Thursday, April 30, 2009

IVF Book Review : "The Complete Guide to IVF"

Just a little over a week ago, the packages started arriving. Exciting!! I spent a few days digging around on, trying to find the "best" IVF books out there.

My IVF book criteria:
- They needed to be somewhat recently published (this was really hard to find actually!)
- Go into at least a bit of detail on specifics surrounding what an IVF cycle is like
- I was also looking for at least one of them to include a story (or stories) about people who underwent IVF - preferably a first-hand account.

I ended up purchasing three books, one of which I've already finished and reviewed below. Stay tuned for more... this next book I just started is proving to be the best yet!!

The Complete Guide to IVF:
An Inside View of Fertility Clinics and Treatment

Straight from the book description: The most recent studies show that 40,000 cycles of IVF are carried out in the UK each year - and approximately a million are carried out worldwide. It is estimated that at least 200,000 IVF babies are born annually - and this figure is constantly rising. With assisted conception increasing year on year, 'The Complete Guide to IVF' offers an invaluable and insightful approach to the process. Packed with first-hand accounts of patients who have been through it, and Kate Brian's own experience of IVF, this book will de-mystify the treatment and give a 'behind-the-scenes' account of what really happens. Addressing the entire experience, right from the initial clinic visit through to the assisted conception cycle, 'The Complete Guide to IVF' provides an accessible, down-to-earth and reassuring account of using IVF to conceive.

Published year: 2009

My rating: (3 out of 5)

Who would benefit from this book? Anyone who is in the very beginning stages of understanding what IVF is all about and wants an easy-to-read overview; this could include not only patients, but also friends or relatives alike.

What I liked about this book: I purchased this book for two main reasons - it was one of the most recently published books on IVF that I could find AND because it seemed to contain (based on the description) the first-person perspective that I was looking for. Did it fulfill those wishes? Yes, it certainly did. It was an easy read that touched briefly on many main areas of IVF, starting with the beginning stages of suppression and egg stimulation, going all the way through retrieval and transfer and what to expect along the way. Throughout the book, in each section, the author would include comments or experiences she had with that particular topic, as well as include a very brief quote from another infertility patient, which was a nice touch. It also had a chapter dedicated to male infertility, covering not only causes but also how to emotionally deal with infertility and be a support system for a partner.

What I didn't like: While I am glad I bought it, I don't know that I'll use it as a reference tool all that much. I think the problem was that it was so surface level it didn't leave me with many thoughts of, right - what an interesting point, or wow - I didn't know that! Sure there was stuff that I didn't know, simply because I'm in the very beginning stages of really trying to learn the ins and outs of IVF, but I wish it would have had a bit more to it.

That being said, it does make for a very good "first" read. I'm glad I did end up reading it first, because otherwise, I'm afraid I may have felt like it wasn't telling me anything new.

Another potential downfall, though completely no fault of the author or this book, if you're from the U.S. you should know that this was written by someone who underwent and interviewed residents of the UK for this book. Why do I mention it? Well some of the info might not be quite as catered to what U.S. clinics are like; however, I didn't get the feeling that there wouldn't be too many differences, so it still seemed very applicable.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

It's NIAW - National Infertility Awareness Week!

Holy cow, they've moved our week! Yes, our week. The one week out of the year where we can stand united and make one gianormous announcement so that everyone will know just how many women, men and families are affected by this. RESOLVE reports the grand total is somewhere around 7.3 million Americans - not counting the other gazillion in the rest of the world.

Why is it important to spread the word?
Personally, in the future my hope is that other women will be more aware and proactive with reproductive health, supported and understood more by their friends and family and, here in the U.S., that legislators take notice and eventually pass a federally-mandated infertility insurance coverage option law.

This week used to occur in the fall every year, but it seems as though this was a conscious decision made to also help support women who are struggling with trying to become a mother, right around Mother's Day - a difficult holiday where we fertile-challenged women are reminded of another year with no baby. It's also a great way for everyone to keep in mind that while it's certainly a time to be thankful for our moms, it's also a time to reflect on how much it really means to be a mom and that not everyone is so fortunate. Something this precious shouldn't be taken for granted - ever.

Thanks to Melissa Ford's post at Blogher, author of the very popular infertility and pregnancy loss blog, Stirrup Queens and Sperm Palace Jesters, for talking about the NIAW move and bringing it to our attention!

