Pregnancy and Parenting Features

What Can Affect FSH Levels?

FSH levels are directly affect fertility in women. If FSH levels are higher than normal, conception may be difficult or even impossible. Because of this, it is important to understand what exactly can affect FSH levels in a woman who is trying to conceive.

First, it is important to really get a grasp on what FSH is and how it affects your ability to become pregnant. FSH stands for Follicle Stimulating Hormone. FSH is a hormone produced in the pituitary gland. FSH relates to several fertility issues. In particular, FSH levels can indicate how your ovarian reserve of eggs is doing. In addition, your FSH levels can affect how your body will respond to certain types of fertility treatments.

Several things can affect FSH levels in a negative way by causing them to be elevated. PCOS, or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, is known to cause elevated FSH levels, as is failure of the ovaries prematurely. Menopause is the most common cause of elevated ovarian levels.

There are also things that might lower levels of FSH in a woman’s body. There are some medications, such as progesterone, estrogen, testosterone, digitalis, and clomiphene that can affect FSH levels in this manner. In addition, if you have a bone scan or a thyroid scan within seven days of having your FSH levels tested, the radioactive agents from those scans may affect your FSH levels. Stress is also known to affect FSH levels by lowering them. Finally, as it affects so many other areas of life, smoking cigarettes heavily may affect your FSH levels.

In addition, your FSH levels should change regularly throughout the month. During the luteal phase, for example, your FSH levels should be between 5 and 20 IU/L. During the middle of your monthly cycle, when FSH levels are at their peak, you may have between 30-50 IU/L of FSH. For this reason, when FSH is tested for fertility issues, the test is given on the third day of menstrual bleeding so that results can consistently be interpreted and compared.

Your health care provider or fertility specialist may be able to help you determine what your FSH levels mean in your particular situation, as well as the factors that might be affecting your FSH levels.

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