Saturday, November 6, 2010
43 Yr Old With High FSH Of 30 Asks: Is There A Way To Lower It?
Dear Dr. Ramirez,
First, thank you very much for taking the time to answer so many questions. Your column has been an important part of my education on IVF.
I am writing from Cincinnati, OH. I am 43 years old and am considering IVF. I just learnt that my FSH is 30, substantially above the cutoff rate for my fertility clinic (their cutoff is 10). Are there any options other than donor eggs? Is there a way to lower FSH? Would love to get your perspective. Thank you. S.
Hello S. from the U.S.,
I'm assuming, of course, that your FSH levels were accurately tested. The FSH level is only valid for interpretation if it is done on cycle day #2 or 3. The FSH is a measure of ovarian function (or ovarian resistance). This is mainly important to determine how well the ovaries will respond to stimulation. It is NOT a measure of fertility. However, if the CD#3 FSH level of 30 is correct, that would indicate that you are perimenopausal and your ovaries would be shutting down. You would no longer be having periods and you would have menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes. Is this the case?
If so, unfortunately, with an elevated FSH of 30 you are not eligible for any other treatments other than donor eggs. I'm sorry but there is no way to revive the ovaries at this time. I see on the web that there are many lay people claiming that there are "natural" alternatives like acupressure that can help lower your FSH levels. This is simply not true!
Please see my previous post:"41 Yr Old With High FSH, High Estradiol..." where I go into greater detail regarding this distressing issue. Remember, there are many paths you can take to motherhood and from my experience as an infertility specialist, all those paths can bring happiness.
Edward J. Ramirez, M.D., FACOG
Executive Medical Director
The Fertility and Gynecology Center
Monterey Bay IVF Program
Monterey, California, U.S.A.