Serum follicle-stimulating hormone measurement is used to diagnose hypogonadism, assess infertility, investigate menstrual disorders, early adolescence, and menopause.
The Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) is secreted by the anterior pituitary lobe. During the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle, FSH stimulates the production of estradiol from the follicle. Subsequently, both hormones act together to further develop the follicle. In the middle of the cycle, an increase in FSH and luteinizing hormone (LH) levels is followed by ovulation. During the luteal phase, FSH stimulates the production of progesterone which, together with estradiol, facilitates the ovarian response to LH. During menopause, the ovaries stop functioning, resulting in elevated FSH levels.
In men, FSH stimulates the testes to produce mature sperm and also promotes the production of androgen-binding proteins.
Possible Interpretations of Pathological Values
- Increase: Acromegaly, amenorrhea (primary), anemia, absence of testes, castration, gonadal insufficiency, hyperpituitarism, hypogonadism, hypothalamic tumors, hysterectomy, Klinefelter syndrome, menopause, menstruation, orchiectomy, ovarian failure, pituitary tumors, early adolescence, Stein-Leventhal syndrome, testicular failure, Turner syndrome
- Decrease: Adrenal hyperplasia, amenorrhea (secondary), neurogenic anorexia, delayed puberty, hypogonadotropism, hypophysectomy, hypothalamic dysfunction, tumors (adrenal, ovarian, testicular), children before adolescence. Medications that can lower FSH levels: chlorpromazine, estrogen, oral contraceptives, progesterone, testosterone.
Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. The correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".
Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings, and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.
At Diagnostiki Athinon we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and we contact your doctor to get the best possible medical care.