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#1 of 18 Old 02-08-2008, 08:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DH and i are starting down the road of ivf due to male infertility. I had my day 3 baselines tets today and the estrogen and LH were normal, but my FSH was 14 (anything over 10 is high). I am only 27 and the nurse mentioned that when FSH gets high it is an indication of poor egg quality and that you may be perimenopausal. Does anyone know anything natural that can help lower FSH???
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#2 of 18 Old 02-08-2008, 09:39 PM
 
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DH and i are starting down the road of ivf due to male infertility. I had my day 3 baselines tets today and the estrogen and LH were normal, but my FSH was 14 (anything over 10 is high). I am only 27 and the nurse mentioned that when FSH gets high it is an indication of poor egg quality and that you may be perimenopausal. Does anyone know anything natural that can help lower FSH???
Kristin, I'm so sorry. You didn't need anything else to worry about here. It's a bit pricey but acupuncture and Chinese herbs can lower FSH. I have a great fert. acup. and she's given me a few things over the months that she says will lower FSH. That's all I know of for now, but I'll be thinking of you and will keep an ear out for something else.

Proud Mama to Liam Greenleaf 5/31/10
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Everything I have read suggests that "you are only as good as your worst FSH number." In other words it's not something you can really reduce, like cholesterol - if the number ever gets high, even if it drops back down again slightly, it's not good news. We are born with all the eggs we will ever have and as quantity/quality go down, the brain puts out more and more FSH to stimulate the follicles to grow. In menopause there are very few or no follicles left - the FSH gets so high because the brain is trying to hard to get a response from the ovaries.

There are women who conceive despites a high FSH, both with and without ART - but it does severely affect your chances.

I would have the rest repeated in the hopes that it is a lab error - is that in the plans? Lab errors DO happen. The fact that your estrogen is normal is good - usually estrogen and FSH get high as egg quantity/quality declines. SO lab error is a possibility.

If lab error is not to blame - you need to be aggressive and you need to move fast. IVF may help you - it sounds as if you already need to go that route because of male factor. Donor eggs may be worth considering. Not jumping into at this point, but I'd start considering/researching it. It can be pricey to hire an egg donor - a lot of times people use a friend or family member in part for that reason.

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#4 of 18 Old 02-11-2008, 12:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Everything I have read suggests that "you are only as good as your worst FSH number." In other words it's not something you can really reduce, like cholesterol - if the number ever gets high, even if it drops back down again slightly, it's not good news. We are born with all the eggs we will ever have and as quantity/quality go down, the brain puts out more and more FSH to stimulate the follicles to grow. In menopause there are very few or no follicles left - the FSH gets so high because the brain is trying to hard to get a response from the ovaries.

There are women who conceive despites a high FSH, both with and without ART - but it does severely affect your chances.

I would have the rest repeated in the hopes that it is a lab error - is that in the plans? Lab errors DO happen. The fact that your estrogen is normal is good - usually estrogen and FSH get high as egg quantity/quality declines. SO lab error is a possibility.

