I've been battling low iron since my teens. I've been on every iron supplement out there and it never goes up. In fact, it keeps going down and now my iron stores (ferritin) are low. I was so concerned because my hair is now falling out and thinning majorly so I went to ask my family doc about it. She understood and accepted my request to test further to find out why it never goes up and or if there are other reason for my thinning hair.
I saw her twice in the last few weeks. She did some really detailed blood tests and she does see a problem other than just "low iron" now. My ferritin was only 7 and it should be well over 70! She has told me to take a hematologist recommended iron pill call FeraMax which is new on the market. It's pure elemental iron that bypasses the receptors in the stomach and intestine and is instead absorbed into the blood (it's polypeptide and goes through the stomach and intestinal wall). Because of the design of the pill, I can also have any food with it (calcium, yay!) and it won't cause conflicts! She says I am to take it for three months, two a day if I can tolerate it (which is a double dose) and I get re-tested in March.
Also, the results of the labs detected a possible malformity in my red blood cells. It could be due to my extremely low iron, so she wants that retested in March as well. She is also going to send me for genetic screening for Thalassemia as that's what the lab suggested it might be. She said this could be the explanation all along of why my iron never goes up!
Thalassemia unfortunately can cause infertility. However, I'm pretty sure in our fertility testing I've been tested before. I did a search of the boards and doesn't look like anyone here has it?