TTC Super Ovulation part 3

(978 Posts)
Arianrhod Mon 08-Oct-12 08:30:07

Hey ladies -

There are a few of us who are ttc after mc's, however there will be ladies out there who are also ttc for the first time or second or third without success. If anyone is on, considering or had success on a super ovulation programme then do join us. How long did it take ? Did you try IUI with it.. ? Did you have PCOS?

Kicking this off and hoping some of you will join....

part 1 here:
www.mumsnet.com/Talk/conception/1385998-TTC-Super-Ovulation

Part 2 here:
www.mumsnet.com/Talk/conception/1475108-TTC-Super-Ovulation-part-2?pg=1

brownstag Sun 03-Feb-13 14:57:34

Having just found an unopened packet of agnus castus from a year or two ago, I'm thinking of taking it again. ari, did you take this while you were taking DHEA? I'm not sure if they can be taken together. And do you take it every day of your cycle? And presumably not on superovulation cycles?
I noticed some research showing it increases melatonin levels, and improves sleep, which just confirms my conviction that the insomnia I suffered after childbirth for many many months, and has been eliminated since taking DHEA, had a hormonal basis.
It seems there's a lot of research showing it has immunoregulatory action too, as well as increasing progesterone levels.

Mel3062 Sun 03-Feb-13 17:36:11

It will be interesting what mr s suggests... I've ordered some anyway I take it you stop after ovulation? Everything has risks and many have risked it to prove successful so ill try it!! X

brownstag Sun 03-Feb-13 19:50:47

If you mean the DHEA, no, you take it all the time. DHEA is a naturally occurring hormone which would be present in the body all through the cycle anyway. But presumably you stop it at a BFP.

Arianrhod Mon 04-Feb-13 09:34:10

I asked Mr S about DHEA a while back, and his comment was purely that he had tried it with a few ladies some time back and he felt it made no difference at all, so he stopped using it. It's best to take if you can be monitored while you're taking it - it can raise testosterone levels, and if yours are already fairly high then it could have an adverse effect on your ovaries/follicles. Problem is, without having your blood monitored you can't know whether it's have a beneficial effect or an adverse one. It's entirely your call but as brown says, short-term use should be no problem. I only stopped taking it because the side effects (and the fact that I wasn't being monitored) made me worry that it was having the wrong effect on me. If I could be monitored, then I'd take it again with no worries.

mel I am also deemed peri-menopausal but you know, the average lady is peri-menopausal for something like 10 years before menopause proper begins and it certainly doesn't mean you can't have a baby, it just means your egg supplies are slowing down, that's all. Well in our sort of age you'd expect that anyway, right? It doesn't mean you have no chance, and it doesn't mean you don't have good eggs still - just less of them. If you read on FF there are loads of women who have babies with impossibly low AMH readings.

I don't think any doctor knows for sure what a woman's body is capable of - keeping as fit & healthy as possible helps, and I'm told a positive mindset too (although I don't manage that most days!). I personally take a whole range of supplements designed to encourage my reproductive system to be as healthy as possible, and I am forever researching to make sure I'm taking the right things. Perhaps something of an obsession with me, but then I'm a lot older than you mel .. and I only had my DD when I was 39, which in itself was a complete surprise and the result of a one-off with my ex (stupid, stupid, but it gave me DD so I'm not complaining!). It can be done, it just takes patience.

brown Excellent, so you got your ovitrelle? Does that mean you're still doing SO? I've completely lost track of who is still doing SO and where they are in their SO journey - how many cycles have you done now, if you're still on it?

Arianrhod Mon 04-Feb-13 09:46:25

Hmm Something up with my refresh button, since I didn't see the first few posts on this page when I typed that last reply!

brown Yes I started taking AC again last cycle (just started next cycle yesterday) and yes, it's ok to take with DHEA as far as I'm aware, but not, as you say, with SuperOV or clomid, since AC will actively counterract what the SO drugs are trying to do. Having said that, 5 out of my 6 cycles of SO I didn't know this, and even with taking AC I still responded well. shrug Who knows!

