Infertility--How Bad Is It to Have Bad Numbers?

I have been treating women (and men) for infertility for about 16 years now. Many of my patients begin doing acupuncture once they have received the news from their doctors that their FSH and/or AMH numbers are not where they should be. Does this mean they will never get pregnant on their own or with their own eggs? it's a difficult question. The two fertility clinics that we have here in town will even refuse to do IVF if they feel the numbers aren't close enough to normal. They give their patients almost impossible odds like 1% or 3% chance which is not encouraging to say the least. I am not knocking them for this. IVF is very expensive and a patient should be clear what the chances of success are before spending all that money. I have, however, seen women defy the odds and I'm going to share a few of these stories with you.

Early on in my career, I had a patient who was 35 and had been told that her FSH was elevated (back then FSH was considered a more important marker than AMH). She began seeing me as she went through the IVF process. She became pregnant after her first transfer, but miscarried in her seventh week. She then became pregnant again after her second transfer and had a beautiful baby. A couple of years later, she had a third transfer and became pregnant again. At this point, she was in her late 30's. She had another beautiful baby and then moved out of state. A couple of years later, she emailed me to let me know that she was pregnant with her third child and that it had been an accident! No IVF and she was 42! What do you think her numbers must have been at that point if they were already off at age 35? Mind boggling and the child is now 7 years old,

There was also a patient of mine who was going through IVF who had an FSH of 15. That is pretty high. The first fertility doc she saw refused to do IVF with her if she didn't use a donor egg. She did find a doc who was willing to let her use her own eggs. When it was time for transfer, she only had one embryo. She got pregnant and that child is now 8 years old.

I had another patient who was seeing me when her fertility doc told her that the only way she could have a child was with a donor egg. While her husband was ready to go ahead with it, she was taking some time to wrap her head around it. While she was taking time to think, she became pregnant naturally to everyone's surprise and gave birth to a healthy baby.

Right now I am treating a patient who is 45 years old. None of the clinics here would touch her so she went to a doctor in St Louis. She is now 10 weeks pregnant with her own egg! Pretty amazing and good for her!

I promise you that these are just some of stories I've got like this. No one wants to have numbers that are not within normal range and it does complicate things if you do. It is not, however, impossible.. I always tell my patients that if they want to try to defy the odds that's great, but it's important to make a plan as to how long you want to give it and have a plan B in place so you can relax while you are trying for your miracle. And believe me, miracles do happen!

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