A Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) blood test determines the amount of FSH in your circulation. FSH is a hormone generated by the pituitary gland, a tiny gland located near the base of the brain.
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Here’s what you should know about the FSH blood test:
Female Reproductive System: In women, FSH is responsible for encouraging the growth and maturity of ovarian follicles, which are small sacs in the ovaries that carry eggs. It also stimulates the release of an egg during ovulation. FSH levels fluctuate throughout the menstrual cycle, with the highest levels occurring right before ovulation.
Male Reproductive System: FSH is involved in the generation of sperm within the testes in males. It stimulates the Sertoli cells in the testes, which play an important role in sperm production.
Assessing Reproductive Function: Both men and women regularly utilise the FSH blood test to assess reproductive function. Infertility, irregular menstrual cycles, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), and menopause can all be attributed to abnormal FSH levels.
Ovarian Reserve and Menopause: Elevated FSH levels in women can be an indicator of impaired ovarian reserve, which is a decrease in the number and quality of eggs in the ovaries. This could be an indication of impending menopause.
Puberty and Delayed Development: The FSH test can be used to assess pubertal development in children and teenagers. FSH levels that are too high or too low may suggest problems with puberty or reproductive development.
*This test should not be performed on women using contraception pills or implants in the 6 weeks preceding the test. The interval can be even greater for those women who have had a Depot injection. Please contact the clinic for more information.
*A normal test does not exclude menopause and you may wish to consider further tests at 4 to 6 weeks.