TTC Over 40 User Group
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support group for women who are trying to conceive or have conceived a child over the age of forty

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vent

I dont get it at all, it is soo unfair.  Ok, I cant get pregnant, that *****.  Why do I continue to suffer with my period?  If I can't get pregnant, it should just stop. There shouldn't have to be all these years of cramps and inconvenience if it is completely WORTHLESS.  I'm just pissed is all.  
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1096856_tn?1333123585
I agree with you.... biologically it makes absolutely zero sense!!!  I just finished mine and did one of those First Response Fertility tests (I had a 3 day FSH done by OB/GYN and it was 15 five months ago) on day 3 and it was a BIG FAT glaring in my face.... NO, can't get pregnant!!!  I was so upset I just cried and cried.  The First Response tests detect FSH of 25, so in my book that means that I went from 15 to 25 in about 5 months!!!   If I can't get pregnant then WTF is the reason for the continued monthly curse!!!  I guess this is the thanks I get for being responsible and waiting until I found the right partner and not just getting knocked up by some deadbeat when I was younger!!

I feel your pain and I'm pissed too!!!

How do you know it is impossible for you??  Maybe it's not!
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1217293_tn?1393041450
I feel the same way both of you feel.  Got married at 38 and found out at 39 that my FSH was at 18.  It was done again, and it was 20.

Been doing fertility treatment and nothing has worked, however my period is regular on time without issues every month.  I will be 41 in June and I just had an FSH that was out of control, 52????  Makes no sense, my last one was 1/3 of that.  

I don't want to do a donor egg, and I keep reading about people who do get pregnant even with high FSH levels. When my husband and I see kids with kids, we wonder why we aren't getting our chance to be parents.  I am pissed too!
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I just don't see the point of years with no periods if there is no reason, it makes no sense!!!! I saw an RE at age 40 (now 42) and my FSH at that time was 11.  No idea now, but know it must be worse.  I did fertility treatments, shots and all of that, but nothing.  I also have low progesterone and a borderline clotting issue (take baby aspirin).  Yet, still -- every 28 days my period shows, and on day 14, OPK shows positive with all symptoms.  My RE said I was still ovulating but unlikely to get pregnant.  Well, then, why did nature make a system that keeps going so ineffectively?  If it's not working, I should at least not have to get my hopes up every month for NO reason.  
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1096856_tn?1333123585
Since we're bitching here and it feels kind of good for a change..... can I just add that I am soooo pissed off that I was always under the impression that REAL infertility only happened in like the mid to late 40's!  I even went to the OB/GYN 12 months ago (oh... I'm due again) and she asked me if I was having unprotected sex.  I told her yes.  Now knowing that I didn't already have any children, her response was that I was playing with fire!  She never even asked if I wanted kids and never offered up an information that if I did want kids, I had better get real busy.  Then when I had her do the FSH blood test and she had the results, she called me and asked me why we ran this test!!!  I told her because I wanted to get pregnant and she basically said, good luck, won't happen, you would have to use donor eggs!  I was so upset with the results, but I was also upset with her.  For me.... donor eggs is a no go.... I don't want to have someone elses child, I want to have my own.

I just feel a little irritated that we are given (or at least I was) the impression that though accidental pregnancy is less likely.... I could still have a child in my early 40's if I tried.

Thanks for listening ladies..... I feel better now.
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1217293_tn?1393041450
I am feel your pain.   Before I saw my OB/GYN my primary doctor told me to try and get pregnant for 6 months after I got married, and if I wasn't pregnant by then, "run don't walk, to the REI clinic."  I was 37 1/2 at that time. My OG/Gyn 14 months later only ran the FSH test per my request like you.  I was then almost 39 and I didn't even understand what FSH was. Now I am an expect.