Some people say only take AC up to ovulation but I personally think that's nuts - it takes 3 months to build up in your system and start working properly, if you stop it every 2 weeks it's never going to have the effect you need it to. I havce discovered since stopping it that the strong ovulation pangs I was getting every month stopped when I wasn't on AC, so I believe it was having a beneficial effect on me. Hence I started taking it again!

DHEA you should stop at BFP - but I'd be cautious about stopping it cold-turkey, I think I'd wean it off slowly, since you're basically pulling the plug on hormones your body was using if you stop it all at once, and what effect might that have on baby? I don't know. Ditto with AC - I wondered about stopping that cold-turkey on BFP, since it encourages the increase of progesterone and if you stop it dead, wouldn't your progesterone levels drop - which is an indicator to your body that you're not pregnant and it's time for your body to clear out and start again? I don't know; again, I did a lot of reading around on this, and found several women thought the same, so carried on taking AC until the end of their first trimester. I think should I be lucky enough to be properly pregnant again that I will be doing this too - every other pregnancy I stopped taking it straight away, and I wonder if this had an effect. I repeat: who knows!

tillyann2013 Mon 04-Feb-13 12:11:51

I've survived my first week on 75ml of gonal f and just had my update scan. Left 17mm, right 21mm and ut lining 9mm. He said it all looks good so its all systems go for iui on wed. blush

Arianrhod Mon 04-Feb-13 13:25:40

Nice tillyann, go for it smile

brownstag Mon 04-Feb-13 20:32:51

Ari, yes I've thought the same myself about not immediately stopping DHEA or agnus castus at a BFP.
And yes, I said I'd give it one last go of superovulation as I've never done it while on DHEA, and it would be interesting to see how that affects my responsiveness to the drugs.
I had my AMH test today along with a day 21 test. The worst experience of blood giving in my life: first the nurse showered us both with my blood from a giant spurt. The pillow was soaked; it was all over her hands and I've found it on my shoes this evening. She did the other arm and that did the same! Finally I was nearly home when she rang up and said she had put the blood in the wrong bottle and I had to go back and have it done again, thankfully taken by a different nurse. The only thing stopping me complaining is that I felt a bit sorry for the nurse, who was obviously not very experienced and very nervous, and also it was so entirely awful as to be almost funny!
Great news Tillyann!

brownstag Mon 04-Feb-13 20:36:52

Oh, meant to say, that now I know I have one blocked tube there seems a bit more point to superovulation, if I can get at least one egg from the good side rather than waste a month ovulating naturally from the wrong side.

tillyann2013 Mon 04-Feb-13 20:46:29

Thanks ladies, this is really all new to me so bit anxious. Thankfully got wed off so no need to worry about work. Is it likely to be uncomfortable afterward or do i need to do anything after? By the way what is dhea?

Mel3062 Tue 05-Feb-13 05:34:28

Ooh tillyann exciting stuff good luck!! Follies have done their job ;)
Dhea helps produce good eggs.
Thankyou ari I feel more positive and will ask mr s about dhea but yes it will be interesting to see if its made a diff with superovulation. I don't know if ill be doing that again got to wait til after humira results for next step.
Sorry to hear about your tube brownstag can it be unblocked? And that blood test geez I'd of been on the floor!!! I tried elma cream to help with my second humira injection.. Didn't work it was still ouch!!

Mel3062 Tue 05-Feb-13 05:35:31

Tillyann where are you having iui? How long was the wait? X

brownstag Tue 05-Feb-13 15:40:58

Tilllyann, sorry, I've never had IUI so I'm not sure if it's uncomfortable.

Mmm.... had my day 21 prog test results already, 24.6. Actually they weren't on day 21, they were 7 days after a positive OPK. I haven't been charting so I don't actually know exactly when I ovulated, but 24.6 either means I did ovulate, but it wasn't quite 7 days before, or I did ovulate but have low progesterone. I stopped charting because it was getting too obsessive, but it did have its advantages ...

