FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) and What it Means For Your Fertility

Have you been told your FSH is too high or too low and are you trying to conceive? Here is everything you need to know about FSH levels and how you can improve them.

Follicle-stimulating hormone, or FSH, is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland in your brain. It’s responsible for growing follicles (which are the fluid-filled sacs that hold your eggs) and starting ovulation.

FSH works on a feedback loop with estrogen. As FSH tells the eggs in your ovaries to grow, the eggs release estrogen in response. As the follicles (or eggs) get bigger, they release more estrogen.

The higher levels of estrogen stimulate your reproductive system to slow down the release of FSH.

In other words, FSH levels naturally drop as the follicles get bigger, and eggs in the ovary mature. If the eggs don’t start to mature and release estrogen, then FSH levels won’t drop. In fact, the body will release more and more FSH in an attempt to stimulate egg development.

High FSH levels

If FSH levels are high, this implies that the body needs more FSH to stimulate egg maturation and ovulation. This could indicate a less than ideal quality and quantity of eggs in the ovaries. This is a normal part of aging and is more common in women age 38 or older. However, even young women can have high FSH levels. For example, a woman in her 20s may have high FSH levels if she’s experiencing primary ovarian insufficiency (premature ovarian failure).

Low FSH Levels

If you have low FSH, it means you have a normal number of eggs and your body doesn’t have to produce extra FSH to get things moving.

FSH levels can also be abnormally low. This is usually in combination with low luteinizing hormone (LH) levels and may indicate a problem with the functioning of the pituitary gland or hypothalamus, which are two parts of the brain that play important roles in ovulation.

How can I tell if I have High FSH?

Symptoms of high FSH in females often mimic those of menopause, including irregular periods, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, light periods, and headaches.

If you are tracking your basal body temperature each morning and have high FSH you will see that your temperatures are warmer in the first half of your cycle, the luteal phase.

As temperatures climb closer to 36.6c or 98f during the follicular phase, less cervical discharge is produced, elevations in FSH can be observed, and symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats will appear. All of these signal hormone imbalances and are problematic to fertility.

When temperatures are cooler, we see an association with better FSH levels, better quality and quantity of cervical discharge, and better egg quality. All promising indicators for a fertile cycle.

If you have had fertility blood tests, here are the normal ranges for FSH, depending on your age.

Here are the normal levels of FSH levels depending on your age.

Before puberty — 0 to 4.0 mIU/mL.

During puberty — 0.3 to 10.0 mIU/mL.

Women who are still menstruating — 4.7 to 21.5 mIU/mL

During the transition to menopause — 25.8 to 134.8 mIU/mL.

After menopause: around 0.3–10 mlU/ml (same as in men)

Supplements for abnormal FSH levels

Vitex has been shown to reduce levels of follicle-stimulating hormone and increase luteinizing hormone, thereby reducing estrogen and increasing progesterone levels. If you have high FSH levels then add Vitex into your fertility supplement plan.

How I use Homeopathy to Balance FSH levels

For some women just stopping the pill is not enough to bring back balance to the delicate hormonal system. A homeopathic detox of the contraceptive pill is the most important detox to do to improve FSH levels. The birth control pill (ring and implants) stops the FSH and LH surge from the pituitary to prevent an estrogen rise and ovulation (thus progesterone production) from the ovary.

Detoxes of other pharmaceutical drugs that cause an imbalance in the endocrine system are also important such as steroids, IVF drugs, Clomid, antifungals, antidepressants.

As a Homeopath I also have the incredible tool of actually giving back homeopathic FSH to bring back balance, this is like sending a little reminder to your endocrine system this is the level FSH should be at to bring it into balance. I also use this method to balance cortisol, adrenaline, estrogen, progesterone, prolactin, luteinizing hormone, and many others.

Natasha Burns is a Fertility Homeopath from Cornwall, UK. She helps couples from around the world have healthy babies, naturally.

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