I feel the same way you do, I want to have my own child.  I am glad to hear that are others that are going through what I am.  It helps to see I am not alone.  
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1217293_tn?1393041450
I am mad for you.  It sounds like you can find your ovulation day, so you should be able to get pregnant.  My ovulation has been hard to find lately, but I am now stopping using the fertility drugs, so I hope to go back to normal.  I hate the extra pounds the drugs put on me.  I wouldn't mind the extra pounds if I was pregnant! Anyway, I have hope for you, since you said your did your FSH on a home test.  Can you get it done again at a hospital? Have you used drugs to help get pregnant?
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1096856_tn?1333123585
Like Risa615, I have hope for you too.  FSH of 11 is still really pretty good.  I understand that was two years ago, but if you're still having really regular af.... I think there is still hope.  Sometimes I think... and I've read, that our aging eggs may not do quite as well with fertility drugs.  There is an RE in New York who specializes in women over 40 and has found that IVF works way, way better with our eggs if he doesn't use all the fertility drugs to try and retrieve loads of eggs.  He is doing what he calls "natural cycle ivf".  He lets our bodies create one egg on our own (which he says are always of better quality), then retrieves that 1 egg, injects the sperm, then puts it back.  His success rate is around 6% (live birth) as opposed to the less than 1% at other clinics, with women over 40.  I guess part of the problem with older eggs is that the shell becomes harder, so the sperm have a more difficult time penetrating.  I'll try to find him on the web and give you the link.  I don't have the funds to go to him to try it, but I would if I did.  High FSH as you know doesn't mean we are not ovulating, just means it is requiring more FSH in order to mature an egg because there aren't as many that try to mature and/or our ovaries aren't working as well as they should.  The reason First Response sets theirs to a level of 25 is that technically if you are less than 25, you are still producing eggs (or egg).

Risa615, sounds like you and I are about the same with our FSH!!  Honestly don't know if there is any hope for us.  I'm going to keep trying on my own and just pray.  I do know there can be random months where a good egg is released, so I'm not ready to give up on my opportunities yet.  OPK's don't really work for me because they are just constantly +.  I know I usually ovulate early, so I just make DH get busy from about cd 7/8 until I get the temp shift.  The funny thing about the temp shift is... I found out that our ovaries can produce a follicle with what they call a functional, but there was never an egg in it, so our bodies would do the temp shift thing.... but no eggie!  I don't know how they would really know this... what... do they have little spy cams watching for an egg to pop out???  I don't think so.

Okay, here's my last thing.... I also don't think "they" know as much as they think they do!  I've said in other posts that nobody as far as I know, has ever watched an ovary 24 hours a day for an entire month to find out what they really are doing in there!!  All this "if you ovulate more than once it will be within 24 hours", etc.... how exactly are they sure of that???  I also saw a doctor (RE) who had some women just dtd every other day for their entire cycle, with no meds, nothing.... and others he did the whole ivf, iui, meds.  The result????  The women who just dtd every other day throughout their entire cycle had just as good of a result as the others!!!  Explain that!!

Anyway.... thanks again for listening.  Best of luck to all of us!!  Oh.... dhea... I'm going to go get some and try that.  Seems to help many women.... enough so that RE's are now beginning to prescribe it to their patients because they seem to get a better result and we all know that their biggest interest is their RESULTS, that's why they don't like us older women showing up.... screws up their published success rates!!
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I forgot about the FR fertility test. I'm going to see next month, if negative, I'll know it's not 25 yet at least.  I like hearing how you all feel the same, even if I'm sad that you do!
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I took DHEA from Nov- March 2.  I saw a doctor for a second opinion in Oct and he suggested I take three cycles and then be retested.  I don't know if that is what brought up my FSH, but now that I had a recent test, he told me to stop taking it and that a donor age was really my only option.   My regular REI doctor, per my medical plan, hasn't run my FSH in a while, so I am going to have it run again next cycle.  I am done with fertility drugs and ready to get my body back to normal.  
Risa
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Wow!!  Now I am having second thoughts on the DHEA thing.  I haven't starting taking it yet, maybe I shouldn't... maybe I should just see how this cycle goes on my own.  The last two cycles I took unprescribed clomid.  It didn't seem to work!  Who knows, maybe that is what raised my FSH up from 15 to 25!!  I didn't take any clomid this cycle and so far, it seems more normal like it should be.  Temps are not as irratic and I am actually getting negative OPK's when they should be negative, where before it seemed just about every OPK I did was positive!!

