Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH Test) Test
The pituitary gland produces FSH in the body. The hormone is important for both the sexes as it regulates the production of eggs and menstrual cycle in women and controls sperm production in men. The FSH blood test is used to measure the levels of the hormone in the blood, the levels of which help in evaluating the functioning of both male and female sex organs (testicles and ovaries).
Why is the test ordered?
In women, the test may be recommended to evaluate infertility, lack of periods, abnormal periods, menstrual bleeding, etc. In men, the test helps in evaluating testicular dysfunction, hypogonadism and low sperm count and help find the cause of infertility. The test is recommended in children to evaluate early puberty or delayed puberty. It also proved helpful in diagnosing pituitary disorders including tumours.
When is the test ordered?
When a woman is having difficulty getting pregnant owing to abnormal menstrual cycle, absence of menstrual periods or irregular menstrual cycle, a physician may recommended the FSH test. The test may be ordered in a man if he has low sperm count, decreased sex drive or very low muscle mass. In addition, if a physician suspects pituitary disorder in men or women, he or she may recommend the FSH test. The test along with LH, may also be recommended to a girl or boy when they enter puberty either too early or too late.
How is the sample collected?
A blood sample is collected from a vein in the arm.
How to prepare for the test?
The person taking the test should inform the doctor about all the medicines and supplements he or she is taking. A thyroid scan or bone scan done in the last 7 days using radioactive substances may interfere with the test results. A woman should inform the doctor about the status of her menstrual cycle.