Test Detail
Interpreting Results

Content created by

Written by
Dr. Betina Chandolia
BDS, MDS - Oral Pathology and Microbiology
Reviewed by
Dr. Lalit Mohan Gupta
MBBS, MD - Microbiology
Want to know more?
Read our Editorial Policy

Follicle Stimulating Hormone

Follicle Stimulating Hormone
You need to provide
This test is for
Male, Female
Test Preparation
  1. No special preparation required


What is FSH?

FSH is a hormone required for reproduction and the development of eggs in women and sperms in men. FSH is produced by the pituitary gland, and its production is controlled by a feedback system involving the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and hormones produced by the ovaries or testicles. The hypothalamus releases gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), which stimulates the pituitary to release FSH and luteinizing hormone (LH), a closely-related hormone which is also involved in reproduction. This test measures the level of Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) in your blood. 

Without the release of FSH, a woman cannot continue her reproductive cycle, as her ovulation will be impaired. FSH levels can be tested in both sexes to assess fertility, or to see if a woman is going through menopause.

Why is FSH done?

FSH test is done for the following indications:

  •        To evaluate infertility issues in females

  •        To evaluate the function of reproductive organs (ovaries or testicles)

  •        To assess irregular menstrual cycle in women

  •        To diagnose disorders of the pituitary gland or diseases involving the ovaries in women

  •        To evaluate early or delayed sexual maturation (puberty) in children

  •        To evaluate low sperm count in men

  •        To assess hypogonadism or gonadal failure in men

  •        To assess testicular dysfunction in men

What does FSH Measure?

Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is a hormone which is associated with reproduction and the development of eggs in women and sperm in men. This test measures FSH in the blood.

FSH is produced by the pituitary gland, and its production is controlled by a feedback system involving the hypothalamus in the brain, the pituitary gland, and the hormones produced by the ovaries or testicles. The Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) from the hypothalamus stimulates the pituitary gland to release FSH and luteinizing hormone (LH; another closely-related hormone also involved in reproduction). FSH affects the growth and maturation of egg follicles in the ovaries during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle. The menstrual cycle is divided into follicular and luteal phases, each phase lasting for 14 days. During the follicular phase, FSH initiates the production of estradiol by the follicle, and the two hormones work together in the further development of the egg follicle. Near the end of the follicular phase, the production of FSH and luteinizing hormone increases. The release of the egg from the ovary (ovulation) occurs shortly after this increased production of hormones. The hormone inhibin as well as estradiol and progesterone help control the amount of FSH released by the pituitary gland. FSH also facilitates the ability of the ovary to respond to LH. At menopause, ovarian function decreases and eventually ceases which results in increased levels of FSH and LH.

In males, the role of FSH is to stimulate the testicles to produce mature sperms and also promotes the production of androgen binding proteins. FSH levels are relatively constant in men after puberty than in women.

In infants and children, FSH levels rise shortly after birth and then fall to very low levels by 6 months in boys and 1-2 years in girls. Concentrations begin to rise again before the beginning of puberty and the development of secondary sexual characteristics.

 Disorders affecting the hypothalamus, pituitary, and/or the ovaries or testicles can cause the production of too much or too little FSH, resulting in a variety of conditions such as infertility, abnormal menstrual cycles, or early (precocious) or delayed sexual maturation (puberty).

Interpreting FSH results


Reference range of FSH is age- and gender-specific. As for women, the reference range is menstrual cycle phase-specific.

The reference range for follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is as follows (3rd generation immunochemiluminescence assay):

 Females reference range:

·       Age 0-7 years: <6.7 mIU/mL

·       Age 8 years to adult:

·       Follicular phase: 3.1-7.9 mIU/mL

·       Ovulation peak: 2.3-18.5 mIU/mL

·       Luteal phase: 1.4-5.5 mIU/mL

·       Postmenopausal: 30.6-106.3 mIU/mL



·       Age 0-7 years: <6.7 mIU/mL

·       Age 8 years-adult:1.3-19.3 mIU/mL

 The reference range may vary from lab to lab*

Answers to Patient Concerns & Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about FSH

