Improve FSH, Fertility and Hormone Levels Naturally
Hormonal conditions like POF (premature ovarian failure) and high FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) indicate significant challenges to a woman’s fertility. FSH is a hormone that helps follicles to mature and to produce eggs capable of conception. The amount of FSH varies throughout the menstrual cycle and is highest just before a woman ovulates, or releases an egg.
POF, a cessation of the ovary’s normal function, has been estimated to occur in one in every 100 women between the ages of 30 and 39. (Woad et al., 2006) Some women with POF stop menstruating, while others may have short cycles with early or no ovulation. Some women’s periods stop for several months and they may experience other menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes or decreased lubrication. Symptoms may occur over one to two months or may set in gradually over several years.
Housed within a well-protected cavity of the sphenoid bone in the center of the skull, the pituitary is considered the “master gland” of female reproduction. Successful reproductive activity and hormone levels depend on a medically-recognized communication loop between the ovaries (in the pelvis) and the pituitary and hypothalamus glands (in the center of the head). However, the exact mechanism of that intricate communication loop remains a mystery. The loop, called the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis, is largely responsible for whether or not a woman can create an egg capable of conception.
When we first began treating infertile women with our manual physical therapy, the Wurn Technique®, we discovered that we could help the mechanics of sperm meeting egg by decreasing the ‘mechanical’ blocks to that process (adhesions, blocked fallopian tubes, mechanical problems with the cervix, endometriosis).
We did not think we could treat hormonal conditions like high FSH and premature ovarian failure, or “old eggs” (a phrase we dislike and often find inaccurate). For this reason, we regularly turned down applicants diagnosed with hormonal factors but no mechanical problems.
Our patients helped us realize that we could assist more conditions than we had originally thought when a woman diagnosed “menopausal” (we were treating her adhesions) became pregnant naturally right after therapy. This woman had been refused IVF three times due to very high FSH levels. After one week of therapy at Clear Passage, she had a successful natural pregnancy and live birth, then became pregnant naturally again two years later and delivered her second child. Subsequent clinical trials revealed that this was not a fluke, as 15 of 16 women with high FSH we then treated became pregnant or showed FSH improvement (most quite significant), a month after therapy.
As physical therapists, our job is to look at the physical mechanisms that confront us. We believe in a “whole body approach” that addresses a patient’s problem area in relation to its neighboring structures. We initially thought that we could not change hormone levels because we assumed that the communication loop was blood-born and, thus, out of our scope of expertise. Once again, our patients and medical advisors helped us find a new path to success, despite the prior assumptions of modern medicine.
We continue to see success in this area as more and more women we treat with high FSH or POF become pregnant and deliver healthy full-term babies — despite having high or menopausal FSH levels before therapy.
We believe this success is due to our work at the major attachments of the ovaries and dural tissues that surround the pituitary gland. The dura is a fascial sweater that surrounds the spinal cord, from the bottom of the tailbone at the coccyx to the base of the skull. From there, it enters the skull through a silver dollar-sized hole to surround the brain and all the tissues within it. This includes the sphenoid bone, which houses the pituitary-hypothalamus. Sheaths of the dura also surround and infuse with the pituitary itself.
During the course of therapy, we use a whole body approach, addressing the spinal cord, dura and all of their attachments, from head to tailbone. Any dysfunction in this system, which is responsible for a countless number of activities, can have profound effects on various areas of the body.
We knew that the tissues within the skull (including the pituitary) should react to adhesive pulls similarly to other tissues in the body. We found that when we treated the dura and its attachments all the way into the brain, we saw dramatic improvements in FSH levels and numerous full-term pregnancies in women diagnosed hormonally infertile.
Following the discovery described above, at the urging of research gynecologist Richard King, M.D., we began treating women with diagnoses of high FSH and POF. We gathered data by tracking changes in FSH levels for these women before and after therapy. These pilot studies returned some of our highest success rates, with significant decreases in FSH levels (or pregnancies) in well over 80% of the pilot studies we conducted.
We measured every woman who reported high FSH values (greater than 10) before treatment and followed up with post-treatment results. In the 16 pilot cases, 6 reported a natural pregnancy before completing a post-therapy blood test, including one woman who came to us at age 44 with an FSH of 33. Of the remaining 10 women who completed a post-therapy blood test, nine of them reported decreased FSH after therapy. The majority of the decreases were significant, with an average of eight points in improvement. Thus, we saw improvement in 15 of 16 consecutive women we treated with documented high FSH levels.
The successes we have seen decreasing FSH levels for women reporting high FSH are more than promising. The fact that most of these cases showed a significant drop in FSH levels after therapy is very encouraging. Because our results in this area have been overwhelmingly positive, we now accept women with diagnoses that include premature ovarian failure, amenorrhea (no menstrual cycle) and high FSH levels.
By Dr. Richard King, Medical Doctor, Senior Research Advisor, Clear Passage Physical Therapy - Gainesville, Florida Area