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  • "Froggie" started this thread

Posts: 513

Reg: Jan 2nd 2009

Location: Surrey

Children: None yet, but still hopeful

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1

Friday, January 2nd 2009, 6:53pm

Is this all in my head or am I onto something?

Has anyone heard of anything like this before? I'm starting to think it might be tied in with our years of unsuccessfully TTG...

It's a bit of a long post, but I think it's all relevant!!

Ever since I was about 13 I've been back and forth to the doctor with stomach cramping, feeling sick and headaches - not the normal kind, but migraines which literally blinded and paralysed me (being checked by your GP to see if you've had a stroke when you're 14 isn't something you easily forget!). Every time I saw the GP it was the same story:

"You're 13, must be puberty and stress"
"You're 15, must be exam stress"
"You're 17, learning to drive? Must be stress"
"You're 18, exam stress"
And so on.

I'd always had heavy periods and sickening cramps but some months were worse than others.

Had a laparoscopy at about 20 which found small cyst, but essentially nothing else wrong. Over the next few years got bounced between the gynae dept and stomach specialists, but all said nothing was wrong. I got used to having an upset tummy all the time.

I came off the pill when I was about 24/25 to start TTG. At about 26/27 years old the joints of my hands started to swell up, I had almost constant backache and could barely drive because I couldn't grip. Was tested for lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and lots of other tests which came back negative.

Then I had one of the most awful and scary experiences. On the day I was due to start AF I started getting cramps which became more and more frequent. I started vomiting and my body was doing its best to get rid of the contents of my stomach every which way. Within hours my belly swelled up enormously (I looked heavily pregnant) and I couldn't stand up because of the pain and the cramping.

Eventually my DH got me to A&E where I ended up on a drip to rehydrate and morphine to stop the pain. Was scanned to check it wasn't an ectopic pregnancy - it wasn't - appendicitis? No. While doctor did an internal I started to bleed and the pain began to subside - but that was probably more to do with the morphine! They sent me home without a diagnosis. I think it was a case of "Get that mad screaming woman out of here as quickly as possible!"

Over the next few years, the exact same thing happened about 5 more times - once while on holiday in Greece. That was a horror story in itself!

After being bounced around doctors again, my GP and I finally narrowed it down to food allergies. This might sound weird, but if I drank beer, ate mushrooms or had any dairy on the day or two before I was due, I ended up in this terrible state.

I cut beer, mushrooms and dairy out of my diet and my constant tummy pain started to go. The 'arthritis' in my hands also started to go and these days they are back to normal. I very rarely get colds or bugs now, when I used to get everything going.

My mum and a few other female relatives have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, but touch wood I don't have the same symptoms - apart from painful joints caused by injuries that just don't heal (yes, the sprained ankle from when I was 11 still troubles me!). The weird thing is when AF arrives, the joint pain is SO much worse.

The reason I'm posting this is because I wondered if anyone had experienced or heard or anything like this being linked to infertility.

I know you're not doctors, so I'm not expecting a diagnosis (!). I just thought that if you'd heard of something like this before it might help when I get my referral to the IVF unit - that's the next step for me.

Fingers crossed!
x
Me 36 DH 43
TTC since 1998 - 'unexplained'
Endo on bowel, ovaries and lots of scarring/adhesions found early 2009, removed in July 09
Scan 3 months later and all grown back worse than before
Awaiting funding approval for IVF and hope to start early 2010

:hello:
Come and visit me at my NEW IVF Diary - Froggie's IVF Diary

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2

Friday, January 2nd 2009, 7:29pm

I haven't got any answers but that must be awful. :sadface: I really hope someone can help you.

Good luck hun.

xxx


Angel baby April 07, Angel baby December 07, DD1 August 09, DD2 March 11, DD3 October 13

  • "Froggie" started this thread

Posts: 513

Reg: Jan 2nd 2009

Location: Surrey

Children: None yet, but still hopeful

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3

Friday, January 2nd 2009, 9:03pm

Thanks Polly Pocket,

I know it's a bit of a long-shot but worth a try. When I mentioned something along these lines to my GP I was told I was clutching at straws. Helpful!
Me 36 DH 43
TTC since 1998 - 'unexplained'
Endo on bowel, ovaries and lots of scarring/adhesions found early 2009, removed in July 09
Scan 3 months later and all grown back worse than before
Awaiting funding approval for IVF and hope to start early 2010

:hello:
Come and visit me at my NEW IVF Diary - Froggie's IVF Diary

Posts: 2,643

Reg: Feb 28th 2007

Location: Surrey

Children: Not yet

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4

Saturday, January 3rd 2009, 8:22am

Hi Froggie

Gosh you have been through the mill haven't you :sadface:

What tests, if any, have you had done fertility wise?

