She Says… One Week

Man, this babymaking process (or, rather, in my case, the figuring-out-what’s-happening-with-my-body process) takes a long time. I know we’ve only been off birth control for 6 months, but it feels like it has been a constant cycle of one step forward, two steps back.

Alas, here we are. The tests have been done and the requisite weeks have been waited. Next Wednesday we (finally!) get to meet with Dr. P (our reproductive endocrinologist at Boston IVF) to discuss the results and prepare a treatment plan.

At our initial meeting, Dr. P’s working hypothesis was that my lack of ovulation might be caused by “Lean Polycysitc Ovarian Syndrome” (or Lean PCOS). I had read about PCOS before, and was confused by the idea that this could be my diagnosis, as I don’t have most of the symptoms that generally characterize that condition. PCOS is often identified by hair loss or excessive hair growth (I don’t have that), weight gain (nope), too much insulin or insulin resistance (don’t have that), breathing problems while sleeping (nope, not that either), pelvic pain (no), and/or high blood pressure (mine is actually very low). The only symptom I do have is anovulation. Dr. P discussed with me, though, that Lean PCOS is slightly different, and is characterized by having two out of three of the following symptoms:

  • anovulation
  • a high level of male hormones (androgens)
  • polycystic ovaries

This is why he ordered some of the blood tests that he did, as well as the ultrasound (to check for cysts). While I still don’t know what the nurse saw during the ultrasound, I did receive the results from my blood tests, and I do not think I have a high level of androgens (thanks to some Googling to understand what a normal level is). For those who are interested (or want to compare notes!), here are my stats:

Total Testosterone: 39.3 ng/dl (6 – 86 is normal, above 50 is elevated)
Estradiol: 53.4 pg/mL (25 – 75 is normal)
Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH): 6.78 mIU/mL (3 – 20 is normal, under 9 is good)
Prolactin: 9.47 ng/mL (<24 is normal)
Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH): 2.04 uIU/mL (.4 – 4 is normal, average is 1.7)

By the numbers, I’m looking good, right? Hopefully Dr. P can find something more meaningful in the test results and can get me ovulating ASAP. We’ll find out next Wednesday…

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6 responses to “She Says… One Week

  1. Wow, it’s really amazing all the stuff they can find out, isn’t it? I’ve got my fingers crossed for you that Dr. P is able to help!

  2. I hope you get some answers soon!

    They suspect I have PCOS, but I don’t have all the symptoms, either. So we’re just in the ‘unexplained’ category.

    Kinda sucks not having something to name and defeat, but it also leaves the door open – maybe something will work for us that doesn’t usually work for those with a confirmed case of PCOS.

    I hope you get all the answers – and a great treatment plan – really soon!

  3. Tabitha, It is amazing! I am in awe of my body and the people who understand it. Also, I’m realizing how much we DON’T understand about our bodies, and that’s pretty awe-inspiring too.

    Stacey, It’s strange, I have almost been hoping for a diagnosis of PCOS. In some ways, it would be easier to, as you said, name it and conquer it. Also, since it’s relatively common, it seems easier to say to people, “I have PCOS” instead of “I can’t get pregnant. And we don’t know why”. We’ll see what happens though…

  4. romancingthestone

    I wish you the very best! Fingers crossed!

  5. PS: our lab numbers are SO similar! woah.

  6. Hi Kate,

    Did you get your LH checked as well? “lean PCOS” and hypothalamic amenorrhea have many of the same symptoms, from what I understand what differentiates the two is that in PCOS LH is much higher than FSH, whereas in HA, the LH is on the low end of normal. I don’t think the treatment is that different, although if you have HA and move on to injectibles, you should absolutely use either Menopur or Repronex which contain LH as well as FSH. FSH alone (i.e. Follistim, Gonal-F) generally do not work as well. Another thing to try if the five-day clomid is not working for you is the “extended protocol”, 5 days at 50 followed by 5 days at 100. We’ve also recently had two BFPs from piggybacked clomid – five days, a wait to see if any follicles are growing, and if/when they’re not, another five days. Anyway, you should check out the HA bulletin board at fertilethoughts.com, there are a number of us with HA who post there and you can get lots of ideas and input…

    Sorry for the book, this is very close to my heart!

    Nic.

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