Medical Q&As

Infertility - FSH high?

I am a 37 year old woman. I went to see an infertility specialist who told me that my FSH levels were high and I would not get pregnant. I tried anyway and just went 5 weeks into a pregnancy and miscarried. Was my miscarriage due to me not having good eggs?

FSH stands for follicle stimulating hormone, which is the particular hormone produced by the pituitary gland that stimulates the ovaries to release an ovum or egg. An elevated FSH has been described as a sign of biological reproductive ageing and indicates that the pituitary gland is vigorously attempting to stimulate the ovaries to release an egg but they in turn are failing to respond. Your test result suggests that you would not be a good candidate for in vitro fertilisation (IVF) because it is necessary for the ovaries to be able to respond to hormonal stimulation in order to have any chance with that particular technique. If a woman with a high FSH does succeed in becoming pregnant there is a high probability of miscarriage occurring. Some studies have suggested that an abnormal FSH level is associated with an increased incidence of genetically abnormal embryos. The only remaining option for you would appear to be egg donation, which raises several important legal and ethical issues.