There are two things that you have mentioned that I can relate to and would get me asking the same questions - one is the arthritic pain / inflammation you suffer and the other is the fact that you mentioned that you don't get sick.

I used to get ill, not on a regular basis, up until my late twenties (am now 32) and right about the time I started TTC a few years ago I don't really get ill at all, which I am told rings alarm bells with specialists in immune issues. Everyone around me can be ill and I don't even get a sniff of a cold. My natural killers cells are very high so basically I fight everyone off with ease, including pregnancy :sadface: I also suffered with arthritic type pains in my hands but after a miscarriage, I found these have gone since I had treatments of humira, used for arthritus but also for fertility.

I am not a doctor and cannot really advise you on what to do. Depending on what tests you have had done will depend on what you can do next fertility wise....I cannot comment about your previous illnesses too. Although I can say that I suffered / still occasionally suffer with migraines and these may relate to some immune issues too. I too had years of bad stomach pains when I was young and was told that it was growing pains, I used to swell up too and had frequent trips to the doctor/ hospital. Over the years I did have my appendicts out and did address some food intolerances which like you helped me.

I would be interested to know more about your fertility journey if you would like to tell us.

xx
TTC naturally, five miscarriages 2006-2009, Immune issues

BLONDIE'S IMMUNOLOGY DIARY

  • "Froggie" started this thread

Posts: 513

Reg: Jan 2nd 2009

Location: Surrey

Children: None yet, but still hopeful

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5

Saturday, January 3rd 2009, 12:50pm

Hi Blondie,

Thank you so much for replying, this has at least given me some hope that it's not all in my head and maybe we can do something about this.

Let me see if I can dig out my file to see what's been done so far. Sorry if this is long-winded - I don't really know how much is relevant:

- 1990 blood test showing all clear for arthritis/inflammatory problems

- 1991-1998 on the pill and had to change them every 6 months or so because of severe mood swings, headaches and generally being unpredictable emotionally! DH very supportive :-)

- 1993 swab and ultrasound to try and find cause for abdominal pain - all clear

- 1994 Lap - small ovarian cyst found and removed, otherwise all clear

- 1998 started TTC

- 2000 start of severe stomach problems and ended up in A&E (throughout the 2 weeks before I was almost certain I had conceived, things felt different, then same pattern again each time it happened - very early M/C perhaps?)

- 2000 started infertility investigations at St George's in Tooting - hormone tests, ultrasound and HSG (HSG was VERY painful and resulted in bleeding, but they said that while there was a small blockage, it really wasn't enough to explain the infertility). SA and everything else normal.

- June 2001 investigations for joint pain - full blood screen looking for rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. Tests incl:
---ANA Anti-nuclear antibody test
---Biochemistry screen
---C Reactive Protein
---Complement C3/C4
---DNA Binding Antibodies
---Full Blood Count
---Immunoglobins
---Latex Test for RA
---Lupus Anticoagulant
---SLE Screen RO, LA, ENG
---Thyroid Function Test
---Bone Profile
Was told that all came back normal.

- September 2001 both pelvic and abdominal scans done. Normal.

- October 2001 further test for stomach problems - blood tests included
---Amylase
---Biochemistry Screen
---C Reactive Proetin
---Full Blood Count
Again, all clear, then after colonoscopy and barium enema (ick!) came back clear, abdominal pain diagnosed as IBS

- 2002 two monitored cycles with Clomid & HCG. Each time multiple eggs were released, but didn't conceive. Then the AC unit at St. George's, Tooting closed and we decided to give things a break as I'd also been made redundant and the stress was killing me

- 2003 Another couple of severe episodes of stomach problems and had to keep a supply of drugs to treat it myself – Buscopan, Mebeverine, Diclofenac, Lanzaparole.

- 2003 got married, then went travelling for a year together. Carried on TTG throughout that time thinking that if stress was a factor, then being on a year-long holiday should sort that out!

- 2004 went back on the pill for a couple of months to try and kick-start things again - it didn't work

- 2005 decided to start trying again and had to start over. Because we'd moved house we got a referral to St. Helier, but our notes from St. George's weren’t transferred to them - this delayed things about 6 months as all through NHS.

- 2005 bizarrely allergy tests for all the things that made me ill (dairy, beer, mushrooms) came back negative! Tested for coeliac – negative.

