Before I get too much into what the good doc said, here is information regarding my hormone levels, more specifically compared to my levels in 2011.
FSH levels (determines egg quality and ovarian reserve)
Normal: below 10, Mine in 2011: 9.7, Mine now: 14.4
Estradiol (estrogen levels)
Normal: below 50, Mine in 2011: 78, Mine now: 48
AMH (determines egg quantity)
Normal: 1.8, Mine in 2011: 0.9, Mine now: 0.8
Okay, so the biggest difference is my FSH level. It has risen quite significantly. According to the doc, this obviously isn’t great, but the good news is that my estrogen levels dropped to a normal range. He said something about how the FSH levels and estrogen levels work together and if one is high, you want the other to be low and vice versa…I didn’t really follow and the more research that I do online the more confused I get. From what I can tell, low estrogen levels aren’t a good thing and it just means I’m closer to menopause, but I suppose I’ll trust the doc for now and ask more questions when the time is right. My AMH levels haven’t changed much, which is good, although they are very definitely in a not so great range. Dr. Surrey said that from what he’s looking at right now, I’m not in the range where he’s going to say no way, no how. But, he’s also not fully confident in my chance of success. He said that considering in my last cycle, while it is obviously considered a success, it still wasn’t a great outcome in that I only retrieved 7 eggs, only 5 of those eggs fertilized, and of those 5, only 1 made it. And while we are glad for that 1, it doesn’t necessarily predict great success for another IVF 4 years later.
He then went on to say that there are two more pieces to the puzzle that will really give us a clear picture of what we’re working with: an antral follicle count and a glimpse into my uterus. Both require an ultrasound that they want to perform in Colorado. So then came the news I’ve been waiting for: he wants us to come out for the one day work up. I’m totally okay with that (even kind of excited). I remember feeling so informed after going for the ODWU last time, and I really feel like it would give me peace of mind.
Ryan and I did have a conversation last night about all of this and I shared what we discussed with Dr. Surrey. We are both pretty adamant that we don’t want to go through multiple IVFs to achieve our goal. I simply don’t want to put all those hormones into my body. It’s been shown that they increase chances of ovarian and breast cancer, among other things like making you crazy and fat!! That’s not saying we don’t desperately want another baby, but we’re just more willing to use other means to achieve that goal this time, like using donor eggs. When I mentioned that to Dr. Surrey, he said that using donor eggs would give me about an 80% chance of success, and could even end up being the most cost effective. However, he made it clear that he doesn’t want me to rule out using my own eggs just yet, at least not until we get the missing pieces to the puzzle at the ODWU. He did say that he would make sure we had meetings set up to discuss the donor egg process while we’re out there. It will be much easier to discuss all of these possibilities in person instead of over the phone.
So anyway, now I just wait for the nurse to call and we’ll schedule to go out there. I’m thinking it will end up being towards the beginning of February. It has to be done between cycle days 5-14, so that either means next weekend (eek!) or February. I just don’t think I can get my act together in time for next weekend. Especially since this go around I have to figure out child care. So, now it’s just the waiting game. In the meantime, I’ll try to get healthy and prepare my body to be poked and prodded. I need to eat healthier, drink less wine at night, and drink lots more water! New year resolutions!!