FSH? I’m going to say that most of you who are reading this have NO CLUE what FSH means. That’s okay. You are not alone. Majority of women of all age groups have no idea what FSH means.
Side note- if you have gone through fertility treatments, you most likely know what this lovely three-letter word stands for and the importance of it. Sending a HUGE hug to all of you who have gone or are actively going through fertility treatments.
Okay, Bridget. Get on with it already. What does FSH stand for, and why do I need to know about it? Now that I have you on the edge of your seats…
Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)- is a naturally occurring hormone that is made by the pituitary gland in the body. For women, it is the main hormone involved in producing mature eggs in the ovaries.
Why is this important? Well, for starters, if FSH levels are too high or too low, it can lead to fertility issues which can prevent conception from happening aka pregnancy.
High levels of FSH in women is a sign of poor ovarian function, polycystic ovary syndrome or menopause. All of these conditions will impact your fertility negatively. Lucky me, I have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). And yes, my husband and I took a ride on the infertility train at Main Line Fertility.
Low levels of FSH can indicate the eggs are not being produced adequately or the pituitary gland is not functioning correctly.
We check a women's FSH level on day 3 of her cycle to get an indication of how hard her body is working at the beginning of her cycle to produce a mature follicle. A woman needs to produce a mature follicle each month, to ovulate that mature follicle, have it join with her partner's sperm at the correct time in hopes to achieve pregnancy.
If you would like to get your FSH level evaluated you would want to get blood drawn on day 3 of your cycle. But, make sure you are not on a form of birth control, or it will give you false results.
An FSH level of <10 is considered normal.
Bridget is best known as a fertility nurse at Main Line Fertility.