Your follicle-stimulating hormones (FSH) help to control and regulate your menstrual cycle and play a vital role in the production of ova (eggs) in the ovaries. During your monthly cycle, your FSH levels to vary with a spike in the levels immediately before ovulation. However, high or low FSH levels can signal hormonal disregulation that can interfere with you getting pregnant. Alow level of FSH may indicate an imbalance in the pituitary or hypothalamus while a high FSH level may indicate an imbalance with the testes or ovaries functioning properly.
In women, the FSH test (blood test) is taken on the 3rd day of the menstrual period. Western medicine believes that a level higher than 10-15mIU/ml may indicate diminished fertility or diminished ovarian reserve.
In Chinese medicine, we believe that it is not the high or low FSH levels that are the problem but the woman’s overall health and imbalances in the endocrine system that needs to be rebalanced. We focus on supplementing deficiencies and clearing the body of toxins in order to restore hormonal balance and optimum fertile conditions.
Custom Chinese Herbal Formulas
Chinese herbal therapy corrects underlying deficiencies, balances hormones, and regulates the menstrual cycle.
Fertility acupuncture can help you by:
- Reducing stress hormones and normalizing the dysfunction of the hypothalamus-pituitary-ovarian axis
- Improving ovarian function
- Creating more follicles
- Improving egg production
- Balancing hormone and endocrine systems that regulate ovulation
- Improving blood flow to your reproductive organs
Insulin resistance and blood sugar levels have a big impact on the endocrine system and hormone levels that govern fertility. This is the reason eating a slow carb diet and maintaining a healthy weight is so important for healthy hormonal function. The Acubalance Fertility Diet is a slow carb, low GI, whole food diet that is designed to balance your blood sugar and insulin levels.
In addition, a plant based diet has an abundance of antioxidants that minimize the oxidative stress responsible for premature aging. Deeply coloured fruits and veggies such as cranberries, blueberries, plums, blackberries yams, beets, broccoli, and carrots are particularly rich sources of anti-oxidants such as polyphenols. These miraculous compounds clean up the free radicals and positively affect cell-to-cell signaling, receptor sensitivity, inflammatory enzyme activity, and gene regulation.
The Acubalance Whole Food Diet
Whole foods are foods that are in the state that Mother Nature made them (the apple instead of apple juice), minimally processed and refined as little as possible before being eaten.
Eating carbs in their natural unprocessed state cause a slower and lower rise in blood sugar. Slow carbs include beans, peas, lentils, whole grains, vegetables, and most fruits. Eating slow carbs helps to minimize insulin resistance, regulate blood sugar, balance fertility hormones, and prevent gestational diabetes.
A rainbow of high-fibre, fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains. These foods are loaded with antioxidants and phytonutrients that counter inflammation (a common cause of infertility) and nourish your reproductive system.
Healthy fats combat cellular inflammation and improve hormonal sensitivity. Eat fats that are pressed naturally from whole-plant foods such as coconuts, nuts, seeds, avocado, and olives. In particular, eat foods containing essential fatty acids, including short-lived, deep sea fish such as salmon, herring and mackerel. Your glandular system uses essential fatty acids to produce hormones. If you are deficient, the body doesn’t have the building blocks to make the proper hormones. A sign that you may not have enough EFA’s in your system is if you have dry skin and hair.
Sea Vegetables and Dark Greens
Sea vegetables such as kelp, nori, and wakimi contain large amounts of minerals which are essential for endocrine health. You can eat these in a salad, with sushi, or even as dried strips right out of the package
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Reducing your caloric intake and staying at a healthy weight is one of the most potent anti-aging strategies and is key for fertility. A recent study showed that fertility improved and miscarriages and birth complications decreased when overweight women lost weight.
Strive for a body mass index (BMI) of 20-25 and a waist circumference (WC) of less than 35” for women and less than 40” for men. If you are overweight, losing even just 10 lbs. can greatly enhance your chances of getting pregnant.
• Difficulty concentrating
• Food cravings
• Disturbed sleep
• Frequent illness
• Abdominal weight gain
Stress hormones such as cortisol wreak havoc on the body and its systems, interfere with insulin levels, cause weight gain, create inflammation, and damage DNA. Chronic stress shuts down all non-essential systems and directly affects the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Ovary Axis (HPO) that regulates fertility hormones. As well, stress diverts the blood supply away from the ovaries and interferes with your body’s ability to respond to even balanced hormones.
Self-care, meditating, and mind-body programs can help reduce distress and promote deep relaxation.
Meditating, connecting to what’s important to you, and expressing gratitude all help to counter stress and promote a greater sense of wellbeing. This allows your body to relax and naturally rebalance your reproductive hormones.
Nurture Your Social Network
Humans are social beings, and studies have shown that having a supportive community of family and friends is the most important determinant of mental and physical health. This is particularly important for women who are feeling anxious and isolated. Studies have described a “tend and befriend” response to stress in women where women seem to deal with stressful situations by bonding and nurturing each other.
Currently western medicine has no treatment for high FSH. But there is hope.