Follicle Stimulating Hormone: What is it? Function, Variations, Abnormal Levels, Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

It is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland that affects the gonads (female ovaries and male testes).

Follicle-stimulating hormone is a glycoprotein gonadotrophic hormone secreted, in mammals, by the anterior pituitary gland.


Upon receptor binding, follicle stimulating hormone stimulates the growth of Graafian follicles in the ovaries in women, and stimulates the epithelium of the seminiferous tubules to increase spermatogenesis .

Follicle Stimulating Hormone and Luteinizing Hormone are intimately involved in controlling the growth and reproductive activities of gonadal tissues.

Which synthesize and secrete male and female sex hormones through a negative feedback relationship.

Follicle-stimulating hormone is a glycoprotein secreted by the basophilic cells of the anterior pituitary.

Gonadotropin-releasing hormone, produced in the hypothalamus , controls the release of follicle-stimulating hormone from the anterior pituitary.

In women, follicle-stimulating hormone stimulates the growth and maturation of the ovarian follicles by acting directly on the receptors located in the granulosa cells, promoting follicular steroidogenesis and stimulating the production of luteinizing hormone.

Follicle-stimulating hormone levels are elevated after menopause, castration, and in premature ovarian failure.

Follicle-stimulating hormone levels can be normalized by administering estrogen.

Abnormal relationships between follicle stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone, between follicle stimulating hormone and estrogen have been linked to anorexia nervosa and polycystic ovary disease.

Although there are important exceptions, ovarian failure is indicated when random follicle-stimulating hormone concentrations exceed 40 milli international units per milliliter (mIU / ml).

The growth of the seminiferous tubules and the maintenance of spermatogenesis in men are regulated by follicle-stimulating hormone.

However, androgens, unlike estrogens, do not decrease follicle stimulating hormone levels, therefore they demonstrate a feedback relationship only with serum luteinizing hormone.

For reasons that are not fully understood, azospermic and oligospermic males generally have elevated levels of follicle-stimulating hormone.

Testicular tumors generally depress serum follicle-stimulating hormone levels, but luteinizing hormone levels are elevated, as determined by radioimmunoassays.

High levels of follicle stimulating hormone can be found in men in primary testicular failure and Klinefelter syndrome.

Elevated concentrations are also present in starvation, renal failure, hyperthyroidism, and cirrhosis .

Follicle Stimulating Hormone Variations

Follicle-stimulating hormone is a hormone that is synthesized and secreted by the gonadotrophs of the anterior pituitary gland.

Follicle-stimulating hormone plays an important role in controlling the female menstrual cycle, stimulating the production of eggs and sperm, and thus in a woman’s ability to become pregnant.

In children it provokes the development of sexual characteristics.

The test that measures the level of follicle stimulating hormone is used to evaluate:

  • The arrival of menopause.
  • The presence of ovarian cysts.
  • Abnormal menstrual bleeding
  • Problems getting pregnant
  • Male sterility problems.
  • Problems in men who do not have testicles or whose testicles are underdeveloped.
  • Children with sexual characteristics at a very young age.
  • Delays in the onset of puberty.

Causes of Follicle Stimulating Hormone Variation

Follicle Stimulating Hormone levels vary for women based on their cycle.

It is highest just before she is ovulating.

Follicle-stimulating hormone levels do not usually vary in men.

There are several reasons why your follicle stimulating hormone levels may be too high or too low.

Abnormally high levels of follicle stimulating hormone in women are usually a sign of poor ovarian function or polycystic ovary syndrome.

It can also mean that menopause has started. In men, high levels are caused by malfunction or tumors of the testicles.


When you have high levels of follicle stimulating hormone, you may experience some of these symptoms:

  • Weightloss.
  • Irregular periods or absence of periods.
  • Severe cramps
  • Skin conditions like acne.
  • Sterility.

Treatment of Follicle Stimulating Hormone Variations

First, you should see your doctor to determine if you have a follicle-stimulating hormone imbalance.

He will order a follicle stimulating hormone test to make sure your follicle stimulating hormone levels are.

Treatment is usually given in the form of pills and hormone injections.

Some natural ways to balance follicle stimulating hormone include:

Eat right

Having a balanced diet helps balance follicle stimulating hormone.

Add vegetables such as nuts, gelatin, cucumber, avocado, alfalfa, parsley, cherries, dark chocolate, coconut oil, chia, basil, among others.

Adding seafood such as cod liver, seaweed such as kelp, and nori to your diet can help balance hormones.

These foods contain large amounts of endocrine-supporting minerals and are easy to add to your favorite salads and snacks.

Add supplements

Supplements like spirulina and bee pollen can improve your follicle-stimulating hormone levels.

Spirulina is a protein-rich mineral that increases magnesium and potassium levels.

Bee pollen is packed with vitamins and minerals that help balance hormone levels and increase your chances of getting pregnant.

For problems such as moods of depression or anxiety, fatigue, pain, stress , antidepressants such as clonazepam, codeine, acupuncture, deep breathing therapies, massages and relaxation are recommended.