But I started the agnus castus again today so maybe that will help if it's the latter.

brownstag Tue 05-Feb-13 17:08:50

Sorry, meant to say Mel, when the consultant did the dye test he said the tube looked healthy but that no liquid could be made to pass through it. He did say that it was possible that the liquid was passing preferentially through the left as the point of least resistance, so I assume that means they do both tubes at the same time (can't really envisage it), but I wasn't sure if he was just trying to make me feel better!
Emla cream; that brings back memories. My sister is a nurse, but the worst coward when it comes to having injections herself and virtually bathes in emla before any procedure. I must say that giving blood has never bothered me, but by the time the fourth needle was put in, after a couple of abortive attempts, and with an empty stomach, I was starting to feel a tad queasy.

brownstag Wed 06-Feb-13 19:06:43

Right, no more boils for me! My AMH results are in and they are worse than ever! 1.14. God, I wasn't expecting that. shock sad

Arianrhod Thu 07-Feb-13 10:35:13

brown So sorry to hear your latest result sad How long ago did you last have your AMH tested, and what was it then? I was just reading on FF, there's a whole subsection devoted to low AMH/high FSH (albeit mostly to do with IVF), would that help you? http://www.fertilityfriends.co.uk/forum/index.php?board=535.0

I don't remember if you've said you'd consider IVF - I think AMH is largely irrelevant compared to how you respond to IVF drugs, if you are interested.

I have to ask ... "no more boils for me"? Boils? Did I miss something??

This journey is really very cr@ppy, no doubt about it sad

brownstag Thu 07-Feb-13 11:20:55

Thanks Ari. Boils, oh yes, boils. Since I got to 6 months on the DHEA I've been like a teenage boy at the height of puberty. Those big hard purple boils along the jawline. All the time I was deluding myself that it was a sacrifice worth making I kind of screened them out. But this morning I woke up and wondered what the hell I've done to myself. People used to remark on my having good skin. Not any more!
But I am glad I did it really; it was an experiment, and it didn't work, and that might help other people, and at least I can say I tried it and I can't regret later that I didn't do it.
I'm going to do this last superovulation treatment, clinging to the hope that even if the DHEA did not improve my AMH it might have improved egg quality. I'm going to go out with a bang: I'm going to use oestrogen pessaries before ovulation and progesterone afterwards.
But this morning I looked into doing another degree, in a language that ought to be my own but my mother never taught me. I feel life has got to move on, in a way that absorbs all the mental energy I've been putting into the pursuit of another baby. And I can teach that language to my son; if I can't pass on any more of my genetic heritage perhaps I can do so with an intellectual and cultural one.
I'm reluctant to see Mr S again in case he persuades me to have hope, and it's hope that's the real killer.
... Anyway, enough about me. How is everyone else?

Arianrhod Thu 07-Feb-13 11:56:40

brown I hear where you're coming from. And if it's any consolation, once the DHEA is out of your system your skin WILL return to normal. I have to say, it took a good couple of months, possibly three, before I felt my system was back to normal, before I saw all side-effects gone (facial hair, excess sweating, etc).

I have to say, this is exactly why I'm steering clear of another FSH test, or the AMH one. I'm 100% certain they will be rubbish, and I don't want to know, to be frank. Even with low AMH/high FSH there IS still a chance of a natural baby (assuming IVF isn't a possible route) - it doesn't mean there are no good eggs left, just less of them. But there does indeed have to come a point where you have to stop throwing your all at it, as it takes over completely.

What makes me wonder is the number of women who get a "surprise" pregnancy after they've stopped actually trying. So many people saying taking the focus off (and so reducing the stress) seems to do the trick and I suppose that may be true.

Other than doing OPKs each month (and taking my supplements of course), I've pretty much reigned it all back in. I'm not taking pred and I stopped hydroxy too (hopefully the Wobenzym is doing the trick there, but that's natural and not chemical so I don't mind taking those). And I'm not seeing Mr S right now - I can't say I definitely won't change my mind about restarting SO at some point, but not for the immediate future, certainly not this side of the summer I think. I don't have much hope myself, but I am not going to completely give up.

