It was my consultation with the guru what swung it. She told me that I was only 36 (hurrah), she’d recommend a fertility MOT with a few tests to see where I was at and if it all looked normal, well why not wait six months to a year and see what happened? Yay, someone who didn’t want to prey on my insecurities and relieve of me of thousands of pounds just for the hell of it. Oh, and then I dropped into conversation that I’d had an endometrioma about seven years ago and she looked a LOT more worried.
Brief medical aside: Endometriosis is when cells that should be lining your womb end up elsewhere – in my case, in my abdominal cavity. Nobody really knows why this happens. An endemetrioma is a cyst caused when these cells, which follow the same shedding cycle as the cells in your womb but have nowhere to go, all ball up together to make a cyst. This happened to me. I was pretty ill at the time, and while intellectually I knew that it could have an effect on my fertility, I didn’t really think about it that much. Unlike many endometriosis sufferers, I’d never had any other symptoms before or since, and a few scans had shown that I was clear.
But the guru was concerned and recommended an AMH blood test straight away. Welcome to the world of acronyms. No, I didn’t have a fucking clue what it meant either – but this whole thing seems to be a sea of initials. Let me explain… There are various tests that they can do to gauge your fertility. The one they used to use was FSH – follicle stimulating hormone – this varies with your cycle so you have to test it at a certain point in your cycle. Nowadays though, they reckon AMH – anti mullerian hormone – is a better indicator of your fertility and how many decent eggs you’ve got left – ovarian reserve if you want to be technical. Confusingly, a high number for FSH is bad, because it shows your body is trying harder to get your eggs to grow, whereas a high number for AMH is good, because it shows you’ve got lots of healthy follicles. With me so far? I’m glad someone is.
Anyway, for those who give a shit about numbers, my FSH was 9.7 which was apparently on the high side of normal (or normal depending on which guide you look at) and my AMH was 11.8 which was the low side of average. Whichever way you spun it, I was marginally less – but still less – fertile than most women my age. Which was disappointing. But a damn good reason for cracking on with freezing those bloody eggs really.