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Will Fertility Drugs Work if I Have High FSH?

Higher levels of follicle stimulating hormone often mean less response

Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) is a hormone that stimulates follicles (the sacs within your ovaries that contain eggs) to grow. If you have a low supply of follicles, and they do not respond to FSH, your pituitary gland tries to compensate by increasing FSH production every month, resulting in elevated FSH levels.

High FSH and IVF

The number of eggs retrieved is the best predictor of IVF success, so not getting enough eggs even with intensive ovarian stimulation is a significant predictor of IVF failure. With high levels of FSH, this is likely because there are few eggs left- potentially of poor quality.


The Case for AMH Not FSH

FSH is no longer the standard by which to gauge a woman’s ovarian reserve or predict successful outcome with fertility treatment. This, according to Dr. David Seifer, Co-director of Genesis Fertility and Reproductive Medicine in Brooklyn, NY. In an article published in Fertility and Sterility, he and Dr. James Toner makes the case that AMH, Antimullerian Hormone, is a more informative and better test than FSH, Follicle Stimulating Hormone.

High FSH Myths and Facts

If you are trying to become pregnant, you have probably noticed that lots of attention is being paid to how high FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) levels affect fertility. But lots of attention equals lots of information, and it can be hard to figure out what’s true—and what’s not. Here are some common myths and facts about high FSH to help you out.

FSH is vital to fertility.
FACT. Without FSH, your follicles are not stimulated to produce eggs and you do not ovulate.


High FSH and Fertility

What are effects of high FSH on fertility and fertility treatment? Dr. Norbert Gleicher, a fertility doctor and founder of the Center for Human Reproduction in New York, NY, explains the role of FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) in a woman's reproductive cycle, what various FSH levels indicate, and whether there are effective treatments for diminished ovarian reserve.

Regional Microsites: 

FSH Gene Variation Responsible for Male and Female Infertility

a blog by Kim Griffiths, May 2, 2013

Scientists have discovered that variations in the coding of the gene for Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) may provide insight into the diagnosis and treatment of male and female infertility.

FSH is produced by the pituitary gland and sends appropriate signals for egg maturation in women and sperm production in men. FSH binds at receptors on cells in the ovaries, testes in a healthy menstrual or sperm production cycle. For women, having a high FSH level can impact ovarian reserve, hinder ovulation, and can reduce her chances of getting pregnant. For men, low FSH can impact sperm production and affect sperm quality or quantity.

What are the Options for Women with Low Ovarian Reserve?

Dr. Susanna Park of San Diego Fertility Center discusses fertility treatment options for women with low ovarian reserve and diagnostic tests like blood follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) levels, blood Anti Mullerian hormone (AMH) levels, and Antral Follicle Count (AFC) via ultrasound.

Video Transcript

Regional Microsites: 

Exposure to Environmental Chemicals Impacts Fertility

ASRM,  Oct 23, 2012

A new study find exposure to an environmental endocrine-disrupting chemical is associated with earlier onset of menopause.

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Can High FSH Be Lowered?

FSH levels vary throughout the menstrual cycle. A high FSH level on day 3 of the cycle can empower you and your fertility doctor with information, and help guide a treatment plan. Dr. Pavna Brahma, an Atlanta fertility doctor with Reproductive Biology Associates, explains.

Video Transcript

Regional Microsites: 

The Orchestration of the Female Hormones

a blog by Traci Shahan, RN, WHNP-BC, Doctor of Nursing, Albrecht Women’s Care Denver IVF, January 30, 2012

This afternoon as I finished reading about Celtic spiritual practices, I glanced up to see my daughter Taylor staring into a neatly labeled chart, which I recognized immediately (even without my corrective lenses) as that of an impeccably rendered human female menstrual cycle. One aggravating dynamic of seminary curriculum is that, unlike my prior stint in graduate school, divinity studies seldom have one right answer. To me, Ockham’s Razor does not provide the succor as does the constant Avogadro’s number. Having cut my academic teeth via the rigors of science, in which there is a correct answer, theology is a jot shy on right, wrong, hypothesis and null.

I miss the certitude of science, so I practically shot off the couch when she asked me to quiz her in preparation for a test about reproduction. A chart! Of fastidiously diagrammed female hormones — estrogen, progesterone, FSH, LH, the whole, happy gang, ebbing and flowing in sinuous curves, just as nature programmed!


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