Yes, I think after hearing what your body has done with the DHEA, I'll just do this one all natural and if it's still strange, then maybe try DHEA next cycle.

Thanks for the info.
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922048_tn?1387946184
I was reading your posts and I feel exactly the same way. It was pounded into my head by my parents that I had all the time in the world to have a family, that I needed to go to college and have a career so I'd never have to be 100% dependent on a man. I was misled into thinking that I really did have all the time in the world. I didn't start trying until I was 39. And I've had chemical pregnancy after chemical pregnancy.

I have no magic solution yet. Am still working on it, as we all are. But I will say two things: 1.) look into the gluten issue (it is apparently really bad for fertility and miscarriage) and 2.) as far as the DHEA, it worked for me (for my FSH any way). I did get carried away with it though and was taking too much of it. The truth is that I got my FSH down from 42 to 10.4 in about 3 months. Important note: Just make sure and use it under the supervision of a health care practitioner who actually knows what they're doing. The RE I had at the time had NO idea. At the end I was taking 200 mg a day! (So I ended up with really bad side effects!) I think 25-50mg should be sufficient. But you have to be patient. They say it takes 4 months to work and you have to be careful that your levels of testosterone and DHEA and stuff don't get too high. You can get heart palpitations and all kinds of not fun stuff. So be really careful!

That place in NY has had some real success with DHEA. I wouldn't be able to afford them either, even if I did live in NY. But we ought to be able to find a competent healthcare professional to monitor us on it in our own home town. Any way, thanks for starting this post. I feel really screwed, too! I'm going to keep praying for a miracle for myself and all of you guys and everyone our age who wants to have a baby. Maybe we'll all have a miracle some day. Who knows? Hang in there!
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Hi Sherri,
Welcome to our venting.  Sorry you are having issues like us, but glad you found us.  It makes me feel better to write to people who understand what is going on.  Most of the time I try to confide in a few  friends and they just say things like I should just do IVF and they don't understand that it won't work for me.

My second doctor told me to take only 25 mg of DHEA, and since my test results got worse, he felt it wasn't the right thing for me.  I also took fermara many cycles.  

I did look into no gluten, but it is super hard.  I followed a plan for a few months, but everything has gluten in it!   I am still open to reducing gluten and see what happens.

Risa
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922048_tn?1387946184
I totally agree about the gluten! :-) I've done it three separate times and it's never been easy. Didn't stick to it more than a few months either (yet). But I actually have a family history of celiac disease, so giving up gluten has at this point finally become a necessity. I have noticed that my digestion is way better when I'm off gluten, so that's enough reason there for me to do it. I have yet to see if there will be fertility/miscarriage benefits. Will keep you posted!

Good that you at least tried the DHEA. Too bad it wasn't more effective. But at least you know you gave it a try! We'll all just keep trying whatever we can and not give up! My theory...I don't think it's ever completely hopeless until we hit actual menopause!

This group has been a real Godsend! All 40+ ladies TTC and supporting each other. It does help so much through our difficult struggle!

:) Sherri
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Hi.

I don't even want to begin my rant because it would go on for 3 days, but I want to let you all know that I COMPLETELY identify with everything you're saying and I feel your pain, anger and frustration!!

I also want to say that there are several clinics here in NYC that do natural cycle IVF, which I knew nothing about for more than a year of trying because the "big" clinics told me over and over that my ONLY option was donor egg due to my high FSH (around 20 at that time). I learned about New Hope Fertility Clinic (the one to which you're referring, alikat) from an acupuncturist, but I've since learned about 3 more here that do the same thing. In fact, I went to New Hope, and was ready to move forward but then they wanted to give me clomid, which I REFUSE to take since the one and only time I did take it, I wound up bleeding on and off for a month (it was like getting my period three times in one month). After that, I was told my a different big fertility clinic and two acupuncturists that women over 40 (I was 41--almost 42) should never be given clomid. Some clinics say they haven't heard of such a thing; some say they have. Regardless, I've found stuff online that confirms that I shouldn't have been given it AND the way my body reacted was enough evidence for me. Also, New Hope is supposed to be drug free, but they really wanted to give me the clomid, so I wound up not going through with the natural cycle IVF.

