Permission

I called Dr. SBS’s office today to ask if I could come in to get my thyroid levels re-tested this Friday. Ideally, I should wait a full six weeks after starting the Synthroid, but I want to test earlier to see if we can try to get pregnant this cycle. My TSH level was 5.58 a month ago, and it should be down to below 2 before I start trying again. I have taken my medicine religiously in the morning, on an empty stomach, with a full glass of water, and have make sure to take my prenatal vitamins a full four hours later, so the iron doesn’t interfere with the absorption of the thyroid meds. I am a woman on a mission.

I am a very good researcher; it is part of what I do for a living. When given an unknown, especially one that impacts my ability to carry a child, I research the heck out of it. The more I read, the more I am convinced that my hypothyroid has had contributed to, if not directly caused, my miscarriages (also because “bad luck” is just so unsatisfying a diagnosis). I asked the nurse if she could run the whole battery of thyroid tests, even though the TSH level is primarily of interest. Dr. SBS’s office is very into “patient empowerment” so I knew they would say yes. I want to know my free/available T3 and T4 levels, and I want them to test for ATAs (anti-thyroid antibodies) and anti-TPOs (anti-thyroid peroxidase antibodies). (And, yes, I do actually know what all of those things are now.) The woman on the phone just told me to bring in my list on Friday and they will make sure the labs run the tests. I am sure she thinks I am a freak but I don’t care. I will feel better knowing the levels.

I also have determined that I have been hypothyroid for over a year. Before TSH testing, hypothyroid was often “confirmed” by looking at basal body temperature, and some practitioners still use it today. If your pre-ovulatory temperature is below 97.6 degrees, hypothyroid is suspected.* Who, you ask, would obsessively take their temperature every morning and have months and months worth of charts with pre-ovulatory temperatures archived? Why, super-crazy super-organized women who are trying to get pregnant! (Yeah for super-crazy super-organized women trying to get pregnant!!) My pre-ovulatory temperatures were way below 97.6, and sometimes were even in the 96 range. I first started temping in June of 2006 and it is only this last month — when I started taking the thyroid medicine — that my temperatures began approaching the “normal” range.

If I have to take another month off, so be it. I just need to do all that I can do — and there is so very little that I can actually do — to help ensure this next pregnancy results in a healthy baby.

* The author of the text, Mary Shomon (the about.com information is exceptred from her book Living Well With Hypothyroidism) says that these are temperature ranges for underarm temps. I was always told to add 1.5 degrees to an underarm temp to approximate an oral temp, and if that is the case, there is no way her calculations can be correct. I think the numbers she references are for temperatures taken orally and not underarm temps that then need to be adjusted, as this is how it appears in other written sources I have (but can’t link to on the internet). (See? I told you I was anal.)

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August 8, 2007. Trying Again.

7 Comments

  1. akeeyu replied:

    You know, my entire life I’ve had a decidedly sub-normal body temperature. 96, 97, anything but 98. It’s been quite a bitch convincing doctors that yes, I DO have a fever when I hit 99. At 100, I consistantly become somewhat delirious.

    I’m hypothyroid NOW, but interestingly, I have about seven years’ worth of totally normal (below 2) thyroid tests to my name, even with those low temperatures.

    When I started taking thyroid meds, my ‘normal’ temperature hovered around 98.6 for a few months before returning to the familiar 97s. I have no idea why, but I do find it vaguely interesting.

  2. Amy R replied:

    You know whats interesting, is that my temps have always been in the high 96’s pre-ovulatory. I was convinced that I’m hypothyroid (I still think I am) but my TSH was < 1, and my Kaiser GP refused to test me for the other antibodies. 😦 Oh well. We’ll see how IVF #1 goes!

  3. missedconceptions replied:

    Akeeyu,

    The only time my temps ever get above 98 is the 2 days that are the high point of my LP and when I am pregnant. Clearly, though, that doesn’t mean anything given how well my pregnancies go.

    Amy,

    Good luck with the IVF!!!

    Are you taking baby aspirin? If you do have anti-thyroid antibodies, baby aspirin is one of the most common treatments. If not, you might ask your RE?

    MC

  4. Rachel replied:

    Thyroid problems are teh suck. I don’t know if I mentioned it to you already, but it took over a year for me to have my thyroid problem properly diagnosed, and I have been sternly instructed by my endo to come see her before trying to gt pregnant. Hope this turns out to be a solution for you.

  5. Anne replied:

    As always, MC, thank you for your research. I’ve been debating getting thyroid levels checked (low temps, fatigue), but because of the about site you linked up to, I took the little quiz and yeah, I need to see the doctor about this. I would really like to feel GOOD, but I can understand how that could be a luxury. Again, thank you for all of the information you always give us.

  6. Ashley Bass replied:

    OK…now I am worried! I know I just had a thyroid level check and it was ok…but it wasn’t all of the ones you mentioned. My mother has major thyroid issues, so I have always been worried about. As far as, “If your pre-ovulatory temperature is below 97.6 degrees, hypothyroid is suspected.” My pre-O temps are always low…like ranging from 96.8 – 97.4 usually pre-O. Sometimes they can differ… Anyway, so yea, now I am freaking! I don’t know if I should ask my doc to rerun some test or what! I just had alot done due to her checking my levels for PCOS and such… Ok, sorry for the rambling!

  7. Ashley Bass replied:

    Oh yea…here is my charting page.

    http://www.fertilityfriend.com/home/g_a_b_i_e

    I was taking a break this cycle, but geez, my O is taking forever so I am paranoid I will miss it…so I started back yesterday. Temping…It is such a bad habit! :]

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