This is the first time I've seen depression listed as cause of high FSH.

This is the first time I've seen depression listed as cause of high FSH.

BabyDance
BabyDance

December 5th, 2011, 3:16 pm #1

Possible causes of high FSH

Premature ovarian failure (POF).
Autoimmune disorders, for example, hypothyroidism, adrenal gland impairment or lactation.
Long term stress or depression.
Chromosomal defects.
Discontinuing the use of oral contraceptives.
Damage from pelvic surgery, abortion, miscarriage or pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
Chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
Excessive smoking and/or drinking.

Or even stress for that matter.... I'm convinced mine is caused by stress and depression, which led to some drinking, to be honest... under control now, but it was out of control for years with a tough upbringing.. found this as I was researching symptoms of high fsh on a tcm site. Stress and depression are not talked about too often as causes. IMHO, this needs to be discussed much further, and docs need to advise women that are on antidepressants that this can be a factor in high fsh. Every doc I've seen denies this, and it's such a complex thing to study, but I'm positive this is a major factor for me. I come from a long line of fertile women. My mother had her fourth child at 39 and was a heavy heavy smoker, but I'm the only one of my four sisters who had the worst depression, I was the only one who was still in high school and had to move in with my father I never lived with when my mother died, I had it the worst in many ways (my family acknowledges). Led to long history of depression, along with many other factors why it was worse for me... I recently went back on medication, and it is listed that it can interfere with ovulation... why not long history of taking these medications causing POF? If birth control can, why not antidepressants. I feel it will never truly be studied well, and it's upsetting. Birth control is also know to cause POF, and they don't educate women enough. Ok, rant over.
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Laura
Laura

December 5th, 2011, 4:28 pm #2

I'm convinced my BCP destroyed my ovaries after only 6 months. I was on Levora/Levlen for 8 years. I went off it when TTC DS and got pg in 1 month. 6 mo after delivery, I went back on Levora, but had major mood swings and no desire to BD, so my OB switched me to Microgestin/Loestrin. THAT NEXT MONTH my AF was really really heavy (tampons would leak after ~2 hrs) and lasted a full 7 days. AF on Levora lasted ~5 days with moderate bleeding. I called the advice nurse and she said not a problem until tampon + pad were soaked in 1 hr. well, that never happened so I stayed on microgestin for 6 months, during which it killed my breastmilk supply and ALL of my menopausal symptoms set in. How is it possible for me to have hot flashes while I'm on BCP? Oh, it meant my ovaries were dying. But how was I supposed to know? Nurses/OB kept saying "oh, it's just because you've stopped breastfeeding" or "oh, moms are just tired". When I finally decided enough was enough and I went off Microgestin, all of a sudden I have no more estrogen because I have no more eggs.
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Sara Q
Sara Q

December 5th, 2011, 5:37 pm #3

Possible causes of high FSH

Premature ovarian failure (POF).
Autoimmune disorders, for example, hypothyroidism, adrenal gland impairment or lactation.
Long term stress or depression.
Chromosomal defects.
Discontinuing the use of oral contraceptives.
Damage from pelvic surgery, abortion, miscarriage or pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
Chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
Excessive smoking and/or drinking.

Or even stress for that matter.... I'm convinced mine is caused by stress and depression, which led to some drinking, to be honest... under control now, but it was out of control for years with a tough upbringing.. found this as I was researching symptoms of high fsh on a tcm site. Stress and depression are not talked about too often as causes. IMHO, this needs to be discussed much further, and docs need to advise women that are on antidepressants that this can be a factor in high fsh. Every doc I've seen denies this, and it's such a complex thing to study, but I'm positive this is a major factor for me. I come from a long line of fertile women. My mother had her fourth child at 39 and was a heavy heavy smoker, but I'm the only one of my four sisters who had the worst depression, I was the only one who was still in high school and had to move in with my father I never lived with when my mother died, I had it the worst in many ways (my family acknowledges). Led to long history of depression, along with many other factors why it was worse for me... I recently went back on medication, and it is listed that it can interfere with ovulation... why not long history of taking these medications causing POF? If birth control can, why not antidepressants. I feel it will never truly be studied well, and it's upsetting. Birth control is also know to cause POF, and they don't educate women enough. Ok, rant over.
I've seen this list before as well, although you are right, RE's don't usually list these as potential causes. I think depression and/or chronic stress can TOTALLY be linked to high FSH or DOR, but I actually think it's the affect of the stress and/or depression itself on the body, not the antidepressants. (And that's also what my TCM doctor in China thinks as well.) Just wanted to put that out there....
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Erin
Erin

December 5th, 2011, 6:16 pm #4

Possible causes of high FSH

Premature ovarian failure (POF).
Autoimmune disorders, for example, hypothyroidism, adrenal gland impairment or lactation.
Long term stress or depression.
Chromosomal defects.
Discontinuing the use of oral contraceptives.
Damage from pelvic surgery, abortion, miscarriage or pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
Chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
Excessive smoking and/or drinking.