I think you're absolutely right in focussing your attention on the rest of your life, and learning a language is always a wonderful thing to do - especially if you can then share that with your son. Don't be a stranger though, we all would like to know how you're getting on smile

brownstag Thu 07-Feb-13 12:21:19

Thanks; yes, I know the acne itself is reversible and I've noticed when I up or reduce the dose that my skin responds within days, but the scars are more of an issue. Fortunately I'm not someone who gets 'pits' as acne scars, they are flat, but very purple!
Well, my FSH is still in the normal range, that's what's so confusing, and I also am not going to have another test because I'm quite happy with 9.7 and don't want to know when it inevitably goes higher. Similarly I should have stopped at the AMH test which said it was 2.1! Halved in two months! What was your FSH when you last had it done?
I'm also going to stop taking hydroxy as soon as I've finished this superovulation treatment.
No, I definitely won't be a stranger. Even when I've kind of given up, my mind is still pursuing another idea, like a dog with a bone ... my NHS consultant said that 30% of women respond to DHEA. So with them, reduced androgens are the cause of the low AMH. So other women have prematurely reduced ovarian reserve via some other mechanism, presumably (obviously with some of them it is just actual age) and I'm wondering if that is some kind of immunological attack on the ovarian environment, rather than a lack of adequate hormones. And so I come full circle back to the immunological theory that I have been moving away from lately. Although having said that, hydroxy clearly hasn't worked in my case!

Arianrhod Thu 07-Feb-13 15:02:18

brown - I was just reading this study of AMH http://myselfishgenes.blogspot.de/2012/08/amh-paradox.html and this is towards the end:

<quote>
Did your AMH level change (increase or decrease) after taking DHEA? I would be happy to hear from you. I did a brief search in google and found many women reporting that their AMH level became worser after taking DHEA !!!
</quote>

Hmmmmm ...

brownstag Thu 07-Feb-13 19:49:54

That's interesting; I'll have a look. What is more likely, though, is that their/my AMH has just done what it was going to anyway, i.e. deteriorate with time and the DHEA did nothing at all.
Also, I had endo surgery which involved one ovary. Apparently that often impacts badly on AMH.

brownstag Thu 07-Feb-13 20:09:35

Very interesting blog, thanks Ari, and a likeable writer. I have posted my results on the page although they are not visible until approval.
I like the fact that she sees egg quantity and egg quality as two unrelated conditions. Roll on my next cycle of superovulation! I've lost count of how many times I've picked myself up off the floor.

Arianrhod Fri 08-Feb-13 10:13:50

I know what you mean brown .. I always wonder how on earth we keep going. Good luck for the superov! smile

lemonsherbet Fri 08-Feb-13 13:22:22

brown when are you due to start your next SO cycle? I agree I think AMH just means low egg numbers but does not mean you can not get pregnant. I did not think it was a marker of quality.

Ari how is your DH doing?

Arianrhod Fri 08-Feb-13 14:06:34

lemon You're right, it's definitely not a marker of quality - it's just about how many eggs are left. But as the saying goes ... it only takes one (good) egg! Crossing fingers brown finds that good egg real soon .. smile

DH is doing ok thanks lemon, waiting to hear back the results of a test on his blood pressure where he had to wear a BP monitor for 24 hours (that wasn't conducive to a good night's sleep, I can tell you!). He is known to have high BP, but they've never bothered to treat it. Seems they'll just monitor his 'leaky' heart valve, although the angio turned up that he has a rare weird heart layout, the NHS don't seem bothered about it but I am! I'd like him to see a private heart specialist, but he won't. sad

Anyway, the funny thing is, he had quite a bad allergic reaction to the trace dye they injected him with (nothing life-threatening I hasten to add) and they put him on ... 40mg prednisolone! He had to have a month's course, weaning off now (as you do), and so he's now experienced first-hand the rubbish sleep that I always get on pred. Kind of poetic justice that he's had to go through what I did for so many months! smile

How are you doing pg-wise, lemon? All going well I hope? It's always nice to see one of us being successfully pregnant, even if it was nothing to do with Mr S's protocol!

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