Poor Ovarian Reserve
Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) produced by the pituitary gland, and is used by the body to stimulate eggs to grow and develop within the ovaries. A woman’s FSH level is a measure of how receptive the ovaries are to being stimulated. The more receptive the ovaries are, the less FSH is required to stimulate normal follicular growth. As the ability of the ovaries to stimulate decreases, the more FSH is needed to stimulate the eggs and follicles to grow. Thus, elevated levels of serum FSH indicate a decreased ability on the part of the eggs and follicles to respond to stimulation.
Within the ovary, there are three types of follicles, primordial, antral, and mature. Antral follicles, also called resting follicles, are small follicles (about 2-8 mm in diameter). These resting follicles can be seen, measured, and counted using vaginal ultrasound. Many reproductive specialists consider a woman’s antral follicle count to be the best predictor of ovarian reserve and the leading indicator of a woman’s chances for pregnancy with in vitro fertilization.
Unlike Antral follicles, however, which can be seen and counted, Primordial follicles are microscopic. If Antral follicles are “resting follicles,” then Primordial follicles are in a state of deep sleep. They are completely dormant and cannot be seen, but each Primordial follicle contains an immature egg that has the potential to become activated and develop in the future. By stimulating blood flow to these follicles with acupuncture, their health can be improved and their maturation can be facilitated.
Clinical research confirms that Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can successfully increase blood flow to the entire pelvic region, including the reproductive organs. By enhancing blood flow to the ovaries through the practice of Chinese Medicine, egg quality can improve, even in women with low ovarian reserve, and we frequently see FSH levels decrease as a result of consistent treatment
If you have been diagnosed with poor ovarian reserve, advanced maternal age, elevated FSH or premature ovarian failure, or if you have had to cancel an IVF cycle due to poor response to stimulation, acupuncture and Chinese Medicine may offer a safe, natural, and effective solution to help you conceive. Call to schedule a consultation with one of our reproductive specialists to find out if acupuncture can make a difference for you.