So I'm nearly done the pre-IVF gauntlet. I had the final blood draw to test my FSH last week. As I mentioned before, that was the last test required before beginning the FINAL IVF CONSULT!
That's when we’ll meet again with Dr. B for a scan, mock transfer and to solidify my protocol. Oh, and how could I forget, I'll learn how to give myself injections!
As luck would have it, it wasn't so simple. My period threatened to start on Friday afternoon, which would make day 3 Sunday (not normal business hours at the office). I called the nurse and explained the situation. She was a doll and said that I could come in on Sunday, but if my period started “full flow” after 6pm, to consider Saturday day one.
If only it were that easy. Late Friday afternoon, I started full flow for about five minutes and then stopped for the rest of the evening. That night, around 1am I really started. So I just counted Saturday as day one and did my blood work on Monday.
It dawned on me last Wednesday to check my medical voicemail (my Drs. Office has a nifty retrieval system for passing along messages from the nurse) for results of the blood work.
Everything is okay except for one thing. My FSH is… 11.9! WTF? Check this out if you are wondering what a normal day 3 FSH should be. Yeah, it's that bad.
I still can’t believe my bad dream might be coming true! I don’t know for sure what my previous FSH was, but I think it was nice and low, I went back through my medical history and found a FSH result of 4.1 from a year ago.
In the message the nurse mentioned that 11.9 is high (you think?) and that it indicates low ovarian reserve. She also said that it’s good that I’m preparing to do IVF.
I was (and am) in disbelief, so of course I turned to Dr. Google for some answers. What I found was not very reassuring. It all but said that I was screwed. Donor Eggs is a hot topic among women with an FSH above 10!!! Seriously, I’m only 30, how could I be running out of eggs? How could my numbers plummet in just one year’s time?
Naturally, I freaked the hell out and then called the nurse back. By the time she returned my call I was in a near panic. She was so calm and vague about the whole deal that it was only making me crazier. I kept asking her if it’s as bad as I think it is and she would only say that it indicates low ovarian reserve. I then asked her if I would still be doing mini-stim IVF or if that was off the table.
She talked with Dr. B and called me back an hour later. Basically he told her to tell me that mini-stim is still a possibility, but he would like to re-test my day 3 FSH. Unfortunately that wasn't really reassuring, and I had more questions than answers.
Barring a mistake at the lab, from what I’ve read, retesting doesn’t really make a difference. It’s possible to get lower results, but the highest numbers are often considered the most accurate snap shot of ovarian reserve. Even if my numbers come in nice and low how will I know which test to believe?
I e-mailed Dr. B that night, to ask him the above questions in hope of some concrete answers, and he wrote back that it’s possible the lab made a mistake, or that the test was taken too late in my cycle. Okay, maybe it was a mistake. But I have a hard time believing that half a day would make such a big difference; it’s not as if I took the test on day 6 or 8. It was day 3 and a half -maybe.
But he’s the Dr. so I’m going to wait another two weeks and take the test again. Gah! Dr. B also wrote that I might want to consider regular IVF if the numbers come back high again, but that we can discuss all of the options at the Final IVF consult.
Now that the news has settled in, I'm doing okay. But those first few days were awful. I just couldn't believe that I’d heard the message correctly. I should know better by now, but I still can’t believe this is happening.
I hate how one little test can overturn all of our plans. The Drs. Office is treating it as a simple change in protocol. It seems to me that they’re missing the bigger picture, at least from our perspective. For them it is a simple change of protocol, but for us it’s a difference of $6,000 or more. Not exactly pocket change and sad to say, money is a big factor in the decisions we make about treatment.
I think we really need to hammer out a game plan before I get back in the stirrups. I just don't know how to go about that right now.