Q. I’m in my early 30s, and my doctor told me my FSH level is high. Does that mean I won’t be able to get pregnant?
A. FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) level is mostly an indication of the reserve of eggs in the ovaries; a lower level means more eggs, a higher level means fewer. But it’s not just the number of eggs that’s important to achieve a pregnancy, but also the quality of those eggs. Typically a woman in her early 30s would have good-quality eggs, even if her FSH level was somewhat high, and she should be able to achieve a pregnancy with or without treatment. By the late 30s or early 40s, though, an elevated FSH means a combination of fewer and lower quality eggs, and that can make getting pregnant much more difficult. The real message of an elevated FSH level in a younger woman would be not to wait too long before attempting to get pregnant, as it will only get more difficult as time goes on. We would also recommend getting specialty care from a reproductive endocrinologist to make sure you’re getting the proper attention.