BONUS 198: Follicle-Stimulating Hormone 101

March 15, 2019

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Today’s bonus episode guest is Dr. Allison Rodgers. She is board certified in both Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility and has been practicing medicine since 2004. Dr. Rodgers currently practices at the Fertility Centers of Illinois. Her personal experiences with both secondary infertility and pregnancy loss have given her a unique insight into reproductive medicine in order to help you beat infertility.

Episode Sponsor:

Fertility Centers of Illinois

Dr. Rodgers begins by answering six listener questions. The full questions are read on the air, but here are brief summaries:

  • Kristin and her husband have male factor issues and have had no success with three IUI’s and two IVF cycles. She asks about answers, possible tests, and explanations.
  • Jessica is preparing for her first IVF, but takes Zoloft for anxiety. She asks if GABA is a safe alternative and also asks about tests for blood-clotting issues, since her mother had blood clots during pregnancy.
  • Meg has low AMH, short cycles, and early ovulation. She asks if she could still get pregnant naturally and if this means she will experience menopause before age 40.
  • Jamie and her husband are battling male factor infertility, and have been told they may have to do IVF with ICSI. She asks if they should pause and try to increase the sperm count and if there is any research to show that IMSI might help.
  • Doreen had an IVF cycle and the embryologist told her the eggs were “brownish.” She asks if that indicates poor quality and what she can do to improve her egg quality.
  • Giulianna’s husband has low morphology and has had surgery for a varicocele. She asks about the effect of this on their overall fertility.

Dr. Rodgers and Heather continue the episode by discussing everything you need to know about follicle-stimulating hormone:

  • Let’s start with a foundation. What is follicle-stimulating hormone, and where and how is it produced?
  • Broadly speaking, how does FSH impact both women and men?
  • Does FSH change throughout your cycle? If so, how and why?
  • Tell us about the normal range of FSH at different ages for both women and men.
  • Tell us about too much FSH in women:
    • What does this mean for a woman’s fertility?
    • What are the symptoms?
    • What are the causes?
    • What are the risk factors?
    • How is it diagnosed?
    • How is it treated (including any supplements)?
  • Tell us about too little FSH in women:
    • What does this mean for a woman’s fertility?
    • What are the symptoms?
    • What are the causes?
    • What are the risk factors?
    • How is it diagnosed?
    • How is it treated (including any supplements)?
  • Tell us about too much FSH in men:
    • What does this mean for a man’s fertility?
    • What are the symptoms?
    • What are the causes?
    • What are the risk factors?
    • How is it diagnosed?
    • How is it treated (including any supplements)?
  • Tell us about too little FSH in men:
    • What does this mean for a man’s fertility?
    • What are the symptoms?
    • What are the causes?
    • What are the risk factors?
    • How is it diagnosed?
    • How is it treated (including any supplements)?
  • Tell us about the use of FSH during an IVF cycle.
    • Why do doctors prescribe FSH during IVF cycles, and at what point during the cycles?
    • What are the different types of FSH an infertility patient might be prescribed, and at what doses? Please explain.
    • What are the possible side effects of prescription FSH? How long do these side effects last?
    • Is there an ideal FSH range for an embryo transfer? If so, why?
  • Is there any new, exciting research in the area of FSH and fertility?
  • Do you have any success stories you can share about patients who had FSH levels that were either too high or too low for their age?
  • Is there anything else you’d like to add?
  • What words of hope would you offer to listeners who’ve been worried about their FSH levels?

Have a question you want Dr. Rodgers to answer next time she’s on? Click here.

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