general questions about health w/ high FSH

general questions about health w/ high FSH

Cindy
Cindy

April 20th, 2011, 9:59 pm #1

Aside from the obvious difficulties that we've all faced in conceiving, I am wondering what a diagnosis of relatively high FSH at a young-ish age (say, under age 35 or 40) means? At 32, I was diagnosed with day 3 FSH of 19+. My RE (who is very high FSH friendly), was straightforward with me and said that my reproductive system seemed to act more like someone well into their 40s. I asked my RE if I'm headed for early menopause and he said, "probably"--although he obviously couldn't give me an exact age to expect it. His advice on the day he graduated me to my ob-gyn was to go on and have my baby, nurse (if I choose to) for a while, and then to go back and get my day 3 FSH tested again to see where I stand.

I just want to be proactive and take good care of myself. I don't think there's a way to hold off early menopause if that's in the cards for me, but I am a little scared and overwhelmed with what to do if/when that happens. Hormone replacement? Risk for osteoporosis?

Thoughts? Advice? Thanks!!
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Joined: September 29th, 2010, 9:51 pm

April 21st, 2011, 2:07 am #2

Cindy - I have a 2.5 yr old (almost 3). I've been researching over the past few years on this same topic. I am very concerned as well since I was 31 when dx w/ POF though I went onto conceive with OE. I am currently TTC#2 but not only does it seem impossible this time around, my health has shown some symptoms closer to menopause. My understanding is that pre or peri-menopause can happen for many years before actual menopause. So it's hard to predict but there are a lot of studies the confirm what happens when your body loses estrogen especially early. Here is a partial list:
increased risk of breast cancer (unopposed estrogen)
increased risk of uterine cancer
increased risk for osteoporosis
increased risk for autoimmune diseases (RA, lupus, other)
increased risk for heart stroke/attack/heart related problems

**These are all areas that estrogen protects. (except breast cancer - unopposed estrogen can grow/increase cancer cells in the breast - progesterone is usually one of the first hormones to be deficient so even though estrogen is low, progesterone is lower)

Calcium supplements, vitamin D, vitamin B complex, general vitamin, exercise (esp weight bearing), avoiding estrogen only therapy, bone density scan, healthy diet - these can all help with prevention. One thing I am going to petition for when I turn 35 is a mammogram. I would like to get a baseline at 35 so when my turn comes to get one at 40 - I'll have younger cells to compare to. Some insurance companies are covering this. I think anyone with POF should look into this. I'm looking at getting a bone scan but that has been a bit harder since it's usually not done til 55-65 years of age. I think finding a practioner who you trust and will listen to your concerns is important. www.hormone.org is a good resource. Reduce your risk for breast cancer:http://www.mainlinehealth.org/lankenaubreast (scroll down to right hand corner to download your copy).
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Cindy
Cindy

April 21st, 2011, 5:12 am #3

Very helpful, a lot of food for thought.

If you don't mind my asking, when they diagnosed you with POF what was your day 3 FSH? Were you having any symptoms at the time? And what kind of symptoms are you now experiencing that weren't there during your initial diagnosis? Just want to prepare myself for what the future may hold. Thanks so much!
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anon5
anon5

April 21st, 2011, 6:11 am #4

Aside from the obvious difficulties that we've all faced in conceiving, I am wondering what a diagnosis of relatively high FSH at a young-ish age (say, under age 35 or 40) means? At 32, I was diagnosed with day 3 FSH of 19+. My RE (who is very high FSH friendly), was straightforward with me and said that my reproductive system seemed to act more like someone well into their 40s. I asked my RE if I'm headed for early menopause and he said, "probably"--although he obviously couldn't give me an exact age to expect it. His advice on the day he graduated me to my ob-gyn was to go on and have my baby, nurse (if I choose to) for a while, and then to go back and get my day 3 FSH tested again to see where I stand.

I just want to be proactive and take good care of myself. I don't think there's a way to hold off early menopause if that's in the cards for me, but I am a little scared and overwhelmed with what to do if/when that happens. Hormone replacement? Risk for osteoporosis?

Thoughts? Advice? Thanks!!
hi,

i asked me RE about this. sometimes i keep myself up at night worrying about the health effects of high FSH. but it helps to remember that all we're missing (besides copious eggs!) is hormones -- which can be replaced.

by finding a good hormone specialist, you can try bioidentical hormone concentrations that make you like a young woman. it's true some of us have to worry about autoimmune issues, but i believe stress makes those worse. so just keep telling yourself things will be okay. my RE said "most women feel completely themselves on hormone replacement."

i take thyroid pills everyday (low dose) and feel exactly myself. if i read about all the problems lack of thyroid can cause, it's very scary - even death is one of them! but i don't, and i just swallow that lil' orange pill everyday and don't know the difference

we'll be okay.
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Joined: September 29th, 2010, 9:51 pm

April 21st, 2011, 12:34 pm #5

Very helpful, a lot of food for thought.

