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  1. #1
    SAFIRE
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    ANTRAL FOLLICLE COUNT - WHAT'S A GOOD DAY 3 NUMBER (If you're in your 30's OR 40's)?

    Hi,
    I'm 44 and had my day 3 ultrasound and bloodwork for FSH/Estradiol.

    The ultrasound showed I had 9 antral follicles (6 on left, 3 on right). I don't know if that's good or bad as I haven't yet spoken with a doctor for a follow-up consult.

    What's a normal or good number of antral follicles to have in your mid 30's and in your 40's?

    I'm keeping my fingers crossed about the FSH levels. I pray they are under 10 still.

    Does anyone know anything about antral follicles? If I have 9 and I take meds, is this number supposed to increase or do the 9 follicles just hopefully grow?

    Thanks.


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  3. #2
    BC-NanceLee
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    It's good. That is a mid-30s (in age) kind of number. I will find a chart for you to review.

    Not only with those grow, but you will get more. In my first cycle (at age 48) I had 7 antrals and ended up with 16 eggs, 3 mature. In my second cycle I started with 9 antrals and ended up with 23 eggs, as many as 10 mature. However both bfns. What number of follies cannot guarantee is QUALITY of eggs, unfortunately. Starting numbers like yours mean you are still in the game which is great, but don't expect that it guarantees a healthy conception that goes to term. Don't want to be a downer and totally hope you beat the quality odds too!

    Good luck; you are off to a great start!


  4. #3
    SAFIRE
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    Hi,
    Thanks for the info and I'd love to see the chart.

    Can you remind me, which indicator determines egg quality? Is it FSH?

    I am confused about the antral follicles because like you said, if you do have a large number, then it doesn't really mean much because the quality could be awful. What do they do to measure quality?

    Thanks.


  5. #4
    BC-NanceLee
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    http://humrep.oxfordjournals.org/cgi...l/15/9/1937/T1

    This chart says you are 33 years old

    There really is no measure for quality. FSH is also a quantity indicator. If your FSH is high it means your ovarian reserve (number of eggs) is low, and your body is increasing the FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) to try and induce more follicles into play.

    Quality is all about egg AGE. The way my RE explained it, eggs actually get sort of rusty with age, and where that shows up is in two ways - harder to penetrate surface, and errors in the division process once fertilized. Whereas already 6 out of every 10 conceptions in normal healthy women - all ages, no fertility issues - do not survive due to chromosomal abnormalities, more like 8 or 9 of every 10 from older eggs screw up in the division process due to this "rust." When the egg starts to divide, there are little spindles that grab the chromosome pairs and pull them apart. These spindles in older eggs don't do their job right - they grab the whole chromosome, or they break it, etc. Hence the fertilized egg is incompatible with life.

    There are all sorts of alternative therapies to supposedly improve egg quality. A high protein diet, wheatgrass, omega 3 oils, tons of water, acupuncture - there are entire threads here devoted to it. Certainly worth a try and probably does help - at least with overall health, circulation etc which is all important in carrying a pregnancy to term. But nothing is proven beyond a doubt to actually change an old egg into a young one.


  6. #5
    BC-NanceLee
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    Also don't get discouraged - it is all a numbers game so the more antrals you have the more eggs you will have per cycle; the more eggs you have the higher the odds that some fertilize; the more that fertilize the higher the odds that one will BEAT those age odds. One out of 10 is still one out of 10 - get 25 eggs, 15 mature, 10 to fertilize and one to go the distance. So high antral counts are nothing to sneeze at!


  7. #6
    SAFIRE
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    Thanks for the encouragement.

    I think I'm so full of anxiety right now on doing the 'right' thing. I would hate to be so persistent that I don't think clearly and continue the march towards "it's my egg or no egg" attitude if the end result is no good.

    I have nightmares thinking that I'm going to push this too far and that a surrogate may become pregnant with my 44 year old eggs and deliver a baby .... only to find out it has birth defects that are missed by PGD (as I've heard PGD isn't perfect at all). I would just be crushed beyond belief at that point, and would wonder why I was so stupid and so incredibly selfish to want my own genetic baby.....because the person who will suffer the most if I have a baby with birth defects is the baby (sadly).

    I don't like to dwell on the negatives at all, but I also want to be practical. I almost wished in a way that my ultrasound examination today and my FSH results tomorrow would have been horrible -- that way it would have been an easy decision to make to use our frozen 'donor' embryos instead of having a last ditch effort to see if I could use my own eggs.

    Now, I'm stuck in the middle, not knowing what the right decision is and if it will ever work out for us. I just broke down a few hours ago because I started wondering if I'm doing the right thing and my biggest fear is wondering if it is possible still with my own eggs to make a healthy baby in every sense of the word. I know that may sound like an extreme reaction, but I'm so on edge right now and I know I have to de-stress and not worry too much, but I'm worried to death wondering if I'm doing the right thing and torn between not wanting to give up on my own vs. going with our donor eggs. It is absolutely an agonizing decision.

    I don't want things sugar-coated at all. I want the doctors to tell it like it is and not to give me any hope if there is no hope.

    I'll find out soon enough -- and then we can decide whether we'll be off on our quest to pursue the elusive golden egg (I sure hope there's at least one golden egg or so left in the batch).

    Thanks.


  8. #7
    BC-NanceLee
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    I totally get it. My RE told me that I was one of the hardest type of cases, because I LOOK young, am very healthy (bad cholesterol of 8 kind of healthy!) and still menstruate regularly with no signs of perimenopause. 28 day cycles kind of thing. Day 3 FSH of 5.5, for God's sake, at almost 49 years old! But none of that matters in the end, which really, truly bites. He said if I were to do IVF I would probably retrieve 30+ eggs but still end up with a BFN. We are doing medicated natural cycles, not even inseminations. My husband's counts are amazing - he is 28 and the picture of health. But even with that the RE has no fear of multiples with my eggs so he lets us have sex even with 10 mature eggs. And so far his lack of fear has been well-founded.

    I have two older children from a former marriage but my husband and I have 8 miscarriages; we married when I was 42. All 8 were in the first 3 years, all natural pregnancies. I have not even had a chemical pregnancy since mid 2004. To be trying now is sort of insane but I have 6 cycles of insurance coverage so I am just rolling the dice. Believe me, I have had the same fears about a chromosomal abnormality. My only consolation is, most of them don't make it out of the first trimester.

    Good luck to you. I hope you find peace in your decision. It would be very, very difficult if I did not have any children of my own at all. I am not doing this for me but because I want my husband to experience parenting through pregnancy and all of it, plus with his biology there is no reason he should not have his own, you know? Adoption misses the point for me because the whole thing is for Vini to be able to be a bio father without being limited by my age. I would do donor egg in a heartbeat but he is squeamish about it. Sigh - anyway. I am rambling but take care, ok?
    Last edited by BC-NanceLee; 04-29-2007 at 04:05 PM.


  9. #8
    SAFIRE
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    Thanks for sharing your info and for your words of support!


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