Reading through my monthly onslaught of endocrine journals, I came across an interesting article purporting to predict age at menopause based on a lab called the anti-muellerian hormone. This hormone is used in the evaluation of infertility because it correlates with the number of follicles that a woman has left: the lower the number, the fewer follicles there are left. A woman is born with all the follicles she will ever have. When she runs out, that’s menopause. About 10 years before menopause, the eggs are so few and of such poor quality that conception is nearly impossible.
This article attempted to correlate a woman’s AMH at any age with her age at menopause, hoping to predict when menopause might occur. If you knew when to expect menopause, you would also know when to expect an increase in other related health issues (osteoporosis, breast cancer, infertility). Apparently my AMH is in the 90th percentile for my age, and I should expect to go through (non-medication induced) menopause at age 55.
So is my age our problem with conceiving? It’s probably contributing. Despite my stellar AMH, I have an elevated FSH, which means my brain is having to work harder than normal to get eggs to mature each month. That’s a sign that my reproductive system is slowing down. But the other measure of ovarian reserve, the antral follicle count (how many follicles start to mature each month) , also looks good for me.
I don’t know, I keep analyzing everything trying to guess how IVF is going to go. My doctor is very optimistic, but she’s been very optimistic all along. Every cycle up until now has looked perfect. There’s no reason nothing is working. While I continue to be optimistic myself that this IVF will work, if it doesn’t, I’m hoping we at least get some answers. There has to be a reason this is so hard.