Wednesday, June 25, 2008

HIgh FSH and the OS Factor (Ovarian Slope Factor/Oh Shit Factor) A cautionary tale in a Line chart

As infertility blogs go this one has been rather light on the infertility aspect. So, for your enjoyment I have crafted a post around a neato little chart I made plotting my age and FSH levels. I know! Fun and statistical. You're welcome.

*To increase size of chart use the down arrow then the + sign.
*For those who do not know: The higher the FSH the lesser likelihood of pregnancy. Some IVF clinics clinics wont even treat women if their FSH is high. 12 seems to be the cut-off point at my clinic.

Read this document on Scribd: Ovarian Slope Factor (Chart)

As you can see FSH does not rise steadily. It jumps! At the risk of boring you (too late?) the line between each set of points has a slope (basically and equation that calculates how steep the line is). The slop in my mid 30's was much less steep than in my later 30's. And it seems to be getting steeper by the month. Also, I was still having trouble getting and staying pregnant while my FSH was considered low. It's very clear that as my FSH increased we had to become more and more aggressive with my protocols. From low-dose iui to high dose iui to IVF. That's some crazy shit eh?

So, I call this the "OS" factor...OS stands for Ovarian Slope factor but it really is the "Oh Shit" Factor.

Don't get me wrong...I'm all depressed and stuff but looking at it this way somehow takes a bit of the sting out of it. I damn-well better like my charts...that whole "get a Ph.D." thing cost me so much more than I realized at the time.

The moral of this story is: Don't wait. Don't wait to start TTC, don't wait to see a DR. Don't wait to see an RE. Don't wait because you think things are "too aggressive".

On a related note:

I get MAJOR points for this post.
1) Combining my education background in statistics with my infertility!
2) Being able to blog at work because the thing I'm blogging about actually looks like work from 20 paces.
3) I totally learned how to put a PDF into my blogger post! (jealous much?)


Marie said...

Wow, I never really knew much about fsh as I have not seen an RE or anything and my gyno is not very helpful. We are taking the summer off and then going to RE.

soapchick said...

Glad you can upload a PDF file! haha.

Chelle said...

I LOVE THIS! I love charts and graphs. My grocery list is an excel spreadsheet, so this.... well this is just a thing of beauty! Good job. It DOES (for some reason) put me at ease when I look at things in a factual perspective. Takes some emotion out I guess..

Baby Step said...

You rock! Very technical and impressive chart. My FSH actually went up and down in the last 6 months: 8.2, 6.5, went down because of acupuncture, I think. Thanks for your support...trying to stay relaxed.

Lori said...

Major points! And you managed to make IF humorous, too.

You're the first blogger I've seen use scribd.

Sweetpea said...

That's a really interesting graph! I only wish I tested earlier so I'd be able to make a curve too --not that it would matter anymore, but the scientist in me would like it. It does give you a clear trend, but the numbers also fluctuate a lot from month to month (from what I was told... or were they just trying to comfort me? ~grin~). Well, I'm joining you in the sad realization that my PhD cost a lot more than I ever imagine it would. :-( And I'm not even rich, which is the least I'd expect in this trade. I'm ready for the fame and fortune! ;-)

sara said...

I am majorly impressed at your chart! My husband is an engineer and spins circles around me with his graphs, yeah me not so much. Very cool. You may like this, since my husband suddenly has to do all of the grocery shopping (with me on bedrest) he has constructed an excel spread sheet of our most common items and uses that. Me, I use scratch paper from the kitchen if I even make a list. Your points about not waiting too long to TTC is so true. I was only 27 for our IVF cycle and I produced a measily 5 eggs due to my Ovarian oh shit factor. I love that, you should patent the phrase :-) Thanks for the encouragement by the way. I'll be wishing you the best of luck and hoping things are going well for you too!

Joonie said...

Can I just say that I love your chart? Well I don't love that your FSH is going up, I just love that you have charted it. I feel like I've found my long lost twin. That is exactly the kind of thing that I do. I'm constantly trying to calculate my chances of success using know risk factors, etc. Statistics, flow charts, ..., bring them on!