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Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)

FSH lab test

What is follicle stimulating hormone?

Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) is a gonadotropin, a type of glycoprotein hormone. Three glycoprotein hormones are produced by the anterior pituitary gland: FSH, thyroid hormones and luteinizing hormone (LH). FSH is made by both men and women and regulates the reproductive system. 

Male reproductive system

Female reproductive system

How FSH is Produced

The production and release of FSH is regulated by a collaboration of a system called the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal axis (HPA axis). The hypothalamus releases a hormone called, gonadotropin-stimulating hormone that binds to the receptors in the pituitary gland and stimulates the synthesis and release of both FSH and LH. Follicle stimulating hormone is released in the blood from there it binds to the receptors in the ovaries and testes. This way, FSH and LH control the functions of the ovaries and testes.

Red blood cells

What does FSH do?

During each menstrual cycle, there is a rise of follicle-stimulating hormone in the blood that stimulates the follicle growth in an ovary. After ovulation, the ruptured follicles gather to form corpus luteum which produces a high level of progesterone for sustaining a pregnancy. This inhibits the FSH production until the corpus luteum breaks down and the progesterone level decreases in the blood. This causes another menstrual cycle and a rise in follicle stimulating hormone secretion.

Uterine cycle and hormone levels of the menstrual cycle

In men, FSH controls the production of sperm and its amount remains stable after puberty. 

High FSH Levels in the Blood

High follicle stimulating hormone in women may indicate a malfunction of the ovaries or the onset/occurrence of menopause. Hyperstimulation syndrome in women may happen in rare pituitary gland conditions that raise the levels of FSH in the blood. Its symptoms can be the enlarging of ovaries or accumulation of fluid in the abdomen which may cause pain in the pelvic area. 

High FSH levels in men may indicate a problem with the testicles. This can be caused by advanced age (andropause), damage to the testicles, genetic disorders, hormonal treatment or pituitary gland conditions.

Low FSH level in blood

In women, low FSH level can lead to incomplete development in puberty and poor ovarian function. Low FSH levels can cause infertility in both men and women. 

FSH Testing

A blood or urine test can determine the imbalance of follicle stimulating hormone in your body and your physician can determine the best course of action for treatment. 

Hormone Testing Available

Affordable, accurate blood spot, saliva, and saliva + blood test kits

At Coast to Coast Compounding we can provide you with an at-home testing kit which can allow you to test your own hormone levels. Speak with one of our knowledgeable pharmacists or your healthcare provider for more information on using one of these testing kits. Click here for more information on how to get your hormones tested.

Disclaimers:

You should always consult your health care provider before starting any herbal supplements or products.   *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

 

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