Having Trouble Getting Pregnant…Then Know What To Look For
Thank you to all who read my most recent blog post about My IVF Story. I felt compelled to share my story because the more I talk to friends, co-workers and acquaintances the more I hear about woman having difficulty becoming pregnant and are having to turn to IVF. It is because of this I felt that my next post needed to focus on education and knowing the markers to look for, not just when you are having trouble getting pregnant but even way before you even decide to start trying. If you are a woman who is trying to get pregnant, knows of someone trying or is a woman who knows that at some point in your life you want to get pregnant then this information is for you!
Let’s talk hormones…this is a rather complicated topic and I’m going to keep it simple but first as referenced and stated by the National Center for Biotechnology Information “Recent studies have shown that follicular depletion doubles when the primordial follicle amount is approximately 25.000. Women reach this physiological condition at the ages of 37-38 years (13). This age is determined as critical, after which there is a sharp reduction in the ovarian reserve (14).” Wow! So, at ages 37-38 years old we are loosing egg reserves by ½. If there could only be a way to find out where we stand with our reserves? Well guess what there is!!!
There are 3 hormones that a woman of child bearing age should have tested and ladies in my opinion you should be asking for these tests at your annually gyno appointments…WHY? Because as you just read, these hormones decline through the years and even if you think your too young to be asking for them or your doctor thinks your too young and doesn’t think you need to have them done, WRONG you do and you should. These 3 hormones check your ovarian reserve and they are…FSH (follicle stimulating hormone), AFC (antral follicle count) and AMH (anti-mullerian hormone). Note when testing FSH it should be tested on day 3 of your cycle. However, AFC and AMH are the two best indicators for determining ovarian reserve.
Of course when talking about hormones and the process of getting pregnant it is a complicated one and I just briefly chipped away at the tip of the iceberg. I only mention these 3 hormones because these are just some of the early tests that were run on me to determine if I was even a candidate for IFV. Think of the peace of mind and information you’d have if you tested for these hormones early on. So ladies, I cannot stress enough the importance of talking with your doctors and getting these 3 hormones tested. If I would have known to ask for these tests I might have decided to try getting pregnant with my spouse before the age of 36, the age that I entered early menopause and would have saved myself and my husband 3 years of trying with disappointment and running the risk of not being able to get pregnant at all. I should mention that a normal follicle count, that one would suspect to yield an excellent return with IVF, is to be considered between 22-35 follicles. As for myself even after hormone stimulating drugs I only had 5 follicles with the first attempt and 4 the second attempt and we still came out with what I like to call our Miracle Babies!!! So please read, research and talk to your doctors and once again as the Bears would say…Have a Happy Day!
If you’d like to reference the National Center for Biotechnology Information article I quoted above please visit https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4355926/
Also if you like to read more about the hormones listed above or how IVF works I have found https://www.advancedfertility.com to do an excellent job describing these items in detail.