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Questions for Dr. Kennedy
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Mercury and pregnancy
Posted by: Jill
Date: September 15, 2003 4:51 PM

I am 44 years old female and want to have a child. I recently took a blood test and have a level of mercury of 24. Normal levels are 5 or below. I have ten cavities in my mouth and fish has been my primary source of protein for the past two to three years. I had IVF (in vitro fertilization) once in August. Five mature eggs came out. Four embryos were fertilized (Day One). They started dividing on Day Two and aborted on Day Three. My IVF doctor wants me to try the process again sooner rather than later because of my age. If successful, I would freeze the embryos and wait until my mercury level goes to below five to put the embryo back in. My internist who specializes in mercury feels I should not try IVF until the mercury is out of my body and this could take up to a year which would put me at 45 and by then, donor eggs will probably be the only option. What do you think? My IVF doctor is more concerned with my age whereas my internist is more concerned with my level of mercury? Could such a high level of mercury destroy eggs? And if so, would all my eggs be destroyed? But if all eggs had been destroyed by mercury, why did the eggs come out mature and why did the embryos divide in the first place?

RE: Mercury and pregnancy
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.
Date: September 15, 2003 6:32 PM

Where I may be able to help here is with the length of time required to remove mercury. With vigorous treatment and frequent testing, mercury removal should be achieved in six month or less. As to your age, there is a high variability in the age of involution of the reproductive system. Some women are finished with that in their early 30s, even late 20s, others not until 60 and rarely beyond that. That does not mean that the passage of time means nothing in your case, however there is not necessarily and inevitable brick wall waiting for you at 45. As I work with mercury toxicity almost daily in my practice, I am biased toward removal of mercury and therefore, in general terms although not in your specific case as I do not know all the details, I lean toward the opinion of a doctor who would want to remove mercury first.

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