Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH)

Gonadotropins

A healthy result should fall into the range 1.5 - 12.4 IU/L.

Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) is a pituitary hormone that regulates growth, sexual development and reproduction, including menstruation, follicular development and ovulation. FSH is regulated, at least in part, by GnRH produced in the hypothalamus in response to multiple signals including circulating levels of sex hormones. FSH interacts with receptors on ovarian follicles and is the major survival factor for the maturing follicles. A surge in FSH levels occurs in the middle of the menstrual cycle leading to ovulation. In men, FSH promotes spermatogenesis and androgen responsiveness in the testes. Thus, FSH is essential for sexual maturation and reproduction in both men and women.  Partially and highly purified urinary derived FSH (menotropins, Menopur which also has LH activity; urofollitropin, Bravelle) and recombinant forms of FSH (follitropin alpha, Follistim, Gonal F) are available and approved for use in treatment of infertility and hypogonadism. They are generally given by subcutaneous injection daily or several times weekly.  The dose and appropriate regimen vary by indication. These agents should be used only by health care workers with expertise in management of infertility and hypogonadism.

Reference ranges:

Follicular Phase: 3.03 - 8.08 IU/L

Mid-Cycle Peak: 2.55 - 16.69 IU/L

Luteal Phase: 1.38 - 5.47 IU/L

Postmenopausal: 26.72 - 133.4 IU/L

Males: 0.95 - 11.95 IU/L

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