FREE TeleSeminars through May 2
One last thing worth noting, and I wish I would have caught this sooner since there are only a few days left to take advantage of it, but RESOLVE is offering FREE TeleSeminars on various infertility topics through the remainder of NIAW (May 2). Check out their list of topics to see if anything interests you!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Oh to be a woman!

Before I share my "poor me" pity party I had yesterday, let's have a little laugh. This has to be one of my favorite videos. It's on a related subject of a bad case of the darn rampant, womanly hormones. (Yes, Mom, this is the video I was telling you about!)

God help me when I actually start on IVF meds, I just might be one of those ladies!!

As for yesterday, ah, yes... onto the pity party. Yesterday I had a small case of the blues. You know... popping a tear at the little things. It was silly really. Every now and again you sit back and look at the big picture and wonder what you're life will look like in a few years... just hoping and crossing every finger that it will include us with baby in tow. Anyways, it was one of those days. Every time I turned around there was something that moved me.

Like the story of a young couple who tried and tried to get pregnant and finally - after doing IVF - they got pregnant, only to loose their baby after it was born very prematurely because the mother developed severe, life-threatening preeclampsia. They watched him fight and fight for life for several weeks, only to have him pass away in their arms. Wow. What a life-altering experience. One that I can't even, and am completely and totally scared to, imagine. My heart aches for them.

Or the fact that my good friend Meghan's first IUI was looking like it wasn't going to pan out for her. They deserve this, darn it!

And then I check FertilityFriend to see where I am in my current cycle and think "ok, so I'm on CD 35... I had fertile-like signs around day..." - wait, who am I kidding. It's silly for me to even think that I'd have a chance at anything, but my heart always tells me that God can work miracles. So the glimmer of hope remains, as silly as it is with as crazy as my body is.

Did I mention my husband turned 31 on Sunday. That made me sad yesterday too. Not because I'm married to a guy in his 30s, but because "that" 31-year-old guy, who happens to be MY husband, isn't a father yet. I want us to be young parents, if I haven't mentioned that before.

And, last but not least, this darn song that I keep hearing on the radio. I've heard it enough now, and sang it enough while shuffling around the house, that I felt the need to share a few lines. There is a reason that I heard this song while coming into work yesterday AND going home (my drive time each way is all of 3 minutes). It was a nice way to end a day and helps me to stay focused on what's ahead.

There is hope for me yet
Because God won't forget
All the plans he's made for me
I have to wait and see
He's not finished with me yet

Still wondering why I'm here
Still wrestling with my fear
But oh, He's up to something
And the farther on I go
I've seen enough to know
That I'm, not here for nothing
He's up to something

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Infertility Book Review : "Expecing Miracles"

You can never be too informed when it comes to infertility. I've found, and I'm sure many other IF women would agree, that the more you know, the better you feel about the situation. Infertility takes away so much power from your life, that for me, I've felt a great sense of control in just knowing what lies ahead. Or, often it's just been to confirm that I feel like I'm in good hands with a given doctor.

I've read a few books already on trying to conceive and infertility, and will be reading more in the future regarding IVF specifically, so stay tuned! I wanted to share these resources on my blog, in the hopes that it might help someone else out there in bloggerspace. :-)

One of the first general infertility books I read was titled "Expecting Miracles" by Christo Zouves, MD, a gift from my parents (probably more from my Mom - thanks Mom!) for Christmas.

Straight from the book description: Expecting Miracles provides a moving, in-depth look at the options, the decisions, the unexpected twists, turns, and disappointments that these couples experience as they work with Dr. Zouves. As he shares his own story and those of the patients, egg donors, and surrogates he has known, Dr. Zouves gives readers a rare view of the human side of reproductive medicine and all that goes into helping infertile couples realize their dreams of parenthood.

Published year: 1999

My rating: (4 out of 5)

Who would benefit from this book? Anyone currently pursuing ART treatments, whether that is IUI, IVF... heck maybe even people using clomid. It's a good first look into the issues couples deal with when trying to conceive after some time who are unsuccessful and seek the help of a reproductive endocrinologist (RE) to determine why they can't get pregnant.

What I liked about this book: I loved the perspective this book is written from: An infertility doctor's experiences with couples and their own story and journey through infertility treatments. Each chapter is dedicated to one specific couple - he provides you with a set-up for what they're dealing with and then you follow them through treatment, learning about what things they choose to do, and then learn about the result of their cycle. It's cool because you get a really good perspective on various issues people deal with and how they personal dealt with them. It is definitely one of those books that you don't want to put down - at least not while your in the middle of a chapter learning about the "fate" of their family.

