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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.

Comments

WOW CONGRATS!!!!!! Thank you thank you thank you for posting this as I am 41 years old and have been trying for awhile now with no luck. I have 3 kids, that were conceived instantly when I was in my 20's so my re stated it must be just my age and has had me on DHEA 75 a day and Cq10 (200 mg) a day. the last time I had my amh checked it was 1.07 about a year ago which isn't to bad but obviously the eggs I have are "old" so she said hopefully this will help. Your story just gave me a glitter of hope so thank you very much and God Bless u and your baby!!!!

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Yay for the DHEA!!!! That's what did it for me too! Isn't that stuff amazing?! Congrats!!

Hello ladies and congrats on ur pregnancy
I'm in the same boat , I'm 43 trying Ttc #4 , I gave birth to 3 girls the natural way and having a hard time conceiving #4.
My periods are regular and I'm worried to try new things , scared it would suppress my ovulation or mess it up . ( I tried VITEX once and it made me bleed so I stopped 5 days later ) .anyways , I'm open to anything at this point , did any of you take Dhea and if so , did U stop taking it before ovulation and start again on UR next cycle ? Just confused as to when to take it ? Thank You

I am currently taking DHEA now.. I am 41 yeads old.. I take 25x3(75) a day.. I take one in morning, afternoon and night. I have read many studies about it and have seen a lot of success stories on this site as well. I have been out it now for 10 weeks and the only side affect I noticed was a few pimples on my chest but it has not surpressed my ovulation at all. I ovulated right on time which is day 13,14 for me. I also have 3 kids that were conceived instantl when I was younger so my doctor has told me, she just believes it is due to me having "old" eggs.. From what I have read, DHEA is great but if by chance it does not help, it won't hurt you either. I recomend you give it a shot as u having nothing to lose. DHEA actually came about from a 42 year old European woman who had diminished egg reserve so she researched herself and came across DHEA without her doctor knowing she was even doing it. When the doctor started noticing that her eggs were doing the same as a 20 years old would do, they starting questioning her on what she was doing and she told them about the DHEA. Every since then, many studies and trials have been conducted and over 1/3 of fertility doctors recommend DHEA to their older patients. Also one more tip is to take CoQ10. My doctor has been on 200mg a day of this as well as it also helps with egg developent. If you have any other questions please ask and good luck!

oh and you continue taking it everyday before, during and after ovulation until u get your bfp. They also say it could take anywhere from 6-16 weeks of taking it consistently before it has any effect of your eggs.

Just be aware that the DHEA is a hormone precursor, so it does have some side effects - some minor (acne, etc.) and some more worrisome (slightly increased cancer risks). The side effects are more pronounced the longer you take it, so it is usually only recommended for short-term use. IVF clinics sometimes recommend taking it for six weeks prior to egg-retrieval cycles. Know the risks and benefits to make an informed decision.

Amazing news!!! Thrilled for you.

OP here...I originally decided not to take DHEA because it was a hormone precursor and has been linked to some undesirable side effects, but after my RE said he couldn't do anything for me, I decided what the heck and took it for only six weeks total (one full cycle plus the next up until ovulation, 75 mg total in 25 mg pills three times a day). I also took vitex due to my short luteal phase. Normally, it is not recommended to take these together since they have opposite effects on the cycle, but I was having symptoms of both low estrogen (hot flashes in the beginning of my cycle, low or no EWCM, etc.) that only appeared during/after the fertility treatments. I didn't have any other options, so I went for it and took them both together for six weeks (I started them both together and continued taking the vitex after I stopped the DHEA). I also read somewhere that Chinese medicine practices that aging reduces the ability of the ovary to recruit healthy follicles that will mature into good eggs (i.e., picking the best of the bunch to try with), not just the "old egg" problem that many doctors will tell women. So, I figured I was already taking the ubiquinol to promote healthy eggs, and I could take the DHEA to help with that and recruitment. It was a shot in the dark, honestly, but it made some sense - and it was a bit more heartening than just thinking about all my overly aged eggs. Sometimes a shot in the dark is worth taking, and after a year of trying (with medical help), it worked when nothing else did.

I just also wanted to clarify that the six week DHEA time and dosage is what I found some IVF clinics suggesting to older patients before their egg retrieval, so I just took it for that amount of time. I didn't get my BFP until the cycle AFTER I stopped taking it, so I don't know for sure what was responsible for the end success. My cycles were definitely more regular (with more signs of ovulation) after I started taking both DHEA and vitex.

Thanks for that I am 43..and trying ..did timed intercourse. .will know Friday if I'm pregnant.

Thank You ladies for helping and sharing ur stories with me !! It helped a lot . I have one more question ...
Should CoQ10 be taken the entire time until getting a BFP ? Or should I stop on the day I ovulate ?
Same for DHEA , should I take it until I ovulate and then stop ?
I started taking CoQ10 and I actually stopped the day my Opk was positive . As well as my supplements ( green blend powder ) .

Thank You

Sorry ladies , I just have one last question ..
What was the brand that was used DHEA and coQ10 and VITEX .. There are so many out there , it's hard to know what's best ?
Also what was the dosage of the VITEX did u use?
Lastly .. When u mentioned that u took DHEA for 6 weeks .. Did u not try to get pregnant for 6 weeks and tried after taking a cycle of DHEA? Or did you stay on DHEA for 6 weeks while trying and just kept taking it until u saw the bfn ? Just curious ?
This is my last chance before clinics and in all honesty , I am not one to go that route .. I read about the side effects it has on a fetus while taking clomids and I read and heard that most babies born from Clomid , have many health issues !! Too scary for me . I also heard that kids born from DHEA moms , may have some masculine characteristics .. Not sure if that's true .. ? But I'm willing to try , this would be my last resort !! Thank You for all ur help in advance .

I took the vitex and the DHEA for the complete cycle (starting at CD1 and not stopping after ovulation). The DHEA I took for 6 weeks only (so I stopped right around ovulation for the second cycle). The vitex I continued to take until my bfp and then slowly weaned myself off over 2-3 weeks (moving down in dosage a pill a week or so). It was the third cycle that I got the bfp. As for brands, I don't remember exactly. I just went on the Internet and found the cheapest prices from what looked like reputable online stores. I was taking ubiquinol, not coQ10, since it is supposed to be absorbed better, and I know for sure I took two different brands during the six months or so I was taking it while TTC. It was expensive, but much less so than the monitoring and IUIs. My husband also started taking maca two months before my bfp, even though his sperm count was low normal (he only has one testicle due to testicular cancer almost 10 years ago).

Congrats on your success! Very happy for you. I am 39 and haven't been successful for past year+ so am wanting to try DHEA. I bought some, but have since found out that it should be micronized and what i bought wasn't. I have a low normal AMH 1.02 for my age and 2 rounds of clomid didn't work for me. Femara and Ovidrel did, but that pg ended in mc. Thanks for your advise on brands!

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