If you don't mind my asking, when they diagnosed you with POF what was your day 3 FSH? Were you having any symptoms at the time? And what kind of symptoms are you now experiencing that weren't there during your initial diagnosis? Just want to prepare myself for what the future may hold. Thanks so much!
TTC#1 FSH ranged from 11-16 over a 2 yr period and I was getting a cycle every 25 days approx. No other overt symptoms. Maybe some dryness w/ BD. 1 got AF for 1 year after delivery and then all systems stopped. I will say I had a boatload of just coincidental stuff going on health related for about 1.5 yrs. When I got CD3 checked last Sept it was 20, intermittent AF; sometimes heavy. Other symptoms since then: hot flashes and night sweats major, overall sluggish feeling esp in the morning, insomnia, tingling in my hands/feet, and dizziness. With the natural progesterone I've been taking the last 2 weeks of a cycle (that I am trying to establish) has helped tremendously. So has the Vit B complex. I have not given up hope for #2!
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Grad
Grad

April 21st, 2011, 2:45 pm #6

Aside from the obvious difficulties that we've all faced in conceiving, I am wondering what a diagnosis of relatively high FSH at a young-ish age (say, under age 35 or 40) means? At 32, I was diagnosed with day 3 FSH of 19+. My RE (who is very high FSH friendly), was straightforward with me and said that my reproductive system seemed to act more like someone well into their 40s. I asked my RE if I'm headed for early menopause and he said, "probably"--although he obviously couldn't give me an exact age to expect it. His advice on the day he graduated me to my ob-gyn was to go on and have my baby, nurse (if I choose to) for a while, and then to go back and get my day 3 FSH tested again to see where I stand.

I just want to be proactive and take good care of myself. I don't think there's a way to hold off early menopause if that's in the cards for me, but I am a little scared and overwhelmed with what to do if/when that happens. Hormone replacement? Risk for osteoporosis?

Thoughts? Advice? Thanks!!
It's estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. This what you need to test, probably not FSH - good lord, may I never have my FSH tested again!!!

I had some bad symptoms - foggy brain, numb hands and feet, weight gain around the middle, low libido, much more. HRT has helped tremendously. I found a doctor who assessed the HRT risk for young women as much lower. I don't plan to extend my youth beyond what nature intended, I just want to feel well and... you know, like I'm 38 and not 68.

I also had a baseline bone density scan, fyi. Insurance covered it.
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maureen
maureen

April 21st, 2011, 3:11 pm #7

TTC#1 FSH ranged from 11-16 over a 2 yr period and I was getting a cycle every 25 days approx. No other overt symptoms. Maybe some dryness w/ BD. 1 got AF for 1 year after delivery and then all systems stopped. I will say I had a boatload of just coincidental stuff going on health related for about 1.5 yrs. When I got CD3 checked last Sept it was 20, intermittent AF; sometimes heavy. Other symptoms since then: hot flashes and night sweats major, overall sluggish feeling esp in the morning, insomnia, tingling in my hands/feet, and dizziness. With the natural progesterone I've been taking the last 2 weeks of a cycle (that I am trying to establish) has helped tremendously. So has the Vit B complex. I have not given up hope for #2!
Hi Rebekah,

Have you had your thryoid checked recently? I had some of your symptoms below and it was caused by my hypothyroidism. Just thought that I'd pass that along to you.

I'm now getting the hot flashes and sweats at night, but not the tiredness in the morning.

Maureen
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Cindy
Cindy

April 21st, 2011, 4:19 pm #8

TTC#1 FSH ranged from 11-16 over a 2 yr period and I was getting a cycle every 25 days approx. No other overt symptoms. Maybe some dryness w/ BD. 1 got AF for 1 year after delivery and then all systems stopped. I will say I had a boatload of just coincidental stuff going on health related for about 1.5 yrs. When I got CD3 checked last Sept it was 20, intermittent AF; sometimes heavy. Other symptoms since then: hot flashes and night sweats major, overall sluggish feeling esp in the morning, insomnia, tingling in my hands/feet, and dizziness. With the natural progesterone I've been taking the last 2 weeks of a cycle (that I am trying to establish) has helped tremendously. So has the Vit B complex. I have not given up hope for #2!
That you were diagnosed with POF with highest fsh of 16 and regular periods....I would think DOR would've been a more appropriate diagnosis, I always thought POF was when your period had stopped!
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Joined: September 29th, 2010, 9:51 pm

April 21st, 2011, 7:56 pm #9

My doctor often used POF/DOR interchangably. So I am not sure. I believe her decision was based partly because of my response to stims and the AFC number. Though the month I conceived I had 2 eggs release, prior to that I only ever had 1 egg and that was with 450iu of gonal f.
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Joined: September 29th, 2010, 9:51 pm

April 21st, 2011, 7:57 pm #10

Hi Rebekah,

Have you had your thryoid checked recently? I had some of your symptoms below and it was caused by my hypothyroidism. Just thought that I'd pass that along to you.

I'm now getting the hot flashes and sweats at night, but not the tiredness in the morning.

Maureen
Thank you Maureen, I will have another look at that. My pcp did a routine thyroid test and said it was fine but she is not a specialist so perhaps I should take another look . . .
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