The point is that there may be clinics where you guys live that also do IVF. New Hope has made a "thing" out of it, meaning that they really focus their marketing on women with high FSH levels. The other doctors I've found here are much quieter about it and also do regular IVF, so it might be worth asking around, if you're really interested in trying it.

Finally, I believe that these doctors are full of sh**! If your FSH is higher, it likely means that your ovaries aren't AS responsive as they once were, but it doesn't mean that you're not still ovulating. They kept telling me how older eggs are harder to penetrate, blah blah blah. I swear, the more dismal and negative they could be, the happier they were. They're sadists. I got so fed up with all their crap and all the appointments that I stopped going to them. I bought the Clear Blue Easy Fertility Monitor and was sure to have intercourse when it said to and, shock of shocks, I found myself pregnant in October. Yes, miscarriage. But my old, hard eggs were penetrable and able to implant (I had implantation bleeding). This was after being told repeatedly that I had only a 1% chance of ever conceiving.

With the miscarriage, a stupid high-risk OB/GYN gave me a pap (which I've since learned is NEVER supposed to be given during a miscarriage) and, as a result, my two healthy, open tubes wound up blocked! (Left one completely; right one very). I went from having a hormone issue that presented obstacles but I still had hope to having a mechanical issue that presented ZERO hope. My RE told me that barring a miracle I would never get pregnant again. Well, 2 cycles later, I wound up pregnant AGAIN. This is at 43, with high FSH and with 2 blocked tubes!! The pregnancy was ectopic (because how can an egg make it through the tube?) and ended in miscarriage, and I am angry beyond belief about my tubes, but my point to all of you is that if you're ovulating, you CAN get pregnant. I wouldn't even check my FSH levels anymore. What for? What good does it do? Women get pregnant with high FSH levels all the time. So why show it to the REs and have them bash you around some more? I personally have two friends who ACCIDENTALLY got pregnant in their 40s and I have two others that ONLY got pregnant once they stopped all the fertility treatments and focused instead on their diet, acupuncture and Chinese herbs. I know it might not happen for you, but maybe it will! As long as you're still ovulating, there IS still hope! Really, there is. My coworker has a friend who went through everything we are in her late 30s and early 40s. After no avail, she and her husband gave up and accepted that they would be childless. In her late 40s, she started going through menopause and then at 49, she found out that she was pregnant!! Naturally and accidentally! They decided to keep the baby and she gave birth at 50!!!!! They now have a 4-year-old, healthy, happy daughter! So please keep that in mind.

Finally, gluten. There are tons of gluten-free flours and recipes out there. I was eating gluten free after my first pregnancy b/c I wanted to do everything to get my body into tip-top shape since I finally believed that I actually could got pregnant. Once I found out that both my tubes had become blocked, I returned to my not-so-healthy ways of eating. But it can be done. There are even gluten-free foods at health food stores, if you don't feel like cooking yourself and, here in NYC, there are gluten-free bakeries.

Anyway, that's my rant/pep talk. I'm rarely on here these days due to being incredibly busy, but I do periodically pop in. And I wish you all tons of luck--as long as you're ovulating there IS still hope!

Breezy
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Oops, when I said there may be clinics where you live that do IVF, I meant NATRUAL-CYCLE IVF!

Also, my highest FSH level (recorded anyway) was 59, and I still got pregnant after that. I recommend the book The Infertility Cure by Randine Lewis. Different things can affect FSH levels--stress being one of them.

Finally, I have a friend in WI with MS and she tries to avoid gluten as well. She found a place there that has tons of gluten-free foods. They're out there b/c a lot of people have celiac disease, so it's worth looking in your area.

One more thing, you should have an endocrinologist look at your DHEA levels and testosterone levels to see if you're a candidate. The clinic that prescribes it here pretty much does so across the board if your bloodwork is okay, but I read somewhere that a saliva test should be done for part of the analysis. I believe the amount they prescribe is 75 mg, but I can't remember if that's daily or twice a day. I myself havent taken it but was seriously considering it until I wound up with blocked tubes.

