What do you understand by follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) Blood Test?

By  , Expert Content
Aug 24, 2011

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The follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is released from the anterior pituitary gland. It is formed both in men and women.


In women, this hormone stimulates production of eggs and in men it stimulates production of sperm. In women of childbearing age, blood test to measure FSH is done on certain days of the menstrual cycle. Your doctor may recommend FSH blood test to help diagnose problems related to sexual development, menstruation, and fertility.


Normal FSH level varies with sex and age of the person.

•    Males

  • Before puberty: 0-5.0 IU/L
  • During puberty: 0.3-10.0 IU/L
  • Adult: 1.5-12.4 IU/L or 5 to 20 mIU/mL

•    Females   

  • Before puberty: 0-5.0 IU/L
  • During puberty: 0.3-10.0 IU/L

•    Women during menstruation: 3.5-3.0 IU/L or 5-20 m U/L

•    Postmenopausal Women: 40-250 IU/L or 50 mIU/mL to 100 mIU/mL

•    During Pregnancy: too low to measure


Certain conditions which can be diagnosed or evaluated by FSH blood test include:

  • Menopause
  • Women with polycystic ovary disease, ovarian cysts, irregular vaginal bleeding, or infertility
  • Children with early sexual development (before the expected age of sexual maturity).
  • Men with infertility
  • Men with absent testicles or small and underdeveloped testicles

Some disorders in which the FSH result may be abnormal include:

  • Hypopituitarism
  • Klinefelter syndrome
  • Polycystic ovary disease
  • Turner syndrome
  • Ovarian failure
  • Ovarian or adrenal cancers
  • Precocious puberty in girls and boys
  • Anorexia

The normal test value can differ slightly from one laboratory to other. Consult your doctor to understand the meaning of your test result.


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