Bummed about my low hormones
May 19, 2010 3:06 PM   Subscribe

I have low hormones and am not sure what to do about it if I should do anything at all before my intrauterine insemination June1st. I could use some advice if anyone knows about hormones and IUIs and supplements.

Sorry this is rather long.

I'm 24, I've just returned from my RE appointment and apparently my body is possibly not on track this cycle. I could use some advice whether to just calm down or tips and advice on what to do.


I've always ovulated on a very regular 30 day cycle since I can remember. December 2008 I started the pill for period pain, later thought to be Endometriosis. I switched four or five times but I've just finished my yellow pill of Seasonique on Sunday or Monday (the 3rd out of 7 - my doctor doesn't care if I don't take them all. Always told me not to worry about it). So I'm just coming off the pill.

I missed a week in March because of some pretty bad pains and my period came. I went back on the pill and then in April like clockwork my body was right back trying to have a period even down to feeling ovulation pains or something around the day I would have ovulated had I not been on the pill. My doc suggested I stay on the pill till I was ready to try. I don't know if that episode made her think my body would line up right after but I did ask her if I should get off the month before.

My ultrasound showed nothing wrong with my ovaries and my lining was 1.8 I believe is what it was. It was thin enough like she wanted.

Today is CD2 and my levels were:

FSH - 1.10 They like 12 or less
Progesterone 1.63
E2 (estrogen) less than 20 They like less than 60
LH .173

The nurse said that its not cause for concern right now. It's not that they don't think it will happen, its just not definite that it will happen. My medications are being ordered but its still a wait and see thing.

These are lower than they like and now we're monitoring to see if I'll even produce anything this cycle and if not my next cycle will include drugs. I've always ovulated or so I was so sure with Mittelschmerz and everything on date which was why I wasn't going to be given Clomid. I'm scheduled for a monitored triggered natural cycle June 1st.

I have Fertilitea from Fairhaven Health http://www.fairhavenhealth.com/fertilitea.html (drank 5 cups so far since Monday), royal jelly (taken 2), selenium (taken 4), L-Arginine (haven't taken), Rainbow Light prenatal that I've been taking for at least two months, Co Q 10 (taken for about a week), Maca and Spirulina (haven't taken). The majority of my food is wheat and gluten free. I'm not sure if these are messing with my levels.

I was considering acupuncture before for endo but didn't get to it. Now I'm thinking about it for this but think I'm too late as I only have less than two weeks left.

I have not had any problems with thyroid, PCOS has been ruled out and nothing else has put up any bells other than Endo and thats not a major concern right now.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Other supplements? Should I just wait for th next cycle? Get tested for something else? I'd like to go ahead if I can with this cycle if I can. Is it too soon to say if that would be possible? Should I just stop thinking so much about it?

posted by grablife365 to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Here's the thing. IVF is a long, long road. If you happen to get pregnant the first try, that's great but it's also statistically less common.

If you're not going to ovulate this cycle, you're not going to ovulate. All the tea in the world isn't going to change that.

I would very strongly suggest that you not see this first IVF as a make or break appointment, but rather one of a series of appointments you will go through. It's a marathon, not a sprint, and it's important to your mental health to pace yourself.

If you're looking for tried and tested approaches to infertility and IVF, especially in terms of alternative support like supplements, teas and accupuncture, I'd suggest the boards at ADL. The pre- and post-ovulation schedule for some supplements can be significant, so it's worth reading up on there. Those women in the fertility forum are practical and supportive without being all baby dust and pukingly twee.
posted by DarlingBri at 5:17 PM on May 19, 2010

I'd suggest not taking any supplements without the advice of your doctor.
posted by DarkForest at 5:22 PM on May 19, 2010

Definitely calm down. Stress and anxiety will do nothing to help you, and could adversely affect your cycle/hormone levels. Whatever the reason for your "infertility", trying to correct your hormone levels less than two weeks before your IUI probably won't work. Your body does what it does and, unless you intercede very early in your cycle, it's unlikely that you can change what's currently going on. Yes, the chances of conception might be lower this time, but nothing is impossible!

Trust your RE; she knows what she's doing. I know how it feels to want things to happen RIGHT NOW. My son is an IVF baby; I went through all that testing about 6 years ago, including two cycles of IUI. It's so frustrating because almost everything dealing with fertility is about waiting, and it's hard to not worry when you're so emotionally and physically involved. The best thing you can do for your body is to try and relax, take your prenatal vitamins and eat a good diet. You'll feel better, which will put you in a better state of mind.

