Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) Test measures the levels of follicle stimulating hormone in the blood.
Importance of FSH:
This hormone plays an important role in maintaining a healthy reproductive system in both men and women. Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland. It plays an important role in sexual development.
In women, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) helps in the growth of ovarian follicle and also stimulate the ovarian follicle to produce the female sex hormone, estrogen. Thus, this hormone plays an important role in menstruation, ovulation, and puberty.
In men, FSH stimulates the production of testosterone that is necessary for the production of sperms. Thus, FSH plays a major role in regulating the function of testes in men. This hormone plays an important role in puberty and fertility.
Why this test is performed?
This test is performed to assess the functions of reproductive organs, fertility issues, ovulation process, and function of the pituitary gland or hypothalamus.
In women, your doctor may ask you to perform this test if you have irregular or heavy menstrual periods, difficulty getting pregnant, or fertility issues to track the ovulation during the menstrual cycle or if you have menopause symptoms. In men, your doctor may ask to perform this test if you have a low sperm count, fertility issues, or signs of low testosterone levels such as decreased sex drive, low muscle mass, etc. You may be advised to undergo this test if you experience any symptoms of pituitary disorders. In children, especially teenagers, if the doctor suspects a too late or soon puberty, this test may be performed. This test may also be performed with other hormone tests such as progesterone, estrogen, testosterone, and luteinizing hormone.
The FSH test results are not diagnostic, but provides partial information regarding infertility and hence are considered along with other hormone test results such as luteinizing hormone (LH), estrogen, and/or testosterone to establish a diagnosis.
Medications that can alter the FSH levels are clomiphene, digoxin, cimetidine, phenothiazines, birth control pills, levodopa, and hormone treatments.
Inform your doctor if you are on any medications, have any allergies or underlying medical conditions before your FSH Test. Your doctor will give specific instructions depending on your condition on how to prepare for FSH Test.
No specific preparation is required for this test. Your doctor may advise you to stop taking certain medications such as birth control or other hormone pills for a few days before the test. Hence, inform your doctor about all the medications you take.
In women, the increased levels of FSH and luteinizing hormone (LH) may indicate a condition called primary ovarian failure, where the ovaries fail to perform. Many conditions such as autoimmune disorders, ovarian tumors, Turner syndrome (a genetic abnormality), polycystic ovary syndrome, menopause, adrenal diseases, thyroid disease, etc. may lead to primary ovarian failure. Women with underdeveloped ovaries and women undergoing chemotherapy and radiation therapy may also exhibit increased levels of FSH. Decreased levels of FSH may indicate a condition called secondary ovarian failure. This condition can be a problem with pituitary or hypothalamus glands. This fails to stimulate the ovaries and ovarian function, which may lead to ovulatory problems.
In men, the increased levels of FSH may indicate a condition called primary testicular failure. There are many causes for this condition such as autoimmune disorders, some cancers, Klinefelter syndrome (a genetic abnormality); viral infection such as mumps, trauma, etc. Men with underdeveloped testes and women undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy may also exhibit increased levels of FSH. Decreased levels of FSH may indicate a condition called secondary testicular failure. This condition is due to the problem with pituitary or hypothalamus glands. This fails to produce sufficient male sex hormone, testosterone affecting the development of male characteristics and fertility. Lack of sexual drive, fatigue, low muscle mass, and sexual dysfunction are common in men with low testosterone levels.
In children, the increased levels of FSH and LH indicate too early puberty. This condition is more in girls than boys. The causes of this condition are central nervous system tumors or infection or inflammation, brain surgery, trauma, brain injury, etc. In delayed puberty, the FSH and LH levels can be normal or lower than what is expected for a youth within their age range. There are many causes for this condition such as hormone deficiency, genetic abnormalities, ovarian or testicular failure, cancer, chronic infection, or an eating disorder, etc.
If you have higher or lower than normal levels of follicle stimulating hormone in the blood, consult your doctor for further instructions. Based on the test results, your doctor may advise you appropriate medical treatments, lifestyle modifications, or further diagnostic tests.
|MALE||All age groups||0.3 - 10 mIu/ml|
|FEMALE||All age groups||0 - 4mIu/ml (Before puberty) and 4.7 - 21.5mIu/ml (While menstruating)|