• Test Code - PL0496
  • Test Name - Follicle-stimulating Hormone (FSH)
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Test Details & Preparation


  • Follicle-stimulating Hormone (FSH) testing is done to evaluate fertility issues, function of reproductive organs (ovaries or testicles), or pituitary function. In children, to evaluate early or delayed sexual maturation (puberty).

  • Follicle-stimulating Hormone (FSH) testing is performed for women when you are having difficulty getting pregnant or are having irregular or absence of menstrual periods. For men, when your partner cannot get pregnant, or you have a low sperm count, low muscle mass or decreased sex drive. When your doctor thinks that you have symptoms of a pituitary disorder or hypothalamic disorder. When your doctor suspects that a child has delayed or earlier than expected sexual maturation.

  • A blood sample drawn from a vein in your arm sometimes a random urine sample or 24-hour urine collection may be taken for Follicle-stimulating Hormone (FSH) testing.

  • No test preparation is needed, but the timing of a woman's sample will be correlated with her menstrual cycle.

  • Results of an FSH test are typically considered with results of other hormone tests, such as LH, estrogens, or testosterone. As part of an infertility workup, a high or low FSH is not diagnostic but provides a piece of information on what may be the cause.

  • In women, FSH and LH levels can help to differentiate between primary ovarian failure and secondary ovarian failure. High levels of FSH and LH are consistent with primary ovarian failure.

  • When a woman enters menopause and her ovaries stop working, FSH levels will rise. Low levels of FSH and LH are consistent with secondary ovarian failure due to a pituitary disorder or hypothalamic problem. Low FSH serum levels have been associated with increased risk of ovarian cancer.

  • In men, high FSH levels are due to primary testicular failure. This can be the result of developmental defects in testicular growth or to testicular injury.

  • In children, high levels of FSH and LH with the development of secondary sexual characteristics at an unusually young age are an indication of precocious puberty. This is much more common in girls than in boys. This premature development is usually due to a problem with the central nervous system and can have a few different underlying causes.


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