Introducing Myself

Introducing Myself

Joined: December 14th, 2011, 6:44 am

February 19th, 2012, 8:01 am #1

Hi Ladies,

I have been lurking for a while and would like to join your community. I am 40 years and 2 months old and live in Australia.

My FSH (measured on Day 3) last April (age 39) was 41. Latest measurement was 15 (Day 1). In addition, DH has a low sperm count.

I am seeing a Chinese medicine practitioner and taking various supplements. The first doctor I saw put me on DHEA 75mg which I was on for about 4 months, then the second doctor changed me to Testosterone gel. The doctor we saw last week seemed to think he had more success with DHEA, so I have changed back to it.

My first cycle (flare) was with 450 FSH - had 4 follicles, 3 were empty, got one egg, which fertilised but stopped at 4 cells. My second cycle (antagonist) was with 900 FSH - had 5 follicles, 3 were empty, got two eggs. One was immature, and the other one fertilised but stopped at 9 cells. Then did another cycle straight after without a break. This one was with 150 FSH and Clomid - got 3 follicles but all were empty.

Got given the DE speech, moved to a different doctor. Had 3 a cycle break, but cycles have been annovulatory and not regular. First cycle was 17 days, second one was 41 days (one follicle seen on ultrasound, but it fizzled). Third cycle was 24 days, but was over Christmas and my doctor was away so couldn't go in to be scanned. I took my temperature but no rise so not confident ovulation took place.

The doctor then asked me to take Clomid 100mg, ended up getting two follicles that measured 18mm on ultrasound, and the endometrium was 10mm, so it looked like things were coming along. The doctor had just come back from holidays and the paperwork was not done in time to do egg collection, so we were told to try naturally and have a progesterone test a week after ovulation was supposed to have happened. Unfortunately, this came back at a low level, so it looks like ovulation did not occur. The doctor said he does not know what to do with us, but put together a new plan for an antagonist cycle with 300 FSH. I have picked up these meds and they are sitting in the fridge, and I am waiting for AF. It is now CD44 - the longest cycle I have ever had. The Chinese medicine practitioner has given me herbs to bring on AF, but nothing happening yet.

In addition last week we had an appointment with a local doctor who is known to be an expert with AMA. He is known for being a bit of a maverick and trying different things. He gave us the DE speech, and gave me a 2% chance. However, he is still willing to keep trying if that is our wish. He has suggested an estrogen priming protocol with 600FSH, and heaps of extras including HGH (which will increase the cost considerably).

So at the moment I am sitting around pretty despondent, waiting for AF so I can start the antagonist cycle. If that doesn't work I can then try the estrogen priming cycle with the doctor we saw last week. After that not sure. Also I am going to make an appointment see a fertility naturopath in my local area called "Sharkeys".

I feel that if I could at least get a couple of eggs each time would be in with a chance. The empty follicles problem is most demoralising. Has anyone had empty follicles then done something different and gone on to get eggs?
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Joined: September 6th, 2009, 7:55 am

February 19th, 2012, 2:14 pm #2

I've had previous cycles with almost zero eggs and improved things with lower stims. I did 6 IVFs in Australia between 40 and 43 (I am Australian) and then 5 more near where I live in Asia from 43-45 yo. I had good egg numbers in my Aus IVFs (usually around 10 eggs from 10-12 follicles) but the clinic really made no effort to help much beyond that so I moved. My clinic here tried hGH (3 months low dose) and the highest stims I'd been on (350IU/day). They also added Luveris (LH) which gave me 3 eggs from 10 follicles the first time and zero eggs from 11 follicles the second time).

I was seriously upset by the empty follicles (especially after such good numbers in Aus) and did some research. Things that seem to exacerbate empty follicles include DHEA (I had a phone consult with Cooper IVF in the U.S and they said they found more follicles but more empty ones with DHEA.....so I did some cycles with and some without), LH (so maybe avoid Luveris or the combined FSH+LH stim meds) and high stims.

My final IVF I did more as a research than anything else (that's some expensive research but I wanted to know). I went to 75IU (low stim...which as you probably know has had good outcomes for some of the women here) minimal suppression and no DHEA or LH. I got only 3 follicles (you don't go for many with low stim...you're aiming at quality not quantity) but I had 100% mature eggs and 100% fertilisation. I was really pleased with that. It was not a pregnancy but at 45 years old I wasn't surprised by that.