Frequently Asked Questions about Follicle Stimulating Hormone

Q. Which factors can affect the FSH level?
Following conditions can influence your FSH level: Uncontrolled thyroid disease Sex-dependent hormone tumors Ovarian cysts Unusual vaginal bleeding Medicines: birth control pills, cimetidine, clomiphene, digitalis, levodopa, hormone replacement therapies, and phenothiazines. Taking multivitamins that contain biotin or vitamin B7 may also affect the accuracy of the FSH test. Doctors usually recommend that a woman should avoid taking these supplements for at least 12 hours before a test.
Q. What does high levels of FSH indicate?
High levels of FSH can indicate the following: Loss of ovarian function or ovarian failure Menopause Polycystic ovarian syndrome Chromosomal abnormality, such as Turner’s syndrome Reduction in the production of good quality eggs and embryos for fertilisation
Q. What are the causes of high levels of FSH in Men?
High levels of FSH in men may indicate: Klinefelter’s syndrome Absence of testicles or impaired functioning of testicles Damage to testicles by a disease such as alcohol dependence Testicular damage by treatments such as X-rays or chemotherapy
Q. What are the causes of high levels of FSH in Children?
High levels of FSH in children may indicate the start of puberty.
Q. What does low levels of FSH mean?
Low levels of FSH may indicate: Decreased ovulation in women Reduced sperm count in men Problems at the level of the hypothalamus or pituitary gland, which are the hormone control centers in the brain Stress
Q. What other hormone tests may be required along with abnormal FSH values?
FSH levels are usually just one part of the puzzle a doctor has to work out. To gain a clearer picture, further tests are likely to be needed. Following tests may be advised by your doctor: Estradiol Luteinizing hormone Progesterone Testosterone
Q. Can medicines have any effect on the levels of FSH?
There are certain medicines that can affect the levels of FSH. In order to prevent false readings, it is important for the individual to inform the doctor about all the medicines they are taking as they can alter the functioning of hormones. Medicines that could increase FSH levels include: · Cimetidine · Clomiphene · Digitalis · Levodopa Medicines that decrease FSH levels include: · Hormone replacement therapies · Oral contraceptives · Phenothiazines Taking multivitamins that contain biotin or vitamin B7 may also affect the accuracy of the FSH test. Doctors usually recommend that a woman should not take these supplements for at least 12 hours before a test.
Q. Are there any special preparation required for FSH test?
As such no special preparations are required. However, in case of women, menstrual cycle timing is noted so as to compare the range accordingly.
Q. Can levels of FSH vary during different days of the menstrual cycle?
Yes, the FSH level can vary during the different phases of the menstrual cycle. Following are the normal range during different phases: Follicular phase: 3.1-7.9 mIU/ML Ovulation phase: 2.3-18.5 mIU/mL Luteal phase: 1.4-5.5 mIU/mL FSH levels can vary not only throughout the menstrual cycle but also from cycle to cycle. You can get a normal test value one month and an abnormal test value the next. Hence, to test basic fertility and to evaluate ovarian reserves, FSH level is checked on day 3 of the menstrual cycle. The first day of the cycle is the day when the period begins. Reference range may vary from lab to lab*
+ more



Thyrocare Technologies Limited is India's first and most advanced Totally Automated Laboratory having its strong presence in more than 2000 cities / towns in India and internationally. Thyrocare is India's first fully automated diagnostic laboratory with a focus on providing quality at affordable costs to laboratories and hospitals in India and other countries. Thyrocare operates with a Centralized Processing Laboratory (CPL) in Mumbai - India for esoteric tests; and Regional Processing...
Know More
User Reviews

Will recommend. Much better than ordering Thyrocare directly. Choice of Lab is an unique feature. Thank you.
Excellent service and delivery in very short period. Highly impressive


Orders Delivered
Get the link to download App

All products displayed on 1mg are 100% genuine and all labs listed on the platform are accredited


1mg uses Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) 128-bit encryption and is Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliant


Enjoy 20% off on allopathy medicines, up to 50% off on health products, up to 80% off on lab tests and free doctor consultations

India's only LegitScript and ISO/IEC 27001 certified online healthcare platform
Know More About 1mg
Access medical and health information

1mg provides you with medical information which is curated, written and verified by experts, accurate and trustworthy. Our experts create high-quality content about medicines, diseases, lab investigations, Over-The-Counter (OTC) health products, Ayurvedic herbs/ingredients, and alternative remedies.

Order medicines online

Get free medicine home delivery in over 1000 cities across India. You can also order Ayurvedic, Homeopathic and other Over-The-Counter (OTC) health products. Your safety is our top priority. All products displayed on 1mg are 100% genuine.

Book lab tests

Book any lab tests and preventive health packages from certified labs and get tested from the comfort of your home. Enjoy free home sample collection, view reports online and consult a doctor online for free.

Consult a doctor online

Got a health query? Consult doctors online from the comfort of your home for free. Chat privately with our registered medical specialists to connect directly with verified doctors. Your privacy is guaranteed.