AMH (Anti-Mullerian Hormone)
AMH is produced directly by the ovarian follicles. AMH tests can be done on any day of a women’s cycle. AMH does not measure ovarian egg reserve but measures antral follicle count. Women with lower AMH have lower antral follicular counts and producer a lower number of oocytes. This can change, and improvement can be made with herbs and acupuncture to raise the AMH level. Siobhan has treated many women with low AMH levels with great success. Some womens’ AMH levels have risen considerably while on herbal treatment, some have even risen more than tenfold. Siobhan has many copies of test results showing AMH rising, for reference.
FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone)
FSH stimulates the ovaries to grow and mature the follicles that will release the eggs. Normal FSH levels should be below 12 min/ml. FSH is produced by the anterior pituitary gland and functioning to stimulate the ovaries. FSH stimulates the production of ovarian follicles and oestradiol. If the ovary responds poorly to FSH and the level of oestradiol does not rise sufficiently, the pituitary gland recognises this and secretes more FSH to further stimulate the ovary. Siobhán has helped many women lower their FSH with herbs, acupuncture and specific diet.
TCM Traditional Chinese Medicine view of FSH and AMH
Journey towards menopause, accompanying decline in ovarian reserve and egg quality is described as natural decline in kidney essence (jing yin +yang).
- If it is the case that kidney essence has declined FSH levels will also inevitably rise, due to greater stimulation required by the ovaries to produce follicles and AMH levels would continue to lower.
- Because it is not possible to reverse the effects of ageing, trying to lower FSH levels in such a situation or increase AMH levels would have little or no benefit. The egg quality and function of ovaries would remain poor. Reduced ovarian function is not however always due to ageing. The output of the pituitary gland is also not always reflective of the true functioning of the ovary and AMH level is not truly reflective of egg quality. While taking Chinese Herbs, Siobhan has seen AMH levels rise instead of fall which would be expected with a woman over 40.
- In TCM, FSH levels are simply seen as an indicator of how hard the ovaries need to be pushed in order to produce follicles. In TCM high FSH is a blood /qi deficiency or a blood /yin deficiency. In order to lower FSH the deficiencies need to be resolved. ( Men can also have a high FSH which can be treated successfully.)
Unfortunately there is nothing in western medicine to lower FSH levels and improve egg quality; TCM can prove successful in lowering FSH and helping women to conceive even with very low AMH levels (please read testimonials). The aim of treatment in reducing FSH levels is to improve the functioning and responsiveness of the ovaries. Chinese Medicine works by increasing blood supply to the developing follicles and by increasing the nutritional supply to eggs via fluids that surround and nourish it.
A woman’s eggs do not have an expiration date. They respond to their surroundings just as the rest of our body systems do. Ovaries and eggs respond negatively to poor diet, drugs, toxins and stress hormones but they also respond positively to healthy diet and a pure lifestyle. Individual prescribed natural plant herbs, acupuncture and a good specific diet can help develop eggs and sperm of good quality. Good quality eggs and sperm are important whether the couple are planning a natural conception or to support IVF/ICSI. In TCM it is the belief that if a woman has a healthy regular cycle, this is a good indicator of good fertility. Treatment is aimed at achieving a healthy regular menstrual cycle.