What I didn't like: I gave it 4 out of 5 only because the data in the book is somewhat out-of-date now (which makes it difficult to say "hey I should try that" or "guess I'll have that to look forward to"). There were many times when I said to myself, I don't think this is how they'd approach that nowadays. As long as you read it for the purpose of getting an insiders perspective on how they handled their situations, and not necessarily a way to direct your treatment, you'll be good to go. Don't get me wrong, there were a lot of things that you can take away from this even from a treatment perspective.

Overall, I think I learned most that many times, even when you think there's no hope left, there may be additional things to try or a better doctor in your future.

More than worth a few bucks on Amazon. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

"Thank You" Infertility!

Yahooo... it's our 1 year infertility anniversary! :P
Hey, you have to have a good attitude about it, right?

Really though, the cause for celebration should actually be that during our anniversary month we were able to make a decision that will get us one step closer to getting pregnant. I'll tip my glass to that. I'd REALLY celebrate if we won the lottery and it covered the cost of our treatment ;)

I can't believe it just dawned on me that this month marks exactly one year since we started TTC. I was looking back at old basal body temp charts and on April 21 of last year I recorded my first temp ever. Little did I know at that time we would be where we are today.

And, I must be in a spring-cleaning mood... today I was going through my e-mail inbox I found old e-mails I had sent myself, one with the subject "Pregnant belly dancing classes" and one titled "Make your own baby food"... those two were from the fall and winter of 07/08. :-) I had a good chuckle.

Looking back, do I wish I could redo this past year? In some ways, yes. I'm not going to lie. It's been a pretty strange year, full of ups and downs. There are times when I can honestly say I've felt depressed and alone. The latter part of that year, though, while it's still been trying, it has felt more like an uphill climb. Like it's been difficult, but that we've been moving in a positive direction and growing stronger.

Of course I would have loved it if we would have gotten pregnant on our first cycle, heck even the first six cycles, but we are where we are for a reason. That I am sure of. The world is so much bigger than my tiny little mind can fathom and God's will and purpose is wider than my little eyes can see. For a quasi control-freak, it's a constant struggle for me to be ok with that I must admit. I know it's true, but I pray constantly to be ok with it.

One thing's for sure - I have learned ALOT in the past year. Things I may not have grasped quite so quickly, if at all. Now, it's time for the "thank you's"... all the things that infertility has taught me this year.

* Patience is a learned trait. Boy has this given me a run for my money. "Are we there yet"... tehehee.

* Be your own health advocate. Don't walk into a Dr's appt thinking they know everything - that simply just not realistic and most often not true. They tend to know quite a bit, but not everyone is perfect.

* A friend in the darkest of hours is a friend for life. Not everything will always be rosey - life just isn't that way. Friends who stick around and support you through the tough times are people to truly treasure!

* Sometimes a good, ugly cry (as Oprah puts it!) can be a nice temporary fix! That's right, even more than talking it out at times. But keep in mind that it's often a temporary fix and talking it out with someone generally has to happen to make it better.

* No matter how much you want them to, some people will never be able to understand what you're going through. I can't tell you how much in the beginning I just didn't get this. There were a few people who I desperately needed to lean on and God is beginning to show me that He will place other people in your life to pick up where others leave off.

* It takes LOTS of really, really good communication to survive something so B-I-G! It took about 8 months or so before my husband and I really connected enough for it to make a positive impact on the situation. Every day we continue to grow more and more in this area.

* The desire to be a mommy is far greater than I ever knew! I always wanted to have kids, but now I want to BE A MOM! To have those warm hugs, genuine giggles and even the chance to do silly things like folding teenie tiny laundry. Maybe it's because I am having to work so darn hard for it, but I don't think I've wanted anything so great in my entire life.

If it takes infertility to show me those things - really and truly and that I wouldn't have "got it" any other way - then maybe this will all be worth it in the end. Of course, we're still praying and hoping our dreams do come true one day soon.

In the In-Between: Preparing & Waiting for IVF

With our recent decision to do IVF in August of this year, and knowing that today is April 21st, we're in somewhat of a holding pattern... waiting for "our" time. Really though - on the whole, three months isn't that long at all, especially considering we'll probably start some meds for our August cycle in July... at least I think. I haven't got a confirm back from my doctor yet as to which exact protocol I'll be on.

