What’s an FSH test?

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The FSH test measures the amount of follicle stimulating hormone in the blood, which regulates reproductive processes. It is used to diagnose fertility, menstruation, and sexual development problems in adults and children. High or low FSH levels have different meanings depending on age and gender.

A follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) test is a blood test used to determine the amount of FSH in the blood. This hormone is produced by the pituitary gland in both humans and animals and regulates all reproductive processes. A doctor might have several reasons for ordering an FSH test, but it’s usually done to aid in the diagnosis of problems related to fertility, menstruation, and sexual development. This test, which may be ordered for both adults and children, is done by a lab technician who draws blood into a vial from a vein, usually in the inside of an elbow. The blood is then sent to a laboratory where a medical technician will test for FSH to determine if the follicle stimulating hormone level in the sample is low or high, compared to which is the normal range for FSH.

Depending on your age and gender, an FSH test showing the hormone is high or low has a different meaning. In women, the FSH test is often performed to investigate infertility problems, to evaluate menstrual problems or to determine if menopause has begun. An FSH test with lower than normal values ​​in a female could indicate that she is infertile because she is not producing eggs, has polycystic ovarian disease or has ovarian cysts, among other possibilities. Low values ​​could also indicate a problem in the functioning of the pituitary gland. On the other hand, high levels of FSH in a woman will tell the doctor that her ovaries have stopped working and that she has started menopause.

In adult men, the FSH test is also used to diagnose infertility or other problems with the reproductive system. Follicle Stimulating Hormone signals sperm production, but when it is too high, it indicates that the testicles are not functioning properly. Low FSH levels in men could be associated with problems in the pituitary gland or hypothalamus.

For children, FSH testing may be ordered if a girl or boy appears to be entering puberty too early or too late. High FSH levels in children could indicate premature puberty and should be investigated to determine the underlying cause. If puberty appears to be delayed, normal to low FSH levels may also be a symptom of other underlying problems.

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