FSH Test: What Does it Mean?

FSH Test: What Does it Mean?

The most common reason to measure your FSH level is to determine whether you are going through menopause or not. These tests are available to buy at most pharmacies and are available over the counter. However testing for high levels of FSH isn’t definitive, and women can go through menopause and have only slight symptoms for years. A high FSH reading could indicate peri-menopause which is a transitional phase. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here

How do I measure my FSH level?

You can measure your FSH level with a FSH test strip. This measures the concentration of FSH in a urine specimen. This test should be taken three days into your cycle. Usually you wait ten to twenty minutes after exposing the strip to urine, but do not wait longer than 30 as the tests become invalid. With most tests a negative result will be shown with only one colour band. This means your level of FSH is below 25mlU/mL.

A positive result will be indicated by two visible bands of colour this means you have detected FSH at a level over 25mlUmL. Ensure you take more than one of these tests at different times of the month. If you are worried about it, or need to talk to someone about hitting the menopause and the changes your body will undertake, then seek medical attention. Many women weather the menopause without medical intervention.

These tests can also be misleading and interpretations are difficult to gauge. A doctor will measure FSH levels via a blood test and will do several in order to get an accurate result. Increased FSH can indicate menopause, but in younger women it can indicate a hormonal imbalance.

How does low FSH affect my fertility?

Low FSH is more likely to occur than high and is most likely due to Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is a multiple organ disorder that can affect fertility through missed or late periods and irregular ovulation as well as bring on host of other health issues. If you have PCOS than you are likely to be treated with fertility drugs like Clomifene or Clomid to help you try to conceive.

How does high FSH affect my fertility?

In a healthy person high levels of FSH indicate menopause. However in a younger women it could indicate premature ovarian failure (POF). This is a loss or partial loss of function of the ovaries for women under 40.

It does not mean you cannot conceive, but your chances are greatly reduced. Around 5 to 10% of women will become pregnant without any help. Other than that women tend to opt for IVF treatment or adoption. There is no fixed or successful treatment available on the market.

Men can also be subject to an FSH test

In assessing male infertility most blood tests are not useful as the most important test is semen analysis. However, sometimes testing FSH in men can determine their level of testicular function. If FSH is elevated it is because Inhibin is not being produced. These test results indicate that a man is suffering from primary testicular failure. This is where the seminiderous tubules do not produce sperm usually due to damage.

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 Dr. Prabha Sahgal, MD
Dr. Prabha Sahgal MD, is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology and subspecialty board certified in reproductive endocrinology and infertility. Dr. Sahgal holds a B.S. degree from MIT in molecular biology and currently serves on the ConceiveEasy board of directors.