You've heard of follicle stimulating hormone, but aren't sure if, how, or why it can help you. More than 7 million women in the U.S. experience some form of infertility, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If you're one of these women who is struggling to conceive, you have options—and plenty of them. Depending on what your fertility issue is, a specialist can give you the scoop on the treatments that fit your needs. When ovulation is an issue, your doctor may recommend follicle stimulating hormone. Before starting the treatment, check out the answers to a few top questions.
Is FSH Man-Made or Natural?
Well, it's kind of both. The woman's body naturally produces FSH (more specifically, it's the pituitary gland that makes the hormone). FSH's job is make sure that you have follicles (those little sacs that hold your eggs) ready and working. Without it, egg development and ovulation doesn't happen as it should. That said, when your doc prescribes follicle stimulating hormone, it's a man-made version of the real deal. You won't be getting injections of someone else's hormone. Instead, you'll be getting an artificially made treatment.
Will FSH Increase the Likelihood of Having Twins?
FSH treatment, like other fertility treatments, may up your chances for having multiples. That said, taking this hormone won't automatically ensure that you get pregnant with more than one child at a time. Every woman is different, and every pregnancy is different. When it comes down to it, you'll have a greater chance of having multiples than a woman who isn't undergoing any fertility treatment at all, but there's absolutely no guarantee.
Is FSH Used With Other Fertility Treatments?
Yes. It's used to stimulate the development of mature follicles and ovulation. Instead of just changing it and hoping that you'll get pregnant if your follicles are stimulated, it's likely that your specialist will use this course of treatment as part of IVF or the intrauterine insemination process.
Does a Doctor Need to Prescribe or Give FSH Injections?
Even though FSH is a hormone that most women have, the injectable version must be given under a doctor's supervision. Your fertility specialist needs to determine the correct dosage and monitor your progress.
Struggling with fertility issues isn't something that any woman wants to deal with. Maybe you've spent years trying not to get pregnant, only to find out that when you want to—you can't. Okay, so "can't" is a strong word here. With the help of a fertility specialist (and modern medicine) it's entirely possible to get pregnant and have the baby that you're hoping for. Follicle stimulating hormone is part of a protocol that can help those baby dreams come true.
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