For now, I fully intend to use these next few months to prepare myself. Like, educating myself on the IVF process - what to expect, look out for and how to prepare for our cycle. Trying to eat a little bit healthier; basically cutting back on sweets and trying to incorporate a few new healthy foods into our diet. Exercise - getting in shape for pregnancy! There are plenty of little projects that need wrapped up around the house. Our old daily routine of getting up late and getting home late and never feeling accomplished is a thing of the past (and thank goodness, because it was getting so old!). No time like the present to build new friendships and strengthen the existing - good friends can never be taken for granted, especially in times like these. We have never needed more reason to stop and enjoy life and just destress - if ever I needed to learn to just "Let Go and Let God", it is now.

Speaking of, this statement has really been on my mind and heart these last couple of weeks. It's so easy (especially for me) to put tons and tons of energy and worry into something, when in reality a lot of things are just simply out of my control. The sooner I learn to accept that, the better off I, and my family, will be. I've always had a hard time depending on other people for things - don't ask me why. This has, unfortunately, translated to also having a hard time releasing things to God and letting him work in my life.

I can't tell you how many times in the past two weeks I've been given little reminders to Let Go and Let God, whether it was in something someone said, or a song I heard. I know this isn't a new, or even trendy phrase (though maybe it should be), but it's one that is very simple and true. When I say it I picture all of the stress and frustrations that I'm dealing and this literal burst, releasing all of the tension and worry that consumes me, with a little "ahhhhh!" at the end like I just stepped out of the spa! If I can just keep my focus on allowing Him to be in control of our infertility issues (and just life in general), I'm sure that I will be at peace more than I ever have before.

So, in case you were wondering, that is what I'll be up to these next few months. Pacing myself, enjoying the last month of spring & a few warm days of summer and keeping my eye on the prize :-)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

We're a go! Doing IVF with SIRM in August!

It's official, though I'm not sure if it's quite set in yet! Our appointment with Dr. Ahlering on Monday went well, as I anticipated, but I don't believe we learned all that much new. Prior to our appt, I made a list of questions that were slightly different than what I posted previously. I find that when I make the list it is a chance for me to run down the conversation in my head, with the goal that I don't forget any major points. By the time we actually get to the appt, I pretty much have the list memorized, but it's nice to have in front of me so that I don't get caught up in the conversation and leave something out. As you'll see, I do need to learn how to set-up my questions better so that, hopefully, they are answered a bit more on target... oh well, there will be plenty more appts for me to try this out on, I'm sure. :-P

Our final list of questions were:

1) What is positive that we have going for us, and what will be our challenges?
As I look back on how this question was answered, I don't think we had a definite clear answer on this from the doctor. Not because he was trying not to answer it. I should have framed my conversation better. After I asked the question, he was like "well that depends..." and then I backed up and stated IVF and he took time to elaborate on how he thought that really was the best approach for us, given our IF issues, and from a monetary standpoint and controlling multiples standpoint. When it comes right down to it though, I do feel fairly confident that I know what we're up against. My husband's issues can be "fixed" via HRSS (high-res sperm selection) ICSI. My issues will be a matter of getting a good number of eggs from the one ovary and then getting them to fertilize into embryos, all the while trying to avoid OHSS. Right now, age is on our side and the fact that my one ovary has so many follicles is a good thing. We won't really know how I'll respond to stims until we try it.

2) Are there any other tests we can do to gauge how I'll respond to meds, besides my FSH (5.5), Estradiol (55) and antral follicle count (15+), which are all within good, normal ranges.
When I framed this question I, again, was wayyy too wordy. I tend to do this sometimes when I get nervous. As a result, it's too much for the other person to remember and they end up not answering everything in the manner I'd hoped. So, scratch that question. From what I'm finding online, there isn't really a way to tell this, other then the above things already mentioned. I think they just begin a protocol that they feel will best address your issues and then adjust throughout the cycle and, if no BFP, further adjust in the next cycle. Not the best scenario possible, but it is what it is. If anyone is reading this and knows of any additional things they can test for, please comment and let me know!

