My CCRM IVF Journey

Our successful journey through IVF #2 at one of the world's top fertility clinics

Archive for the ‘Thyroid Stuff’ Category

My Thyroid’s A-OK

Posted by auntiem10 on November 17, 2010

This morning I went back to my endocrinologist’s office to find out the results of last week’s blood draw. I’ve been taking 50 mcg/day of Synthroid for six months after being diagnosed with Hasimoto’s hypothyroidism, and it was time to see if my dosage needed to be adjusted.

Fortunately, the Synthroid is really keeping my thyroid on track. Here were my levels and the reference ranges:

TSH = 2.320 (0.450 – 4.500)
Thyroxine (T4) Free = 1.28 (0.82 – 1.77)
Triiodothyronine (T3) = 94 (71 – 180)

My endocrinologist said that usually, they like to keep a patient’s TSH between 1.0-2.0 when they are TTC, but my level of 2.3 should pose no risk of preventing implantation for our embryo transfer. He said that my TPO level of 777 in May indicated severe thyroiditis (normal is <35), but at least it appears that my thyroid is still functioning at 50% of its potential, which is great news. The high TPO level indicates a large number of antibodies are attacking my thyroid, which can render it useless and make me totally dependent on medication as I get older. Synthroid doesn’t decrease the TPO level–once it’s elevated, it always will be. He felt the area around my thyroid for inflammation, and then felt my ankles for swelling. All is apparently good–no change in medication.

One interesting thing he said is that the out-of-control antibodies that were fighting against my thyroid last year almost certainly played a part in our first IVF cycle failing. I’ve mentioned it here before, but I had a conversation with my local RE at the time, asking her to prescribe me Synthroid after my thyroid panel showed a borderline TSH level and a very high TPO level (753 back then). She refused, which is just one additional reason that I’m so thankful I headed to CCRM for IVF #2.

If I successfully get pregnant after our FET (a thought I can’t quite wrap my mind around yet), then I will need to have my thyroid levels rechecked again every few months during the pregnancy. If I don’t get pregnant, then I’ll just need to go back next November.

Speaking of our FET, today is November 17th, which means we’re two months away from the big day (January 17th)! Every time we pass one of these milestones, my excitement builds a little. We are back to considering an elective single-embryo transfer, but I’ll post more about that in a future entry.


Posted in FET, Thyroid Stuff | 5 Comments »

Thyroid Recheck

Posted by auntiem10 on November 12, 2010

Yesterday I had my blood drawn for my second full thyroid panel since being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism six months ago. After my diagnosis in May, I began taking 50 mcg of Synthroid each morning. My first thyroid panel post-diagnosis (after six weeks of taking the medication) indicated that my TSH level was reduced by 33% (from 4.39 in April to 2.55 in late June [CCRM wants to see a level below 3.0]). I was told at that time to return in November for retesting to make sure everything was still looking good. Wacky thyroid levels can have negative consequences for babies in utero, so I’m glad my endocrinologist is proactive.

Now that the blood has been drawn, I’ll go to my endocrinologist’s office this upcoming Wednesday to (hopefully) find out the results. I’ll update next week with the follow-up information.

To read my other thyroid-related posts, click “Thyroid Stuff” under Categories in the right pane of this page.

Posted in Thyroid Stuff | 3 Comments »

Thyroid Recheck Results

Posted by auntiem10 on June 28, 2010

My local endocrinologist’s office just called with the results of my bloodwork rechecking my thyroid levels, and it’s good news!

TSH = 2.55 (CCRM wants this to be below 3.0)
T4 = 1.28
T3 = 98

All of these levels are within normal limits, so my endocrinologist just wants to keep me on 50 mcg of Synthroid for the foreseeable future. Yay! They did not recheck my TPO level (which was super-high in April), but apparently they don’t need to since I am now controlling my thyroid function with Synthroid.

Considering that my TSH = 4.39 just 2.5 months ago, Synthroid has made a big difference! I definitely feel better going into our IVF cycle with a normal TSH.

Today is Cycle Day 14, and I bought OPKs yesterday so that I can detect my LH surge this cycle. I’m going to start testing on Thursday, Cycle Day 17. Next cycle can’t arrive soon enough!

