Follicle-stimulating Hormone (FSH) Blood Test
The Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) Blood Test measures FSH levels to screen for issues with fertility, reproductive organs, or pituitary function.
What is the purpose of this test?
Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is associated with reproduction and the development of reproductive organs in women (eggs) and men (sperm). FSH is made by a pea-sized gland found at the base of the brain, commonly known as the pituitary gland. Regulation of FSH production is an intricate system comprised of the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and the hormones produced by the reproductive organs (ovaries or testicles). The hypothalamus releases gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), which provokes the pituitary to release FSH and luteinizing hormone (LH), another hormone related to reproduction. Order this Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) Blood Test to measure FSH levels and help screen for issues with fertility, reproductive organs, or pituitary function.
What causes abnormal FSH levels?
Several health conditions may cause a malfunction of the hypothalamus, pituitary, or reproductive organs, which can lead to abnormal production of FSH, resulting in various conditions, such as infertility, irregular menstrual cycles, and early or delayed puberty. Abnormal FSH levels may be caused by one or more of the following conditions:
- Damage to the ovaries
- Radiation exposure or chemotherapy
- Autoimmune disease
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Adrenal disease
- Thyroid disease
- Ovarian cancer
- Pituitary disorder or problem with the hypothalamus
- Viral infection (mumps)
- Germ cell tumor
- Gonadal agenesis
- Klinefelter syndrome
- Brain injury, trauma
- Central nervous system tumor
- Meningitis or encephalitis
- Hormone deficiency
- Turner syndrome
- Eating disorder
When should I order a Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) Blood Test?
This FSH Blood Test is most useful when an individual has one of the following health conditions:
- A woman having difficulty getting pregnant or is having irregular or no menstrual periods
- A man with a low sperm count, low muscle mass, decreased sex drive, or when their partner cannot get pregnant
- Individuals with symptoms of a pituitary disorder or hypothalamic disorder
- A child suspected of having a delayed or earlier-than-expected puberty
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