If lab error is not to blame - you need to be aggressive and you need to move fast. IVF may help you - it sounds as if you already need to go that route because of male factor. Donor eggs may be worth considering. Not jumping into at this point, but I'd start considering/researching it. It can be pricey to hire an egg donor - a lot of times people use a friend or family member in part for that reason.
I tend to disagree with you on the FSH levels things. I am a chiro so i am of the mind that dysfunction in the body is it's way of telling us the body is out of harmony for whatever reason. I don't think that I was born with poor quality eggs, I think that the enviro, my lifestyle, birth control pills, stress, etc are all things that affect our hormones and the way that our body functions. And I really don't think that i am perimenopausal- I am 27, very fit (5'5, 115lbs) and healthy (diary& wheat free) and US did not indicate that my ovaries were small and degenerating. I have read alot of accounts of women who had very high FSH and used chinese medicine and accupunture to have it come down significantly and then conceive without ART when they were told that they never would. I believe that could help me and give us the best chance possible of having our IVF cycle be a success. I just need to find a DR in my area who is well versed in infertility and give it a few months to let my body heal and then retest. I hope it works:-)
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I tend to disagree with you on the FSH levels things. I am a chiro so i am of the mind that dysfunction in the body is it's way of telling us the body is out of harmony for whatever reason. I don't think that I was born with poor quality eggs, I think that the enviro, my lifestyle, birth control pills, stress, etc are all things that affect our hormones and the way that our body functions. And I really don't think that i am perimenopausal- I am 27, very fit (5'5, 115lbs) and healthy (diary& wheat free) and US did not indicate that my ovaries were small and degenerating. I have read alot of accounts of women who had very high FSH and used chinese medicine and accupunture to have it come down significantly and then conceive without ART when they were told that they never would. I believe that could help me and give us the best chance possible of having our IVF cycle be a success. I just need to find a DR in my area who is well versed in infertility and give it a few months to let my body heal and then retest. I hope it works:-)
I hope so too, Kristin. My fert. acup. is amazing. She works with REs in hospitals as well for IVF women in add. to her private practice. Hopefully, around Chicago you can find someone really excellent. The one blend she gave me in particular that she said can lower FSH was called "Jane's Formula." She advertises on MDC, mossacupuncture.com, if you were interested in sending an e-mail and asking about it. (tell her jennifer sweeney mentioned it on mdc). I truly wish you all the best.

Proud Mama to Liam Greenleaf 5/31/10
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Like I said, there are women who get pregnant despite high FSH... but IMO it's still an indication that you probably want to be aggressive sooner rather than later.

I read a book recently called "Waiting for Daisy" by Peggy Orenstein... about her long battle with infertility, various treatments and failures and miscarriages, and in the end success with no treatment - I *think* she had high FSH but I can't recall. It was a good book. Might want to read if for the inspiration/commiseration/whatever.

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#7 of 18 Old 02-11-2008, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks i appreciate the help. :-)
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#8 of 18 Old 02-11-2008, 05:19 PM
 
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DH and i are starting down the road of ivf due to male infertility. I had my day 3 baselines tets today and the estrogen and LH were normal, but my FSH was 14 (anything over 10 is high). I am only 27 and the nurse mentioned that when FSH gets high it is an indication of poor egg quality and that you may be perimenopausal. Does anyone know anything natural that can help lower FSH???
I'm a firm believer in acupuncture for lowering FSH. Also, having been around infertility and ttc boards for over a decade now, I don't believe that the FSH number tells the entire story. That's why there's an art to ART. As a pp suggested, get thee to an acupuncturist who is experienced in fertility tx if you can. I do not believe that FSH is a static number based on my own personal experience and the experience of good friends (and, yes, I have seen their actual lab reports and medical records too -- we do all sorts of things when we want a take home baby!!).

After I stuck with IUIs for wayy too long, I was fortunate enough to conceive my dd with my first IVF attempt. I then tried to conceive #2 two years later and suffered a few pregnancy losses. I have a family hx of premature menopause and was already "pushing the envelope" so when I underwent testing to see why I was losing my babies they also checked to see how close I was to the big "M" and according to the testing, my ovarian reserve was low. My next fresh cycle yielded 17 eggs, but only ~6 were mature and 2 good embies made it to transfer (but I transferred all I had). I had a positive beta and another loss. My FSH was higher than it had ever been. I got "the talk" ... "you're not as young as you used to be... you family hx... yadda yadda yadda..." I dabbled in a bit of Chinese medicine by changing my diet -- which was already healthy, but still, I made it cleaner -- and my next fresh IVF cycle was negative though they got 15 eggs and only 4 were mature and "so so" quality. My FSH was higher but it could have been because of all the stims. I went "all out" on Chinese medicine, acupuncture, moxa, herbs... my acu was trained in Mongolia, had been an internist in Russia, and had been treating infertility patients for 20 years. I exercised less and switched to qi gong and I stopped "watching my weight" which was actually perfectly fine to begin with. My next FSH level was down 3.4 pts which put me below 10 so it was never really "high" but I believe it made a difference.