Okay, I think that's REALLY it!
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922048_tn?1387946184
Thanks Breezy for all the great information! I couldn't agree with you more about everything you said! :-) That high FSH thing means exactly what you said (perhaps our ovaries aren't AS responsive as in our 20's or 30's), maybe with a little hormone imbalance thrown into the mix. And you're absolutely right about the tons of great info from Randine Lewis' book. I loved that book and "Inconceivable" by Julia Indichova.

The normal state of our bodies at this age is to be able to still conceive. If we can't, there are reasons why. But most RE's don't feel like taking the time to try to figure out what it is, beyond your basic lab tests. And as you said, once you get a high FSH, that's the equivalent of a fertility death sentence! And it is a crock! I read somewhere that a study was done on a rat's ovary. They took the ovary out of an older, non-ovulating rat and put it into a younger rat, and it suddenly started ovulating! So the balance of hormones is everything! There are not a bunch of old, bad eggs in there! It just requires proper hormone balance to conceive and maintain a pregnancy.

I was told I was post-menopausal....twice (very elevated FSH and LH). Neither of the drs who made that bold diagnosis bothered to mention that it was most likely due to side effects from a medication I've had to be on for lupus joint pain. So in the last three months, I have had three chemical pregnancies. So I can conceive! Last time I checked, post-menopausal women don't ovulate!!! I ovulate...every month! Like clockwork! I'm having trouble with AF not being normal and stuff, but I know with a few adjustments, that will change and I WILL have a child. I just turned 42, and after adding Maca Root last month and only taking it for two days, I had actual ovulation symptoms, which I hadn't had since my 20's! (cervical mucus, spotting with both ovulation and implantation)

So bottom line is everyone's body is different. When my hormones were low (DHEA and testosterone), I responded well to DHEA. Now the maca seems to help but I think I need a lower dose. It seems to make my borderline hyper-thyroid even faster, but I can't argue with the fertility benefits! So I have now added a regimen of Vitex twice daily and today added back D ong Quai, Red Raspberry and Black Cohosh. In addition, I do acupuncture every week or two. Going to start yoga as soon as I can afford it. AND I (who has gluten intolerance and my whole family has celiac disease) am officially off gluten and going to stay off it forever!

I told my friend today who just got her first "high" FSH at 26, that we have to ignore that nonsense spewed by the negative, nay-saying RE's, and take care of our bodies. We know our bodies better than anyone! My approach for a while will probably be to use a little of both approaches (Eastern and Western medicine). I found a really nice female RE who takes my insurance. So I will proceed with her testing and see what she recommends, in addition to keeping up with my supplements, etc.

The most important thing is to not get discouraged! Have faith! And be patient! Of course that's not easy when we're older and we've been told over and over that time has run out on us! But getting our bodies back into balance (hormones, etc.) takes time. But if we stick to it, we will feel the benefits. Only God knows whether a baby will result, but we're not going to go down without a fight! Taking better care of our bodies can have only good results any way.

Everyone hang in there! Keep listening to your bodies and make the adjustments that your body tells you to do! Number one thing....try to keep the stress level to a minimum! How many times have you heard of women who try forever to get pregnant, decided to adopt, and then end up pregnant right away! I know three of those women personally! So what does that tell you about how key STRESS is? Any way, SSBD to all! :-)

