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Thread: How Do I Know If My Fertility Is On Its Last Legs?

  1. #1

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    Default How Do I Know If My Fertility Is On Its Last Legs?

    OK, bit of background. I got pregnant second try when I was 36 but sadly miscarried. I got pregnant again (within six months and not charting so a bit hit and miss on the 'trying') when I was 37 and had my DD six months ago.



    I am keen to have another child but the problem is that I endured SEVEN MONTHS of almost constant pain from the last pregnancy with an unstable pelvis. I am still having physio and I am getting it under control. If it wasn't for this issue, I would be keen to try again right now and not risk my fertility decreasing but I honestly feel like my body needs to get itself right first especially as the condition is likely to recur again and next time I will be in agony not only with a newborn to look after but also a toddler. I can handle the sleep deprivation fine, I just can't face the pain of not being able to stand, bend or lift anything for months on end. My family is all in the UK so I have no one who can help me out other than DP who works shifts so often works 9 days without a day off.

    My obstetrician has told me that although it looks like I have a good chance of conceiving again, I will need to get my skates on because even though I may get pregnant fairly easily, my chances of miscarrying are greater the older I get obviously.

    I asked him if there was any way of knowing how fertile I am or how many eggs I have left. He said that although we could do blood tests, the best way of knowing is by charting my cycle and if it becomes irregular/shorter that's a warning sign. Does that sound right? Part of me would like to have a blood test as an added bit of information but my obstetrician has been absolutely fantastic and I would trust him with my life.

    For the last three months, my cycle has been 28 days and I'm about to start charting more 'professionally' with temps etc.

    Sorry, that was a bit of a ramble! My real question is - is there any way of knowing whether my fertility is on its last legs apart from looking at the length of my cycle?

  2. #2

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    Fiona, I am not sure - but I don't think so. I think you'd have to have all the tests, and keep charting to see if you're ovulating. Sounds like you are reasonably fertile though.

  3. #3

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    FionaS,
    when you start IVF they give you a blood test on day 2 or 3 of your cycle to measure your FSH that is folicle stimulating hormone. raised levels of this means your body is working harder to produce an egg to release each month which inidctes your egg reserve is diminishing. that is the only real way of measuring declining fertility.
    i think your OB sounds right with the cycle length. I was always a regular 30 days but after I had my DD at 40, it slipped back to 28 and now it is about 26 with some even shorter ones thrown in. we have been TTC number 2 for 5 years and my cycle length backs up that I am no longer fertile. But my FSH is still OK funnily enough. i think if you are charting and find you are Oing regularly around day 14 , you should be fine. good luck

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by fionas View Post
    I asked him if there was any way of knowing how fertile I am or how many eggs I have left. He said that although we could do blood tests, the best way of knowing is by charting my cycle and if it becomes irregular/shorter that's a warning sign. Does that sound right? Part of me would like to have a blood test as an added bit of information but my obstetrician has been absolutely fantastic and I would trust him with my life.

    ?
    Yep that is right. Fertility kind of "drops off" gradually - so if that's happening and you're charting you will start seeing occasional anovulatory cycles, and some that are longer or shorter than usual and more irregular. Charting gives so much information if you know what you're looking for.

    Good luck with it I know how you feel with the clock ticking - I'm nearly 35 and not ready for another child anywhere in the near future but I'm not sure I'm completely finished yet...so I feel the pressure too.

  5. #5

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    Fionas - Anney is right about the FSH level, as it rises when women get closer to M. Also, another indication might be small follicle count in the early phase of your cycle. At my clinic, they did a follicle count and gave me a rating (A=very good/high count to E=very few small follicles) - those follicles dont go on to ovulate all at once but it can be an indication of your egg quality (if you think about it, the body chooses the best of the smalls to focus its' energies on for ovulation, so if there is only a small batch, chances might be the quality isn't as good as what it might pick out of a big patch). Docs will count follicles and do FSH if you ask for an "assessment cycle" at a clinic. At my clinic, the assessment cycle cost about $250.

    Best of luck with what you decide ...

  6. #6

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    Cycle length doesn't necessarily tell you anything. Back in my 20's and 30's I had a perfect 28 day cycle but only had one pregnancy in 8.5 years.... and was diagnosed with unexplained infertility. Last year at the ripe old age of 40/41 (and with a shorter cycle and a short LP) I got pregnant 3 times with absolutely no medical assistance. I'd suggest the BT is the way to go.

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