Female Fertility + Health

Can High FSH be Lowered?

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If you’ve been diagnosed with high FSH, you’re probably wondering: Can FSH be lowered? The answer is complicated.

The FSH level is actually fairly easy to lower medically (with estrogen, the birth control pill, Lupron, etc.), but the underlying problem (diminished ovarian reserve) that causes the elevated FSH cannot necessarily be “fixed.”

In other words, while fertility doctors can help you lower your FSH, it is not clear that doing so results in improved fertility.

Traditional Chinese Medicine and FSH

Practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), however, believe that there are things you can do to lower your FSH. These include:

  • dietary changes, such as cutting wheat products and cold foods out of your diet
  • taking certain herbal supplements,
  • reducing stress, exercising,
  • acupuncture.

One study conducted in China on the effects of TCM on FSH levels found that these practices reduced FSH levels. Unfortunately, other than this there has been very little research to date.

If this is something you may want to try, you should speak to your fertility doctor first, especially if you are interested in taking any herbal supplements as they may have interactions with your fertility medications.

FSH Levels Vary

FSH levels can vary from cycle to cycle. Having one high FSH reading does not necessarily mean that you will have fertility issues related to FSH. Your next reading could be normal simply as part of your body’s natural cycles. If you have a high reading, you should try to get another one to confirm that your FSH is actually high. However, you should keep in mind that your highest reading seems to be the best predictor of how you will respond to fertility treatment, even if you have had a mix of high and low readings. Some clinics may have an upper limit of FSH levels in order to move forward with IVF treatment. Speak to your physician if you have any questions.

High FSH is something that researchers are very interested in, so keep your eyes open for any new information about this topic.

Dr. Alan Copperman is a board-certified reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist with a long history of success in treating infertility and applying fertility preservation technologies. He serves as Medical Director of Progyny, a leading fertility benefits management company, and co-founded and serves as Medical Director of RMA of New York, one of the largest and most prestigious IVF centers in the country. Dr. Copperman is also the Vice Chairman and Director of Infertility for the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and Chief Medical Officer of Sema4, a health information company. Dr. Copperman has been named to New York magazine’s list of Best Doctors 17 years in a row. He has been recognized by his peers and patient advocacy organizations for his commitment to patient-focused and data-driven care. He has published more than 100 original manuscripts and book chapters on reproductive medicine and has co-authored over 300 scientific abstracts on infertility, in vitro fertilization, egg freezing, ovum donation, and reproductive genetics.

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