recently switching to AMH testing!! Nightmare your AF is late -  I know what you mean about hoping its good news - unfortunately my cycles are ridiculously short since my MMC so there is never any doubt for me! At least here we can just turn up at the hosp & wait to get blood tests done rather than having to make an appt with GP surgery - wonder is there's anywhere in Brs you can do that?

Hope your thyroid is all ok - I've decided to get mine rechecked through a nutritionist to see if there's anything diet & supplement-wise I can do to improve it a bit. Anything to give my well being a bit of a boost.

Take care & keep in touch. Will let you know how I get on  :-*

xx
 
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