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What Does My FSH Number Mean?

Catherine McDiarmid-Watt | Wednesday, September 26, 2018 | 0 comments

Image: Ovarian Reserve Test (Not available in MD,NY, NJ, RI) by Everly Well | Complete simple blood spot sample collection
Ovarian Reserve Test
Hormone Levels and Fertility Bloodwork

Hormone to Test : Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)

Time to Test: Cycle Day 3

Normal Values: 3-20 mIU/ml

What Value Means : FSH is often used as a gauge of ovarian reserve. In general, under 6 is excellent, 6-9 is good, 9-10 fair, 10-13 diminished reserve, 13+ very hard to stimulate.

In PCOS testing, the LH:FSH ratio may be used in the diagnosis. The ratio is usually close to 1:1, but if the LH is higher, it is one possible indication of PCOS.

Source: Follicle stimulating hormone

But what does it really mean?
Having a too high FSH really only means you will probably get kicked out of the doctor's office, and they will be no longer willing to help you.

It DOES NOT mean you can't get pregnant.
It might mean it will be harder, and take longer to get pregnant.
Or it might not mean anything at all for you.

It might even mean a higher chance of pregnancy for you since having a high FSH means your body is working overtime to push out those eggs.
Which means you might even have 2-3 eggs in a cycle, even without fertility drugs.

So don't lose heart, trust your body!

From Stories of Pregnancy and Birth Over 44 Years Old:
Story One: My highest CD3 [cycle day 3] FSH was 28 mIU/ml.
I'm now 23 weeks into my first ever pregnancy at 43-years-old
I conceived naturally, i.e. no medical help) a few weeks before my 43rd birthday...

Story Two: Julia Indichova wrote the book Inconceivable.
She had an FSH of 42 mIU/ml when she was 42-years-old.
When she was approximately 44-years-old, she got pregnant and gave birth when she was 45-years-old.
The month she got pregnant, her FSH was 30 mIU/ml.

Story Three: We had an amazing story today...
Sort of a slap in the face to all the docs who kept poo-pooing this wonderful patient...
46-year-old....never been pregnant.....highest FSH: 65 mIU/ml!!
(Cycle Day 2, Estradiol [E2]: 102 pg/mL - so the FSH was really much higher)
Several IUIs [Intrauterine insemination]
IVF [in vitro fertilization] with own eggs is not an option in our clinic if over 42 years old, or FSH over 15 mIU/ml... whatever
DE [donor egg] speech over and over and over. Last cycle...
LTZ [Letrozole] with boosting. One follicle.


HCG [Human chorionic gonadotropin]: 20,000 !!

She didn't do an HPT [home pregnancy test] since she just knew there was no chance.
She finally broke down after no period for four weeks.

Story Four: I am 45 years old.
This is my husband's and my first baby.
I too was told by my doctors with an FSH of 65 mIU/ml and high TSH [Thyroid Stimulating Hormone] - TTC [trying to concieve] was not going to succeed...
Well, I am here to tell all of our sisters on this site, Dream the Impossible!

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About Catherine: I am mom to three grown sons, two grandchildren and two rescue dogs. After years of raising my boys as a single mom, I remarried a wonderful man who had never had a child of his own. Unexpectedly, I found myself pregnant at 49!
Sadly we lost that precious baby at 8 weeks, and decided to try again. Five more losses, turned down for donor egg, foster care and adoption due to my age and losses - we have accepted that there will be no more babies in our house.

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Don't just sit there, reading this story or article - say something! Do you believe it? Do you think it is impossible? Do you wish it was you? Do you have a story to share (it might get published!)

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