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Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH): About This Test

What is it?

This test measures the amount of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) in a blood sample. This hormone is made by the pituitary gland.

  • In women, FSH helps control the menstrual cycle and the production of eggs by the ovaries.
  • In men, FSH helps control the production of sperm.

Why is this test done?

The amounts of FSH and other hormones are measured to:

  • Find out why a couple cannot become pregnant.
  • Help diagnose menstrual problems or find out whether a woman has gone through menopause.
  • See why a child is going through early or delayed puberty.
  • Help diagnose certain pituitary gland problems, such as a tumour.

How can you prepare for the test?

  • Up to 4 weeks before the test, you may be asked to stop taking birth control pills or other medicines that contain estrogen or progesterone.

What happens during the test?

  • A health professional takes a sample of your blood.

What else should you know about the test?

  • Your results will include an explanation of what a "normal" result is. This is called a "reference range." It is just a guide. Your doctor will evaluate your results based on your health and other factors. This means that a value that falls outside the normal values listed may still be normal for you.

How long does the test take?

  • The test will take a few minutes.

What happens after the test?

  • You will be able to go home right away.
  • You can go back to your usual activities right away.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to keep a list of the medicines you take. Ask your doctor when you can expect to have your test results.

Where can you learn more?

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