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Will I Respond to Fertility Drugs with High FSH Levels?

FSH levels are a popular buzzword in the fertility treatment circles, but what do they really mean, and how do they affect your chances of getting pregnant?

First, FSH levels refer to the follicle-stimulating hormone, the hormone that sparks the growth of your egg-containing follicles. If you have a low supply of follicles, and they do not respond to FSH, your pituitary gland increases your FSH levels as a way to compensate. This is what results in the elevated FSH levels.

So what do FSH levels really mean for your situation? If you have an abnormally high FSH, it may mean that you have run out of follicles. Since your body isn’t able to make more—and you need follicles in order to develop into a mature egg—you’re unlikely to get pregnant. High FSH levels in women under 40 may be caused by premature ovarian failure.

Women with normal FSH levels are expected to respond well to fertility meds, but if your levels are only slightly elevated, you may see results as well. Generally, the higher your FSH levels, the less likely ovarian stimulation is to work.

If you have very high FSH levels, you may benefit from looking into other family-building options, such as donor egg IVF.

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