FSH: Definition, Function, Tests and Consequences of High and Low Levels of This Hormone in the Body

Follicle stimulating hormone is a gonadotropic hormone secreted by the pituitary gland.

FSH is important for development during puberty, as well as for the function of the reproductive organs.

Function of FSH in men

In men, FSH acts on the testes to  stimulate sperm production  (spermatogenesis). FSH stimulates testicular growth and aids in the production of an androgen-binding protein.

This androgen-binding protein is crucial for the development of normal spermatogenesis and for the maintenance of maturing sperm cells.

FSH production is regulated by circulating levels of  testosterone  and inhibin, which are produced in the testes. If  the  levels of  testosterone  are high FSH secretion decreases; If testosterone levels are low, FSH secretion increases.

Too much FSH

Elevated FSH levels are a sign of malfunction in the testicles. If the testes don’t make enough testosterone, FSH production increases.

Very little FSH

FSH is essential for normal sperm production. In the absence of FSH, puberty may not occur and infertility may occur due to a lack of sperm or poor sperm quality. Low FSH levels can cause delayed puberty and limited sperm production, but you can still be fertile.

Role of FSH in women

In women, FSH is essential for  pubertal development and proper ovarian function. FSH regulates estrogen secretion.

When hormone levels drop towards the end of the menstrual cycle, the pituitary gland is stimulated to produce more FSH. This increase in FSH causes the ovary to produce more estradiol and inhibin.

This increase in these two hormones, in turn, is detected by the pituitary gland and less FSH will be released. FSH secretion increases in the first half of menstruation and decreases after ovulation. At the end of the menstrual cycle, FSH begins to rise and the cycle begins again.

Too much FSH

As with men, too much FSH is a sign that something is wrong. If the ovary doesn’t make enough estrogen, FSH production increases. However, FSH levels naturally increase in women during the menopausal period.

Very little FSH

A shortage of FSH can lead to a lack of development at puberty and the malfunction of the ovaries. In women, FSH deficiency leads to infertility just like in men.

FSH testing

An FSH test measures the amount of FSH in a blood sample. An FSH test is usually taken to determine why a couple is unable to conceive a child.

A reading of FSH levels can reveal whether the ovaries or testes are working properly. An FSH test may be given to check and evaluate a low sperm count or egg supply.

This test can also be used to determine why a boy is going through puberty early or late (or not). An FSH test can also help evaluate menstrual problems.

Follitropin Alfa

Follitropin alfa is a hormone identical to FSH. It is used as a fertility drug to help develop eggs in the ovaries. It is also used as a fertility drug to help men with low sperm counts make more sperm.

Although generally safe, Follitropin alfa can cause headaches, nausea, and skin irritation.

Follitropin alfa is a hormone identical to FSH. It is used as a fertility drug to help develop eggs in the ovaries. It is also used as a fertility drug to help men with low sperm counts make more sperm.

Although generally safe, Follitropin alfa can cause headaches, nausea, and skin irritation.

Technical

  • The 48QKTCT52 amino acid sequence of the β subunit appears to be essential for the formation of the FSH heterodimer.
  • Hormones with a deglycosylated α subunit are antagonists of the action of intact hormones. Oligosaccharides in the α subunit are required for signal transduction, in particular α52, intracellular stability, and association with the β subunit.
  • In the first, the results of a meta-analysis of 12 randomized controlled trials (RCTs), with a total of 2,937 participants, showed an overall live birth rate of 21.8% in the rFSH group, compared with 24.9 % in the uHMG group.