Blogger / 22 July, 2017 / Ellie Thompson
I had my pelvic assessment scan this week, and by all accounts, I passed with flying colours. They found EIGHT healthy looking follicles on each side, totally visible, there on the scan. Man, I was so pleased to see those follicles, swaying about on the ultrasound and she zoomed in and out, almost waving at me as if to say ‘chill bitch, we’re doing what we can in here!’
The nurse was very pleased with me. Star student. Apparently, eight follicles per side is fantastic news. (I think anything from 8 – 12 is good and normal, and there may have been others not visible on screen – bonus follicles!)
Following that scan, I had my AMH (Anti-Mullerian Hormone) blood test again, and as I write this, the vial of blood will be winging its way up to Glasgow to be tested and interpreted into a number that will determine a hell of a lot of what happens next. I’ve been sat here all week rooting for it. Cheering it on and wishing it all the very best. ‘Come ON, blood! Don’t let me down…’ etc, etc.
For those of you that don’t know, the AMH result is the most recent measure of your ovarian reserve, i.e. whether there are any eggs left in those apparently smarmy follicles. Translation? It’s a shit-scary test.
My first and last AMH test was done on 10th March this year, producing a level of 6.6 which is just below the average for my then age, 34 years. (Check out the handy table below I found online.)
While at the time I was told not to panic, I decided to do exactly that. I was pretty devastated to have discovered that my egg reserve was on the low side. I came off the end of that phone call and couldn’t help but feel the result was a literal score of the number of eggs I’d been left with. Just the 6! Half a dozen. Silly, I know, but I felt inadequate, and frustrated at myself. I was of course the reason why well over a year had passed and no pregnancy.
And then, after you’ve read the 112,469443221110000 search results on ‘low AMH’ on google, and you’ve acknowledged that 6.6 is a workable score, you’ve realised things could be a lot worse, and there are women out there battling much lower scores (go girls!), it suddenly dawns on you that an AMH result is not indicative of the quality of the eggs, and there is yet another hurdle to face. Those 6 eggs better be good ones, that’s all I’m sayin’! Yep, it’s accurate to say I’ve been panicking about my AMH level and the general health and wellbeing of my eggs ever since I got my first result back in March.
So, fast forward to this week, and the fact that I turned 35 in May, if my result comes back stuck still at the level of 6.6, I’m winning – I’ll be in the normal level for my age group. What a scha-weeet victory that would be.
I’ve been informed that the first test I had taken may not have been entirely accurate. Nuffield use a testing centre in Glasgow which for one reason of another, produces more widely accurate results, something about comparing results to a much larger database, and as a result, I was advised that my reading could be higher. My eyes widened at this news, but then of course, my heart sunk as the pessimist in me immediately catastrophised – ‘what if it’s lower?’ The new result will also reflect the four months that have quickly passed since that first test too; the fact that I’ve actually now turned 35.
The age of doom when it comes to having kids – don’t you think? I’ve read so much scare-mongering stuff about turning 35 and fertility. So what really happens? Did I wake up on my 35th birthday to a bed full of presents while simultaneously my fertility was upping and leaving without me noticing? Without so much as a ‘goodbye’? How dare it! Just like that! But honestly – how instant is it?! Happy 35th birthday! Your time is running out. The clock is ticking, can’t you hear it? You wanted kids? You should have thought about this ten years ago, birthday girl! Three cheers to you!
So… I’m back in the waiting game. The results take up to 10 days to come back, and I’ve been told the normal practice is to wait until our first consultant’s appointment to get my AMH result, so it’s given in context of my scan, Jamie’s next semen analysis – basically the bigger picture. But that seems so far away! We’re not seeing the consultant until 16th August! I haven’t felt like this since that long wait for my A Level exam results back in the good old 1998 (where my AMH was probably a blossoming 20.0!). All those weeks waiting to find out whether you’ve got the score you need to get into university, well, this is the score I need to get to the next stage of trying for a family of my own. This is one test I can’t afford to fail… And typically – the one test I can’t revise for. And the clock keeps ticking…