Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Maybe Baby: the AMH test

This is the continuation of Makala Pollard’s series documenting a journey through the ups and downs of infertility and trying to conceive. Follow her story through journal entries beginning last year and leading up to today. To see previous entries click here.

November 2, 2010
Okay, a little progress since last time. I think I had to absorb and reflect the news we got at the doctor’s office. You know, nothing ever goes as planned, which you would think I would be used to by now but I still need to process. In case you missed my last entry, they found a fibroid in my uterus and a cyst on my left ovary that needs to be removed.

I think part of the way I start to process things like this is by telling a few close friends. Something about talking about it and getting it out there makes it more real and gives me more clarity. The funny thing is how many “oh, I’m sorry” responses I got. What an odd reaction this was to me. Why are you sorry? They actually found something that needs to be corrected and to me that is a good thing. To me it is better than “everything looks fine” and nothing happening. 

They also wanted to do some hormone testing on me now that I am 35. Oh how everything changes in the world of fertility when you hit this number. For one, they took blood for an AMH (anti-mullerian hormone) test. Basically this helps the doctor determine my egg reserve. So I will get those results soon.

After many emails back and forth with the clinic about my insurance and when I would like to have this surgery we are starting to formulate a plan. There I go with a plan again! I can’t help myself. Anyway, the plan is to have the fibroid and cyst removed on January 20th. Recovery time is not very long so I am hoping have this done on Thursday and be back to work by Monday or Tuesday. 

I also have the cost figured out which is a big part of the plan. Looks like my part will be roughly $1500.  Hooray for health insurance and a flexible spending account. 

Monday, November 8, 2010
Test results of the AMH came back and I got that phone call on Friday. However, I played phone tag with the clinic and didn’t get to actually speak with them about the results until today. Mine came back “undetectable.”  Well, that’s great, I thought. The lab tech on the phone tells me that this is low and my doctor wants to schedule me for a consult to discuss treatment options. Um, yeah, I would say that “undetectable” is a sign of it being low.   

I pause for a second and ask: “Are there any treatment options?”

“Oh yes,” says the lab tech, "and your doctor wants to go over all of that with you." And now the wheels in my cynical mind are turning. 

Is that code for we just want to get you in here, get your $50 copay, and then tell you sorry, you should look into adoption? Sigh. Hopefully not. Come on, Makala. You work in Marketing. Be positive!

So what does any normal 35-year-old woman trying to procreate do with this information and one week before her consult? Search the internet, of course. That’s where you find all of the cures for illnesses in case you didn’t know already.

I start to Bing and Google “AMH test,” “Fertility treatment for AMH,” “Low AMH” and quite frankly there is not a great deal of information out there which frustrates a control freak such as myself. I have the problem, now I need to find the result! I do learn that this is a fairly recent “marker” in the world of fertility and this helps reproductive endocrinologist determine how to treat a patient. 

It does also point to “women with low AMH results tend to respond poorly to IVF (In-Vetro Fertilization).”  Using my critical thinking skills I wonder how this will play out for us. We were just going to attempt some IUI (Inter-Uterine Insemination) treatments and see what happened. If this means that IVF might not even work, then why bother with IUI? 

See all of the twists and turns my brain has taken? I haven’t even been in for a consult with my doctor yet and I have determined via the internet that I have no eggs and no treatments will work. Working in health care, I tend to laugh when our average consumer “diagnoses” themselves via the internet, yet here I am doing just that. Who knows what I will have conjured up by the time I actually get in for my consult.

Until next time!

Makala Pollard is a Senior Marketing Specialist for Texas Health Resources and Stepmom to two boys.

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