Or even stress for that matter.... I'm convinced mine is caused by stress and depression, which led to some drinking, to be honest... under control now, but it was out of control for years with a tough upbringing.. found this as I was researching symptoms of high fsh on a tcm site. Stress and depression are not talked about too often as causes. IMHO, this needs to be discussed much further, and docs need to advise women that are on antidepressants that this can be a factor in high fsh. Every doc I've seen denies this, and it's such a complex thing to study, but I'm positive this is a major factor for me. I come from a long line of fertile women. My mother had her fourth child at 39 and was a heavy heavy smoker, but I'm the only one of my four sisters who had the worst depression, I was the only one who was still in high school and had to move in with my father I never lived with when my mother died, I had it the worst in many ways (my family acknowledges). Led to long history of depression, along with many other factors why it was worse for me... I recently went back on medication, and it is listed that it can interfere with ovulation... why not long history of taking these medications causing POF? If birth control can, why not antidepressants. I feel it will never truly be studied well, and it's upsetting. Birth control is also know to cause POF, and they don't educate women enough. Ok, rant over.
I don't know whether or not it's true that severe stress and depressions causes (or perhaps just doesn't help) POF, but if it does, I think the reasoning would be the same as it is as for why some believe stress and depression make auto-immune conditions worse- many believe it's due to essentially over-active "fight or flight" response that essentially activates some hormones that can be damaging (this is a simplified explanation for something I don't think is fully understood). But I think that if depression does negatively affect DOR/POF, antidepressants would HELP, not harm. They (along with therapy and meditation) work to treat these issues, and I can't imagine how they would cause or make POF worse, but I can see how they would make help the situation, if they have any affect at all. Antidepressants work VERY differently than BCPs, so I would be careful not to put the two in the same category. It is so hard, and I know we all want answers but many people really need antidepressants, and I really don't want anyone to think that taking them may worsen/cause POF as medically, I don't see how that would be the case.
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BabyDance.
BabyDance.

December 5th, 2011, 6:23 pm #5

I wasn't thinking of it that way, but I do think it should be studied. In theory, then, the antidepressants should help, but it does say "interferes with ovulation" as a side effect, so I am curious if it can, itself, cause POF. IMHO, it needs to be studied, but I don't think it ever will.
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Joined: September 29th, 2010, 9:51 pm

December 5th, 2011, 6:46 pm #6

I don't know whether or not it's true that severe stress and depressions causes (or perhaps just doesn't help) POF, but if it does, I think the reasoning would be the same as it is as for why some believe stress and depression make auto-immune conditions worse- many believe it's due to essentially over-active "fight or flight" response that essentially activates some hormones that can be damaging (this is a simplified explanation for something I don't think is fully understood). But I think that if depression does negatively affect DOR/POF, antidepressants would HELP, not harm. They (along with therapy and meditation) work to treat these issues, and I can't imagine how they would cause or make POF worse, but I can see how they would make help the situation, if they have any affect at all. Antidepressants work VERY differently than BCPs, so I would be careful not to put the two in the same category. It is so hard, and I know we all want answers but many people really need antidepressants, and I really don't want anyone to think that taking them may worsen/cause POF as medically, I don't see how that would be the case.
I've read many times that stress/body's system to take care of fight/flight can be a cause of POF. Even Dr. Lee discusses it in his perimenopause book. The adrenal glands, cortisol etc can be stressed and out of whack for a long time.
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Joined: June 9th, 2009, 5:21 pm

December 5th, 2011, 7:29 pm #7

Possible causes of high FSH

Premature ovarian failure (POF).
Autoimmune disorders, for example, hypothyroidism, adrenal gland impairment or lactation.
Long term stress or depression.
Chromosomal defects.
Discontinuing the use of oral contraceptives.
Damage from pelvic surgery, abortion, miscarriage or pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
Chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
Excessive smoking and/or drinking.

Or even stress for that matter.... I'm convinced mine is caused by stress and depression, which led to some drinking, to be honest... under control now, but it was out of control for years with a tough upbringing.. found this as I was researching symptoms of high fsh on a tcm site. Stress and depression are not talked about too often as causes. IMHO, this needs to be discussed much further, and docs need to advise women that are on antidepressants that this can be a factor in high fsh. Every doc I've seen denies this, and it's such a complex thing to study, but I'm positive this is a major factor for me. I come from a long line of fertile women. My mother had her fourth child at 39 and was a heavy heavy smoker, but I'm the only one of my four sisters who had the worst depression, I was the only one who was still in high school and had to move in with my father I never lived with when my mother died, I had it the worst in many ways (my family acknowledges). Led to long history of depression, along with many other factors why it was worse for me... I recently went back on medication, and it is listed that it can interfere with ovulation... why not long history of taking these medications causing POF? If birth control can, why not antidepressants. I feel it will never truly be studied well, and it's upsetting. Birth control is also know to cause POF, and they don't educate women enough. Ok, rant over.
If stress and depression were related to IF, how do so many women get pregnant in horrific war torn places like the Congo, Sudan, during the Serbian/Croatia war, etc? A lot of them are victims of systemic rape. It is such as problem in Africa they have specific orphanages for children born of war rape. How is the birth rate so high in places with such high stress, low quality of life? I guess maybe because the girls are so young when pg.
Me- 30
Day 3- FSH 10.4, E2 42; Day 10- 16.6; Possible endo, slight anti sperm antibodies
DH- 30, low Morph
TTC 23 Cycles
2 Cycles on Clomid- BFN
3 Cycles on Femara & IUI- BFN
Now- Natural plus antioxidants, Acu/Herbs till IVF when we're ready emotionally
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Anonymous
Anonymous

