How FSH Test Predict Ovarian Reserve and Fertility

FSH test, or the test for Follicle Stimulating Hormone, is done to check the fertility levels in women. The FSH test checks for ovarian reserve in women. Since the ovaries and the ovum play a huge part in the fertility and conception of the embryo, ovarian reserve is very important for women.

Without a proper ovarian reserve, women face reproductive and menstrual problems. The ovarian reserve and levels of FSH decline with age as women approach menopause. The test for FSH and ovarian reserve can show your fertility level and help you plan your pregnancy based on the advice of your gynaecologist.

What is the FSH test?

The FSH test checks the level of FSH in your blood. The test also checks for FSH levels using a urine sample. Usually, the doctor suggests different tests for other hormones, along with the FSH test. Both men and women have follicle-stimulating hormones in their bodies. The hormone is vital for reproductive function because it stimulates the release of the gamete from the follicles of the ovary. If you have a deficiency of this hormone, it will be difficult for you to become pregnant. The FSH hormone is made by the pituitary gland, which is then released by the gland into the bloodstream.

When is the FSH test important?

Your gynaecologist or andrologist can suggest the FSH test to check your fertility level. These are the signs in men and women when the FSH test becomes necessary.

  • Irregular periods- if you are getting irregular periods, it can be a sign of changes in the levels of FSH. Testing can show the hormonal fluctuation that causes such irregularity.
  • Menopause– menopause is a natural event that usually happens in older women after they cross the age of 40. The early signs of menopause might require an FSH test. With the FSH test, you will be able to know that you are going through menopause, and it can help you manage the changes in a better way.
  • Low sperm count- The FSH test can check the sperm count of men. If a man is facing a low sex drive and erectile dysfunction, it can mean that his FSH level has declined. To check the sperm count, an FSH test is done for men.
  • Early or late puberty– Some children might experience early or late puberty, depending on their hormonal activity. Their glands and glandular functions can trigger late or early puberty, which can cause problems later. The FSH test assesses the level of this hormone to make sure that the glands are working properly.
  • Pituitary disorders– The FSH hormone is made and secreted by the pituitary gland. Therefore, the FSH hormone test can check for pituitary and other gland disorders that can lead to over-secretion or deficiency of the hormones.

How is the FSH test done?  

The FSH test is not complicated. The FSH test is done on blood or urine samples, with minimal risks linked with it. The FSH test sample is collected via a syringe or a sample tube. The sample is then stored in the laboratory and analysed for hormone levels. There are no special instructions that the doctor will give you before the test. However, the doctor might suggest going off some medications that could cause fluctuations in FSH levels.

What should one know about the results of the FSH test?

The doctor will give you the results in a day or two.  The results come in the units for milli-international units per millilitre. The healthy range of FSH levels varies from gender to gender and for different ages.  The result of the FSH test can help get an estimation of the hormone level and the problem that underlines infertility. There are different tests that the doctor will also suggest for a more confirmatory result. The fertility of a person depends on many factors and hormones, so there are other tests along with FSH tests that doctors suggest.

Usually, laboratories provide hormone panels and reproductive function panels for the complete test package for fertility. The FSH test costs about Rupees 300 to Rupees 700 in India. The FSH test is mostly suggested by fertility centres and before IVF procedures. The FSH test can be suggested for any age and gender, depending on the health condition the doctor wants to check for. If you are suggested an FSH test, it is advisable to get it done from a reputed laboratory for accurate results.

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