Friday, June 09, 2006


I'm a university lecturer, and we've been on "strike" (a boycott of assessment activities - at the busiest time of year for assessment) - no marking. So now that our strike has ended, I have a huge pile of marking to do. You, gentle reader, are very lucky.

I had my next (maybe final) gynae appointment today, and went along with as usual a long list of things to ask. I forgot to put one thing on it, and I didn't sleep well last night, so not surprisingly I forgot to ask about it. But it is not fertility related*, and this is what she said about the fertility things:

My FSH level is 7. Not hopeless, but not as good as it could be (it seems that 2-6 is "excellent" and 6-9 is "good"), and another reminder that I don't have forever to do this pregnancy thing. So I didn't really need the gynae to tell me "it all gets harder after you're 40".

She's redoing the "online" clotting tests (the ones that measure actual levels of substance in your blood, rather than the ones that test for a gene mutation, which is not going to change). She also arranged for a test for the MTHFR mutation- she hadn't heard of it but the fact that it's in a book by the miscarriage guru lady in London, rather than off-a-random-website, made her take it seriously. But given that apparently a third of people have the mutation, there must be a lot of people who get and stay pregnant just fine with it.

She's referring me to the recurrent miscarriage clinic - the local one - the only thing I can find in the London clinic's book that I don't know if they do is the real-time clotting test (how fast does your blood clot in actual fact) and if they don't, I'll try and arrange for it to be done privately. She also said that, if I get pregnant again but have not yet had a diagnosis of a clotting factor, then it would do absolutely no harm to take low-dose aspirin. I am not sure if I'll extend this to "it will do no harm to take it during the second half of the cycle every month". I'm tempted.

And she said when we have some answers from the miscarriage clinic, IUI might make sense, and can be done at a fairly local hospital (1/2 hour away) with good results.

So reproductively I feel as if I've had a few answers. But parenting-wise, I'm not sure. If I knew we could not get (or stay) pregnant, I would want to go for adoption as soon as possible. But will I ever know that?

*it is a Barthelin cyst, and no, you don't want to know what it is.


Thalia said...

Katie sorry I didn't get back to you with the list of what I had done. I never got the list from my doctor, so apologies. I will ask him for it. Along with MTHFR you should have factor V leiden and protein S, along with antiphospholipd antibodies. Those are the ones I remember. I was also karyotyped, I think you've had that already.

I agree with the doc, my research would say there's no harm in taking baby aspirin for the second half of the cycle for now.

Hope your referral comes through fast.

Thalia said...

And I forgot to say earlier, 7 is good, there is nothing to worry about there. My doc says anything under 10 is fine. So don't let that number get to you.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I thought it was spelt Bartolin. Yes I do know, alas, and now I know how to spell it too...

I am however lucky enough to not know what MTHFR stands for - is it just me or is anyone else tempted to put a K in there to make the abbreviation really obvious?

I hope things get moving quickly.


Vivien said...

I would go so far as to say take the low dose aspirin all the time. I do, and started on the advice of my NHS consultant who said it could help and certainly wouldn't do any harm.
I cannot believe these clever people that can make such INANE remarks about it being harder over 40. I swear if I ever get that said to me again . . .
Oh - and I agree with Thalia about the FSH levels. Relax at least about that.

Michelle said...

We do have a similar history! 7 sounds like a good number for FSH, I wouldn't worry about that. And I am taking low dose aspirin all the time on the advice of my miscarriage specialist, so if your dr. is ok with it, I would take it.