My next cycle, I also made some changes with my protocol. We DEcreased my dosage of stims and I stimmed for more days. My doc retrieved 34 eggs and 26 were mature. That was my best cycle ever at the oldest age that I'll ever do a stim cycle because I have 18 frozen and won't be doing any more fresh cycles.

I know a lot of people don't believe in acupuncture and I don't know if it's because of the person they see or if they don't believe in it or if they don't resonate with their practitioner or if their practitioner isn't qualified to treat their issue or maybe it just doesn't work for them. But I can also tell you that I've seen it work for women who've given up on their dreams of having babies who have been told by traditional Western med docs that they have high FSH to be told by acu docs that they do not have high FSH and they go on to have a take home baby.

I've seen enough and read enough outside of Western medicine to believe that FSH is not an immutable static number for everyone in every situation. For some it may be, but I don't believe it has to be for everyone.

Oh, and there was an article last week on CNN.com about more REs using acupuncture in ART. My insurance picked up part of the cost after the fact so it wasn't such a hard hit. It wasn't cheap, but it wasn't out of reach either.
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#9 of 18 Old 02-11-2008, 06:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm a firm believer in acupuncture for lowering FSH. Also, having been around infertility and ttc boards for over a decade now, I don't believe that the FSH number tells the entire story. That's why there's an art to ART. As a pp suggested, get thee to an acupuncturist who is experienced in fertility tx if you can. I do not believe that FSH is a static number based on my own personal experience and the experience of good friends (and, yes, I have seen their actual lab reports and medical records too -- we do all sorts of things when we want a take home baby!!).

After I stuck with IUIs for wayy too long, I was fortunate enough to conceive my dd with my first IVF attempt. I then tried to conceive #2 two years later and suffered a few pregnancy losses. I have a family hx of premature menopause and was already "pushing the envelope" so when I underwent testing to see why I was losing my babies they also checked to see how close I was to the big "M" and according to the testing, my ovarian reserve was low. My next fresh cycle yielded 17 eggs, but only ~6 were mature and 2 good embies made it to transfer (but I transferred all I had). I had a positive beta and another loss. My FSH was higher than it had ever been. I got "the talk" ... "you're not as young as you used to be... you family hx... yadda yadda yadda..." I dabbled in a bit of Chinese medicine by changing my diet -- which was already healthy, but still, I made it cleaner -- and my next fresh IVF cycle was negative though they got 15 eggs and only 4 were mature and "so so" quality. My FSH was higher but it could have been because of all the stims. I went "all out" on Chinese medicine, acupuncture, moxa, herbs... my acu was trained in Mongolia, had been an internist in Russia, and had been treating infertility patients for 20 years. I exercised less and switched to qi gong and I stopped "watching my weight" which was actually perfectly fine to begin with. My next FSH level was down 3.4 pts which put me below 10 so it was never really "high" but I believe it made a difference.

My next cycle, I also made some changes with my protocol. We DEcreased my dosage of stims and I stimmed for more days. My doc retrieved 34 eggs and 26 were mature. That was my best cycle ever at the oldest age that I'll ever do a stim cycle because I have 18 frozen and won't be doing any more fresh cycles.

I know a lot of people don't believe in acupuncture and I don't know if it's because of the person they see or if they don't believe in it or if they don't resonate with their practitioner or if their practitioner isn't qualified to treat their issue or maybe it just doesn't work for them. But I can also tell you that I've seen it work for women who've given up on their dreams of having babies who have been told by traditional Western med docs that they have high FSH to be told by acu docs that they do not have high FSH and they go on to have a take home baby.

I've seen enough and read enough outside of Western medicine to believe that FSH is not an immutable static number for everyone in every situation. For some it may be, but I don't believe it has to be for everyone.

