High FSH is an all too common problem in women having difficulty conceiving, and not just in over 40 women. It is always treated by RE's as a fertility "death sentence". I have been told several times by two different RE's that I should consider donor eggs. My antral follicle count was also very low. (But I've been researching this topic a lot lately. And I have a new theory about the cause of premature ovarian failure (POF) or early menopause. Poor blood flow to the ovaries. Could it really be that simple? I think so. And here's why.
I found a study done on women who had one tube removed (due to ectopic pregnancy) via either laparoscopy or laparotomy. Apparently the women who had it done laparoscopically ended up with impaired blood flow to the ovary on the side where the tube was removed. As a result, the antral follicle count was low on that side, but the other side was fine. So if reduced blood flow to the ovaries can result in a low antral follicle count, then certainly it can be responsible (at least partly) for causing a high FSH, right? (See summary of the study below.)
I look at it this way: If the brain detects a problem with ovarian function, what would you expect it to do? Send out extra follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) to try to compensate for the problem, of course. (If it was able to send more blood there, I'm sure that it would.) So those of us with blood flow issues to both sides, and low antral follicle count on both sides, would of course have a high FSH as well.
Other evidence that my theory just might be right on is that, as some of you may know, acupuncture has been shown to be very helpful for increasing blood flow to the area and resulting in lower FSH levels. So, fellow high FSH'ers, we are not getting very good information or treatment for this problem (at least not from western medicine drs). I'm not saying I think every single woman with a high FSH can lower the levels all the way to normal just by getting the blood flow going back to the ovaries, but I think that most can. Wheatgrass is another remedy for high FSH, presumably it helps with the blood flow to the whole body and has been used for a long time by farmers for helping with their infertile livestock.
Of course I am not a doctor. I only know what I have read and experienced myself. But I think I might be onto something. So many women have been told by RE's that their own eggs are bad and will not result in a live birth without ever acknowledging that high FSH could be caused by something that just might be treatable. I think most of us w/high FSH also have issues with short, light periods, and couldn't that easily be caused by impaired pelvic blood flow? (Too bad there will never be a study evaluating my theory since there's no drug company to pay for it!)
I'm 42 and have had 8 losses total (1 m/c and 7 chemical pregnancies). I'm working hard now on getting optimal blood flow to the pelvic region in hopes that we can conceive naturally. (I don't think there's any way we can afford IVF, at least for several months.)
Love to know others' thoughts on this extremely important issue.
TITLE OF STUDY: Impaired ovarian blood flow and reduced antral follicle count following laparoscopic salpingectomy for ectopic pregnancy
In this study, ovarian function was assessed by antral follicle count, ovarian volume and ovarian stromal blood flow measured by three-dimensional (3D) power Doppler ultrasonography. The objectives of the study were to compare the ovarian function of the operated side with the non-operated side after unilateral salpingectomy performed through laparoscopy or laparotomy for ectopic pregnancy. METHODS: Thirty-two patients with unilateral salpingectomy performed for ectopic pregnancy were recruited: 18 through laparoscopy and 14 through laparotomy. Ultrasound scans were performed in the early follicular phase. RESULTS: Ovarian volume, antral follicle count and 3D power Doppler indices were comparable between the operated and the non-operated sides in the whole group and in the laparotomy group. The antral follicle count and 3D power Doppler indices were significantly reduced on the operated side in the laparoscopy group. CONCLUSIONS: Ovarian function seems to be impaired after laparoscopic unilateral salpingectomy at short-term assessment.
Results 1 to 10 of 17
06-19-2010, 08:33 PM #1sherri90049Registered Userhas no status.
Possible Cause of High FSH - Impaired Blood Flow to Ovaries?
06-20-2010, 06:22 AM #2sdeutRegistered Userhas no status.
I would check out information on Reproductive immunology. This area looks at blood flow and frequent m/c,Me 33 DH 33
Highest FSH 17
2 chemical pg
Zachary B 4/22/08 D 6/24/08 (due to SMA)
IVF #1 w/PGD - ectopic
IVF #2 - m/c 9 weeks
IVF #3 - BFP - Twins are here
06-20-2010, 03:32 PM #3anabelleRegistered Userhas no status.
Thanks for the post - I really think there might be something to that blood flow to the ovaries issue.