Sherri
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1217293_tn?1393041450
Just checking in and all of you! I am hanging in there myself.  Just found out that my cousin's 19 year old is pregnant, which just makes me mad again.  I just saw her in August and now I find out she is due in June.  Just not fair that we all are trying to get pregnant and young girls get pregnant all the time.  I am on CD 24, so keep me in your prayers.  I am just learning how to use to ovulation tracker, and I really like it. I am no longer taking fertility drugs, so I am hoping to get my system back to normal.
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I'm so glad I found you guys. I just had my first fertility appt. I am almost 42. The doctor said at my age IVF is the only thing to try. He said even if I wait to try to conceive naturally or trying other things like IUI I will be waisting my time and my chances do do IVF successfully the older I get. I went to him because I wanted to know "where I was at" with bloodwork and stuff (FSH levels, progesterone etc) he said it didn't matter because he would have to give me hormones anyway.
  And...my regular doctor is turning out to be a jerk and not sympathetic or anything. So I am trying to figure out what to do next. I have a bunch of bloodwork prescriptions to get done. But I want to find a doctor who is at least nice to me. I've been asking friends and stuff for referrels but not having much luck
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Risa- You are definitely in my thoughts on CD24. This could be the month for you! Try not to get too upset with news like that. It's tempting and VERY easy to do! I totally understand! But try to think as positive as you can. Even try to have an attitude of being happy for her. It will leave you with more positive energy inside which will be better for your stress level and hopefully, subsequently, your fertility. :-) If you're able to do that, you might notice some of the tension inside you subsiding. And if you can explore other areas in your life where there are things that cause you stress or pain of any kind, those are areas that you can work on and try to resolve. Sometimes I think those kind of things are the stumbling blocks that give us fertility difficulties at our age. Good luck! Keep me posted if you start feeling anything and if you do any tests next week! Have a great weekend! And hang in there! :-)

Cara- You're very smart to find a compassionate doctor. There are plenty of not-so-compassionate ones out there. And this process is difficult enough at our age without having a doctor emitting a bunch of negative energy! The bloodwork will give you an idea of where you're at, as you said. But don't let any really high numbers get to you! If you can afford IVF, then you'll weigh all your options and figure out if it's the right choice for you now. Otherwise you could wait a few months. But they say that time is of the essence for IVF. I'm going to keep trying au natural, because I think I am getting somewhere with getting my hormones balanced. But everyone's body is different. You'll make the right decision, I'm sure.

This board is great, with tons of very supportive and understanding women just like you. Great for getting other opinions and venting to when necessary. I'm so grateful to have found it, too! Best of luck w/TTC! Just remember, we are all still (relatively) young! We're not 50! We're in our early 40's! And most important, we are NOT in menopause! So biologically we ought to be able to conceive with proper hormone balance! Keep us posted!

SSBD to all! :-)

-Sherri
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Cara,
I had a check up with an RE Doctor that was basically down right mean and I told my regular RE doctor that I didn't want to work with her again.  I emailed my regular doctor (who happens to be male) and told me that she is brilliant and can be blunt.  It was a horrible experience and I left holding back the tears, so I know how you are feeling with your doctor.  I am turning 41 in June, and I have had 6 IUI's in the past year and a half and no pregnancy yet.  I have decided to stick with using my fertility monitor, watching my cycle closely,  and trying to conceive natural.  At least your doctor is telling you IVF is an option.  I have been told by three different doctors, my FSH is too high for IVF.

Sherri,
I monitor didn't show peak until CD 17, which is late for me.  It has been a busy month with work, so the stress could have delayed ovulation.  I usually have a 28 cycle like clock work, so I will keep you posted.  Thanks for the support.  I appreciate it very much.  I feel like only others going through the same thing as me can really understand the highs and low of all of this.  
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Hi Everyone!

I just had to come in and say, what a great thread! Also, for the first time ever on these boards, I (positive treefrog) have to admit that I felt p'd-off off and disappointed when I got my period last week (an intriguing day late, but the HPT showed a BFN, so not even a chemical pregnancy, nor have I ever had one that I know of.).

It's quite true, as some of you point out, that REs often don't know as much as they "think" they know.  The better ones will readily admit this - that what they know is how to measure a lot of stuff, but not necessarily what all those measurements mean. This doesn't mean RE's are useless - far from it! - but you have to be seeing the right one to avoid a lot of negativity if you're over 38 or so. I think one of the reasons Chinese Medicine practitioners' patients are so happy (and often successful) is that in Chinese medicine you are considered fertile until your natural cycles stop, and TCM doctors never look at you funny if you'd like to have a child in your 40s. They just go ahead and treat you.