I'm also using TCM and it's been really helpful to me. I used Sharkeys for 2 years and got some good supplement advice from them. I now use J.ason J.ackson at Green.slopes Naturo.pathic clinic and they have been encouraging.

So my advice, if you're continuing is to try at least one no-DHEA and low stim cycle and see if that makes a difference to quality and quantity.

Good luck

Al
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BabyDance
BabyDance

February 19th, 2012, 2:42 pm #3

So sorry you are going through this. Most of us here are in a similar boat. I have to wonder if all the meds cause the irregular cycles to come on, but it's hard to say, it could be just the high FSH - but it does seem to me, my irregular cycles (around 40 days last two cycles), came on after using Femara. I'm still going to try this protocol again (Femara, and 225 Follistim), because I got the most decent quality eggs (3) then with my other 5 IVF's, various protocols, including EPP. I would be wary of EPP in your situation because of suppression, but you never know... good luck, and keep us posted.
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beetle21
beetle21

February 19th, 2012, 4:05 pm #4

I've had previous cycles with almost zero eggs and improved things with lower stims. I did 6 IVFs in Australia between 40 and 43 (I am Australian) and then 5 more near where I live in Asia from 43-45 yo. I had good egg numbers in my Aus IVFs (usually around 10 eggs from 10-12 follicles) but the clinic really made no effort to help much beyond that so I moved. My clinic here tried hGH (3 months low dose) and the highest stims I'd been on (350IU/day). They also added Luveris (LH) which gave me 3 eggs from 10 follicles the first time and zero eggs from 11 follicles the second time).

I was seriously upset by the empty follicles (especially after such good numbers in Aus) and did some research. Things that seem to exacerbate empty follicles include DHEA (I had a phone consult with Cooper IVF in the U.S and they said they found more follicles but more empty ones with DHEA.....so I did some cycles with and some without), LH (so maybe avoid Luveris or the combined FSH+LH stim meds) and high stims.

My final IVF I did more as a research than anything else (that's some expensive research but I wanted to know). I went to 75IU (low stim...which as you probably know has had good outcomes for some of the women here) minimal suppression and no DHEA or LH. I got only 3 follicles (you don't go for many with low stim...you're aiming at quality not quantity) but I had 100% mature eggs and 100% fertilisation. I was really pleased with that. It was not a pregnancy but at 45 years old I wasn't surprised by that.

I'm also using TCM and it's been really helpful to me. I used Sharkeys for 2 years and got some good supplement advice from them. I now use J.ason J.ackson at Green.slopes Naturo.pathic clinic and they have been encouraging.

So my advice, if you're continuing is to try at least one no-DHEA and low stim cycle and see if that makes a difference to quality and quantity.

Good luck

Al
sheesh - i didnt know DHEA could be a bad thing. I have been taking it since been in the states, and thats were all my trouble has been in a few short months, might stop taking it.

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ChickenLittle
ChickenLittle

February 20th, 2012, 2:58 am #5

Hi Ladies,

I have been lurking for a while and would like to join your community. I am 40 years and 2 months old and live in Australia.

My FSH (measured on Day 3) last April (age 39) was 41. Latest measurement was 15 (Day 1). In addition, DH has a low sperm count.

I am seeing a Chinese medicine practitioner and taking various supplements. The first doctor I saw put me on DHEA 75mg which I was on for about 4 months, then the second doctor changed me to Testosterone gel. The doctor we saw last week seemed to think he had more success with DHEA, so I have changed back to it.

My first cycle (flare) was with 450 FSH - had 4 follicles, 3 were empty, got one egg, which fertilised but stopped at 4 cells. My second cycle (antagonist) was with 900 FSH - had 5 follicles, 3 were empty, got two eggs. One was immature, and the other one fertilised but stopped at 9 cells. Then did another cycle straight after without a break. This one was with 150 FSH and Clomid - got 3 follicles but all were empty.

Got given the DE speech, moved to a different doctor. Had 3 a cycle break, but cycles have been annovulatory and not regular. First cycle was 17 days, second one was 41 days (one follicle seen on ultrasound, but it fizzled). Third cycle was 24 days, but was over Christmas and my doctor was away so couldn't go in to be scanned. I took my temperature but no rise so not confident ovulation took place.

