Do You Know Your Fertility Hormone Acronyms?
Did you know that besides Estrogen and Progesterone, there are other fertility hormones?
Because when you’re trying to start a family, AMH, FSH, LH, and TSH can be as equally as important!
Let’s break them down.
AMH (Anti-Müllerian Hormone)
AMH is an indicator of how many eggs you have left, as well as their quality.
Having a low or high AMH level could disrupt your egg reserve. So … let’s take a look at where the ranges stand:
Healthy AMH level (1.5 – 2.5) — If you receive results anywhere along this range, they’re good, healthy numbers.
Low AMH levels (<1) — Low levels indicate few eggs, which are usually also of low-quality. And because egg levels are low, it also lowers the chances of a successful IVF treatment.
When you have this low of a level, you need all the help you can get! Acupuncture is an excellent way to boost your AMH levels, so if your results come back low—come see us!
High AMH levels (>3) — These high levels can be a sign of PCOS and can cease menstruation cycle, which of course makes “trying” useless.
FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone)
Understanding your egg quality is important in understanding the success of your IVF procedure. Testing your FSH also indicates if your ovaries are aging.
Fun fact! Our ovaries are lined with follicles where eggs lie inside, waiting to grow, nice and protected. The purpose of the FSH is to stimulate these follicles, which nudges the egg to begin growing along with estrogen.
However, this can only happen if FSH levels are stable.
High FSH levels ( ≥10 ) — When this hormone reaches 10 or more, it’s a sign your ovaries could be, well … a little out-of-shape and burnt out.
Think of it like this: Basically, the brain alerts the body, which in turn releases FSH to give your ovaries to go-ahead. Except, it’s like your ovaries went on vacay without an OOO autoreply. And now your FSH levels are just crowding the inbox with little response.
This happens with age, of course, but can also be the result of a toxin exposure or an autoimmune issue. Chemotherapy can also cause high FSH levels.
LH (Luteinizing Hormone)
This hormone has one important job: triggering your ovary to pop out an egg at ovulation time. If you use OPKs, you’re probably already familiar with this hormone.
Your LH should spike mid-cycle of your ovulation. But if your LH levels fail to do so, your egg simply will not drop or make its fallopian tube passage to be within sperm reach.
However, there are ways to stimulate LH:
- Ask your doctor to provide an HCG trigger shot when the time is right
- Opt for a more naturally-induced method such as acupuncture
TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone)
Our thyroid is an essential (and very busy!) gland. It maintains our metabolism, our breath, and our heart rate, among many other imperative tasks.
But it should also be kept in-check for baby-making purposes.
Essentially, thyroids keep in balance your menstrual cycle, affecting ovulation. They even regulate your body’s temperature, ensuring a safe pregnancy that carries to full term.
To simplify, the two thyroid hormones—Triiodothyronine (T3) and Thyroxine (T4)—can sometimes produce unbalanced amounts, sending all the wrong signals back to our brain. Unfortunately, this results in all sorts of issues (like hyperthyroidism).
But when it comes to our reproductive health, thyroid irregularity can:
- Disrupt the menstrual cycle
- Be mistaken for PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome)
- Cause issues with ovulation
These effects ultimately result in a questionable, fleeting window of opportunity for an assured pregnancy. Even more severe, a low TSH level can lead to an unhealthy pregnancy and baby. Or even increase the risk of a miscarriage.
Ask your doc to check on the levels of all of these! They’re not as basic or as well-known as Estrogen and Progesterone, but they shouldn’t be disregarded!