I started thinking about blood flow after my workup at CCRM - their doppler ultrasound showed poor blood flow to my uterus. After my CCRM IVF was canceled in February I decided to just focus on my health. DH and I joined a gym and I started going to yoga classes 4 times a week or so. 3 months later I have my first ever BFP. I've had changed my diet years ago and added vitamins, went to acupuncture, etc. but yoga is the only thing that I had recently changed in my life. There are also certain yoga poses that specifically target blood flow to the reproductive organs.
Last edited by anabelle; 06-29-2010 at 05:33 PM.
06-20-2010, 05:15 PM #4wrenlkleinRegistered Userhas no status.
I am not a doctor so I don't know for sure but one of my issues was a tilted uterus that was smashing my right ovary. I just knew that I was always ovulating from the left and though u/s showed my right was capable, I just never believed it did. Then I found out that my uterus was smashed up against it. I went to a doctor starting three months ago who did visceral massage moving my uterus back. I also did castor oil packs to prep for these massages. Three months later I am pg. Now I was also on dhea and supplements and DH was also on sperm cocktail so I don't know for sure but at my u/s Thursday they told me which ovary ovulated. Yep, it was my right.
I didn't get my fsh tested so I don't know if it would have been lower now that my right ovary is getting blood flow but I wonder if it's a piece to the puzzle.
06-20-2010, 05:53 PM #5sherri90049Registered Userhas no status.
Wow! Annabelle! That's awesome! First of all, was it easy to get them to do the doppler u/s? I know I need to have that to know what the deal is with my blood flow. That's great about yoga. I went to my first yoga class in my life a couple of weeks ago. I plan to start going more. Do you think I should just focus on that and not acupuncture? I ask because acupuncture is expensive. My insurance covers some of it but not all practitioners take it.
And Wren, thank you so much for posting about the tilted uterus. And I'm thrilled that your story had a happy ending! I too was told I have a tilted uterus a very long time ago. I never stopped to think that it could affect anything. I will definitely put that on my list of questions for the new RE on Tuesday. And I have always thought that my left ovary was the only one ovulating too. Will be so interesting to see!
Thank you guys both very much! And BIG congrats to you both, too!
06-20-2010, 05:59 PM #6wrenlkleinRegistered Userhas no status.
Sherri- consider finding a sacralcrabial doctor who does
visceral massage to get the uterus back in place! Good luck!
06-20-2010, 06:49 PM #7sherri90049Registered Userhas no status.
Thanks! I had no idea that it could be helped, and I wouldn't have guessed that the craniosacral therapist would be the one to do it! Will definitely look into it!
06-20-2010, 07:22 PM #8anabelleRegistered Userhas no status.
the doppler u/s was just part of the one day workup at CCRM they require you to have (expensive!). it was only useful info to me because i didn't even know they could measure blood flow to the uterus. because of my results they started me on viagra suppositories (they don't have the same effect on women as men for the beginning of my IVF cycle - this must not have helped my ovaries because my cycle was canceled.
i would say stick with yoga vs. acupuncture if you have to make a choice - i had been going to acupunture for over a year - once/wk to once per every other week. sometimes at home I'll use Monica Morell's fertility yoga dvd. The intro is kind of annoying (has the backdrop of a giant baby) but the poses are a good mix between challenging and relaxing. I like how she describes which poses encourage blood flow to pelvic regions etc... also with yoga I can do the poses anytime. I noticed I sleep better if I do some poses/stretching before bed too.
Last edited by anabelle; 06-29-2010 at 05:34 PM.
06-21-2010, 07:35 AM #9
I 100% believe in your theory. It used to be that my right ovary was the workhorse and had more follicles. Then something happened and I would only ovulate from my left. When I went through IVF, I had 7 follicles on the left and 2 on the right. I recently started going to a chiropractor who showed me how my hips were out of alignment and asked me if I had had a bad fall. Surprise, surprise, I had--right before I stopped ovulating on the right! After a month of adjustments I ovulated on the right again.
06-23-2010, 10:35 AM #10FeonaRegistered Userhas no status.
I totally believe in this theory as well. I started doing fertility yoga to increase blood flow to my ovaries, acupuncture weekly to also increase blood flow, and I started eating more meat (as prescribed by my TCM doctor to increase blood in my body), and took DHEA for 3 months. I had a better cycle after all of this and produced great quality eggs.
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