Saturday, February 25, 2012

ICLW (quite a bit late)

Well, I’ve been meaning to write a post welcoming whoever came over for ICLW for the past 4 days, but my schedule has been nothing short of insane so nothing got written and worse, ICLW commenting did not get done.  I’ve had a lot of people who just jumped in there with the last disjointed, introduction-less entry and commented, I thank you for it.

Still, better late than never: To sum up my blog, I’m somebody who thought she would have absolutely no issues in the baby making department.  2 pregnancy losses later, I’m one hell of a lot tougher, and I think a whole lot wiser too.  Since I’m a scientist that studies how the body works for a living anyway, I’ve come a good way in understanding reproductive biology, and I’ve tried my best to share that knowledge with everybody.  I discovered I was Vitamin D deficient after my second loss, and intense reading on the subject of deficiency of this hormone in various disease states, including infertility has made me a very vocal advocate on the topic of testing for this, and making sure you have normal range blood levels, with a large portion of my blog being dedicated to this subject.

Sharing of knowledge aside, I’m awed at what a source of emotional support the blogsphere has proven to be. While nobody else in real life wants to spend more than 15 minutes listening to you, here, you have a network of people from all over the world, genuinely invested in everybody’s journey and willing to spend hours cheering others on, or crying with them in the horrible times.  Women going through infertility just a scant 10 years ago did not have this resource, yet, we today, do.  When we think about the unfair hands we are dealt, that is something to remember.

In other news, I'm gearing up for the next try. I finally got my act together and went to an endocrinologist.  I was lucky to find one at NYU with really good reviews, and thankfully, he more than lived up to them. He listened to me,  he was well versed on the topic of anti-thyroid antibodies and their potential role in pregnancy loss, as well as the studies (not terribly convincing, but still plausible) looking at correlations of higher levels of TSH during pregnancy and IQ of the resulting children. He was willing to re-test everything, which included the PCOS hormones (Testosterone, DHEAS, AMH, and LH), the thyroid hormones (TSH T4, T3) and the Anti-TPO/anti-thyro-globulin antibodies. I had a whopping 10 vials drawn, and I'm eager to find out what it will show. 

Detailed post on the PCOS + thyroid condition coming , but I have to say again what I will reiterate there- when you get your thryoid tests done, look at that TSH value.  The old normal range for TSH was about 0.4-4 mIU/ml, now  it seems to have been revised  to 0.3-3 mIU/ml, with studies suggesting being over 2.5 is bad in pregnancy.  If TSH  over 2.5 (but still in the normal range),  demand a test for anti-thyroid antibodies. Anybody who is TTC, with infertility issues, is best off maintaining their TSH at  around 1-1.5. 

Its a simple no-risk treatment that only asks that you take some amount of thyroid hormone (which is perfectly safe as long as you do not take too much) and get frequent monitoring done, and it *may* fix an issue which is kind of an ill-understood and murky threat.  I am of this opinion, my current RE is not, but thankfully, this endocrinologist definitely is.  My thyroid during pregnancy will be in good hands.


  1. Thanks for the thyroid info.  I'm always a little worried about mine (it's borderline high), but I'm negative for anti-thyroid antibodies.

    I'm glad you've found a doctor you trust and who will run the tests you're looking for.  Interested to hear the results!

    I'm a scientist, too!  Or, at least, I was in my 20's.  Now I'm a medical writer.

  2. Hi from ICLW!
    I'll definitely have to look further into all your research. I am not sure what my thyroid levels were but will ask next time I go in!

  3. Not to mention, make sure you have a FULL thyroid panel run, not just TSH. I have always had normal TSH but marginal T4 and I started with almost nonexistent T3.

  4. Jay... good luck in your next IUI.. I want you to have a baby soon...

  5. Happy ICLW!  I love all of the information on blood levels, even though I'm not TTC anymore...good stuff to know!  When I suggested to my first RE that he look at immune stuff, he nearly kicked me out of his office (buh-bye, old RE).  So glad you were able to find an RE that really listens to you and is willing to do all of the tests you suggest. :)  MUCH luck to you this cycle.

    ICLW #35

  6. I'm glad you do not have the antibodies, they are not the best prognosticators. Even if you are antibody negative, it seems prudent  to wrestle your TSH into submission and bring it to about 1 while TTCing.

    How cool that you a medical writer! That is the direction I cannot decide whether I want to go
    in- I can write and the flexibility it offers is alluring, but I don't know how much I'd miss benchwork. I'm going
    to try switch to an industry job soon enough, hopefully that will give me

  7. That is really interesting!  I just looked up what my last TSH was, and it was 2.57

  8. Hi Jessie, If it was 2.57 while you were not pregnant, it definitely would go higher during a pregnancy, because thyroid requirements go up pretty early in pregnancy.  Definitely something to monitor during your next pregnancy, its better done with an endocrinologist than an RE IMO.

  9. Thanks for stopping by my blog!  I actually am severely vitamin D deficient and have been on high dose supplement for years.  I'm currently in the normal range but still suspicious.  Interesting read!  I'm a multiple miscarriage girl myself with hypothyroidism.

  10. Hi from ICLW! After reading your posts on Vit D and infertility/miscarriage I started taking a supplement.  My most recent level was 30, which is the low end of normal and I can't help but think that I've probably been deficient the whole time I've been TTC. Hopefully the supplements help.
    I hope this next cycle is it for you.

  11. Thanks for your comment! I have started taking vitamin D supplements (only started a few weeks ago), although I have not had blood levels tested. From what I have read the amount I'm taking can't hurt, and I hide inside all day at my desk, so it's not like I get it naturally. I'm sorry to read about your miscarriages. I know that sinking feeling in the u/s room all too well. No one should have to go through that, and certainly not more than once. Good luck with this round!

    ICLW #45

  12. So glad you (& your thyroid) will be in such good hands...wishing you success with this cycle!

  13. Happy ICLW! I am sorry about your losses. It's funny how we find out just how strong we arewhen going through infertility treatment. The best of luck to you!