The doctor then asked me to take Clomid 100mg, ended up getting two follicles that measured 18mm on ultrasound, and the endometrium was 10mm, so it looked like things were coming along. The doctor had just come back from holidays and the paperwork was not done in time to do egg collection, so we were told to try naturally and have a progesterone test a week after ovulation was supposed to have happened. Unfortunately, this came back at a low level, so it looks like ovulation did not occur. The doctor said he does not know what to do with us, but put together a new plan for an antagonist cycle with 300 FSH. I have picked up these meds and they are sitting in the fridge, and I am waiting for AF. It is now CD44 - the longest cycle I have ever had. The Chinese medicine practitioner has given me herbs to bring on AF, but nothing happening yet.

In addition last week we had an appointment with a local doctor who is known to be an expert with AMA. He is known for being a bit of a maverick and trying different things. He gave us the DE speech, and gave me a 2% chance. However, he is still willing to keep trying if that is our wish. He has suggested an estrogen priming protocol with 600FSH, and heaps of extras including HGH (which will increase the cost considerably).

So at the moment I am sitting around pretty despondent, waiting for AF so I can start the antagonist cycle. If that doesn't work I can then try the estrogen priming cycle with the doctor we saw last week. After that not sure. Also I am going to make an appointment see a fertility naturopath in my local area called "Sharkeys".

I feel that if I could at least get a couple of eggs each time would be in with a chance. The empty follicles problem is most demoralising. Has anyone had empty follicles then done something different and gone on to get eggs?
Welcome! You won't find a nicer, more sympathetic bunch.
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Joined: December 14th, 2011, 6:44 am

February 20th, 2012, 6:32 am #6

Hi Ladies,

I have been lurking for a while and would like to join your community. I am 40 years and 2 months old and live in Australia.

My FSH (measured on Day 3) last April (age 39) was 41. Latest measurement was 15 (Day 1). In addition, DH has a low sperm count.

I am seeing a Chinese medicine practitioner and taking various supplements. The first doctor I saw put me on DHEA 75mg which I was on for about 4 months, then the second doctor changed me to Testosterone gel. The doctor we saw last week seemed to think he had more success with DHEA, so I have changed back to it.

My first cycle (flare) was with 450 FSH - had 4 follicles, 3 were empty, got one egg, which fertilised but stopped at 4 cells. My second cycle (antagonist) was with 900 FSH - had 5 follicles, 3 were empty, got two eggs. One was immature, and the other one fertilised but stopped at 9 cells. Then did another cycle straight after without a break. This one was with 150 FSH and Clomid - got 3 follicles but all were empty.

Got given the DE speech, moved to a different doctor. Had 3 a cycle break, but cycles have been annovulatory and not regular. First cycle was 17 days, second one was 41 days (one follicle seen on ultrasound, but it fizzled). Third cycle was 24 days, but was over Christmas and my doctor was away so couldn't go in to be scanned. I took my temperature but no rise so not confident ovulation took place.

The doctor then asked me to take Clomid 100mg, ended up getting two follicles that measured 18mm on ultrasound, and the endometrium was 10mm, so it looked like things were coming along. The doctor had just come back from holidays and the paperwork was not done in time to do egg collection, so we were told to try naturally and have a progesterone test a week after ovulation was supposed to have happened. Unfortunately, this came back at a low level, so it looks like ovulation did not occur. The doctor said he does not know what to do with us, but put together a new plan for an antagonist cycle with 300 FSH. I have picked up these meds and they are sitting in the fridge, and I am waiting for AF. It is now CD44 - the longest cycle I have ever had. The Chinese medicine practitioner has given me herbs to bring on AF, but nothing happening yet.

In addition last week we had an appointment with a local doctor who is known to be an expert with AMA. He is known for being a bit of a maverick and trying different things. He gave us the DE speech, and gave me a 2% chance. However, he is still willing to keep trying if that is our wish. He has suggested an estrogen priming protocol with 600FSH, and heaps of extras including HGH (which will increase the cost considerably).

So at the moment I am sitting around pretty despondent, waiting for AF so I can start the antagonist cycle. If that doesn't work I can then try the estrogen priming cycle with the doctor we saw last week. After that not sure. Also I am going to make an appointment see a fertility naturopath in my local area called "Sharkeys".

I feel that if I could at least get a couple of eggs each time would be in with a chance. The empty follicles problem is most demoralising. Has anyone had empty follicles then done something different and gone on to get eggs?
I saw the doc today, was scanned and lining was only 6mm. It had been 10mm when I had the two follicles, and I haven't had AF, so it has somehow shrunk away. The doc gave me a script for Provera to start AF.

