Why is the test done?
FSH levels are measured by taking a blood test. A healthcare practitioner may recommend a woman to test the FSH levels for various reasons. These reasons include irregular menstrual cycles, difficulty conceiving, or the possibility of a pituitary gland or ovaries disorder.
The meaning of high FSH levels
A high FSH level signifies different health conditions. In terms of fertility, a high FSH means the possibility to conceive is lower but can be managed with treatments. An increased level of FSH also means a woman is going through ovarian failure or menopause. Hormonal conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome or genetic abnormalities such as Turner syndrome also represent high FSH levels.
The process of taking a blood sample
The procedure involves taking a patient’s blood test using a needle. This is a quick procedure and takes less than 5 minutes. After obtaining the patient’s blood sample, one may feel slight pain or bruise which resolves quickly.
Can I still become pregnant?
A woman with a high FSH level means the ovarian reserve is diminished. However, this does not mean that pregnancy is not possible. As long as a woman is still ovulating and still gets periods, a woman can conceive but will take longer. The healthcare practitioner will suggest various treatments to help become fertile.
Getting through various tests
Every patient’s treatment for fertility is individualized and intensive work-up is done by the doctor. Besides FSH, the doctor will also check other hormone levels such as anti-mullerian hormone and estradiol. In some cases, the doctor may perform imaging studies such as an ultrasound. A variety of tests is carried out to understand the cause and diagnosis of fertility problems.
Available options to become pregnant
Women with high FSH can still become pregnant via various fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF). Some healthcare providers use supplements such as androgen supplements and CoQ10 before IVF treatment. Patients also have the option to use donor eggs during IVF treatment. For some women, the process may be tough and frustrating and may require more than 1 cycle of IVF treatment.
Do not lose hope
A high FSH level has a lot of meanings including fertility issues. There is still hope of becoming a mother with advanced medical technology and the help of experienced medical doctors.