My Story

Hi there, welcome to my blog. Yes I am a drama queen and yes I have been deemed “infertile” by a few of the medical experts in the great State of Colorado but that hasn’t made me give up my quest to have children quite yet. My husband and I have been on the emotional roller coaster of infertility since March of 2009 when I stopped taking birth control after being on it for ten straight years. I have been keeping a journal since the start of this process and thought I would share it with all of the other incredible women out there who may be going through the same thing or similar thing that I am. At age 28, I have been diagnosed with Premature Ovarian Failure (POF). With no history of fertility problems on either side of my family and normal periods before going on the pill, I was left to accept that I have this condition and that there is no medical explanation for it. Since receiving this diagnosis from a fertility specialist in May 2009, I decided I simply wasn’t going to accept that I wasn’t going to have children with my own eggs. I jumped into the world of Eastern Medicine, worked with an Endocrinologist and even went on a fertility diet trying to get my ovaries to start functioning normally. The conclusion I have come to is this…..having Celiac Disease (Gluten/Flour intolerance) and continuing to eat flour throughout most of my childhood and part of adulthood caused my body to produce anti-bodies that have now started attacking the organs/glands in my body. After a visit to an endocrinologist in December 2009, it was determined that I have ovarian antibodies which are essentially antibodies produced by my body that only attack the endocrine system. No doctor has actually confirmed my self diagnosis that the Gluten Intolerance caused this but Celiac Disease is an auto immune disorder and any auto immune disorder can cause your body to attack itself. I am currently waiting to see a Reproductive Endocrinologist to see what the next steps for me will be. I have read that doctors can try and stimulate the Pituitary Gland to get your Endocrine System running again or that you can be given steroids to help restore ovary function. I am hoping to receive one of these treatments in the near future but only time will tell. In the past 10 months, I have watched many of my close friends become pregnant while I remain a sad statistic. This blog contains my thoughts as I struggle through the process of figuring out what in the world is going on with my body and how I continue to try to stay upbeat and positive about my fertility and enjoy my life. I hope that my blog can help others would love to hear from other women going through the same thing, inspiring stories or anyone who just needs encouragement. I know and understand how difficult every day can be once you have received the POF or infertile diagnosis and want you all to know that I am here for you. Please note that some of you may feel I am sharing to much information (TMI) and for that I am sorry. If you want to read my blog…you get all the details. You never know what will be helpful to someone else right? God bless everyone and I wish you luck on your fertility adventures:0) Remember mind over matter!

My intent is to raise awareness of the issues. Please do not rely on this or any other article when making decisions that will affect you and your health. These are things I have decided to try after much research.
I am sorry I have to even ask, but this research stuff is starting to get expensive. I am just asking for $1.00 donation for posts you feel have helped you. I will use all donations to help fund my research and doctors appointments and of course report back to you. Baby dust to all of you and dont worry we will all find a way to have children.

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Infertile – a horrible word used to make women who are already feeling bad about themselves want to jump into a pool of chocolate fudge and eat their sorrows away only to realize that not only can they not get pregnant but now they don’t fit in their clothes. A word so easily tossed around by doctors that they don’t even realize they are saying it and a word that you never under any circumstances should google unless you want your brain to explode.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I'm on a highway to health!

“FSH is the abbreviation for FOLLICLE-STIMULATING HORMONE. It is a substance created from part of the brain called the pituitary gland. In a young, healthy woman, a small wave of FSH released at the beginning of the cycle will get her follicles to start developing for that month. Why only a small amount? Because a young fertile woman’s ovaries are very sensitive. They don’t need much to get them going. After getting just a tiny whiff of FSH, they will start to do their thing. As the follicles do their thing, they start to grow bigger AND they will produce another hormone called estradiol. The news that estradiol is rising goes back up to the pituitary and tells it the good news that "OK, things are moving along just fine. You can ease up on the FSH production. Thank you very much. Talk to you later." The FSH factory supervisor gets this message and tells the production crew to slow down, get some rest and wait until next cycle. In physiological terms, this is known as NEGATIVE FEEDBACK, which is not a bad thing here, unlike the way it is when you’re talking about your EBay rating. In a woman who is 45, the follicles are few in number and poor in quality, so a different scene plays out. The story begins the same way. At the beginning of the cycle, the pituitary faithfully sends out pulses of FSH and waits for a negative feedback estradiol signal from the follicles that will tell the pituitary to rest again. However, because the follicles are bad, they won’t develop as vigorously, if they even develop at all. So while the follicles struggle to grow and develop in a healthy manner, they will not send out a strong estradiol signal. Meanwhile, the pituitary starts to get a little nervous. "Hmm, it’s been several days and we still haven’t heard back from the follicles. Maybe they need a little more juice." The pituitary then makes the decision to crank up the FSH production and the FSH level goes up a bit. If the follicles eventually respond to this new increase of FSH, then the estradiol signal will arrive and the pituitary crew will breathe a sigh of relief. However, in a worst case scenario (for example if the woman is completely menopausal or if her ovaries have both been surgically removed), then the pituitary is in for a big surprise. The estradiol signal will never come. So what happens is the pituitary will frantically shift into panic mode, going full power and pouring out tons of FSH. The FSH levels will skyrocket!This second scenario doesn’t just happen in 45 year-olds. It can also happen in some younger women whose ovaries for some reason or other are behaving much older than they really are. This is a condition, known as diminished ovarian reserve or in an extreme situation where the follicles have completely shut down, it is known as PREMATURE OVARIAN FAILURE.”

