For both men and women, having a balanced level of hormones is essential to proper fertility. Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is made by the pituitary gland, and is an important component of the reproductive system. If FSH levels are too low or too high, this is a signal that something is out of balance within the reproductive system, and may be inhibiting conception.
FSH Levels for Women
For women, follicle-stimulating hormones help to control and regulate the woman’s menstrual cycle, and is also partially responsible for the production of eggs in the ovaries. High levels of FSH are an indicator of:
- Poor ovarian function
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Certain types of tumour in the pituitary gland
Low levels of FSH can mean that:
- Eggs are not being produced
- The pituitary gland is not functioning properly
- The person is under significant stress
- The person is severely underweight
FSH Levels for Men
It is also necessary for men to have normal levels of the hormone, as FSH controls sperm production.
High levels of Follicle Stimulating Hormone in a male could suggest:
- Advancing age (male menopause)
- Damage to testicles caused by alcohol abuse, chemotherapy or radiation
- Genetic problems, such as Klinefelter syndrome
Low levels of Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) in a male indicate:
- Sperm is not being produced
Traditional Chinese Medicine Approach
In TCM, Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) levels are not seen as the cause of the fertility issues, but more the result of an underlying imbalance. The aim of a TCM practitioner is therefore to help the body to function at its best, by restoring reproductive health and encouraging a balanced system.
Chinese herbal medicines have a nourishing and balancing effect, normalising the function of the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Ovarian axis. Chinese herbs nourish the spleen, liver, and kidney systems which are responsible for our reproductive health. Herbal formulas are designed to build nutrient-rich blood for the ovaries, which will better nourish the developing follicles and create better egg quality. The herbs help to improve ovarian function, and cause FSH to be secreted in proper amounts at the correct times.
Acupuncture may also be used to strengthen the kidneys and spleen, promoting hormone regulation and increasing the production of blood to nourish the ovaries and uterus, while reducing stress.
TCM is an effective way to restore reproductive health and balance the hormonal system – increasing your chances of conceiving both naturally and through reproductive technologies.
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