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Follicle-stimulating hormone and infertility

Follicle-stimulating hormone and infertility

22:16 10th March 2016 | Fertility Evaluation

Natural Conception Pelvic Scan Uterus Cervix Ovaries Vagina Blood Tests FSH LH Artificial Stimulation Ovarian Follicles Oestrogen Progesterone Menstrual Cycle Pituitary Gland Fertilisation Contraceptive Device Medical Disorders Sex Dependent Hormone Tumours Ovarian Cysts Ovarian Hyper Stimulation

When investigating infertility, one of the first objectives is to determine whether the patient can conceive naturally or not. The basic tests to determine this ability to conceive naturally include a pelvic scan to check the uterus, cervix, ovaries and vagina, and blood tests to check the levels of the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and Luteinezing hormone (LH).

FSH is one of the most important hormones involved in the natural menstrual cycle as well as in the artificial stimulation of the ovaries. It is responsible for the growth of ovarian follicles which produce oestrogen and progesterone in the ovaries and help maintain the menstrual cycles in women. In men, FSH helps in the development of the gonads and sperm production.

FSH test is undertaken to check for abnormalities in the FSH and LH levels during the menstrual cycle and can both be done through a blood sample.It is normally undertaken during the first two or three days of the woman’s cycle to assess infertility problems and irregular menstrual cycles and to diagnose disorders of the pituitary gland. High FSH levels in women may indicate a loss of ovarian function, or ovarian failure or menopause; it may also indicate a reduction in the production of good quality eggs and embryos for fertilisation.

A high FSH level means your chances of becoming pregnant maybe lower than expected for your age and may need fertility treatment. Like the FSH, high levels of the Luteinezing hormone may indicate the onset of ovarian failure. In men, an FSH test may be done to evaluate a sperm count, assesshypogonadism or gonadal failure and assess testicular dysfunction. High FSH levels in men may indicate Klinefelter’s syndrome, which is a rare condition in men caused by an extra X chromosome that can affect male development. It will also reveal any dysfunction of the testes including those damaged by alcohol dependence, X-rays or chemotherapy.

Before having the test it is crucial to tell your doctor about any prescription or non-prescription medications, dietary supplements,birth control pills and vitamins you are taking, as well as any contraceptive device you may have been using. You should also discuss existing medical disorders, including uncontrolled thyroid disease, sex-dependent hormone tumours and ovarian cysts. FSH is commonly used in infertility treatments, mainly for ovarian hyper stimulation as part of IVF. [ ] and the test has influenced the effectiveness of infertility investigations. Main source: Joanna Goldberg and Lydia Krause/reviewedNicole Galan, RN

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