Benjamin Button

After 9 ½ months of (nearly-exclusive) pumping followed by 6 weeks of waiting, my period finally came back two weeks ago, and I emailed Dr. Y and asked to redo my Cycle Day 3 bloodwork. (If I learned one thing from our infertility journey, it’s that I don’t have a lot of good eggs left, and I can’t afford to let any go to waste!)

After getting back the results, Big C concluded that I am growing younger like Benjamin Button.

Brad Pitt in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button


Here’s a summary of all my CD3 bloodwork to date:

1/26/13 5/4/13 4/24/15
estradiol (E2) 24.6 pg/mL 27.2 pg/mL 23 pg/mL
follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) 13.7 mIU/mL 13.5 mIU/mL 9.7 mIU/mL
anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) 0.17 ng/mL 0.22 ng/mL 0.31 ng/mL

I wrote extensively about what each of these numbers means in this post.

To be fair, I doubt the difference between each set of data points is actually significant… (An AMH of 0.31 is still pretty terrible!) But even if there’s no significant difference between an AMH of 0.22 vs. 0.31 (or FSH 13.5 vs. 9.7), I still think it’s pretty cool that the numbers haven’t gotten worse in two years. Maybe I won’t actually go through menopause before 40…(knock on wood!)

We have an appointment with Dr. Y on Thursday, so we’ll see what he says about how this bodes for our chances at baby #2.

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  1. Hoping for some news into which you can sink some hope and from which even better news flows in time.

  2. You’re actually the second DOR person I know who had a better AMH after giving birth. What the heck is up with that? It is kind of making me want to go get mine checked again, except I’m too cheap to drop the $200. Hopefully it means good things for you!

    • Thanks Aramis! Yeah, it’s weird. It sort of makes me wonder how much we really know about what these numbers mean.

  3. I don’t have DOR, though was winning no awards for my AMH – I believe it was about 0.9 back in October of 2012. Fast forward to a year after giving birth and I’m at 2.27. I know that scientifically it makes no sense – I didn’t grow more resting follicles – but this makes me think I’m not some giant lab fluke! Or maybe I am, who knows. Quick, somebody do a study on AMH rebounds post pregnancy! There are studies regarding AMH rebound in the immediate postpartum period but nothing that I can find regarding this situation.

  4. Dear knalani,

    Similarly like you, I read a lot of research and I have daily boxes for supplements for both of us. Me and hubby both have the majority problems you can have in fertility…
    I am not chemist but physicist and I am 39. Having DOR at my age gives you even less chances than having DOR at yours. Anyway, I still haven’t tried any treatment but a few months of supplements and I was never pregnant but I can give you my insight about all the research that I read.

    I don’t see bad FSH and AMH so catastrophic unless FSH is really high (compatible with menopausia). It is more that, the more difficult your ovaries find to produce follicles, FSH is growing more to compensate. If your ovary does not respond to that rise and ovaries are not producing more follicles, AMH drops.

    What I believe is the best way is to create conditions for ovaries to produce more with ease. How to do that? This is the most complicated thing since life is so complicated and we have it very difficult to find absolutely all building blocks for new life: the content of the egg, follicle and all the hormones you need. The second step is to include conditions of the implantation and the immune system.

    Human body stops producing amino acids and some other molecules about 25 years of age and the body starts aging from that point. What we should do is to compensate all those molecules and have enough storage of all of them for about 9 months to have some impact on the eggs. Do you have some list of absolutely all molecules which can be found in the ovaries?

    Instead of artificially blocking FSH which often does not bring significant results, when your ovaries get all they need, it should decline spontaneously. Apart of the typical supplements, one thing which is very important is testosterone. It declines with age in both sexes and the egg needs enough of it in follicular phase in order to mature properly. DHEA is a weak form of testosterone and if 4 months of supplementing DHEA does not produce results it is probably beneficial to give testosterone directly. But it is only one link and if all others are not fulfilled, you already know… Regarding studies of DHEA impact – there is a new study on mice where they extracted their ovaries after the supplementation and counted follicles proving that it worked. You can never do a completely uniform study in humans on such a complicated matter simply because their habits and characteristics differ enough to intervene with the study.

    Here in Europe we have much more problems than in US – doctors usually have one standard protocol applying it to all equally, there is no availability of DHEA and many of those supplements and everything is more expensive. Doctors here usually do not read the research and are not willing to experiment. Here they tell you not to take any supplements besides folic acid 😦 That is why people often get the impression that IVF is a business for money and they are actually not eager to leave you pregnant and loose further money.

    From many cases I have read about, I concluded that pregnancy is something body kind of learns as an experience. It seems to be easier to accomplish the second pregnancy soon after the first one. Also, body benefits of slow but continuous hormonal stimulation. It is very often seen that by steady simulations of several months body produces gradually a bit more eggs so probably frequent big changes in protocols are confusing the body by not letting it to accomplish the stability. You can see that people managed to accomplish pregnancy even at not detectable ranges of AMH because all it takes is one good egg in order to do it.

    What is really important is to have other hormones in order too. Prolactin should be at lower/mid range, TSH should be not higher than 2. If your progesterone rises well after ovulation it is positive sign that you are nurturing your ovaries well. Beside DOR, my LH is low (due to previous pituitary tumor and LH deficiency) and my ovulations are too late resulting in endometrium too old for implantation and short luteal phase. LH deficiency causes not enough testosterone to be present in the follicle and results in slow maturation. After having 6 months of no ovulation but accumulating new cyst on my ovary every month, I started to incorporate supplements one by one which resulted in one very short cycle of high FSH and early ovulation (typical for perimenopausia) and then my O day was slowly moving farther stopping at day 23. I have only 8 days of LF now but I hope to improve it by taking DHEA/testosterone and some other supplements. My only worry is that, since I am taking so many supplements which all contain magnesium stearate. It is not harmful in general, but who knows how a huge quantities of it influence over the periods of years?

    Reading a lot of research helps you make smarter decisions! Those who do not agree are just incapable of doing that!

  1. Family planning with Dr. Y | the infertile chemist
  2. When to try again | the infertile chemist
  3. Well, fuck! | the infertile chemist

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