Some of you know my history, but a little recap. I am 44, will be 45 in less than a month. I have always kown that it might be impossible to conceive with my DH (we've been together since 1983), because he had chemo and radiation for Hodgkins Disease when he was a teenager. However, by the time I was 35 I started to feel that I wanted to look into having a family. At this same time, my DH was feeling really poorly, and eventually went to the doc and was put on thyroid pills and testosterone shots (the deficiencies were long-term results of his chemo). After that he felt great! However, during the tests he went through, they tested his sperm to help assess his hormonal fuction. Good news - he had some (not much, but some!) Bad news - as long as he stayed on testosterone shots, his sperm production, which was low anyway, would be cancelled out by the shots (testoserone taken as a shot shuts down the production by the testes, and shuts down sperm production).

Hmmm. So they sent us to an RE. The RE said that if we wanted to conceive with DH's sperm, he wuld have to go off the testosterone shots for 3 months, and then sperm could be retrieved, even if he didn't have much. However, DH was such a new person on the shots that none of us wanted him to go off of them, even for a short while. So, we opted for IUI with donor sperm, which was also all we could afford.

I forget how many times we tried this - it cost about $1000 each try. However, no pregnancy occurred, which didn't really surprise me (although it works for lots of people - I just never "felt" a pregnancy would occur, and never even felt excited or stressed). I did, however, notice and comment on the negative attitude at the clinic, which brought me down every time I went there.

During this period, tests on me showed good FSH (6), good other levels, regular ovulation and good endometrial lining. HSG was clear as well.

Eventually we moved "up north", far away from the clinic, and I didn't feel like bothering with it anymore, anyway, although I was still very interested in having a family. We left things alone for a while. However, about a year after we moved to this beautiful place, a funny thing happened. DH told me he didn't feel like he "needed" his testosterone shots anymore. He felt overcharged, headachey, OCD. Hmmmm. I trusted his intuition, although I really thought that if he stopped the shots he'd feel terrible, just like he did before he started them (and by the way, before the shots we only BD'd twice a year - not going back there!!!) However, he was pretty sure about this, so I researched supplements that support male hormonal function (DHEA, l-carnitine, l-arginine, and Maca), he started taking those, and he went off the shots. And .... (drum roll) ... all was well! He felt fine! And we still BD'd (whew!)

He eventually went to the doctor and told him he'd stopped his shots. The doc was doubtful, and sent him for tests. Lo and behold, my DH's testosterone level is now naturally normal. My research has told me that in the (very few) studies that have been done on this sort of thing, they've found that chemical injury to the glands can sometimes repair itself over the course of decades (DH had the chemo in 1980). Also, we have much less stress in our new home. Perhaps all of this has led to a recovery of function. Does DH now have more sperm? Well, I don't think I want to put him or his sperm under a microscope, but it's safe to assume he has more now than when his hormones were in the basement. I'm happy enough with that thought.

So, where does this leave us? Well, my FSH was still 6 last time is was tested, but that was 5 years ago. I know I ovulate regularly, and my health is good, with no issues of any kind. So, we've decided to leave it to nature! If nothing happens by the time my cycle stop, we might adopt, but right now I'm happy to cruise and read happy stories of women who conceived after 40, and even after 45.

Oh, by the way, to IM43 whose doc said she was "playing with fire" by having unprotected sex (assuming she didn't want a pregnancy) and then did a 360 and said she had virtually zero chance of conception (when she learned that pregnancy was desired) - well, this is a perfect illustration of what we all have to deal with. Sorry to say it, but there is a lot of Bee-Ess out there, and most docs who purvey this type of thing don't even realize how foolish they look. Stay away from them. Their attitude means nothing to you.

I myself take fish oil, evening primrose oil, and DHEA (I feel good on about 32mg per day, although the succesful studies were based on 75mg per day - more that 32mg makes me feel overheated, acne-ish, and super (um) randy, so I assume that taking too much may be raising my own testosterone too much).

Anyhoo, keep up this thread! Support is sooo important. Feeling supported DOES increase our odds. You have to feel safe and secure to have a good chance of making a baby in your 40s. Keep up the good work, all!

Best wishes,
~Wendy
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Thanks for posting, Wendy! I'm glad to get to read about your background! I'm so glad that you and DH were able to work out his situation on your own terms and get him back to being balanced w/o the shots! That's wonderful! I do the EPO, too. I just read last night, though, that that is only supposed to be for the first half of the cycle. Do you know if that's true?

