High FSH Levels

What is FSH?

Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) is the first hormone to be released at the beginning of each menstrual cycle. It is produced by the anterior pituitary gland at the base of the brain, and its role is to stimulate the formation of follicles in the ovaries. As the follicles begin to grow, oestradial ( a form of oestrogen) is released into the blood system in increasing amounts by the developing follicles. The increasing amount of circulating oestradiol acts as a negative feedback on the pituitary function, thereby inhibiting the FSH production. FSH is therefore a measure of ovarian response to pituitary stimulation. The lower the FSH, the more healthy the ovarian activity. High FSH levels are generally said in western medicine to be indicators of the menopause. Women with high levels of FSH are often turned away from fertility clinics because they generally respond poorly, if at all, to the drugs used to stimulate their ovaries for IVF treatment. Experience, however, has shown that when these women follow a course of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, their FSH levels can fall, improving their chances of success in an assisted conception treatment cycle or increasing the chances of a natural pregnancy. ( See research.)

Case History

C, aged 41, had high FSH levels (22). She was using donor sperm. She had had 4 IUIs, one of which resulted in a pregnancy, but which she miscarried after 10 weeks. Her periods had become shorter €“ only 2 days €“ and she suffered from bad PMT and bloating. Her sleep was poor and her body basal temperature was erratic.

Her Chinese medical diagnosis was Yin Deficiency with Empty Heat, and Qi stagnation. She was given acupuncture and Chinese Herbal medicine, and after 3 months her FSH had returned to normal. She immediately had her IUI, and now has an 8-month-old daughter.