Understanding Female Fertility with FSH Tests

FSH Fertility Tests and Infertility

Every wondered about the quality of your eggs? Ever worried about that ticking biological clock?

Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) tests are designed for women in cases where elevated levels of FSH may be associated with infertility and/or the onset of menopause. Women experiencing infertility, recently missed periods, or irregularity in ovulation can use FSH tests to discover if these symptoms are the result of elevated FSH levels. An FSH test may be done to help find determine fertility issues and FSH tests are commonly used to evaluate a woman's egg supply (ovarian reserve).

Both clinical (blood) and urine-based home FSH tests are available. FSH testing is commonly used in infertility clinics to evaluate a woman's egg supply (ovarian reserve) if she is infertile. It can also be used in the evaluation of a man's low sperm count. FSH testing can also help evaluate menstrual problems, such as irregular or absent menstrual periods (amenorrhea). This can help determine whether the woman has gone through menopause.

FSH Tests: Ovarian Reserve, Ovulation and Egg Quality

Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), is produced by the pituitary gland. During the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle, FSH fosters the growth and maturation of a woman’s eggs. If a woman experiences infertility or approaches menopause, it may be a sign of a low ovarian egg supply - and this is indicated by a high level of FSH. With infertility issues, the FSH hormone is released in higher-than-normal amounts to stimulate the ovaries into producing a mature egg and more estrogen.

The FSH test helps predict ovarian reserve (quantity of eggs) and quality of eggs. Female age is an important variable. "A woman can be 45 with exceptionally good quality eggs and still be fertile, or, she can be 25 with very poor quality eggs and be infertile. These are extreme examples, the main point is that egg quantity and quality on the average tends to decline slowly starting in the early 30's, then more significantly in the late 30s and much more dramatically in the early 40s. However, egg quantity and quality in an individual woman can be average for her age, better than average, or worse than average."

Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) is one of the most important hormones involved in the natural menstrual cycle. It is the main hormone involved in the maturation and release of the egg at ovulation. Menopause it literally the "running out of eggs" in the ovaries. With the onset of menopause, the brain senses an estrogen deficiency and releases more FSH in order to stimulate the ovaries to produce a health follicle, more estrogen - which leads to ovulation.

FSH Test Kits are available to determine high levels of FSH. At least 3 tests should be used consecutively as directed in determining higher levels of FSH.

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