16 down to 5 follicles in 5 months


#1

Before starting the IVF process with my partner I had a few different ultrasounds by the dr’s as a pre-requisite. In June I was determined to have 16 follicles on the 2nd day of my period, with no issues. I am healthy, 31 y.o., never been pregnant. I’ve never tried getting pregnant, thus the gayparent title.

Flashforward to now, i have been on bcp and lupron on and off the past few months, due to timing challenges with me and my partner, as well as the sperm shipment. I have gone through all of my thousands of dollars of follistum/menopur medication and just got my first ultrasounds days before the retrieval. I am beyond disappointed and trying to find a reason or explanation. The doctor offers no explanation, only that I have the body of a woman 10 years older than myself.

Since I am so new to this, I am just looking for some advice or questions I should be asking. I’m feeling like, is it really even worth it to do the retrieval, if only 5 follicles are showing up? It’s in a couple days. Advice please…


#2

I have seen it on these boards quite a few times when women only have a few follicles showing and then during egg retrieval, additional are found. It is also possible to get oversuppressed by Lupron and BCP, especially if you were on it prolonged period of time. But I would hope that your doctor did a baseline check on day 2 or day 3 and would have cancelled stimulation if they felt you were oversuppressed. If you can get 5 quality eggs during retrieval, then it is certainly worth it. I would certainly ask your doctor if it is possible that you were oversuppressed. Best of luck!


#3

i wondered this all the time , my first retrieval i had 20 plus eggs i was 28 this time around at 31 i had 7!!! my doc said it was due to age … idk but i do know it work and were pg with twins… but god forbid this cycle doesnt work , maybe your re will switch up your med and try a diff protcol?:babydust: to you guys:babydust:


#4

I would say don’t rush to conclusions as you are still young , maybe the protocol was not the one ,different women respond differently to different protocols . Five follicles are great. I had four follicles and all made grade A embryos and although I wasn’t able to conceive with the fresh two, I am pregnant with the frozen (twins ).
Don’t underestimate your follicles ,they can be your future babies soon
best of luck


#5

I agree with the previous poster. I would not make any conclusions just yet. IMHO, your RE was very irresponsible in telling a 31 year old with an AFC count of sixteen a mere 5 months ago that she has the ovaries of a woman 10 years older. Don’t you fall for that. You may very well have been over-suppressed by both the Lupron and BCP’s. It could also be that the IVF protocol that your Dr. used was inappropriate. It is very common to get an entirely different response under different protocols. Of course, your Dr. did not mention that possibility huh? It just burns me the way some facilities treat us.

Should you go forward? That is a personal decision. I have seen where people who are known to make few follies would certainly go forward with five eggs. However, in your case…who knows if this is typical for you? You have already spent funds on the drugs, but is it worth it to throw more money at IVf under these circumstances? Only you can answer that. What concerns me most is your Dr. Was the Dr. monitoring your follies all along? When he/she saw that you were producing fewer follies than expected, did they adjust your meds? Also…some say that Menopour is not good for some of us as it may cause harm to our eggs.

Did you have an AMH/MIS test done which measures ovarian reserve? Although not used by all Dr.'s, it is used by many to gauge ovarian reserve along with FSH…some believe that it is an even greater predictor. BTW…what was your FSH and E2 5 months ago?


#6

Thank you, yes this is exactly the dilemma we are facing. It was comforting to hear you rewrite it so nicely!

I had an ultrasound about 2 weeks prior to our first visit and start with this doctor. It was done with another fertility clinic as part of the consultation visit. Our current dr said that he did not need to do an ultrasound b/c it was so recent. I never had an ultrasound performed until 7 days after starting the stimulation medication (follistim), which was last week. No, when I asked what could have gone wrong, he insisted that it was me, and it could not have been the medication. In fact, he said that he started me off with a higher dose of follistim because he was concerned, but when I asked why he said he was concerned, he could not answer me. He had no idea. All of my labs are fine, I’m totally healthy, and I had an average number of follicles when tested a few months prior. However, I have a history of some irregular periods, but when tested there was no explanation. He didn’t say anything about that, but I just thought of it. When the first ultrasound measured 5 on day 6 of follistim, he increased the dose, then on day 9 the number was the same so he increased further.

I don’t think I had a AMH/MIS. I’m guessing I would have known, and considering that I haven’t had ultrasounds along the way, probably not.

I don’t know what FSH and E2 are? Would that be listed on the ultrasound printout?

Thank you so much classy!