During my breakdown last Friday, I pleaded with God to help me let things go and be able to go back to being my old self. I asked him if it was going to be awhile until I was better, if it would be possible to help me move on from the awful rut I had been in for over a year and be able to be happy again. I don’t think I have ever cried that hard or felt like I have been that connected with God during a prayer. I felt like he was really listening and feeling my pain. I know all of you “non-believers” are rolling your eyes right about now but since that day I have felt completely different. Happy, light hearted and my heart no longer drops to my feet when I get an email with a picture of a friend’s sonogram or pictures of a family member’s new baby. In fact, while shopping for a good friend’s baby shower (which I am co-hosting this weekend) last night with my mom, not one moment of sadness came over me. I was able to shop, be excited for my friend and enjoy my mother’s company. I will admit I have been frustrated and at times plain mad at God in the last year but he did answer my prayers from last Friday and I am eternally grateful for that. I know that everything is going to be ok and until things are back to normal, I am now able to smile (without forcing it), walk (without dragging my feet) and inquire about close friend’s pregnancy or children (without feeling sad for myself). I am back to normal (well at least as normal as I can be). I feel great, have lost about 5 pounds and have removed the huge mother of a cloud off my heart. Feeling amazing today,(even after waking up 5 minutes before I had to leave for work) I decided to look up some success stories on women who were in similar situations as me and conceived and lowered their FSH.

“I went through a depression when my doc said that my FSH was a 13 and I'm 30! What it really means is that your body wont make as many eggs (with fertility treatment) as someone with a normalNormal saline flush FSH. With repronex and IUI I made 6 mature pregnant and am 13 1/2 weeks along!!! I thought that this was the end of the world but it's NOT. My friend who's 27 has an FSH of 21...she's close to entering menopause at 27. Our RE gave her lots of drugs and with IUI she now has a 7 month old

“I started taking wheat grass pills and after taking them 2 months my FSH dropped to an 8 and I stimulated better with repronex. Also took Damiana which strengthens the egg...and with higher FSH you want to find the best eggs.”

“There is a great book, called "Inconceivable" by Julia Indichova. She was diagnosed with very high FSH's and tried many different natural remedies when conventional medicine couldn't help her. The month she conceived, her FSH was over 30. She had been flatly told this was impossible. The book goes into great detail about the things she tried.”

“I feel for anyone who had the FSH level testing and was told that their level was too high to ever get pregnant with their own eggs. I am 43 and my levels were 25.5 and 45.5. I was told that I would never have my own baby, and egg donation or adoption would be my only option for a child. I was devastated, but after a few hours I decided that I wasn't going to only take his word. I found a much more compassionate and knowledgable fertility specialist who said my advanced age is the real factor, not the FSH levels, which may or may not play a role. IVF was discussed and the question was whether to try with my own eggs (a 5-10% chance of pregnancy) or a donor's egg (a 70% chance of pregnancy). We didn't have the money for IVF so for the time being, I turned to Chinese medicine - acupunture and herbs. I started doing the home ovulation testing (HIGHLY RECOMMEND!) which showed that I ovulate very early for a 28 day cycle. It's been about 4 months since those FSH tests, and I found out 4 days ago that I am pregnant. It's very exciting, but scary at the same time because I am 43. I have to believe that this gift have been given, is a mircle in itself and if I've beaten the odds so far, I will beat them all the way through my pregnancy and have a healthy baby. It's so important to find positive doctors, and to turn to other natural/spiritual types of healing practices. And to anyone who was given similar "you can't get pregnant" news, a doctor is only human. They can't really know, so be proactive, research yourself, and shop around for the doctor that you click with. :o)”

“Hi ladies. My fsh level peaked at 13 at the age of 34. I was devestated and thought all was over. I am happy to announce that I had my twins (via ivf) on 10-27-07! It can happen so don't give up. Just find yourself a good RE who is well versed in how to treat high fsh'ers!

“i'm 42. earlier this year i had an fsh of 9. next month i spiked to 39. bought "inconceivable" and followed verbatim, including shot of liquid wheatgrass from juice bar every single morning. one month after 39, got a 15.9, one month later 14.2. i highly recommend this book. it's not just good for your fsh, it's good for your overall health and soundness of mind as it stops your helplessness and puts you back in the driver's seat of your own life. good luck! update: had my fsh taken again today and i am now a 6.5. from 39 in july, following the "inconceivable" lifestyle, to a 6.5 today. read this book! and good luck...”