- 2006 investigations started all over again - TVS, blood tests, screen for Rubella, Clamydia etc all ok, SA ok. Started getting recurrent BV & candida after AF and still do on and off. Have used heavy-duty anitbiotics, but it comes back.

- 2007 GP said slight possibility of Endo and suggested could have Lap to confirm one way or another - but said probably not necessary. Decided not to at this stage.

- 2009 part-way through blood tests - FSH & Progesterone. Because of my age - 35 - and previous tests, GP says next step is IVF and has asked me to choose where I want to be referred to. GP wants to save time by sending the referral once fresh tests are back.

So that's where we're up to. Like I said, sorry if it's too much info!!!

xx
Me 36 DH 43
TTC since 1998 - 'unexplained'
Endo on bowel, ovaries and lots of scarring/adhesions found early 2009, removed in July 09
Scan 3 months later and all grown back worse than before
Awaiting funding approval for IVF and hope to start early 2010

:hello:
Come and visit me at my NEW IVF Diary - Froggie's IVF Diary

Posts: 2,643

Reg: Feb 28th 2007

Location: Surrey

Children: Not yet

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6

Monday, January 5th 2009, 3:22pm

Hi Froggie

It's good news that you have been referred for IVF, hopefully you will not have to wait long.

It is amazing that of all the tests you have had done, everything is negative. Especially when you say you have suffered with arthritic type pain.

When I had all my tests done for my recurrent miscarriages, everything came back negative. However when I had the tests done again via the USA I had positive antiphospholipids and high NK cells when I was told they were negative...strange...

One thing I did think reading your post was about your candida...this can effect fertility and is talked about in Alan Beer's book. You need to get this under control. Taking any sort of antibiotics kill all your good bacteria so while they are supposed to help clear candida / thrush it actually can make it worse as you need your good bacteria to help fight it off. Anytime after taking antibiotics you should take probiotics to build up your good bacteria. If you have recurring thrush / candida you should consider a candida diet avoiding the foods such as fungi, alcohol, sugar, yeast among other things and also take probiotics every day.

Omega 3 oils apparently help with inflammation in your body and if you don't take them already perhaps you can take these too.

I am not sure what to suggest to you, have you read the info above regarding the immune tests? Have you thought of trying the IVF before considering further testing or would you like to have some tests done before? Have you had a test for sperm antibodies?

x
TTC naturally, five miscarriages 2006-2009, Immune issues

BLONDIE'S IMMUNOLOGY DIARY

  • "Froggie" started this thread

Posts: 513

Reg: Jan 2nd 2009

Location: Surrey

Children: None yet, but still hopeful

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7

Monday, January 5th 2009, 6:38pm

Hi Blondie,

I know what you mean about the probiotics - the problem is my dairy intolerance and almost all of them are in yoghurts! I'm starting on the Wellwoman supplements and will look into whether I can get the 'good bacteria' another way. Fortunately no problems for the last couple of months, so fingers crossed!

No I haven't had the sperm antibodies test. Would I arrange that once I've had the referral for IVF?
xx
Me 36 DH 43
TTC since 1998 - 'unexplained'
Endo on bowel, ovaries and lots of scarring/adhesions found early 2009, removed in July 09
Scan 3 months later and all grown back worse than before
Awaiting funding approval for IVF and hope to start early 2010

:hello:
Come and visit me at my NEW IVF Diary - Froggie's IVF Diary

    United Kingdom

Posts: 1,430

Reg: Dec 5th 2008

Location: Wiltshire

Children: Yes please!

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8

Monday, January 5th 2009, 10:47pm

Hi Froggie

I can't really help with the link between your symptons and fertility problems but I just wanted to mention ProViva shots, which are probiotics for people with dairy, lactose intolerance. The fact that beer and mushrooms make you ill and that you get thrush would definitely suggest that you have a yeast infection in your stomach, so like Froggie mentioned, a candida diet might help. My DH and I went to a nutritionist and everything which contained yeast showed up as an intolerence for my DH. The nutritionist said that this can affect fertility. My DH went on a stict candida diet for 3 months and has continued to not eat anything with yeast in it. He feels a lot better. He hasn't had a SA since the diet so I don't know if it has helped fertility wise.

Sometimes when you have a food intolerence, if you remove the food from your diet for a length of time, then when you do another allergy test it will come up negative.

I don't know if any of this helps but just in case...

