Monday, March 19, 2012

Stats! need stats, stat!

Where we are right now: we knew from the beginning that we would have to go the IVF/surrogacy route (more on that later), but late last year we were given some hope that I may be able to carry a baby. Several tests and renewed hope/worries, we were told a few weeks ago "that ain't gonna happen". Ok fine. Back to square one. What we were not prepared for was the cost... After much research I had to inform my husband that the possibility this could easily go over 6 figures, was very real. Not to mention costs if something medically went wrong with the gestational carrier (new code word for surrogate) and she doesn't have insurance. I'm guessing most won't.  (All of this lead to my idea of surrogacy in India, but I will save that post for a later day.)

Here is a tiny shred of info about us: 
My stats - 40 years old, Caucasian, good BMI of around 22, generally a healthy eater, exercise semi-regular, semi-weird health issues over the years with nothing serious.
DH - 40 years old, Indian, mid-range BMI for male, generally a healthy eater, exercise semi-regular, no known health issues.

Current state of basic tests:
His tests showed good count, with a little slowness.
My tests showed an AMH of 1.7 (normal range), FSH of 12.4 (GAH!), and 16 follicles (yay). (Stay tuned for my rant on confusing AMH numbers...)

I honestly expected a much lower FSH and the news hit me hard. The news of 16 follicles earlier that day was probably the one thing that didn't make me crumble in a pile of tears. Just kinda stone-faced for a few hours. I'm hoping that the HUGE amount of stress I have been dealing with lately (tremendous stress at job, followed by loss of job, car accident, worrying about money, worrying about this whole IVF/Surrogacy thing, blah blah blah) may have had some affect and that with proper stress reducers, followed by a few lifestyle changes (no alcohol, cut way back on caffeine, muti-vitamins, baby aspirin, avoid toxins, etc) that this will help.

The logical side of me worries because I saw a blurb on the interwebs that some doctors believe your highest FSH is where you are at no matter if it fluctuates later, but the hopeful side of me reminds me that all of this is not known yet and thus doctors can not have an absolute certainty of what may or may not help. Besides, the article very vaguely stated "some doctors believe..." with no facts or numbers to back it up. Plus, I tend to be the girl that doctors say how unique my situation is. With everything. Want proof?  My normal AMH combined with my FSH puts me at less than 5% of cases of a study that was about AMH and FSH numbers combined. When looking at SART reasons for infertility, my medical issue of why I can't carry a baby has me at less 2% of the population that goes to infertility clinics. Essentially, it means I really don't have a lot of stats I can lean on at the moment to gauge what our success will be.

Our US doctor will be calling me later to either "discuss the results from last week" or "schedule an appointment to discuss the results from last week". Not sure which since the lady on the phone (when I was driving no less), gave me the info and I honestly did not hear much after "FSH 12.4" and "doctor team will discuss internally at their meeting on Monday". We are in the process of talking with several clinics in India as well and will see how that goes. On SART, our clinic had an over 30% success rate with women my age last reporting period (2010). This statistically significant enough that it will make them stand-out, but it also makes me wonder if they skew what they advise. As in "you really need to use donor eggs" instead of what might be a perfectly normal range of odds for my age.

Sigh. I told you I over-think things.

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