December 6th, 2011, 2:31 am #8

It's complex, but many of those women are very young, actually may eat healthier foods (if less), and often avoid medication. Long term family stress is brutal, and changes who kids are....and check in with those women 5-20 years after the rape or tumult.
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Antonialisa
Antonialisa

December 6th, 2011, 10:38 pm #9

Possible causes of high FSH

Premature ovarian failure (POF).
Autoimmune disorders, for example, hypothyroidism, adrenal gland impairment or lactation.
Long term stress or depression.
Chromosomal defects.
Discontinuing the use of oral contraceptives.
Damage from pelvic surgery, abortion, miscarriage or pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
Chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
Excessive smoking and/or drinking.

Or even stress for that matter.... I'm convinced mine is caused by stress and depression, which led to some drinking, to be honest... under control now, but it was out of control for years with a tough upbringing.. found this as I was researching symptoms of high fsh on a tcm site. Stress and depression are not talked about too often as causes. IMHO, this needs to be discussed much further, and docs need to advise women that are on antidepressants that this can be a factor in high fsh. Every doc I've seen denies this, and it's such a complex thing to study, but I'm positive this is a major factor for me. I come from a long line of fertile women. My mother had her fourth child at 39 and was a heavy heavy smoker, but I'm the only one of my four sisters who had the worst depression, I was the only one who was still in high school and had to move in with my father I never lived with when my mother died, I had it the worst in many ways (my family acknowledges). Led to long history of depression, along with many other factors why it was worse for me... I recently went back on medication, and it is listed that it can interfere with ovulation... why not long history of taking these medications causing POF? If birth control can, why not antidepressants. I feel it will never truly be studied well, and it's upsetting. Birth control is also know to cause POF, and they don't educate women enough. Ok, rant over.
BD, I really feel for you. I also had a crap childhood (but not as hard as yours) and it took me a long time to bounce back and get your sh-t togehter and find someone decent and get up the urge to have babies, by which time...well you know the story. This leads to more stress and depression.

I totally believe that depression and serious stress can affect fertility. I've heard that when women are depressed or traumatized, their periods can stop. I also noticed (though monitoring including regular blood tests) that when I'm completely a mess, my body doesn't manufacture estrogen very well. My theory is that the glands are already overtaxed creating cortisone and adrenaline and other fight or flight stress hormones so they scale back other functions.

I agree with the earlier writer that anti-depressants probably wouldn't cause POF, even if they keep you from ovulating when you are on them. YOu could easily check through monitoring if you are ovulating when on them, right? (I know for example that too much Advil causes LUFS - where you "ovulate" except that the egg doesn't release from the follicle so there is no chance of it meeting sperm).

I also believe that there is potential to bounce back from stress-related POF - if you have enough eggs left. When the body starts functioning normally again, i.e. producing estrogen and other hormones as required, then women can start ovulating again, even after diagnoses of POF. In my own case, I was depressed and stressed to the max when began ttcing over 2 years ago. My mood really stabilized earlier this year, and once I started on Check's estinyl therapy, I started having a much higher antral follicle count (from about 2 total to about 8-10). I can't isolate either of check's therapy and the lifting depression on the AFC because I was not monitoring closely before, but in my heart I think it was both. Also, the left completely dead ovary is doing amazing lately - producing 5 follicles on average per month after zero - yes, zero for a time.

All this to say, I am personally convinced that depression/stress/mood can be a lynchpin in tough borderline cases. What I mean is, I clearly have a very diminished reserve, not a fantastic reserve, but that every month of acute stress is severely detrimental to the ttc efforts of the dwindling reserve I have left. This suggests that stress, depression etc should be treated aggressively in women with diminished reserves, with medication and therapy or whatever works.

I am struggling again lately. I'm starting to close my office door and cry on my desk again. This entire thread reminds me that I need to address this urgently. Hope I haven't gone on too long or said too much, but this issue is so very, very important.

BD, I hope you are able to take care of yourself in the best possible way. You deserve happiness. I miss you from the boards. Antonialisa xoxoxo
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