Good luck with your IVF
Beanie5
Me 38 [zx076] DH 43
(ICSI x 4, FET x 6 - 2 early losses)
Tx no. 10 - Immune Protocol through Dr Gorgy :BFP:
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Tuesday, January 6th 2009, 8:37am

Hi Froggie

You can buy probiotics in capsules that you take rather than from food. You need to take capsule form and not from food, its more concentrated.

Regarding sperm antibody test, this is something you should ask your consultant about..Considering that you have never conceived I would of thought this test may have been suggested...?

x
TTC naturally, five miscarriages 2006-2009, Immune issues

BLONDIE'S IMMUNOLOGY DIARY

  • "Froggie" started this thread

Posts: 513

Reg: Jan 2nd 2009

Location: Surrey

Children: None yet, but still hopeful

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10

Tuesday, January 6th 2009, 1:03pm

Thanks Blondie and Beanie5 - I'm trotting off to the chemist down the road now to see what I can find.

Beanie5, what you said about having given up foods for a while means you test negative rings a bell. I gave up dairy about 8 years ago, but was very naughty over Christmas and dipped into the Quality Street - I didn't get any reaction to it. Maybe I'm CURED!! Maybe not - not worth risking it!

I think I read somewhere in Zita West's book that you need to increase your dairy intake at certain times, which worried me. Do you know anything about this? - I might have got the wrong end of the stick though.

The candida diet doesn't sound like much fun! bigcloud I've already cut out all the fun foods and drinks, but I it's worth a try. Now Christmas is out of the way it might be easier.

Actually, now I think about it, I used to have Marmite on toast for breakfast every morning, then when the jar ran out I forgot to buy some more. Haven't had any problems since the jar ran out...DOH! I think we have a winner! :thumbsup2:

Blondie, I'll bring up the sperm antibodies test with the GP when I see her on the 26th to get the IVF referral.

Thanks ladies!!
x
Me 36 DH 43
TTC since 1998 - 'unexplained'
Endo on bowel, ovaries and lots of scarring/adhesions found early 2009, removed in July 09
Scan 3 months later and all grown back worse than before
Awaiting funding approval for IVF and hope to start early 2010

:hello:
Come and visit me at my NEW IVF Diary - Froggie's IVF Diary

    United Kingdom

Posts: 1,430

Reg: Dec 5th 2008

Location: Wiltshire

Children: Yes please!

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11

Tuesday, January 6th 2009, 7:42pm

Hi Froggie

I can't see anything in the Zita West book that suggests that it is good to take dairy products at certain times. I'm currently doing the liver detox, which is in her book and in there it says not to have dairy products as they are pro-inflamatory. I have an intolerence to cow's milk, cow's cheese and milk chocolate, although I seem to be okay on lactose free cow's milk, so I think that it's the lactose that is the problem. I think that as long as you can get your calcium from somewhere else (supplements, sardines, rice milk etc..) then you'll be fine.

The candida diet is quite an extreme diet because you can't have anything that feeds the yeast, e.g. sugar but it might be worth trying it. The nutritionist said to do it for 3 months and then slowly re-introduce foods but not anything with yeast in it. The book that my DH has is called Beat Candida Cookbook by Erica White. My DH loved vegemite and sugar. His body was craving sugar because I think the yeast loved the sugar!

Good luck
:thumbsup2:
Beanie5
Me 38 [zx076] DH 43
(ICSI x 4, FET x 6 - 2 early losses)
Tx no. 10 - Immune Protocol through Dr Gorgy :BFP:
MY DIARY

  • "Froggie" started this thread

Posts: 513

Reg: Jan 2nd 2009

Location: Surrey

Children: None yet, but still hopeful

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12

Tuesday, January 6th 2009, 8:05pm

Thanks Beanie5! I must have got the wrong end of the stick, I'll have a look later.

I popped out to the chemist earlier and picked up some acidophilus tablets - non-dairy ones. The chemist suggested the high strength dose, so I'm going to try them for a while. I assume they're ok to take long-term? Doesn't say anything about it on the label.

Cutting out sugar must be really hard because it's naturally found in most fruits. I think I need to do a bit more research before jumping in, otherwise I won't know what works. I think I'll give the acidophilus a go for a while (and cut out Marmite), then if that doesn't do the trick try something else.

