Thursday, October 30, 2008

FSH Levels and What They Mean

Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) is a hormone that stimulates the body to grow and mature eggs. It is usually tested between day 2 and 4 of a woman's cycle. So what do the numbers mean?

If FSH is to high....

"When a women goes into menopause she is essentially running out of eggs in her ovaries. The brain senses that there is a low estrogen environment and more FSH is released from the pituitary gland in an attempt to stimulate the ovaries enough to produce a good follicle and estrogen. " Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago

High levels of FSH may indicate:
Menopause Polycystic
ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
Ovarian problems

If FSH is to low...

"An example of how delicate this optimal balance is: While those of us who are learning about infertility tend to worry most about FSH levels that are too high, it is also the case that too little FSH can hamper conception. Hypothalamic anovulation (or lack of ovulation due to a malfunction of the hypothalamus gland) is a result of too little or no FSH production." Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago

Low levels may indicate:
No ovulation
Problem with pituitary gland functioning
Anorexia
High levels of stress

Some women's FSH level bounces around. One month it is in the normal range and the next it will be high. Women who have this problem are less likely to become pregnant. A steady FSH level produces better quality of eggs.

Remember, in IVF it is not how many eggs produced, but the quality of eggs produced will end in a viable pregnancy.


Sources:
Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago
FertilityCommunity.com
Justmommies.com
babyzone.com

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