Early Pregnancy Symptoms and Big Fat Positives
Pregnant naturally at 43 with very low AMH and failed fertility treatments
I wasn't sure I would get to post here given my situation, but I am absolutely grateful I can. I had my first daughter at 40 naturally with an AMH of 0.15 (FSH was also elevated, but I don't know the value). I found out right before talking to the RE about the treatment options after all the tests. My daughter is terrific, and my husband and I very much wanted another child. I stopped breastfeeding after a year so my cycle would return, since I knew that time was not on my side. After three months, and a few anovatory cycles, I started ovulating again (by OPK and temps). So we started trying again for five months with no success. I contacted the RE and went in for all the blood tests, and found that my AMH 2.5 years later was 0.03 - essentially unmeasurable. The doctor recommended clomid, but after one cycle it thinned my uterine lining too much, so I switched to femera (7.5 mg). Two follicles and a trigger shot, but no luck. Then we went to femera + IUI and then an unmediated IUI, and finally, femera + injectables. My luteal phase got shorter and shorter with successive treatments (to 7 days), and the last treatment with injectables produced no follicles at all. My RE said I was not a candidate for IVF with such a low AMH, so there was nothing else he could do. We chose donor embryos from the clinic, and decided to give it three more cycles before going that route.
I had been taking ubiquinol (400 mg) for six months, and after this news, I thought I didn't have anything else to lose, so I added DHEA (75 mg/day for 6 weeks) and vitex. The very next cycle, I ovulated on time (day 15) and had a luteal phase of 12 days. The cycle after that was similar (I stopped taking the DHEA right before ovulation). The third cycle, I ovulated late (day 19) and BDed on +3 and +1 days before ovulation. I didn't test until 13 DPO, and got a strong positive then. I wanted to post this (long) story to give other 40+ women hope.
Now for the details:
3 DPO, started using progesterone cream (20 mg/day) a figured it might not help, but it couldn't hurt - it was my last cycle before FET anyway.
5-6 DPO cramping like AF for several hours on and off, but a week early; also a 0.5 degree temperature dip on 5 DPO and a hot flash on 6 DPO. Odd, but I didn't have much hope.
9 DPO temp up 0.4 degrees in a triphasic pattern (this was not uncommon for me during regular cycles, too, but it typically happened at 6-7 DPO, not 9 DPO). Pressure in uterus.
10-11 DPO sore breasts and still uterine pressure; I had had so many different symptoms on the medicated cycles, i wasn't sure what was normal anymore. Sore breasts were common, though. Tiny bit of blood when checking my cervix at 11 DPO (but I wasn't sure if this were my short luteal phase retuning or anything more promising).
12 DPO temp down 0.2 degrees, same symptoms. I thought AF was just around the corner.
13 DPO temp still up, so I tested with first morning urine in case. I couldn't believe it when the strong second line appeared within a few seconds. Called the RE and went in for a blood test that morning. HSG was 150 (wow!), but progesterone was a bit low (13), so I got prescribed progesterone suppositories (200 mg twice a day) right away. Not many other symptoms besides the slightly sore breasts and uterus (and constipation from the progesterone) for another 10 days or so - then the nausea and tiredness started.
All the early ultrasounds were great, the cell free DNA test came back normal (it's a girl), and I am now just about at the 20 week scan and having no problems. We're thrilled to be expecting our second daughter in September!
I was a nervous wreck before all of the early tests - there isn't much positive to read about being 43 and pregnant. But, I wanted to let all the women over 40 know that it can happen, even when the REs say it won't. I am definitely enjoying this pregnancy as much as I can, and it looks like another lucky couple will be able to have the embyos we chose. Either way, we would have been blessed.