FSH is a follicle-stimulating hormone, which is found in humans and many other animals. This hormone plays an important role in reproductive life of a woman. It is made and secreted by the gonadotrophs of the anterior pituitary gland, and it regulates various processes such as development, growth, pubertal maturation, and the already mentioned reproduction. In females, this hormone initiates growth and recruitment of immature ovarian follicles in the ovary.Normal FSH Levels
FSH levels in women are related to the maturation of an egg for ovulation, and they fluctuate throughout the month. For this reason, FSH test is usually performed by taking a blood sample on day 3 of a woman's menstrual cycle, which is the third day of a period. If a woman is not having her periods anymore, the blood test can be performed anytime. Normal results are 3-20 mlU/ml.
Anything above 10 to 12 mlu/ml may indicate that the ovaries are starting to fail, and that a woman is slowly entering menopause. Generally speaking, the lower the FSH levels are, the woman’s reproductive capacity is better. Very high FSH levels, higher than 30, usually signal menopause or ovarian failure. However, hormonal levels are generally subject to change, and they can fluctuate from time to time. The best way to ensure what is happening in the body is to take a couple of FSH tests in a course of a couple of months.High FSH LevelsChanges in the optimum levels of FSH hormone may indicate there is something wrong with the woman’s reproductive capacity. For example, if testing a woman's blood level of FSH reveals that, there is an excess amount of this hormone; doctors may suspect there is something wrong with the woman’s ovarian reserve. This reserve, also known as the egg supply, is highly predictive of the woman’s reproductive capacity. When FSH levels are repeatedly high, it means that the pituitary gland produces more of the hormone to overcome an absence of responsive follicles in the ovaries. This would normally happen in menopause, but if it happens in young women, it may indicate premature ovarian failure or infertility.
Low FSH levels
If the levels of FSH are abnormally low, the women may experience cessation of reproductive cycles. This usually happens when there is another underlying problem in the body such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, and especially if it goes along with obesity, hirsutism or infertility. This result can be a warning that sexual organs are not appropriately developed or that the hypothalamus or the pituitary gland is not producing enough of hormones.