I have just made an appointment to see Sharkeys - it is about an hour drive from my home. Hopefully can get DH to come along without too much complaint.
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Joined: December 14th, 2011, 6:44 am

February 20th, 2012, 6:33 am #7

I've had previous cycles with almost zero eggs and improved things with lower stims. I did 6 IVFs in Australia between 40 and 43 (I am Australian) and then 5 more near where I live in Asia from 43-45 yo. I had good egg numbers in my Aus IVFs (usually around 10 eggs from 10-12 follicles) but the clinic really made no effort to help much beyond that so I moved. My clinic here tried hGH (3 months low dose) and the highest stims I'd been on (350IU/day). They also added Luveris (LH) which gave me 3 eggs from 10 follicles the first time and zero eggs from 11 follicles the second time).

I was seriously upset by the empty follicles (especially after such good numbers in Aus) and did some research. Things that seem to exacerbate empty follicles include DHEA (I had a phone consult with Cooper IVF in the U.S and they said they found more follicles but more empty ones with DHEA.....so I did some cycles with and some without), LH (so maybe avoid Luveris or the combined FSH+LH stim meds) and high stims.

My final IVF I did more as a research than anything else (that's some expensive research but I wanted to know). I went to 75IU (low stim...which as you probably know has had good outcomes for some of the women here) minimal suppression and no DHEA or LH. I got only 3 follicles (you don't go for many with low stim...you're aiming at quality not quantity) but I had 100% mature eggs and 100% fertilisation. I was really pleased with that. It was not a pregnancy but at 45 years old I wasn't surprised by that.

I'm also using TCM and it's been really helpful to me. I used Sharkeys for 2 years and got some good supplement advice from them. I now use J.ason J.ackson at Green.slopes Naturo.pathic clinic and they have been encouraging.

So my advice, if you're continuing is to try at least one no-DHEA and low stim cycle and see if that makes a difference to quality and quantity.

Good luck

Al
Thank you Al for your detailed response
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mm
mm

February 20th, 2012, 12:14 pm #8

Hi Ladies,

I have been lurking for a while and would like to join your community. I am 40 years and 2 months old and live in Australia.

My FSH (measured on Day 3) last April (age 39) was 41. Latest measurement was 15 (Day 1). In addition, DH has a low sperm count.

I am seeing a Chinese medicine practitioner and taking various supplements. The first doctor I saw put me on DHEA 75mg which I was on for about 4 months, then the second doctor changed me to Testosterone gel. The doctor we saw last week seemed to think he had more success with DHEA, so I have changed back to it.

My first cycle (flare) was with 450 FSH - had 4 follicles, 3 were empty, got one egg, which fertilised but stopped at 4 cells. My second cycle (antagonist) was with 900 FSH - had 5 follicles, 3 were empty, got two eggs. One was immature, and the other one fertilised but stopped at 9 cells. Then did another cycle straight after without a break. This one was with 150 FSH and Clomid - got 3 follicles but all were empty.

Got given the DE speech, moved to a different doctor. Had 3 a cycle break, but cycles have been annovulatory and not regular. First cycle was 17 days, second one was 41 days (one follicle seen on ultrasound, but it fizzled). Third cycle was 24 days, but was over Christmas and my doctor was away so couldn't go in to be scanned. I took my temperature but no rise so not confident ovulation took place.

The doctor then asked me to take Clomid 100mg, ended up getting two follicles that measured 18mm on ultrasound, and the endometrium was 10mm, so it looked like things were coming along. The doctor had just come back from holidays and the paperwork was not done in time to do egg collection, so we were told to try naturally and have a progesterone test a week after ovulation was supposed to have happened. Unfortunately, this came back at a low level, so it looks like ovulation did not occur. The doctor said he does not know what to do with us, but put together a new plan for an antagonist cycle with 300 FSH. I have picked up these meds and they are sitting in the fridge, and I am waiting for AF. It is now CD44 - the longest cycle I have ever had. The Chinese medicine practitioner has given me herbs to bring on AF, but nothing happening yet.

In addition last week we had an appointment with a local doctor who is known to be an expert with AMA. He is known for being a bit of a maverick and trying different things. He gave us the DE speech, and gave me a 2% chance. However, he is still willing to keep trying if that is our wish. He has suggested an estrogen priming protocol with 600FSH, and heaps of extras including HGH (which will increase the cost considerably).

So at the moment I am sitting around pretty despondent, waiting for AF so I can start the antagonist cycle. If that doesn't work I can then try the estrogen priming cycle with the doctor we saw last week. After that not sure. Also I am going to make an appointment see a fertility naturopath in my local area called "Sharkeys".

