Follicle Stimulating Hormone – or FSH is a hormone which is measured in the blood as one of the first stops towards figuring out why things might not yet be happening. Perfect gorgeous and lovely type readings are about 6 or 7.
Panic not though, you can still get pregnant with them being higher. In the world of fertility challenges we work with ladies who are anything over that (and by anything, seriously it could be 11 or 90). Sometimes yes, enough is enough but I don’t give up without a fight!
First of all let’s just make sure we understand what FSH is all about. Basically people talk about it as being an indicator of ovarian reserve, or egg quality. To make it more easy to understand, here’s what the body does:
Ovaries – Hmmm. I believe the uterus has just started bleeding so we need to start a new cycle please
Pituitary gland – No worries, thanks for that. Here is a nice stream of FSH to start those eggs a growing again.
Ovaries – Brilliant. Thanks
Now, if the eggs are good quality and happy as larry, growing away they will churn out a big dose of another hormone called estradial which tells the pituitary NO MORE THANKS, THAT’S PERFECT.
Ovaries – Egg is coming along fine in this ovary thanks, here is a ton of estradial to prove it.
Pituitary – AH there’s the estradial post man coming to let us know we can stop dishing out the FSH now and have a rest.
If the egg quality isn’t so great then what happens is they don’t grow and develop as easily and as they are still trying to do this they don’t send out the estradial. The conversation then goes more like –
Pituitary – God this is weird, I still haven’t heard back from the ovaries. Maybe there is a problem with the post? Just in case, maybe I will send out some more FSH just to be on the safe side.
And so it goes on….
So – that is how come the FSH gets to be high, in which case it is like a messenger about the issue really, more than a cause. Many doctors will argue that they cannot be changed, that trying to lower them is in fact technically easy – just give synthetic estradial and the body will stop sending so much FSH and therefore the reading will be lower. However, many doctors argue the underlying issue is not resolved.
They say you are only as good as the worst FSH you have….
They say you can’t lower FSH…..
They say you can’t improve things….
Despite my big left foot which sits firmly in the medical camp (the right one is mostly meditating or taking herbs) every bone in my body, every instinct in my formidably accurate gut says, when we are talking FSH….when everything else is pretty much ok…..
YOU WANNA BET?
I know for many it is all black and white. I know for many it is either you can or you can’t but I have seen so many miracles, seen so many women get pregnant when their doctor has said ‘no way’. I just don’t believe it is that simple. Oh and by the way, I have seen many women improve on their FSH levels, and also go on to get pregnant. I have also heard of tons of women who got pregnant DESPITE their high level not going down.
Don’t get me wrong, I do understand that doctors can never always be 100% accurate and that they can’t go around giving false hope etc. I think doctors are awesome, and also that they have many amazing things to offer. However, I hate it when the rug is pulled out from someone’s feet when it isn’t strictly necessary.
We can massively reverse the effects of smoking by giving up. We can hugely improve our antioxidant levels by improving our diet. We can lose tons of weight, we can improve our health. I don’t believe that doing things to improve our health will not have a knock on effect on egg quality. I also believe MASSIVELY, like I can’t get over enough MAHOOOOSIVELY and PASSIONATELY, how much I believe in the power of feeling good and setting the right intention. If you are putting systems into your life which give you some control and help you feel you are doing something constructive then not only will your physical health improve but your mind and spirit will buck up too.
But HOW? I hear you cry. How can I improve my egg quality?
Ok, before I write everything I have ever possibly heard about, read about, tried, tested, had ladies in my clinic who tried etc. etc. etc. I need to say one thing.
Just do what feels good. Don’t stress out thinking you must do ALL these things, just pick some and try them out, do what works for you because everything you try will help.
Now some of these, as I say I have really seen with my own eyes and others are what I have read about from other fertility experts, or through other women who have done it. I just want to put it all out there for you:
– Improve your antioxidant levels (reduce the free radical cell damage). This is caused by pollutants, toxins in processed food and cigarettes. If you can then avoid those things, and the best best best way to boost your antioxidant levels is to HUGELY improve your fruit and veg intake. I am talking at LEAST ten portions a day and bung in an extra smoothie for good measure. If you can’t get all of that in all the time (I mean who has the time and money to manage that every day?!) get a supplement. There are lots that claim to supplement your fruit and veg. I have tried Juice Plus and really love it, but there are others that do just the same.
By the way, that above advice is also the BEST thing for sperm too.
-Reduce or cut out alcohol and caffeine
-Take wheat grass shots (you can buy the powder form or capsules online or in a health food shop)
-Take the herb Angus castus (clinically shown to balance hormones and as a happy extra on one trial showed a lot of women getting pregnant whilst taking it). Again – get it at the health food shop but best thing is to see a herbalist. I love love love www.sensorysolutions.co.uk These ladies work out all over the UK and Fi is based in Dorset right by moi.
-Meditate on the colour blue (Zita West speaks about this and it was shown to help!)
-Hypnotherapy (fertility related only, you want to be able to work through the reproductive system to support your body’s improvements)
-Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine – This is a biggie. If you can do nothing else, I would take this option. Everything else will help too, this is huge.
I really hope you have found this helpful, please do share it via FB or twitter so others can benefit. If you have anything to add then fire us off an email. email@example.com
Good luck in your quest!