[quote=classc_1]I agree with the previous poster. I would not make any conclusions just yet. IMHO, your RE was very irresponsible in telling a 31 year old with an AFC count of sixteen a mere 5 months ago that she has the ovaries of a woman 10 years older. Don’t you fall for that. You may very well have been over-suppressed by both the Lupron and BCP’s. It could also be that the IVF protocol that your Dr. used was inappropriate. It is very common to get an entirely different response under different protocols. Of course, your Dr. did not mention that possibility huh? It just burns me the way some facilities treat us.

Should you go forward? That is a personal decision. I have seen where people who are known to make few follies would certainly go forward with five eggs. However, in your case…who knows if this is typical for you? You have already spent funds on the drugs, but is it worth it to throw more money at IVf under these circumstances? Only you can answer that. What concerns me most is your Dr. Was the Dr. monitoring your follies all along? When he/she saw that you were producing fewer follies than expected, did they adjust your meds? Also…some say that Menopour is not good for some of us as it may cause harm to our eggs.

Did you have an AMH/MIS test done which measures ovarian reserve? Although not used by all Dr.'s, it is used by many to gauge ovarian reserve along with FSH…some believe that it is an even greater predictor. BTW…what was your FSH and E2 5 months ago?[/quote]


#7

I would be alarmed by an RE that simply says your body is old. Also that he didn’t have a rationale for your treatment plan is not very reassuring. I’ve not heard that response to the many hurdles other people have encountered when I read their posts. Do you go ahead? Only you can decide that. It really only takes one. I’d base my decision on my ability (financial/emotional) to cycle again with a different RE if this one doesn’t work out.

FSH should have been a blood test number to get an estimate of your ovarian reserve. They did mine on CD3 a month or so before starting BCP.


#8

We did IVF this year and was told I shouldn’t have any issues producing well come day of retrieval I had 6!

Of my 6 via ICSI 1 fertilized as normal, 2 fertilized over a day late (told they were no good really) we put back in all three, and miracle of all here I am 36 weeks pregnant!

I am now 32 ( was 31 at the time )

So there is still hope! Will be hoping for you!!!


#9

[quote=gayparent]Thank you, yes this is exactly the dilemma we are facing. It was comforting to hear you rewrite it so nicely!

I had an ultrasound about 2 weeks prior to our first visit and start with this doctor. It was done with another fertility clinic as part of the consultation visit. Our current dr said that he did not need to do an ultrasound b/c it was so recent. I never had an ultrasound performed until 7 days after starting the stimulation medication (follistim), which was last week. No, when I asked what could have gone wrong, he insisted that it was me, and it could not have been the medication. In fact, he said that he started me off with a higher dose of follistim because he was concerned, but when I asked why he said he was concerned, he could not answer me. He had no idea. All of my labs are fine, I’m totally healthy, and I had an average number of follicles when tested a few months prior. However, I have a history of some irregular periods, but when tested there was no explanation. He didn’t say anything about that, but I just thought of it. When the first ultrasound measured 5 on day 6 of follistim, he increased the dose, then on day 9 the number was the same so he increased further.

I don’t think I had a AMH/MIS. I’m guessing I would have known, and considering that I haven’t had ultrasounds along the way, probably not.

I don’t know what FSH and E2 are? Would that be listed on the ultrasound printout?

Thank you so much classy![/quote]

Honestly…I’ve never heard of allowing a cylce to start without doing what is called a suppression check to see if your hormones are appropriately suppressed at or near CD1. They look at your estrogen levels (E2) to see if it is low enough to start a cycle. An estrogen level that is too high can be indicative of other issues such as a cyst and also that the cycle should be canceled in many instances. There could have been an issue from the start.

Your FSH # is not likely on your u/s. Ask for a copy of the work-up you did originally on CD 3 a few months back. It should have your FSH level, E2 level- important because an elevated level could mask a high FSH level, LH, etc.

If yoiu do not ovulate, they need to look into this…an LH higher than an your FSH could possibly indicate PCOS…in which case…there may be other meds that you need for a successful IVF.

I would request a copy of your original blood-work from a few months ago unless you have more recent CD 3 bloodwork…in which case…request that too. You can take a look at your CD 2or 3 FSH, AFC and E2 level to get at least some idea of your ovarian reserve. I would also ask to have an AMH/MIS test taken…it can be taken at any time in your cycle.

Here are a few web pages to get you started:

Day 3 FSH Fertility Test of Ovarian Reserve

AMH Fertility Test, Anti-Mullerian Hormone


#10

We went ahead with the retieval today and good thing because there were 9 mature eggs. Now wait and see…All we can do is look forward.