Posted in Cancelled IVF Cycle, Thyroid Stuff | 2 Comments »

Just Waiting

Posted by auntiem10 on June 24, 2010

My ultrasound images from Tuesday have been forwarded to Dr. Surrey (he’s apparently out of the office this week) and my thyroid panel recheck bloodwork has been drawn… so today I find myself on Cycle Day 10, just waiting for the next stage of treatment. I’m not anticipating hearing from either doctor’s office until next week, but I’ll be sure to post the results. In the meantime, the work week is winding down, and I can’t wait for the weekend!

About my thyroid recheck… I just wanted to clarify why I’m allowed to move forward with my IVF cycle so soon, considering I had mentioned previously that my local endocrinologist wanted me to have two blood draws over a 12-week span to get my thyroid levels under control. I forgot to mention that during my regroup appointment with Dr. Surrey, he told me that the most important time for normal thyroid levels is during the embryo transfer. This is because thyroid disease can cause problems for the fetus. He told me that as long as I am taking Synthroid and have had one blood draw, he would be comfortable with proceeding with our freeze-all cycle. I just wanted to provide this info for future CCRMers who may have newly discovered thyroid dysfunction!

Posted in Dr Surrey, Testing, Thyroid Stuff | 2 Comments »

14 Days O’Synthroid

Posted by auntiem10 on May 26, 2010

Today marks my 14th day of Synthroid, the medication prescribed to get my wacky thyroid hormone levels under control. Four weeks from now, I’ll have my blood drawn to recheck my hormone levels. In the meantime, I’m going to note how I feel at the 2-week, 4-week, and 6-week mark.

I can honestly say that I have a little more energy. Over the weekend, I worked my butt off gardening outside, deep-cleaning our house, walking our dogs, running errands, and grocery shopping. Previously, I had to pace myself on the weekend (or drink tons of caffeine) to maintain my energy level. It could all be in my head, but I feel that my energy level has increased a little bit.

I’m not feeling the same cold sensation in my extremities, but that could have something to do with the 80+ degree weather lately. : )

My hair is still falling out, little by little. The hair does not fall out in clumps, but strands appear on my clothing consistently throughout the day. Maybe in another few weeks, there will be an improvement!

Posted in Thyroid Stuff | 1 Comment »

Starting Synthroid

Posted by auntiem10 on May 11, 2010

This morning I saw a local endocrinologist for the first time to receive treatment for my high TSH and high TPO antibody levels. A nurse weighed me, took my blood pressure (110/80), listened to my pulse, and recorded a short medical history.

The doctor came in shortly afterwards and, based off my test results and family history, diagnosed me with Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism. My mother has this disease and it is very often passed on from mother to daughter, so I was anticipating this diagnosis.

He explained that while my TSH is clinically only slightly above normal, my lower-than-normal T4 level + my borderline TSH level indicates moderate thyroid dysfunction. The very high TPO antibody level is a big indicator of thyroiditis. He prescribed 50mcg of Synthroid, which I will start tomorrow morning.

Then he spent a few minutes feeling along my thyroid and didn’t think that it was significantly inflamed, so that is good. We discussed my major symptoms (fatigue, feeling cold in my extremities, inability to lose weight despite diet/brisk nightly dog walks), and the doctor said the medicine should help a little. He was surprised that my local reproductive endocrinologist decided against thyroid treatment last year, which reinforces our decision to transfer our care out of her hands. Thank goodness for CCRM!

He did tell me that he would like us to wait until at least the end of the summer to start our IVF cycle, since Synthroid is a slow-releasing medication, and it will likely take a couple of blood draws to regulate my thyroid appropriately while my body builds up a continuous flow of medication. This really doesn’t impact our plans, since we are waiting until October anyway (or September, depending on AF’s arrivals for the next few months). The hubby will be able to build up vacation time while my thyroid is adjusting to the medication, and we can stick with our latest timeline.

I will be taking this dose of Synthroid for the next 5-6 weeks, and then having my thyroid levels retested during the week of June 21st. At that time, the doctor will review and call me to adjust the dosage as needed. I’ll go back to see him in 5-6 months.

Overall, the appointment was exactly what I was expecting. Hopefully the medicine will give my thyroid the help it needs!

Posted in Thyroid Stuff | 15 Comments »

Endo: The Word of the Day

Posted by auntiem10 on May 3, 2010

I was able to schedule an appointment with a local endocrinologist for the morning of May 11th! I was surprised that they had an appointment with that short of a waiting time. Now I’m working on having medical records and Dr. Surrey’s dictated notes faxed to their office.