I read through posting after posting feeling more and more inspired as I read. Then I found this one entitled “Nourishing the ovaries back to health .”

“When we are trying to have a baby hear from the doctor that our FSH is too high it sounds like the death knoll. Is FSH really the only accurate measure of egg quality? It is not the final measure. Real egg quality is only measured by one thing: a baby. Also, remember hormones fluctuate. Your health is not the snapshot just taken of your FSH level. Your health is a moving picture. And you can start moving the picture in a new direction. You can restore and enhance your fertility. Your doctor can not. This is not an unreasonable or outrageous statement. If you were getting sick every month, one headcold after another, what could your doctor do? He or she could offer you antibiotics, but can the doctor build your immune system? Can the doctor make you stronger? No. But you can. There is a parallel here. The doctor can overstimulate your ovaries, putting everything on fast forward, but can he actually build your fertility? No. But you can. You can do things to enhance your fertility that your doctor, as much as he or she may want to, can not do. You can build back your energy, renew your cervical mucus and sexual fluids, eliminate PMS symptoms, sleep better, bring back a normal flow for your cycle. Oriental women have know how to do these things for thousands of years. They use herbs, healing foods and special exercises. These are things you can learn with only a small investment of time and expense. You can nuture your body and renew your fertility, and in the process your FSH levels will fall. We have helped many women to lower their FSH. A high FSH reading is merely a measure of your ability to respond to FSH drugs. High FSH (above 10) is an obstacle for Western Medical Reproductive Technology because it means your body will not tolerate the drug stimulation. But according to the clinical experience of expert Chinese herbalists FSH can be above the Clomid Challenge test minimum and not inhibit the ability to get pregnant. Also, FSH can be artificially increased by treatments such as Clomid. According to Traditional Chinese Herbalism, fertility drugs deplete the body's yin energy, sometimes creating what the Chinese call Yin Deficiency combined with Liver Chi Stagnation, bringing symptoms such as hot flashes, irritability, mood swings, headaches, insomnia. If your body is given the proper support through special energy exercises, the best herbal nutrition and recommended healing foods added to the diet, high FSH caused by pharmaceutical drugs will usually rebalance in as little as 2-3 months. It is rarely difficult. And this artificial imbalance can rebalance for women of all ages. A woman with high FSH is often told that she has “premature ovarian failure”. However, if the ovaries are actually healthy ,with the right herbal formulas, exercises and maybe some acupuncture or acupressure you can do yourself, we often see the ovarian function spring back, produce higher levels of estrogen and produce that true measure of healthy eggs – a baby. It is important to learn how to keep your body strong and balanced. Instead of focusing on individual hormones you learn the art of bringing balance to your entire endocrine system. This rejuvenates the complicated cascade of hormones leading up to the implantation of the fertilized egg. A Radiant Wonder Fertility Program will enhance your fertility dramatically. Will you get pregnant right away? Maybe, and maybe not. But you will know deep within that you are preparing yourself for that baby. The Chinese talk about a 100 day cultivation period. That is about three months. And it takes three months for the blood supply to completely replenish itself. Within three months you should see visible hormonal changes. I say this because I want you to understand that this is not a quick fix, but despite what I say, some of our customers actually become pregnant the first month.

Almost immediately you will experience more energy everyday. You will sleep well again. There will be a sense of calm and inner strength that tells you that you are working with your body to prepare yourself for not only receiving and carrying a child, but for raising the child. You can have a healthy baby in a healthy body. And that is the real goal. Open your heart and mind to the idea of possibility.... You can use Western Medicine, or Eastern Herbalism or a combination of both. The main thing is to take charge of your health yourself, not to expect someone else to make you pregnant. It is your body, your sexual vitality, and you have been given very strong intuition to know what is right for you. Our customers will attest to the fact that these individualized programs work. Fertility is enhanced. The chances of becoming pregnant are increased.

After reading through all of the stories, I am shocked at the number of 20 and 30 somethings that are getting such high FSH readings and an infertile diagnosis. It has got to be the lifestyle’s and nutrition of the typical everyday woman. Why else would we all of a sudden be hit with such large numbers of young couples having trouble conceiving? I have found hundreds of success stories on women who where deemed infertile, changed their lifestyle and eating habbits and not only restored their fertility but also conceived naturally. I am on the road to where I want to be, anyone care to follow me? Caravans welcome!

1 comment:

  1. Melissa-you of all people deserve to have a baby. I remember how you were feeling, I know that miracles to happen and that prayers are incredible powerful. Hang in will happen someday somehow:)


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Reading Materials/Other Items That Have Helped Me

  • Inconceivable
  • Making Babies by Sami S. David, MD & Jill Blakeway, LAc
  • pre-seed Fertility-friendly Intimate Moisturizer
  • restoring fertility - yoga for optimal fertility dvd - you can feel it working!
  • Taking Charge for Your Fertility by Toni Weschler, MPH
  • The Infertility Cure by Randin Lewis, Ph. D.