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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 can't 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 do 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 uses a needle to take a blood sample, usually from an arm.

For a woman who is having problems with her menstrual cycle or who cannot become pregnant, more than one blood sample may be needed to help identify a follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) problem. A sample may be taken each day for several days in a row.

How long does the test take?

The test will take a few minutes.

What happens after the test?

  • You will probably be able to go home right away, depending on the reason for the test.
  • 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 advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) 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?

Go to

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