Speaking of the word “endo” … This afternoon is my endometrial biopsy. I am obviously not looking forward to it, but it needs to be done. It will be one more crossed-off item on the list. However, I fear that my endometrial lining may never be the same. : ) I’m taking off the rest of the afternoon after the biopsy so that I can curl up in a ball in my bed if need be. Oh, and I also have in my possession a bunch of Ibuprofen as well as one in hopes that drugs may take away the pain. There’s no harm in being prepared, right?

Tomorrow I’ll post my experiences with the biopsy and try not to scare anyone in the process! : )

Posted in Testing, Thyroid Stuff | 5 Comments »

The Verdict

Posted by auntiem10 on April 30, 2010

I heard back from CCRM a little while ago, and Dr. Surrey wants me to see an endocrinologist ASAP. He won’t proceed any further until my thyroid levels are under control. My local OB also apparently faxed a letter to CCRM stating that her position is that I should see an endocrinologist, so it’s unanimous.

I’m planning to research in-network providers this weekend and ask my OB’s office Monday morning if they will try to schedule an appointment with an endocrinologist on my behalf. When my results came back wacky last year, I did try to schedule an appointment with an endocrinologist and was told that I would probably have to wait 4-6 months just for an initial appointment! I now regret that I didn’t follow through with scheduling an appointment after our IVF cycle failed, but my local RE had made me feel dumb for questioning the abnormal results. Live and learn.

The CCRM nurse said that they will get involved in scheduling the appointment if necessary, but they don’t want to immediately portray themselves as bullies. It humored me when she said, “If they give you any trouble, you tell them that Dr. Eric Surrey will be contacting them to discuss this matter.” LOL. Hopefully my local OB’s office can pull some strings and get me an appointment relatively quickly (they closed at noon today, so that’s why I have to wait until Monday to contact them).

I am actually happy about this development, because I know CCRM is taking steps to ensure that I’m as healthy as possible when we do cycle. I don’t mind waiting a little longer if it means that my thyroid levels can be tamed. Plus I’ve felt for years that I exhibited symptoms of hypothyroidism–fatigue, always feeling cold, inability to lose a significant amount of weight even with healthy diet/exercise, hair loss when I blow-dry my hair, charlie horses in my calves. I’m guessing that at least a few of these symptoms are related to my thyroid function. Maybe a little medication will help!

Posted in Dr Surrey, Testing, Thyroid Stuff | 6 Comments »

Wacky Thyroid

Posted by auntiem10 on April 30, 2010

Last week after my annual exam, CCRM required me to have five tubes of blood drawn for things like white and red blood cell count, hemoglobin, platelet counts, etc. Additionally, a full thyroid panel was ordered, including the thyroid peroxidase antibody (TPO) test.

Last year my former (local) RE ran the TPO test during a thyroid panel just before starting IVF #1. My mother has Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, so I requested full testing of my thyroid function because I felt like I was experiencing some of the symptoms. At the time, my TSH was 3.59 (local clinic liked to see a level below 4.0), and my TPO was 753 (normal is <35). Since my TSH was in the normal range, the local RE was against any treatment.

This time around, my TSH = 4.39 and my TPO has risen to 777.3. CCRM likes to see a TSH below 3.0, and the TPO level is obviously very high. Dr. Surrey is supposed to review and decide whether I should see an endocrinologist or if CCRM would just prescribe me medication (Synthroid) to get my thyroid under control. Either way, the nurse said I won’t be allowed to cycle until these levels are under control because the baby would then be at increased risk of thyroid disease.

The high antibody level suggests that my body has decided to start mistakenly attacking normal tissue. This causes inflammation and impaired function to the thyroid. You can read more here.

I am not really shocked at all that my TSH level has gotten a little higher. I have felt fatigued lately, but I blamed it on efforts to eliminate caffeine from my diet. I hope CCRM will prescribe medication that will help my body to feel better.

I am still waiting for CCRM to call me back with a game plan. I know they are very busy, so I am being patient. It is hard to feel just like a number, though, when I received such prompt responses at my local clinic. This is the price we must pay, just like the headaches with the business office. I left my first message about this matter on Tuesday (per my OB’s instructions), and it’s now Friday afternoon and I still haven’t heard anything. Hopefully my next blog entry will contain a plan!

Posted in Testing, Thyroid Stuff | 6 Comments »