Speak with your RE and come up with a clear plan of attack (as you're already doing). I had bloodwork done, ultrasounds, hysterosalpingograms and an exploratory laparoscopy. Other than very light endo, my (and my husband's) infertility was unexplained. For my IUIs, I was instructed to use those OTC ovulation prediction kits and to call the doctor when I got a positive result. We would then go in the next morning for the procedure. When they didn't work, my RE gave us two options: try hormone injections, starting at day 1 of my cycle to get things to precise levels to give natural insemination a better chance, or skip that and go straight to IVF. We were fortunate in that our insurance covered a good portion of the cost for IVF, so we went with what would have a higher success rate. We were also fortunate that I was able to conceive our son on the first try.
posted by jenny76 at 7:10 PM on May 19, 2010

You seem really stressed out, and I know that that must be difficult to avoid in this situation.

IANYD, but I would try to focus on relaxation rather than ovulation, if you can. Your stress level probably has far more to do with this than your selenium level...
As far as I can tell there is no scientific evidence for royal jelly, selenium, CoQ10...

Where did you get the idea of taking these supplements? I am not an RE physician but I used PubMed to search for papers on the above and they have only been studied in relation to male spematogenesis (and not with any clear positive results, I might add). You clearly must be a woman. Does your physician know you are taking these supplements? I really would not take these things that are unproven, supplements are unregulated and when studied, may contain other types of chemicals than what they advertise. These things may not be safe during pregnancy.

L-arginine I did see some preliminary evidence suggesting that it could help thicken the endometrial layer, but to me it sounds like your problem was not thin endometrium. I am uncomfortable with the idea of the Fertilitea, even though I see preliminary evidence that it may help in conception, because I don't see any evidence of people looking at the safety of these active ingredients, but as long as your doctor is OK with it I guess it looks relatively benign. I don't think there is any reason why getting acupuncture now would be helpful unless you are currently having pain. Acupuncture is really more of a pain relief treatment, it is not going to make a difference with fertility that I am aware of.

Anyway these are all just off the cuff thoughts from a non-OB/GYN medical perspective, but I just think it would be a lot better to focus on your own wellness and doing things that make you happy and relaxed, rather than focusing so much on this thing that is clearly making you anxious. Best of luck...!
posted by treehorn+bunny at 8:31 PM on May 19, 2010

I'm gonna say, stop thinking about it. Ovulation is really unpredictable. When I got pregnant with my second son (both were conceived through IUI), I ovulated so late in my cycle that I thought I had somehow missed it. I was using pee-on-stick ovulation predictors, and thought, I don't know, that even though I was obsessively peeing on $100 worth of sticks every day, I'd somehow missed it, or didn't ovulate. I had this "deep intuition," I said, that either I'd ovulated and missed it or wasn't going to. It was like cycle day 19, and I normally only had 26-day cycles, and I decided to just give up and try again to catch it the next month.

The next morning, just to confirm my intuition, I peed on one last stick. And lo and behold! Ovulation. Baby born eight months later.

I take back "stop thinking about it." If you're like me, waiting to ovulate, inseminating, and then waiting to see if you get your period is a time of intense fretfulness and obsession. You may not be able to help it. But I will say instead, don't give up, don't second-guess your RE this early in the game, don't take any steps without checking with her. Sometimes they just keep an eye on your hormones and ovulation for a couple of cycles; at least, my RE said he often did that because he preferred to be minimally-invasive. So even if you end up not inseminating this cycle, you may get useful information from the process. Try to let that be OK.

(DarlingBri, IUI is not IVF. FWIW.)
posted by not that girl at 9:28 PM on May 19, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks for the replies.

I've checked things out with my doctor before. She'll give me her opinion on the ingredients but if she doesn't think it will do more harm than good she'll leave it up to me to decide.

I listed what I have just to show what I could have in my body at the moment that may change my hormones. It's left to me and I'm fine giving them a try. Haven't tried most of them yet but just wanted to show what I have on hand and the amount taken that could change anything.

Thanks for the link DarlingBri, I'll be checking it out in a few. not that girl, treehorn+bunny thanks. I may not inseminate this cycle but I checked and everything would roll over. My issue before this had not been stressed as I'm more relaxed than I've been in a while. It is more so stress now as I've never had this problem, I always ovulated before so its a little out of left field. I'm having a hard time letting that be ok.
posted by grablife365 at 6:29 AM on May 20, 2010

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