In the clinic you may have heard us mention the hormone FSH. This is our Follicle Stimulating Hormone, which is a hormone that is produced by the anterior pituitary gland, during your follicular phase – just after menstruation. It is responsible for sexual development and function during puberty and in fertility it plays a pivotal role for the growth and development of your follicles and ovulation.
During your follicular phase, FSH stimulates the follicles inside your ovaries to start maturing. The growing follicles compete for dominance until a single follciles becomes dominant. At this point, the mature follicle secretes estradiol and inhibin, which suppress FSH secretion. The highest level of FSH coincides with the LH peak – which lead to ovulation. The drop in FSH levels causes the remaining follicles to go through follicular artresia – death.
FSH is tested on day 2 or 3 of your cycle to provide a baseline measurement.
For ovulation to occur, FSH has to reach a certain level to signal the release of an egg.
As women become older and their ovarian reserve (the number of eggs they have) declines, their level of FSH can increase.
What is my FSH level telling me?
When you have your FSH test results, check which range your scores fall under. Remember, this is an indication of where you are now in your cycle, and holistic treatment can help bring their scores to an appropriate level.
6-8 : Normal
10-12: Suggests lower than normal ovarian reserves
12-17: indicates lower reverse
17+ Generally suggest a very poor response to assisted reproductive technology. Can be indication of menopause.
For those in an IVF cycle common follicle stimulating treatments are-
Menopur (FSH + LH)
Amanda is the founder of Angea and has over 12 years of experience working with women to support their health journey. In addition to being a registered doctor of Chinese medicine, Amanda is a yoga teacher and founder of Mindful Pregnancy Yoga Training. Amanda offers acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and womb healing treatments at Angea.