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Old 08-12-2007, 12:06 PM   #1
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Low ferritin can cause infertility

Low ferritin can cause infertility.

This is often overlooked by doctors.

Most doctors never check ferritin levels.

Ferritin = iron stores & is NOT the same as hemeglobin.

OPtimal ferritin is between 70 & 90.
Ferritin below 50 is associated with infertility.

The lab report will say that "normal" fettitin is as low as 10, that is WAY too low.

Don't settle for being told you don't need your ferritin checked if your hemeglobin in "normal".

I had a ferritin of 15 even when my hemeglobin was a normal 12.

Do a web search for 'low ferritin infertility' and read about this.

Best wishes.
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Old 08-12-2007, 05:32 PM   #2
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Re: Low ferritin can cause infertility

Thanks for the advice!

 
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Old 08-13-2007, 05:20 AM   #3
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Re: Low ferritin can cause infertility

This is really interesting, thanks for sharing! Is there treatment for this issue? You said it equals low iron stores...does that mean it also equals low iron? I've never been told I'm iron deficient, but I am a regular blood donor (at least I was before all these IF treatments) and have been turned down as a donor for low iron in my blood. Could this be related?

I will have to check this out. Thanks,

Holly

 
Old 08-13-2007, 08:25 AM   #4
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Re: Low ferritin can cause infertility

Yes Holly, that is definately related.

The "normal range" for ferritin (listed on lab reports) is between 10 & 300. The reason for this is that the hemeglobin will only get low once the fettitin (iron stores) get below 10.

BUT, OPTIMAL ferritin level is between 70 & 90, & infertility can occur when you get below 50!

So, low iron problems and symptoms can occur long before the hemeglobin gets low. Once your hemeglobin is low, that means your ferritin has been low for a long time.

Get your ferritin level tested asap.
Get a copy of your lab reports. Do NOT settle for being told your level is "normal" because that can mean it is as low as 10!

If your ferritin is below 70 (and it probably is, if your hemeglobin was too low to donate blood) you would greatly benefit from iron supplement.

Don't start taking any extra iron until after you have your ferritin tested.You need an accurate baseline.

Most doctors NEVER test ferritin levels, so it's likely you have never had your tested.

You may have to insist on this test, it cost much more than the cheap hemeglobin test that they can get do in a few seconds. But, this could make the difference for you!

These are some things that may result in low ferritin levels over time...vegetarian diet (or eating little red meat), heavy menstral periods, un-diagnosed or under-treated hypothyroidism, blood donations.

My own ferritin was 15 when I finally had it tested. That was way too low. My hemeglobin was never below 12 (which is a normal hemeglobin). Mine was due to poorly treated hypothyroidism.

If and when you find your ferritin level below 70 you need to start taking an iron supplement. You will need much more than the RDA of 18 mgs a day.
BUT taking a high dose of iron with out knowing that your ferritin is low is dangerous, SO this must not be done without first having your ferritin level tested.

I took a slow release (ferrous fumarate) iron supplement, 50 mg tablets. I started slowly & built up to taking 2 of those pills twice a day (with a vit C to increase absorption rate).

Then I had my ferritin re-tested a few weeks later and it was up to 59. I decreased my dose, but kept taking one of those pills a day.

You need to re-test the fettitin level. Too high a ferritin is dangerous.

ALso, I had heart palpitations and shortness of breath that went away after a few weeks of taking iron. Do you have either of those symptoms?

Good luck with conceiving a wonderful little baby! What a joy and blessing they are!
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Last edited by GCC; 08-13-2007 at 08:28 AM.

 
Old 08-13-2007, 08:37 AM   #5
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Re: Low ferritin can cause infertility

So, who would order the test for me? My regular dr or my RE (reproductive endocrinologist)? Is it a simple blood test or a different kind of procedure?

I don't suffer from heart palpitations or shortness of breath, but I do bruise easily, and I've heard this can be a result of low iron.

Sorry for all the questions. Just want to have as much info as I can, since it seems I will have to fight to get this test...

Thanks for your help!

Holly

 
Old 08-13-2007, 08:49 AM   #6
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Re: Low ferritin can cause infertility

I am happy to answer questions.

Any doctor can order it. It is just a blood test. Just make sure they don't substitute another test (like hemeglobin) for the ferritin! (in a mis-guided effort to save on the cost!)

It must say the word ferritin on the lab order! It could be called serum ferritin (serum refers to blood).

Some doctors will say the ferritin does not need to be tested unless the hemeglobin is low, that is so wrong!

Let me know what happens.
: )
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Old 08-13-2007, 08:56 AM   #7
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Re: Low ferritin can cause infertility

Great, that is good to hear that it's a simple blood test and can be ordered by any dr. I have a call into my RE to discuss my next cycle, so I will ask him about this as well when I have him on the phone.

Thanks so much for bringing this to my attention. It certainly can't hurt to look into it.

Holly

 
Old 08-13-2007, 10:09 AM   #8
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Re: Low ferritin can cause infertility

You're welcome.

But don't just ask him about it.

TELL him that you want a ferritin level done.

State it like that (instead of asking) or you may get a long discussion and end up NOT getting it done.

If HE thought it was important, he probably already would have done it. (He may even say it's not necessary). You may have to insist (I hope not).

Good luck.
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Old 08-17-2007, 06:12 AM   #9
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Re: Low ferritin can cause infertility

I am bumping this so others will get their ferritin checked.
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Old 08-17-2007, 06:32 AM   #10
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Re: Low ferritin can cause infertility

Hi again,

I just wanted to let you know I printed out this thread, and I am going to take the info w/ me to my next dr appt on the 29th. I plan to bring it up to my dr and tell him (not ask ) I want my level checked. I'll let you know how it goes.

Holly

 
Old 08-17-2007, 07:14 AM   #11
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Re: Low ferritin can cause infertility

Holly, what an amazing idea. I'm going to do the same thing. And also withthe thread that mentions that insulin levels can disrupt fertility, and I'll take both to my next appointment How are we ladies doing today?


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