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Understanding High FSH And Diminished Ovarian Reserve

by Jennifer

Understanding High FSH Levels & Clomid

You say:

Birth Control Use May Be The Untold Cause Of Low Ovarian Reserve

Long use of birth control pill suppresses ovulation. When the ovaries have been suppressed for a long period of time, they automatically do not respond well to stimulation, they become lazy.

It is as if they are in a dormant state and have a hard time in re-starting a natural cycle. And the sad news is that the use of fertility drugs like Clomid can further decrease ovarian function.

Can you explain this further? I've done 4 cycles of Clomid, 3 of which produced NO follicles and no rise in estrogen until about 1.5 weeks after my last Clomid dose. I'm convinced Clomid and I are not friends but I don't know why.

I'm 33 years old: FSH on day 3 as high as 15 but I average around 10.

Also, once during a LONG cycle, I had my FSH tested around day 20 (of what turned into a 45 day cycle) and the FSH was 42 and Estrogen was less than 19. Is this my highest FSH? 42? Or because it wasn't on day 3, is it kinda unimportant? Or is it relevant because my E2 was also low along with it?


When a woman is taking birth control pill her ovaries are not functioning because the production of female hormones is replaced by the pill. The administration of synthetic hormones prevents ovulation, thus preventing fertilization and pregnancy. If a women is on the pill for many years, she will not be able to ovulate during that time. The menses are triggered by chemical means through the birth control pill. This is called anovulatory bleeding. In some rare cases, a woman can ovulate while on birth control pill and still get pregnant. This will be a very rare case.

When a woman stops birth control pill in order to get pregnant, she may need more time. Of course there are woman who get pregnant as soon as stopping the pill, but others really struggle.
It will take more time to resume regular ovulation because, the ovaries were not working for some time and need time to begin again hormonal production.

According to the Journal of The American Medical Association: "pill users had a notably lower monthly percentage of conceptions for the first three months and somewhat lower percentage from four to ten months. At least 15 months of unsuccessful trials might be a more appropriate working definition of infertility for previous pill users rather than the 12-month interval generally accepted for this purpose."(JAMA 1982;247:629-632)

This tells you that a woman who has been on birth control pill may have decreased fertility and will need more time to conceive. If she cannot conceive within 15 months, she will be put on fertility drugs like Clomid that stimulates the ovaries to ovulate. So, Clomid and birth control pill do opposites things within the body. One suppresses and the other one stimulates ovulation.

Clomid works by lowering lowers estrogen levels and triggers the release of Follicle
Stimulating Hormone (FSH) from the pituitary gland. This stimulates ovulation.
Clomid can have side effects like hot flashes, visual disturbances, abdominal discomfort, ovarian enlargements or ovarian cysts, abnormal uterine bleeding, nausea/vomiting, hair loss, and ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome. Having repeated cycles of Clomid should be evaluated by a medical doctor as the risk is hyper-stimulation of the ovaries. The side effects of Clomid are many, but this one occurs in less than 0.1 % of patients. Also, Clomid can cause multiple ovulation and increased risk of conceiving multiples.

The amount of FSH you produce at the beginning of a cycle is one indicator of how hard your pituitary gland is working to stimulate your ovaries. An FSH level under 10 means your ovaries are producing eggs easily. An FSH level higher than 10 means your pituitary gland is releasing more FSH because your ovaries are having some trouble producing eggs. Clomid stimulates FSH levels, so you can see how there is a connection between taking Clomid and then having high FSH. The effects of Clomid stay months after coming off of this drug.

Also, it is important to point out that FSH levels vary from month to month and, as you mentioned, the time of your cycle when the test is done will make a huge difference. It's important to look at this test more as an indication of having high FSH levels and not worry too much about the actual numbers.
More and more doctors are now prescribing the AMH test, which does is independent from the time of the month and gives a more accurate information on the state of the egg reserve.

High FSH levels suggest a diminished ovarian reserve. From a medical point of view, this means that there will be a poor response to fertility treatments. It does not mean you will not be able to get pregnant naturally. In fact, many women with poor ovarian reserve do get pregnant naturally.

If you want to follow a more natural approach to low ovarian reserve and high FSH, I would recommend making sure you release stress and follow a very good diet.
Also, many women find that doing a fertility cleanse after having taken fertility drugs helps balance the hormones naturally. This step will help you since you seem to be sensitive to Clomid. By helping your hormonal balance naturally, your body will be able to produce the right hormones in the right amount.

Make sure to eat nutrients that support your ovaries like maca toot, royal jelly, tribulus terrestris, ultragreens, like Spirulina, Chlorella, wheat-grass, alfalfa and barley grass.

Supplementing with anti-oxidants is also very beneficial when it comes to helping your body making healthy eggs.
Herbal remedies like vitex agnus castus also play a very important role in lowering high FSH levels.
This can be done naturally within at least 90-120 days. This is the time your body needs to develop new follicles, which will produce mature eggs ready for fertilization.

Egg Health Fertility Kit with the fertility cleanse are a good way to improve poor ovarian reserve naturally, without side effects.

Fertility Blessings!

Comments for Understanding High FSH And Diminished Ovarian Reserve

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Vitex For High FSH
by: Martha

I have read about taking Vitex for high FSH instead of Clomid because it has no side effects and it is all natural. How can Vitex work like a fertility drug and which remedy is the best one to get?


Vitex For High FSH
by: Maria Gioia Atzori

Hi Martha,

When it comes to taking Vitex to stimulate healthy ovulation and healthy egg production. Studies have proven that this herbal remedy not only is effective, but also very safe. It support ovulation by stimulating the pituitary gland to produce more luteinizing hormone (LH). As LH increases, FSH decreases. The result of this is a shift in the ratio of estrogen to progesterone, in favour of progesterone, which supports the corpus luteum, preventing miscarriages and treating short luteal phase, or luteal phase defect.

It is also has the ability to decrease high prolactin and help women resume regular ovulation patterns. This remedy is 100% natural, thus gentler in its action. Most women notice significant improvements after 3-4 months of usage. It is a well tolerated herb especially when taken as part of a synergistic formula like in FetileXX. This formula has been designed to strengthen the entire endocrine system to create hormonal balance and stimulate healthy ovulatory cycles to support conception.

Vitex should not be taken while taking fertility drugs, like Clomid or during any type of fertility treatment. It is safe during early pregnancy, but it should be discontinued as soon as a positive pregnancy test is noticed. Some women report increased menstrual flow while taking Vitex, which is an indication that the remedy is working. The dosage can be adjusted based on each individual situation.

It you are looking for an herbal remedy containing Vitex as part of a fertility formula, I strongly recommend FetileXX. This product has been on the market for a long period of time and is very popular among natural health practitioner because of its high potency and excellent manufacturing processes that ensure safety and quality control.

Fertility Blessings!

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Comments are posted only after approval. For medical related questions, please talk to your health care practitioner. I will not answer questions on conventional fertility medications, medical test results or other. If you are taking any prescription drugs for fertility, talk to your doctor. With this website my job is to educate and support you in learning more about natural therapies that can help boost your fertility and prepare for a healthy pregnancy. Please do not submit medical tests or results. If you have questions on your fertility or medical results talk to your doctor. Those questions will not be answered. I receive a lot of submissions, so I may not be able to answer all.

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