I found a great new acupuncturist in Irvine (southern California) who specializes in high FSH women like myself. He's not cheap, but I can get partially reimbursed from my insurance after the fact, and the guy has had some pretty dramatic success w/older women w/high FSH. I really feel good about the TCM approach. They totally get it, like you said, that as long as we are having periods, then we are most likely still ovulating and just need better hormone balance to be able to conceive. They have a more positive approach, the cost is pretty reasonable, and there are no side effects of the treatments. :-)

I feel like the maca root is starting to really help me. I need to get the dose up a little and hope to be able to do so with the new brand of maca I bought. (Femanessence MacaHarmony) The other brand was giving me a touch of diarrhea. Just ordered the new one last night, so we'll see what kind of results I get. Will keep everyone posted!

Guess I'm back in the TWW! Been a weird cycle but it looks like I'm 1DPO! Woo hoo! But I have to remember to be patient, because it's a well know fact that time does indeed slow down during the TWW! Lol! SSBD to all the amazing ladies on this board!

-Sherri
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Hiya!

Yes, most people say only to take EPO in the first half of your cycle, as it can contribute to uterine contractions (or something ... I guess this could negatively affect implantation).  One thing I can say, I really noticed that it makes my skin softer and smoother!

Best wishes,
~Wendy
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Hi Wendy,
Thanks for giving an update on you.  I only started this group a little over a month ago.  I do appreciate hearing others stories.  This group at least lifts my spirits hearing that I  am not alone.

Take care,
Risa
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You know, it's interesting to run across this thread...because just this morning I was lying in bed thinking. My grandma had children WELL into her 40's. And so did HER mother. And so did a good amount of OTHER women living on a farm in the early to mid-1900's...no birth control, big families. And that was when medical care wasn't as good - most of the time, they got no care at all! My grandma didn't even have a baby in a hospital until my youngest aunt and uncle were born (her 8th and 9th children), and my grandma was 45 with the youngest. It just doesn't make sense that doctors AUTOMATICALLY see a woman over 40 and assume it's just a done deal - she can't get pregnant without assistance. I'm skeptical about that. I don't know...maybe I'm rambling, and maybe I'm all wrong...but it's food for thought.

Tricia
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Hi Tricia and all,

It's not scepticism when you see that something's not true, and point it out. That's what we're doing here. So don't worry about being a sceptic or a cynic - you're not! We are built to make bearing children in our 40s possible - obviously! And that's all it is - possible, if conditions are right. And not "getting hit by lightining" possible either! I'd say 30-50% possible, but then again I've come to feel that percentages are misleading because they apply to no one woman in particular, and for one, it might be 90%, and for another, 0%. Tests can only give a rough idea. Anyway, the point is, if all signs are good, go for it! And go for it knowing that there is a real chance you will succeed.

SSBD everyone!
~Wendy
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Ok today is CD3 :( so I got and took the First Response Fertility Test to test FSH.  This is a rare time when I was saying "no line, please, no line", and of course, got a second line.  It is lighter than the control line, but still easily visible.  The box says it is negative, but it means I'm getting close to 25, right?  Which is bad.
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I would say.... CONGRATULATIONS!!!  If the test line is not as dark as the control line, then your FSH is not 25!!  When you say it is easily visible, that would tell me that it is pretty light!  I would say you look pretty good then!  I would guess that as long as there was some FSH in your urine (which there should be) at least a light line would show up.  Probably they work much like HPT's and OPK's.  As an example, if you were super early in testing for pregancy, but you were pregnant... a super light light would show up.  Then the further you are along, the darker the line would become.

Moral of the story is that I think it's great news for you and I wouldn't put any worry into having a light line!!

Best of luck!!  Now get to BD'ing!
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I think the same (went and read the instructions for myself...). Probably your FSH is pretty good!

~Wendy
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You all made me so happy! I didn't even think about the fact that the line is lighter because, duh, of course, there is FSH.  I feel SO MUCH BETTER!
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