Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)

Definition - What does Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) mean?

Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) is a sex hormone that is produced at the base of the brain in the pituitary gland and released into the blood. When the hypothalamus discharges gonadotropin-releasing hormone, this in turn initiates the release of follicle stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone by the pituitary gland. The hormone can be measured by taking a blood sample or 24 hour urine sample.

WorkplaceTesting explains Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)

Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) is responsible for estrogen production in the first 14 days of the menstrual cycle and it supports the growth and maturation of ovarian follicles. This hormone is also involved in the production of sperm.

Follicle stimulating hormone is typically tested for in order to assess pituitary and reproductive organ function, or as a fertility indicator. Women are often tested for FSH where there is difficulty in becoming pregnant or if menstrual cycles have become erratic, or non-existent. Men with little muscle mass, low sperm count, or low sex drive are usually tested for FSH. Testing for this hormone in children is sometimes ordered due to early or delayed puberty.

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