Q&A: What do FSH levels signify?
I have been told that I have an FSH of 12.2, and that my chances of conceiving are around 5 percent. Also if I do conceive, apparently my chances of having a miscarriage are around 70 percent. I am 37 years old.
I was wondering—given the fluctuation of some people's FSH—what are my chances? I have been told by my OB-GYN that I should seek the advice of a fertility specialist. I can't help but hope that if I just relax, nature will be on my side.
Elevations in FSH are an indication of decreased ovarian reserve (DOR). Women with DOR do have a lower chance for pregnancy, an increased risk for miscarriage, and an increase in the risk for Down syndrome. The success rate of fertility treatments, including in-vitro fertilization (IVF), is lower in women with DOR.
There is no accurate means for determining your overall chance for having a healthy live born baby. The 5 percent number given by your doctor is not based on any data but rather just his best guess. FSH levels do fluctuate from month to month but your prognosis is best estimated by your highest level. In other words, your ovarian reserve is not “better” on the months that your FSH is lower.
There is no evidence to support stress as a cause for decreased ovarian reserve or that relaxation techniques will lower FSH or improve your ovarian reserve. Your doctor’s advice to see a fertility specialist is sound. Ovarian reserve will only worsen with time so the time to think about treatment is sooner rather than later.