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Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)

A follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) test measures the follicle-stimulating hormone level in the blood. The body produces FSH in the pituitary gland – the small gland underneath the brain. This hormone plays a vital role in sexual function and development.

Its function varies in different groups.

Excess or insufficient levels of FSH can cause a wide range of problems, including infertility (inability to conceive), low sex drive in men, delayed or early puberty in children, and menstrual difficulty in women.

What is the FSH test for?

FSH and luteinising hormone work together to control sexual functions. Most times, doctors order luteinising hormone tests and FSH tests. These tests have different uses, depending on if you are a man, woman or child.

For women, FSH and luteinising hormone tests help:

For men, these tests help:

For children, these tests are usually for diagnosing the reason for delayed or early puberty.

Why get the FSH level test?

Women need FSH test in the following cases

Men need the FSH test in the following cases

Women and men need an FSH test if symptoms of a pituitary disorder occur. These symptoms include:

What happens during an FSH test?

The healthcare provider will draw a blood sample from the vein in your arm with a small needle. After the provider inserts the needle, your provider will collect a small amount of blood into a test vial or tube. Inserting the needle may cause a slight sting, and the procedure takes less than five minutes.

Do I need to prepare for the test?

For women who haven’t gone through menopause, the healthcare provider may schedule the test at a specific time of their menstrual cycle.

Does the test have any risks?

Like other blood tests, the FSH test has very little risk. Slight bruising or pain may occur at the spot the provider inserted the need, but these symptoms clear quickly.

What does the test result mean?

The test result’s interpretation will depend on whether you are a child, woman or man.

For women, high FSH levels may indicate:

For women, low FSH levels may mean:

For men, high FSH levels may result from the following:

In men, low FSH levels may result from a hypothalamus or pituitary gland disorder.

In children, high FSH and luteinising hormones indicate the onset of puberty. If this occurs before a girl is nine years or before a boy is ten years (precocious puberty), it may mean the following.

Low FSH and luteinising hormone levels in children may indicate delayed puberty resulting from:

Other facts about the FSH test

An at-home test for FSH levels that uses urine is available. This kit is useful for women who want to know if their symptoms, such as irregular periods, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness, are due to perimenopause or menopause. The test can show high levels of FSH, but it doesn’t ensure a diagnosis. Ensure you speak with your health care professional about the result of your test.

You can get a blood FSH test at Private Blood Tests London. Our healthcare professional can perform this test alongside the luteinising hormone test for a better diagnosis. Call us on 02071830244 for more information on the FSH level test.