Oh, and there was an article last week on CNN.com about more REs using acupuncture in ART. My insurance picked up part of the cost after the fact so it wasn't such a hard hit. It wasn't cheap, but it wasn't out of reach either.
i am loving you right now:-) this is exactly what i need, hope that it can help. i def believe in acupuncture although i have never had the need to use it, but i think now is the time. The hard part has been finding someone who is well versed in infertility. As for finances, insurance isn't paying for any of our infertility testing, the sperm retreival procedure that my husband will have to have or the ivf. They aren't going to pay for accu either, but it is worth the investment if it helps our ivf succeed. How old were you when you began ttc #2 with the high fsh? Where you guys strictly female infertility issues or did your DH have probs also?

also, what kind of herbs were you on? and what kind of probs did you have- kidney yand def, spleen def, blood stasis, etc??
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#10 of 18 Old 02-12-2008, 01:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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anyone else heard of taking wheatgrass to help wtih lowering FSH?
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#11 of 18 Old 02-12-2008, 02:41 PM
 
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anyone else heard of taking wheatgrass to help wtih lowering FSH?
Yep, a friend of mine did one shot of wheatgrass everyday during a particular phase of her cycle, not during the entire month. She just delivered her second child at the age of 43 in December after giving up on ART.

PM me about the rest of your ?s. I'd rather not post "everything" on the www, but happy to answer what I can.
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#12 of 18 Old 02-12-2008, 03:23 PM
 
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do you happen to know which cycle days she took wheatgrass?
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#13 of 18 Old 02-12-2008, 04:39 PM
 
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do you happen to know which cycle days she took wheatgrass?
cd1 to first +OPK. This is my friend with high FSH w/a dx of things such a liver stagnation (she also drank juice of half a fresh lemon squeezed into warm water every morning throughout her cycle up to +hpt, but this is very common I think [I still do this every now and then as a mild detox/liver cleanser]). I know others who do NOT have high FSH who took wheatgrass past ovulation.
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#14 of 18 Old 02-13-2008, 11:35 PM
 
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Hi, I'm just a lurker and no expert but I do know somebody over in the TTC sub-forum recently had a cycle where she used Vitex extensively (Can't remember why) and her estrogen and FSH tests came back totally peri-menopausal, so she quit Vitex and then tested normally the next month. So in other words, there ARE things that can affect FSH both negatively and positively...And I just treated a very difficult m/c w/acupuncture and believe HUGELY in it. Good luck!
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#15 of 18 Old 02-15-2008, 06:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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is it bad to take wheatgrass after o? If so, why?
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#16 of 18 Old 04-15-2008, 10:41 PM
 
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hi,

just wanted to boost this thread and also see if anyone here has any advice for me - I just got my first CD2 FSH and it was above 40. The lab double checked and they said it was real. I got another blood draw today to check it again, along with some other hormone levels. I'm freaking out that I have premature ovarian failure and I'll never get pregnant.

I'm wondering, those of you who have had high FSH levels in the past, did you also have symptoms? I feel completely normal and have been having normal cycles, including with thermal shifts and LH surges. I only got the workup because we have male factor infertility...

I'm just looking for advice, ideas, anything really. I hate waiting to know what's going on... i'm supposed to hear tomorrow from the doctor about my repeat tests and his thoughts on what to do.

thanks in advance.
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#17 of 18 Old 04-16-2008, 01:39 AM
 
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It is def possible to get pg with high FSH!

I had high FSH (it was 16 when tested a few years ago). I did many months of acupuncture, chiropractic, and occasional wheatgrass shots. I concieved my son on my second iui using Femera and donor sperm. (My DH is a cancer survivor & has fertility issues). My son will be 2 next week!

I am hoping to concieve #2 after my son weans from breastfeeding.

Check out this forum for lots of info and support

http://www.network54.com/Forum/209394/
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#18 of 18 Old 04-16-2008, 09:02 AM
 
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thank you iris! I'm glad you had relatively little trouble conceiving your son, and happy birthday to him!

I'll definitely check out that link; at first pass, it looks really helpful. thank you!
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