Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH or follitropin) is a sex hormone produced naturally in the pituitary gland under the brain. It acts with luteinising hormone to stimulate the production of eggs in women (ovulation) and sperm in men. The level of FSH in blood can be measured.
The normal ranges are:-
|Before puberty||0 to 3 IU/L.|
|Adult female||1 to 9 IU/L.|
|Female at ovulation||10 to 30 IU/L.|
|After menopause||40 to 200 IU/L.|
|Adult male||1 to 5 IU/L.|
A low level in the blood may be due to Stein-Leventhal syndrome and may be a cause of infertility. A very high level may be due to disease or failure of the testes or ovaries. Levels normally rise at mid-cycle in ovulating women.
It may be used as an injectable medication to treat female and male infertility. Common side effects include nausea, diarrhoea and headache, while less common ones may include multiple pregnancies, breast tenderness and/or enlargement, acne and weight gain.