I feel that if I could at least get a couple of eggs each time would be in with a chance. The empty follicles problem is most demoralising. Has anyone had empty follicles then done something different and gone on to get eggs?
Hi there,

I wanted to post a quick Welcome! And a little note from my experience (which I am sure you may have a similar post already, I haven't had a chance to read the others. DHEA for me always yielded higher follie numbers but more empty ones. Of the ones that had eggs, all fertilized. So it's a paradox for me. 9 follies, 5 empty, 4 fert with DHEA, or 4 follies, 1-2 eggs, 1 fert without DHEA. (That is my average over 7 ivfs).

I will say that high dose of stims is generally not a good idea for ppl in our age group - and there are some supporting documentation out there. I'm 42 (officially today

I have also read a lot of success stories with the TCM (chinese medicine) so that is great you are able to do that. I also added COQ10, vitex and vitamin B complex to my natural cycles and after 11yrs had a natural pg last yr. It did not stick but I was happy to at least have some confirmation for me that I am doing something right with the supplements.

The ladies here have been a huge source of information and support for me. I wish you lots of luck in your next cycle.

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mm
mm

February 20th, 2012, 3:27 pm #9

the 4 follies should read 2-3 follies
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Jamie
Jamie

February 20th, 2012, 5:16 pm #10

Hi Ladies,

I have been lurking for a while and would like to join your community. I am 40 years and 2 months old and live in Australia.

My FSH (measured on Day 3) last April (age 39) was 41. Latest measurement was 15 (Day 1). In addition, DH has a low sperm count.

I am seeing a Chinese medicine practitioner and taking various supplements. The first doctor I saw put me on DHEA 75mg which I was on for about 4 months, then the second doctor changed me to Testosterone gel. The doctor we saw last week seemed to think he had more success with DHEA, so I have changed back to it.

My first cycle (flare) was with 450 FSH - had 4 follicles, 3 were empty, got one egg, which fertilised but stopped at 4 cells. My second cycle (antagonist) was with 900 FSH - had 5 follicles, 3 were empty, got two eggs. One was immature, and the other one fertilised but stopped at 9 cells. Then did another cycle straight after without a break. This one was with 150 FSH and Clomid - got 3 follicles but all were empty.

Got given the DE speech, moved to a different doctor. Had 3 a cycle break, but cycles have been annovulatory and not regular. First cycle was 17 days, second one was 41 days (one follicle seen on ultrasound, but it fizzled). Third cycle was 24 days, but was over Christmas and my doctor was away so couldn't go in to be scanned. I took my temperature but no rise so not confident ovulation took place.

The doctor then asked me to take Clomid 100mg, ended up getting two follicles that measured 18mm on ultrasound, and the endometrium was 10mm, so it looked like things were coming along. The doctor had just come back from holidays and the paperwork was not done in time to do egg collection, so we were told to try naturally and have a progesterone test a week after ovulation was supposed to have happened. Unfortunately, this came back at a low level, so it looks like ovulation did not occur. The doctor said he does not know what to do with us, but put together a new plan for an antagonist cycle with 300 FSH. I have picked up these meds and they are sitting in the fridge, and I am waiting for AF. It is now CD44 - the longest cycle I have ever had. The Chinese medicine practitioner has given me herbs to bring on AF, but nothing happening yet.

In addition last week we had an appointment with a local doctor who is known to be an expert with AMA. He is known for being a bit of a maverick and trying different things. He gave us the DE speech, and gave me a 2% chance. However, he is still willing to keep trying if that is our wish. He has suggested an estrogen priming protocol with 600FSH, and heaps of extras including HGH (which will increase the cost considerably).

So at the moment I am sitting around pretty despondent, waiting for AF so I can start the antagonist cycle. If that doesn't work I can then try the estrogen priming cycle with the doctor we saw last week. After that not sure. Also I am going to make an appointment see a fertility naturopath in my local area called "Sharkeys".

I feel that if I could at least get a couple of eggs each time would be in with a chance. The empty follicles problem is most demoralising. Has anyone had empty follicles then done something different and gone on to get eggs?
I'd be so careful of DHEA . . . 75mg is a lot and can cause problems as other posters have noted. On 50mg I had hot flashes, night sweats, couldn't respond to stimulation drugs for IVF. That plus testosterone gel could really be doing a number on your eggs and causing those empty follicles. I'd tread very, very carefully.
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