3) Regarding the issue of hydrosalpinx tubes, is the FUS (fluid ultrasound) enough to rule this out, or should we do an HSG? If we ended up needing to do a laparoscopy, would that only cause more pelvic scarring, thus risking further damaging my ovary?
Ok, so this is the point in the appt that I must have woke up (about time, don't ya think!). I remember this answer quite clearly and even took notes on it. He basically confirmed that, yes, he doesn't feel we should be worried about a hydrosalpinx, because our FUS didn't show signs of an enlarged tube. He said that, yes, we could do a laparoscopy and that he would for sure if he thought there was a real cause for concern, but as of now we'd be don't it just because and since I have had a previous abdominal incision (a long vertical one), it makes it more challenging to do a laparoscopy and increases the risk for bowel injury. He said that at this time, it's not a risk that would be worth taking.

4) What about our personal infertility issues lead you to believe we should only purchase a 2-cycle package?
Honestly, he didn't form an answer that was extremely directed to our situation. Rather, he focused on their success rates and the fact that a majority of their BFP cycles happen within the first or second transfer. Based on that, he said he believes that would then be the most cost-effective path for us would be the 2-cycle. We did want a more direct answer, however, we're realistic and know it would be difficult to give a highly pinpointed answer (I don't believe they ever truely know how a cycle will turn out).

5) Should we consider CGH, given that PCOS are high responders and tend to have a disproportionate percentage of eggs which are chromosomally abnormal (or aneuploid)?
He said he doesn't recommend this for us at this point in time. The PCOS isn't cause enough to do CGH as a first line approach. He said he would do it if we asked for it, but he doesn't think it's the best way to spend our money right now. That it wouldn't tell us all that much more, other than the exact one we should put in, vs. transferring 2 embryos. He did say though that in rare cases were tons of eggs fertilize, it can be challenging to determine which 2 of the bunch to put back in. Typically, there may only be one or two babies in the entire group, so it's difficult and often becomes a trial of elimination. CGH, in that situation, would be helpful. I'm guessing we would cross that path if that ended up applying to us.

6) IVF Protocol - What is the likely path for my circumstances?
Dr. Ahlering said that he would most likely start me out on the the "classic" Lupron protocol, or L3C Protocol, as they refer to it as SIRM. More to come on that. I don't know specifics from SIRM yet, but you better believe I've been googling my heart out :-)

So... good news!! August will be here before we know it I'm sure!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Happy Easter weekend!

I feel like I have so much to write about, and write I will... but probably not for a few days. This weekend looks like it will be pretty busy. Getting ready to leave work and spend the evening doing fun kid stuff with my two little cousins (now 5 & 12... I believe it's 12 - man they grow up too fast), who I've always felt like an aunt to because of the age gap, but who cares. They're cute and full of energy and give me a good excuse to act like I'm 6 again! We're going to see Monsters vs. Aliens 3D tonight and then we'll probably do mini golf or laser tag tomorrow late morning before we shuttle them back home to Illinois.

Then, tomorrow evening we're heading to church for Easter service. I'm really looking forward to it! Each year it's so neat to pause and reflect on the fact that God did all of this for us! The idea that He would ask his only Son to die so that we could be saved is amazing, especially considering how much each of us IF women try and try to have a child. This past Sunday, Palm Sunday actually, was the first time we had communion with the congregation of our new church and it was awesome! This church feels so "real" and non-churchy and that is JUST what we are looking for. In fact this past Sunday, Pastor Mike spoke about "Churchianity" and how we should be anything but that.

And, on Sunday, while we will have to skip out on the annual Easter egg hunt and lunch at my grandma & grandpa's (which stinks), we are going to have a great day out at our first Cardinals game of the year. Shhhh... hubby doesn't know it yet. It's a surprise for his upcoming 31st bday. Should be a great weekend!

I'll post more soon, I promise. I'll definitely have even MORE to say after our Monday RE appt! :)

Friday, April 3, 2009

Diagnostic test follow-up appt made!

This is a long time coming. Having had our tests done all the way back in late December, I just finished marking our calendar for Monday, April 13 as the day. Boy does it feel good to be moving forward. We both agreed we would prefer to have a face-to-face with Dr. Ahlering to go over our collective tests that were run. Yes, I already did this once, but hubby was unable to attend, and truthfully it was a phone follow-up so I didn't feel like everyone was entirely focused. Now that we have a lot of the other things nailed down, we're ready to get down to business!

At our appointment, we hope to have the following answered...

1) Specifically what about our personal infertility issues lead him to believe we should only purchase the two-cycle package?

2) Are any other tests or things they can do to gauge how I'll respond to meds, besides antral follicle count?