I'll let you know...

xx
Me 36 DH 43
TTC since 1998 - 'unexplained'
Endo on bowel, ovaries and lots of scarring/adhesions found early 2009, removed in July 09
Scan 3 months later and all grown back worse than before
Awaiting funding approval for IVF and hope to start early 2010

:hello:
Come and visit me at my NEW IVF Diary - Froggie's IVF Diary

Posts: 2,643

Reg: Feb 28th 2007

Location: Surrey

Children: Not yet

  • Send private message

13

Wednesday, January 7th 2009, 8:29am

Just to say it is ideal to take probiotics in the morning before or with food but not a hot drink.

x
TTC naturally, five miscarriages 2006-2009, Immune issues

BLONDIE'S IMMUNOLOGY DIARY

  • "Froggie" started this thread

Posts: 513

Reg: Jan 2nd 2009

Location: Surrey

Children: None yet, but still hopeful

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14

Tuesday, January 20th 2009, 9:23pm

Just wanted to stop by and give you an update. Blondie & Beanie, I've been on the acidophilus high-strength capsules for about 2½ weeks and already I've noticed the difference. Cut out Marmite and all breads too. Also have been taking Wellwoman vitamins daily.

The biggest difference I've noticed is with lady-fluids! Sorry didn't know how else to put it! Until I got reading Zita West's book I didn't really know that anything was wrong. She kept talking about 'egg white' and when I ov'd I was more like the gum they use to stick make-up samples in magazines! (I know, I know you'll never be able to take a sample from a magazine again!) Those swimmers must have had their work cut out!!! Since cutting out the yeast and taking the tablets everything appears to be functioning normally. Funny how no doctor had ever asked me about something so fundamental.

Wouldn't it be great if this sorted everything out once and for all??!
Me 36 DH 43
TTC since 1998 - 'unexplained'
Endo on bowel, ovaries and lots of scarring/adhesions found early 2009, removed in July 09
Scan 3 months later and all grown back worse than before
Awaiting funding approval for IVF and hope to start early 2010

:hello:
Come and visit me at my NEW IVF Diary - Froggie's IVF Diary

Posts: 2,643

Reg: Feb 28th 2007

Location: Surrey

Children: Not yet

  • Send private message

15

Wednesday, January 21st 2009, 9:19pm

That's really good news Froggie :D

We really are what we eat at times and what we eat can make the world of difference to so many issues.

Keep us updated xx
TTC naturally, five miscarriages 2006-2009, Immune issues

BLONDIE'S IMMUNOLOGY DIARY

    United Kingdom

Posts: 1,430

Reg: Dec 5th 2008

Location: Wiltshire

Children: Yes please!

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16

Thursday, January 29th 2009, 9:45pm

Hi Froggie

That's fantastic news!!

I've just been to see a rheumatology specialist about my autoimmune disease (sjogrens), which has a link with Lupus. I found out that I had it when I lived in Holland and have been meaning to go and see someone here in the UK for the last 2 years. She was really helpful and hopefully (if my consultant is happy) I am going to start taking a drug which should help dampen down the sjogrens.

I've been worry that the sjogrens has been having a negative affect on the fertility treatment, so it wil be good to try this drug to see if it helps.

Let us know how you get on.
Beanie5
Me 38 [zx076] DH 43
(ICSI x 4, FET x 6 - 2 early losses)
Tx no. 10 - Immune Protocol through Dr Gorgy :BFP:
MY DIARY

  • "Froggie" started this thread

Posts: 513

Reg: Jan 2nd 2009

Location: Surrey

Children: None yet, but still hopeful

  • Send private message

17

Sunday, February 22nd 2009, 4:52pm

Hello ladies,

Beanie5 - how are you getting on with your drug treatment - any news?

Thought I'd give you a quick update. According to the results of my internal ultrasound on Thursday it looks like I've got endo and ovarian cysts. Over the weekend I've been doing a lot of research and now rather scarily have found that endo can explain almost all of my symptoms - even the weird shoulder pain which according to the joint specialist doesn't exist because he couldn't see it. Well of course he couldn't it's only painful when I'm on and if the research I've seen is right, it's actually in my lung and the pain is being referred to my shoulder - it's called pleural endometriosis. This makes sense because when it's painful I can only take short breaths and get the same awful pain in my chest and back when I breathe in and out.

Endo would explain the IBS, dairy intolerance, candida, BV, visits to A&E, even the pulling pain on my sciatic nerve and the peculiar scab which appears each month in the same place on my right nostril - ick, yes.

I've been told to book a lap ASAP.
Me 36 DH 43
TTC since 1998 - 'unexplained'
Endo on bowel, ovaries and lots of scarring/adhesions found early 2009, removed in July 09
Scan 3 months later and all grown back worse than before
Awaiting funding approval for IVF and hope to start early 2010

:hello:
Come and visit me at my NEW IVF Diary - Froggie's IVF Diary




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