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Acupuncture for High FSH Levels

FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) is an important hormone involved in the natural mentrual cycle as well as in drug-induced stimulation of the ovaries. It is the main hormone involved in producing mature eggs. When a woman goes into menopause she is running out of eggs in her ovaries, and the brain senses that there is a low oestrogen environment so more FSH is released from the pituitary gland in an attempt to stimulate the ovaries enough to produce a good follicle and oestrogen. Once a woman has gone through the menopause, FSH levels are permanently elevated.

A baseline FSH test on day 3 of the cycle gives an overall indication of the 'ovarian reserve'. Elevated FSH generally represents a reduced egg supply and it may also reflect a compromise of egg quality. Many fertility clinics require that FSH levels are below a certain level (usually 11 or 12) as a pre-requisite for IVF treatment.

From the point of view of Chinese medicine, high FSH levels going into the menopause indicate a deficiency in kidney yin energy, which is normally needed to make good, fertile eggs. Acupuncture can certainly help to nourish and support the kidney yin energy, but high FSH levels could also be related to factors such as the movement or quality of qi and blood in the uterus, or the emotional state of the patient. Acupuncture can help to regulate the movement of qi and blood and it can help to bring the emotions back into balance. This in turn can help to stabilise FSH levels in the body.

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