For example, what about the Clomid Challenge Test? We want to know this because if there ARE other test we can do BEFORE making a decision on how many IVF cycles to purchase, we should do pursue them. I wonder though, if a test came back as questionable, would they still allow us to buy the 3-cycle Refund Package? I would assume not, if it goes against what is in the agreement you sign when you purchase that package. So, given that, is there any point to doing the tests? Wait, did I just answer my own question? :) Better ask the professionals at least!

3) What unique approaches will he recommend for our IVF protocol, taking into consideration PCOS, one ovary and sperm quantity and abnormality issues?

More about the Clomid Challenge Test
I just ran across a write up on IVF1 Infertility Clinics's website and wonder if I might be a good candidate for this as a pre-IVF test, given that I've had an ovary removed and therefore may have egg count issues. The article does say that "There is one concept that must be stressed above all else. A normal clomid challenge test tells you nothing. It does NOT prove that your ovaries are working well. It simply fails to prove otherwise. The clomid challenge test is not a sensitive enough test to identify every woman with decreased ovarian reserve. Some women with very poor egg quality (this may apply to me because I have PCOS) are going to be missed."

However, according to their website, "an abnormal clomid challenge test has specific predictive value. These predictions are very accurate and have been confirmed by a number of different studies from a large number of investigators. It is well documented that women with an abnormal clomid challenge test: *Respond poorly to injectable fertility drugs (gonadotropins), *Have higher cancellation rates in IVF, *Have fewer eggs retrieved in IVF, *Have much lower pregnancy rates in IVF and IUI, *Have higher miscarriage rates and *Increased risk for chromosomally abnormal embryos."

If we did this test (which would be fairly inexpensive to do) and found out that it was abnormal, while we may still have to buy a 2 cycle simply because we may then be disqualified from buying the 3-cycle Refund Package, it might tell us if we need to pursue other things like CGH testing on our embryos. I also wonder if it will help inform my RE as to how he should structure my injectable protocol.

In the end, maybe Dr. Ahlering won't tell us anything that we haven't already discussed, but either way, it will be nice to get his undivided attention and hear everything coming directly from him. Following our appointment, our plan is to be equip enough to make a final decision on how many cycles we'll buy at once and exactly when we'll start!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Day 3 Bloodwork for Infertility

I should have posted this a long time ago... really for my own records, but also because you never who who might stumble upon this and see something that I didn't from these numbers. Here is a guide I found online that helps to interpret these numbers. Not all were listed, however. I've also listed the ranges that were noted as acceptable on my lab paperwork, since I'm sure this is what they also go by to gauge if there is a problem or not. Even still, I know that varies from lab to lab.

Below are the hormone results I got back from my CD3 bloodwork I had done back in Dec '08. At the time. I expected to see the typical PCO results, as described here, saying "While many women with PCOS still have LH and FSH still within the 5-20 mlU/ml range, their LH level is often two or three times that of the FSH level."

Unless I'm reading into these numbers incorrectly, there are really no other cause for alarm other than the PCOS indicator mentioned, so that's good. If your reading this and feel like I've overlooked something, please don't hesitate to speak up. In fact, I welcome it, as always. :)

LH: 23.7 (try four times higher than my FSH)
follicular phase is 1.9-12.5

FSH: 5.5
follicular phase is 2.5-10.2

TSH, 3rd Generation: 0.81
normal range for my age is 0.40-4.50

Fasting Glucose: 77
From 70 to 99 mg/dL (3.9 to 5.5 mmol/L) Normal fasting glucose

17-Hydroxyprogesterone: 50
Normal levels are 3-90 ng/dl in children, and in women, 15-70 ng/dl prior to ovulation, and 35-290 ng/dl during the luteal phase.

Androstenedione: 218
follicular phase: 35-250

DHEA Sulfate: 243
range of 45-320

Insulin: <2
*this seems low... which I guess is ok? Here is an interesting article on lean PCOS women with normal insulin levels. Not sure if it really means anything at this point or not though.

Prolactin: 13.0
non-pregnant women range 3.0-30.0

Estradiol: 55
normal follicular phase range is 11-212

Testosterone Total: 36
range is 2-45

Testosterone, Free, as a percent: 0.88%
range is 0.50-2.00%

Testosterone, Free: 3.2

range is 0.1-6.4

My blood type is: A Positive (can you believe I didn't know that!)

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