Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Busy, busy.

Work is ceaselessly busy right now. It makes it hard to stay relaxed, rested and the like. Still, it's a lot better than when I was younger, or when I was dealing with my fibroid. I can deal so much better now.

I'm drinking my pre-ovulatory tea twice daily, taking my prenatal vitamins and iron supplements, temping each morning, charting CF, using the fertility monitor (starting in a couple days) and then I've got my acupuncture treatments. Qigong has been off the radar for a while, other than doing breathing exercises when I remember, lately almost every day, and then some movement sequences occasionally. Classes started up again last week but work has prevented me from being able to go. Maybe in a few weeks. I did make an effort to go for a jog with my dog tonight. She loved it so much, I love to watch her run -- she's 15 years old already.

I can't believe that I ovulate again next week. When will this endless dog track end. When will the rabbit die?

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Interesting info about Anemia and Infertility

"Be sure your iron levels are adequate. A blood test (a ferritin level combined with an iron level and iron binding capacity) will tell you this. Unfortunately, doctors are trained to say the iron is normal if your ferritin level is at least 9 ng/ml. Although a ferritin level of 9 shows you have enough iron to prevent anemia, one can have infertility from ferritin levels less than 40. Because of this, I would look at your ferritin test results yourself and make sure the level is at least 40 ng per ml. In a study of women with infertility with ferritin levels less than 40, half of the women quickly became pregnant when put on iron. If for some reason you are unable to get your ferritin level checked, it is not unreasonable to take iron (e.g. Ferrous Sequels 1 tablet 1-2 times a day for four months). I also would take iron if the percent saturation of iron (calculated from the iron & percent saturation tests noted above) is under 22%."

From: Effective Holistic Treatment for Infertility
By Jacob E. Teitelbaum, M.D.

In a letter to the Editor of The Lancet, a group of British physicians has presented evidence suggesting that depleted iron stores, as indicated by low serum ferritin levels, may prevent conception.

A total of 113 women with increased scalp hair shedding associated with reduced serum ferritin values (40 ng/ml or less), were treated with daily supplements of 35 mg iron and 200 mg vitamin C to achieve optimal hair growth. Seven patients became pregnant during treatment. Three of the seven had histories of infertility and the other four had not become pregnant before iron/vitamin C treatment, despite regular menses and unprotected sexual intercourse. All seven conceived within 28 weeks of starting iron and vitamin C, and all had shown substantial increases in serum ferritin before conceiving.

From: Serum ferritin and fertility

In slim women with PCOS, a SHBG is particularly helpful. This will usually be below a level of 80 IU/l. The serum prolactin level will be modestly raised (>350 IU/l) in about 15% of women with PCOS. A high proportion of women with this condition will also have a low serum ferritin. This is probably caused by raised levels of insulin-like growth factor III in response to hyperinsulinaemia. The raised IGF-3 levels inhibit the production of transferrin, which will then reduce iron absorption. Correction of any iron deficiency is particularly helpful for women with scalp hair thinning and for women with PCOS-associated sub-fertility. A ferritin level of >50 ng/ml is generally needed to meet the iron demands of any pregnancy.

Women's Health: Iron May Be the Answer for Some Infertile Women, U.S.News.com 10/31/06

My ferritin two years ago was at 22, I took lots of iron and got it up. After my June miscarriage my ferritin was down to 9 and I still feel it being low. My new ob/gyn said to just keep taking iron and that I'll have to take it through my entire pregnancy (we are still optimistic that this can be done).

I think I explained about Ferritin elsewhere, but it is a protein that your body uses to store iron in the body, this site is interesting and confirms what my naturopathic doctor and acupunturist have told me about anemia/blood deficiency-- plus what I myself have experienced:

"Chronically low iron causes numerous adverse changes in your immune system, resulting in recurrent colds, flus, & other infections."
(from: FERRITIN)

Anemia and Copious Cervical Mucus

I came across this today and thought how interesting that my copious fertile quality cervical mucus was actually associated with my anemia.

"Anaemias are usually accompanied by an increased amount of L and S mucus. After treatment, these symptoms cease."
From Diseases and the Billings Ovulation Method

S- refers to "sperm-transmission" mucus (the kind that lets the sperm through easily) L - stands for "locking-in" mucus "because of the capacity of that mucus to attract and enclose malformed sperm"

One more sign of anemia to watch for.

I was at two parties yesterday with lots of kids. I kept getting asked which one was mine (*sigh*) and then someone pointed out that we were one of two couples there without children. Nice. Yeah, we actually do have babies. Dead babies. The first one's due date was in February and the second one was due in January next year. There's no winning the infertility game.

  • See also: Treating Anemia/Iron Rich Foods and Advice to Someone Trying to Build their Iron Stores