On my mind lately has been my Antral Follicle count or (AFC). During my time going through IVF, one of the many tests I had done was counting my Antral Follicles. Honestly, I had never even heard this term until we had transferred from our clinic in WI to Advanced Fertility in IL. If you ever go through this process, you can relate that new terms are popping up all the time and oftentimes can throw you for a loop. This had been one of those things for me and you can betcha I went home and sat on google for some time trying to learn as much as I could about AFC. I also inquired about it on my infertility groups on Facebook.
Since it was complete news to me that my Antral Follicle count was at the lower end of normal for someone my age, I immediately began to worry. My doctor told me not to worry, however as it was still within the normal number for someone my age, he just typically sees it a bit higher. First of all, I must not wear worry well because he tried to calm my nerves right then and there and secondly, trying to tell someone not to worry when they clearly are worrying doesn’t help ease up the worry in that moment any less. Although, I have read that if the count has only been once, which for me it has, that it is not completely accurate as it is hard to count all of the follicles. Apparently, it is also something that can change here and there with each cycle.
Backing up a bit, if you have not heard this term either and you are in the dark and have been struggling with infertility my advice to you is to most certainly ask your doctor about your AFC. It is certainly a very important piece of the puzzle when dealing with infertility as it helps to measure your ovarian reserve or how your supply of eggs is looking for the future. However, I also want to point out that the quality of eggs plays a very important role and to not worry so much about quantity of eggs. I am a prime example of someone who did not have a lot of eggs retrieved during my IVF. However, of the 4 eggs retrieved they looked to be of great quality overall, and obviously we had a positive outcome. So, I would take the 4 I got any day. Looking back though, in the moment, I was worried by the low number of eggs. This could be because of my low AFC.
With AFC and mine being on the lower end of normal however, it has made me begin to wonder now what m future fertility holds? It also makes me ponder the idea of my AFC although normal, being on the lower end of normal for m age range, how much this has played a role in our in our inability to conceive naturally the second time around? We did have other factors on my husbands end too, as you may note if you again, scroll back in time to my past blog posts, which played a role too. We never found a clear cut answer as to why we were going through secondary infertility, or what the cause was 100% and I think I’ve comes to terms with the fact we may never have an answer. I really believe that in our case, there is more then one contributing factor making this difficult for us and this may be the only fact we will have to take to heart and roll with.
With that said, thinking about about baby #3 lately and knowing the time is now, I wonder what I can be doing to help my AFC, if there is anything or anything I can do to help improve my ovarian reserve.I feel like I could be making small changes and those changes may be beneficial. Maybe not, but it sure is hell worth a try. I have read that taking DHEA or CoQ10 and trying to go dairy free are all things that are worth a shot. However, it all just makes me feel overwhelmed and it’s too early in the game to stress myself out. I mean cripes, I haven’t even gotten my period back yet.
That is infertility in a nutshell though: Overwhelming.
As my beautiful IVF baby is happily babbling in the background eating her pancake for breakfast, I feel so many emotions and I am beyond grateful for her. I am reminded daily of how much we fought for her and what we went through to make her exist and I do not regret one second of anything we did, felt or went through. She is amazing and makes my heart so unbelievably happy. Yet, here I go again not feeling that our family is 100% complete yet. I battle with this. I beat myself up thinking that I am being selfish for wanting just one more. Yet, I know the time is now and the clock is ticking. I just want to beat the clock and do all I can to make sure my family is complete and my heart is content. So here I sit thinking about my AFC and wonder if there is some magic answer to improve this one piece to our puzzle of infertility and can only pray for another positive outcome in our future.