I am a 40-year-old woman with endometriosis, and my FSH reading has elevated after stopping birth control. Why?

Q. Is it normal for a woman to have elevated FSH levels after stopping birth control?

Answered by
Dr. Sameer Kumar
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Sep 02, 2022 and last reviewed on: May 18, 2023

Hello doctor,

I have endometriosis and was on Lupron for around eight months. I then took Natazia continuously for approximately 6.5 months. I had my FSH tested three months back, and it was 1.37 mIU/mL. I wanted to test my hormones off the birth control and stopped the Natazia for seven days. I had my FSH drawn yesterday, and it was 17.5 mIU/mL. I do not have any hot flashes or night sweats, and I am wondering why there is such a discrepancy between the two readings. My estradiol was also measured, and it was 77 pg/ml. I am a 40-year-old woman and weigh around 118 lbs. My height is 62 inches.



Welcome to icliniq.com.

As you mentioned that you stopped your birth control the last month, so ideally, any reading before the birth control stopping date should have been lower than 5 IU/mL, indicating that follicles are not developing. However, after stopping birth control, one would get her withdrawal bleed in the next seven days, and then follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) would start rising naturally following the natural course of the menstrual cycle, and hence the values of FSH indicate the proliferative stage of your fresh menstrual cycle indicating that follicles are developing. It is not perimenopause as of now; however, to establish menopause, you would need to get LH (luteinizing hormone) and AMH (anti-mullerian hormone) levels as well.

Hello doctor,

Is the value of 17.5 mIU/mL on the high side for FSH seven days after the last active pill?



Welcome back to iclinq.com.

I am mentioning the normal FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) levels in various phases of the menstrual cycle for a menstruating woman.

Follicular phase 1–9 IU/L.

Midcycle phase 6–26 IU/L.

Luteal phase 1–9 IU/L.

So a value of 17 IU/L for days 7 to 10 is fine. I just want to know whether you had withdrawal bleeding after stopping the birth control or not.

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