Whether you are having a difficult time getting pregnant or you are experiencing problems with your monthly menstrual cycle, your doctor may recommend you have an FSH, or follicle stimulating hormone, test. FSH has a direct correlation with how and when you ovulate as a female and the levels of FSH in your blood can be indicative of reproductive issues. With this test scheduled in the near future, you are bound to have a few questions. Take a look at some of the most common questions women have about FSH testing and the answers you will want to know.
How is the FSH test performed?
The FSH test is done by taking a sample of your blood and measuring the levels of the hormone that are present. If you have ever had blood drawn for another reason, you should fully expect the FSH test to be done in the same way. Once the blood is taken, it will be sent to a lab where professionals will use tools to measure the amount of FSH available in the sample. This test involves very little risk at all, but you may be a little sore at the site where the blood was drawn from your arm.
Why is it important to know the exact date of your last menstrual cycle before the test?
Your body naturally goes through hormonal cycles every month that involve a certain ebb and flow of certain hormones, and FSH is one of those hormones. In general, your body will have different levels of FSH present in the blood according to where you are in your menstrual cycle. It is important for the analyst to know this because they can compare the normal levels of a female at the same stage in her menstrual cycle with your own to determine if there is something off.
What does it mean if you find out your FSH levels are too low as a female?
There are many different reasons why your FSH levels could be low. Some causes are repairable and treatable, but others could be relative to genetics or disease as well. Low FSH levels could indicate:
- high levels of stress
- lower egg production
- poor diet or malnutrition
Once your results are in, your doctor, such as at Missouri Center for Reproductive Medicine, will usually schedule a followup appointment with you to go over the specifics of your results to determine a plan of treatment that is best for you if you have an FSH problem.