FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) is a hormone that your body naturally produces that assists in the ovulation process. However, if a woman’s body produces too much FSH, the abnormally high hormone levels can result in infertility. Many women suffer from prematurely high FSH levels, read on to discover more about high FSH and pregnancy.
What is FSH?
FSH stands for follicle-stimulating hormone. It is a hormone that is produced by the pituitary gland that, in women, activates the ovaries to develop a follicle (the housing of the egg prior to ovulation) – each month. . As women age, ovulation slows down as the supplies of eggs in the ovaries are used up. Resultantly the output levels of FSH rise to assist the reproductive system successfully complete ovulation. Once a woman starts menopause, the eggs in her ovaries are depleted and the levels of FSH in the menopausal woman’s body remain permanently high. The increased production of FSH as a woman ages is very normal. However, it is possible for younger women to have prematurely high FSH levels, and when these prematurely high levels of FSH are present, they can affect a womans natural ability to conceive and get pregnant.
How Do High FSH Levels Affect Pregnancy?
A high level of FSH (even in younger women) usually indicates that she has depleted ovarian reserves. Women diagnosed with diminished ovarian reserves (which are usually associated with menopause), are more likely to have trouble getting pregnant, and tend to respond very poorly (or not at all) to fertility drugs.
Diminished ovarian reserves are not the only cause of high FSH levels in younger women. Further ailments that can cause high FSH levels include autoimmune disorders, adrenal gland impairment, hereditary dizygotic twinning, discontinuing the use of oral contraceptives (FSH can rise temporarily after extended use of contraceptives), lactation, unilateral ovariectomy, recovery from hypothalamic amenorrhea and excessive smoking.
Most women with high FSH levels do still have the chance to get pregnant; however actually getting pregnant can take a long time. Women with high FSH levels that have tried IVF/IUI fertility treatments have had mixed results, some experiencing success, others failure.
Can High FSH Levels be lowered to assist or enable pregnancy?
There is some evidence to suggest that FSH levels can be lowered using either drug therapy or Traditional Chinese Medicine.
* Drug therapy for High FSH – High FSH levels can be suppressed using birth control pills or synthetic estrogen. Controlling high FSH levels with the birth control pill will not assist you in conceiving, because the birth control pill is designed as a contraceptive to prevent pregnancy. Use of synthetic estrogen has had some positive conception results, most often when synthetic estrogen is being used in conjunction with IVF treatment.
* Traditional Chinese Medicine for High FSH – Practioner’s of Traditional Chinese Medicine have reported some success in their ability to truly reduce high levels of FSH which results in increased fertility, and success stories of conception and pregnancy. Traditional Chinese Medicine utilizes a holistic approach, focusing on healing mind, body and spirit and it is important to note that Traditional Chinese Medicine is not an overnight cure for high FSH and pregnancy. Traditional Chinese Medicine treatments for high FSH and pregnancy vary from practioner to practioner, and can include the use of acupuncture, meditation, nutritional advice and herbal supplements.
Hanna Hamelsford –
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Learn why high FSH levels effect fertility and discover what you can do to The Online Pregnancy Guide