Why Do I Have High FSH?
In Chinese medicine, the primary goal for restoring fertile health is to balance the yin and yang of the body.
The Yin of Fertility
In respect to your fertility, the yin aspect includes blood, fluids and substance. Yin is the essence, the material that makes up your DNA, your follicles, and your uterine lining. Yin is nourishing and cooling. Yin moisturizes the body.
The follicular phase of your cycle is considered the yin phase, when substances are building.
The Yang of Fertility
While the yang aspect includes function, warmth and energy. The yang energy stimulates ovulation, it sets into motion the cascade of events that follow ovulation and fertilization.
The yang energy is what moves the substance and provides the intelligence to the substance to complete its biological function. It’s the yang energy the stimulates the division of cells in the embryo, while the fluid and substance of the cells are yin.
The luteal phase is considered the yang phase of your cycle, when the action of fertilization and ovulation happens.
The Yin and Yang of Aging
Naturally as we age, our yin energy becomes depleted. This, of course, is slowed or accelerated based on several factors, like lifestyle, nutrition and genetics. Burning the candle at both ends, sleep deprivation, poor nutrition and stress can more rapidly deplete your yin and yang.
When your yin is depleted, it throws off the balance of your reproductive energy and in turn, also depletes the yang energy because the yang energy has to work that much harder to try to build more yin.
Over-exertion and exhaustion can also deplete the yang energy. Poor nutrition and certain foods do, as well.
When it comes to your fertility, you may lean toward a yin deficient imbalance if you have symptoms of dryness and heat.
If you lean toward a yang deficient imbalance, you may show more symptoms of fatigue, coldness, and stagnation.
More often than not, there are elements of both, especially with fertility issues.
6 fertile health imbalances that lead to high FSH according to Chinese Medicine:
1) Yin deficiency causing heat
Remember yin energy cools the body, so if it is deficient, the body is not properly cooled and heat will cause problems. In this case, it is the heat that overstimulates the release of FSH from the pituitary glands.
The excess FSH causes the ovaries to work harder, mature and release eggs too soon. Some signs that you may be yin deficient include a shortened follicular phase, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, night sweats, and feeling flush.
2) Blood deficiency
Blood deficiency is a type of yin deficiency but affects just the blood rather than all the fluids of the body. Blood deficiency may not include signs of heat.
This may be your pattern if you’re underweight, over-exercising or lacking enough nutrition. If you lose your appetite with stress or can’t digest well, or you’re vegetarian, you're more likely prone to this imbalance.
When there’s a lack of blood, and not just blood, but life-giving nutrient rich blood, then the ovaries aren’t receiving the nutrients they need to optimally function. The ovaries are sluggish and so the body tries to compensate by releasing more FSH.
Signs of this imbalance include a thin lining, light periods, dry skin, hair and eyes, a pale complexion, and poor memory.
3.) Liver qi stagnation
Liver qi stagnation occurs when stress and emotions cause energy blocks. This may be you if you experience frequent anxiety, irritability, and/or impatience. Your hormones may be out of whack. You may get get many PMS symptoms.
Stress and emotions block the flow of life force energy, or qi. It’s not that you shouldn’t have any emotions, but when they’re not released or dealt with in a healthy way, they cause problems. The backed up energy also causes heat. It’s kind of like tires spinning in place. The heat in the system stimulates the pituitary gland to release excessive amounts of FSH.
4.) Liver fire
This imbalance is very similar to Liver qi stagnation, but taken to the next level. Heat is created by the blockage of energy flow and turns into fire.
With this pattern, you may experience the same symptoms, but more severely. You may also get headaches, feel hot especially in the top of your body and feel easily irritable. You may have excessive menstrual bleeding.
Again, the heat overstimulates the pituitary gland causing excessive release of FSH.
5.) Blood stasis
Another imbalance that leads to high FSH is when the blood flow is blocked and becomes static.
When old blood is surrounding your ovaries, they can’t function well. They’re not receiving the fresh nutrients and hormones they need. They become sluggish, which in turn signals the pituitary to release more FSH.
With this imbalance, you’ll see a lot of clots in your menstrual flow and the color is dark. You may have fibroids, endometriosis or adhesions. You may have painful periods or irregular spotting.
6.) Yang deficiency
Without enough yang energy, your ovaries aren’t functioning efficiently. Because of a lack of warmth, the yin fluids can become excessive and turn into residual buildup, which also blocks the function of the ovaries. This may lead to ovarian cysts, as in PCOS.
Because the ovaries are less responsive, the pituitary releases more FSH.
Signs you may be yang deficient include feeling cold, delayed menstruation, elevated FSH, not ovulating at all, PCOS, and water retention.
How to regain your fertile health balance:
With improving fertility, the primary goal is to bring your yin and yang energy into balance by making sure both are sufficiently supported and working in harmony. The liver energy should flow smoothly and blood should circulate freely throughout your body and to your ovaries.