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How Do My FSH Levels Affect My Fertility Treatment?

Your FSH levels refer to your levels of follicle-stimulating hormone, a hormone produced by your pituitary gland that stimulates follicles to grow. High FSH levels might indicate that you have diminished ovarian reserve, or few eggs left with potential to become a pregnancy. Your FSH levels can affect the success of your fertility treatments if few eggs are available for stimulation.

A cycle day-3 FSH level of less than 10 is generally considered normal, while an FSH level of 15 or more is considered high. Keep in mind that clinics may use different scales for measuring FSH and a normal result at one clinic could be an abnormal result at another. Talk to your fertility doctor to better understand their threshold for FSH levels.

If you have normal FSH levels, chances are good that you will respond well to ovarian stimulation, a treatment in which ovulation drugs are given to help stimulate your ovaries to produce multiple eggs. If your FSH levels are elevated, you could yield fewer eggs during stimulation and should be cautious of chromosomal abnormalities in those eggs. The good news is that treatment protocols like mini-IVF and natural cycle IVF are available to help women try to conceive with their own eggs. There is also the option of using an egg donor for achieving a healthy pregnancy. Technologies like Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS) can help your doctor pick the best, most chromosomally normal, embryo for transfer.

If you're unsure of your FSH levels or notice that they fluctuate from cycle to cycle, ask your doctor to test your Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH). AMH is believed to be a more accurate predictor of ovarian reserve as it does not fluctuate as drastically as FSH.

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