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Want to try IVF but have high FSH?

Diagnosed as Pre-matured ovarian failure – early menopause?

If you have been diagnosed with high Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), early menopause, or premature ovarian failure, you may have concerns about your fertility and the success of IVF.

FSH is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland that plays a crucial role in the growth and development of ovarian follicles, which are responsible for releasing eggs during ovulation. When FSH levels are elevated, it generally indicates that your ovaries are not responding adequately or may have diminished functionality.

High FSH levels are often associated with poor egg quality and lower conception rates, both in natural conception and in IUI/IVF cycles. Some individuals may be informed that they cannot conceive naturally, or that their IVF specialist may not be able to assist them unless their FSH levels are below 12. This is because higher FSH levels can indicate diminished ovarian function and reduced response to IVF medications.

Symptoms of high FHS

Here are some common symptoms associated with high FSH:

  • Irregular periods or periods stopping: Many individuals with high FSH may experience irregular menstrual cycles or notice that their periods become less frequent or stop altogether. This change in menstrual pattern can be a significant indicator that something may not be functioning optimally in the reproductive system.
  • Infertility: High FSH levels are often associated with difficulties in conceiving naturally. If you have been trying to conceive for an extended period without success, it may be worth considering high FSH as a potential factor contributing to your infertility.
  • Hot flushes and night sweats: Hormonal imbalances, including high FSH, can disrupt the body’s thermoregulation, leading to hot flushes and night sweats. These sudden waves of heat and excessive sweating can be uncomfortable and affect your quality of life.
  • Poor sleep: Hormonal fluctuations can disrupt your sleep patterns, leading to difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep throughout the night. Poor sleep can contribute to fatigue, irritability, and other physical and emotional imbalances.
  • Palpitations: Some individuals with high FSH may experience heart palpitations, which are rapid or irregular heartbeats that can feel like your heart is racing or fluttering. Palpitations can be unsettling and may occur alongside other symptoms.

High FSH, what does it mean to me?

If your FSH levels are high, it suggests that the normal feedback mechanism between your ovaries and pituitary gland is disrupted. This can result in various challenges and implications for your fertility and reproductive health, including:

  • Poor ovarian response: High FSH levels often indicate a decreased ovarian reserve, meaning that your ovaries have a diminished number of eggs or that the remaining eggs are of lower quality. This can make it more difficult to achieve pregnancy, as the ovaries may not produce mature and viable eggs regularly.
  • Reduced fertility: Elevated FSH levels can negatively impact fertility, as the ovaries may have difficulty responding to the hormonal signals necessary for successful ovulation and conception. It may be more challenging to achieve pregnancy naturally, and assisted reproductive techniques such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) may have reduced success rates.
  • Implications for assisted reproductive technologies: If you are considering IVF or other assisted reproductive technologies, high FSH levels can affect the outcome of these treatments. The ovaries may not adequately respond to the hormonal stimulation used in these procedures, resulting in fewer eggs available for retrieval and a lower chance of successful fertilization and implantation.

Can acupuncture Chinese medicine reduce my FSH?

Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can reduce stress, improve blood flow to your ovaries, and provide more nutrients to your ovaries. Consequently improve your ovaries’ response to pituitary gland, and ovulation may happen.

Acupuncture has been used in eastern Asian countries for thousands of years and suggested as an effective approach to managing menopausal vasomotor symptoms (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25003620). It has been found effective in reducing the hot flush severity in women with breast cancer (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22906948/) and in peri-menopausal and postmenopausal women (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21653660/) . However, there has been no systematic investigation on its therapeutic effects on Primary Ovarian Insufficiency (POI).

A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis research includes 10 randomised controlled trials (RCTs) involving 888 patients in comparing CHM with HRT for the treatment of POF. The pooled data showed an improvement in symptoms in the Chinese Herbal Medicine group compared to that of the HRT group. FSH levels were significantly lower in patients treated with CHM compared to that of patients treated with HRT. There was no significant difference (P > 0.05) observed in E2 and LH levels when CHM and HRT were compared. This research suggest Chinese herbal medicine may relieve symptoms of POF (Premature Ovarian Failure) partly through decreasing serum FSH levels. This may provide guidance for future studies.  https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1876382014000092

How do acupuncture Chinese medicine manage patients with high FSH?

Traditional Chinese Medicine TCM and acupuncture doesn’t have the concept of FSH for the obvious reason. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can be beneficial for addressing symptoms associated with hormonal imbalances and fertility issues. During your consultation your Chinese medicine acupuncture practitioner may be able make a Pattern Diagnosis and treatment based on your presenting symptoms and some subtle signs, such as your pulse and tongue. While not directly targeting FSH levels, the treatment aims to regulate the body’s energy flow, enhance overall well-being, and promote reproductive health.

Benefit of Chinese medicine acupuncture

Some potential benefits reported by patients after acupuncture and TCM treatment for fertility issues include:

  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • Alleviation of abdominal discomfort and pain
  • Improved sleep quality
  • Increased energy levels
  • Reduction in hot flashes
  • Regulation of menstrual cycles

Patients may then be qualified for IVF or have a chance to get pregnancy naturally afterwards.

It’s important to note that while individual studies and systematic reviews have shown promising results, more research is needed to establish the efficacy and mechanisms of acupuncture and Chinese medicine specifically for high FSH levels or conditions like Primary Ovarian Insufficiency (POI). Additionally, treatment outcomes can vary depending on individual circumstances, so it’s essential to consult with a qualified practitioner who can provide personalised recommendations based on your unique situation.

Almond Wellness Centre Clinics

At Almond Wellness Centre Coburg clinic and Ringwood clinic we provide complementary care for the community in Melbourne Eastern and Northern suburbs.

Chinese medicine treatment is individualised to each patient and offers an individualised treatment protocol because there are different disease patterns and syndromes differentiation, even for the same clinical condition.

Not all patients will have the same results from a treatment. If you are suffering any of the above condition or high FSH, and want to know if acupuncture Chinese medicine can be beneficial to your health, please feel free to contact us. Our senior practitioner Dr. Richard Zeng and other fully qualified registered acupuncture Chinese medicine practitioners are here to provide information and assistance. We will assess your specific condition, take into account your medical history, and develop a treatment plan tailored to your needs.