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Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) Test

What it FSH?

FSH is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland. FSH causes follicles - the sacs in your ovaries that contain eggs - to grow. FSH is the primary hormone responsible for producing eggs.

In men, FSH is necessary for sperm production.

When Should You Have FSH Levels Checked?

  • You would have your FSH levels checked if your menstrual cycle has stopped or become irregular to see if you have entered menopause.
  • If you are having trouble becoming pregnant, FSH is checked as part of the standard fertility workup.
  • In men, FSH is checked if sperm counts are low and/or if the female partner is having trouble becoming pregnant.

When Are FSH Levels Checked?

You should have your FSH level checked on day 3 of your menstrual cycle. This is because FSH starts the ovulation process by getting a follicle growing. The FSH level provides information about how hard your body has to work to get this process started. If your ovarian reserve (how many eggs you have left) is low, your body will have to work much harder and FSH levels will be higher.

What Does the FSH Test Look For?

FSH levels are used to evaluate ovarian reserve, which is how many eggs you have left. It doesn’t provide information about the quality of these eggs, however.

What Do FSH Test Results Mean?

If you are in your late 30s to age 40, high FSH levels are not normal. High FSH levels indicate poor ovarian reserve. In this condition, you may have either relatively few eggs left in the ovaries or impaired development or recruitment of the eggs. Recent research suggests that this condition may be a precursor to premature ovarian failure.

There are also some congenital or genetic conditions that can result in high levels of FSH, such as Turner Syndrome or Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia. Also, extremely rarely, high FSH levels could be the result of a pituitary tumor.

Low levels of FSH may be associated with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and disorders of the pituitary gland or hypothalamus.

In men, high levels of FSH may indicate testicular failure. Low levels of FSH may indicate failure of gonadal function.

The bottom line is that abnormally high or low levels of FSH are, unfortunately, an indicator of infertility or decreased fertility in both men and women.

Fertility Treatment and FSH Levels

If your FSH levels are abnormal, the first step is to find out if there is an underlying cause and treat it if possible. In most cases, however, there is not an underlying cause—your body simply isn’t producing the right amounts. The next step will also be determined by the results of other hormone tests. For example, if FSH is low but estradiol is high, then the estradiol may be artificially suppressing the FSH.

You may be offered a clomiphene challenge test if your FSH level is normal but you are having trouble getting pregnant. This can help to discover some cases of poor ovulation.

If your FSH levels are normal, then you will probably respond well to ovarian stimulation. As FSH levels rise, you see less response to ovarian simulation. If your FSH levels are very high, you will probably not be given fertility drugs because virtually no response would be expected.

If you are unable to become pregnant or to obtain sufficient eggs for IVF due to FSH levels, you may choose to use a donor egg with IVF.

Learn more about High FSH myths and facts here.


Comments (102)

Hi, I am 32, got married 7 month ago, almost immediately conceived but at week 9 was diagnosed no heart beat. Now ttc again. Took FSH/LH test with the following results: FSH - 9.6 (norm 3.5-12.5), LH-8.8 (norm 2.5-12.6), estadiol 30.46 (norm 12.5-166). Should I be worried? I also expect to get AMH results shortly. Thanks.

Hi Asha,

Your results appear to be within normal range. An FSH above 9 is concerning, but as of right now, your results are normal. I would suggest you work with a fertility doctor as time is of the essence. If you need a recommendation, please contact us 1-855-955-BABY (2229).


My FSH value is 8.4 and HCG is negative? What should I do?

Hi Leena,

You may want to consult with your OB-GYN or a fertility doctor if you are trying to conceive. We can help you set up a consultation appointment with a fertility doctor if you call us at 1-855-955-BABY (2229).


I had my baby since yr 201 And since then i have not gotten another child. I have waited for years yet nothing is happening as per getting another pregnant, So i did a hormone profile test and my test result was .....Fsh - 68.59 (2-20 ) Lh -24.76 (1.5-15) Which drug will i take to normalize the hormone. Pls help me out cos i want to be pregnant.

Hi there,

Unfortunately the FSH hormone indicates what your ovarian reserve is and there is inconclusive evidence that any supplement could change that number. It reflects the number of eggs that are left in your ovaries. You should consult your fertility doctor to understand which treatment options are right for you.


estoy preocupada tengo el LH en 1.90 miu/ml y no se que significa

Tatiana, Debe comunicarse con el médico que le proporcionó los resultados para discutir sus preocupaciones. Lo mejor de la suerte, Jenna

my estrogen levels were 95 is this good i am 18 years old

If you are seeking guidance regarding your test results I highly recommend you discuss your concerns with the doctor that provided you with these results. He or she is familiar with your case specific information and can best advise you. If you are looking for a second opinion I'm happy to assist. You can email me directly at

my results had a full line and half a one please help me as im unsure what this stands for

Hi, i'm 30 year old i'm warried about my hormone because my LH is 2,0 and my FSH is 9 E2 is 84 what does it means? I can't be pregnant?

I am a turner syndrome female. I havent ever had a period. Im 40 yrs old and today i was told my fsh level is 42.

Hello, I'm 26, female Since around a year and half I've been noticing bodily changes, I just pinned them down to hormones even though they worried me at first. That is why i got a hormone test done last year and didn't insist much on finding out the root problem because I was afraid my mother would get angry and irritated with my nagging. I got my hormone tests done in Pakistan and I was in a healthy BMI at that time, I have gained back weight now so I'm thinking of running another test with the doc. I noticed a bit of chin hair alongside some skin redness which I have never experienced before. I would notice a few spots before or after my period too. But now those symptoms have gone onto an extremely flaky scalp that even itches and feels tight, I try to oil it but I know there is an underlying reason and want to find it out. I also experience flaky eyebrows and facial redness. On top of that two weeks ago I experienced extreme and consistent pain in the left lower stomach even though I wasn't going to get my period. And I got my period very soon this month. Apart from that I did notice hair thinning too but I thought maybe that's hormones and testosterone levels being high. I have also experienced some joint pains especially in my knees and I feel tired and lazy easily than before. I do experience a lot of lows and mood change as well (I assumed it was the post-grad sadness or the family problems I was facing, I was even put on bipolar meds which I stopped since I knew that wasn't the problem). I have a feeling it has something to do with an imbalance in my body but before I go for another round of tests, i was hoping someone could help me understand my lab reports from last year (since the doctors in my present community have been very dismissive and rude). I don't know what the reports mean but I shall write down the results that I see in bold letters on the report. Also these tests were taken on my second day of my period cycle I think, and they told me not to eat anything before that. I have also had a PCOS ultrasound and its normal. PLEASE CAN SOMEONE READ THESE and help me understand whether it's worth going for another round of expensive tests? Because the symptoms are ongoing. Serum TSH: 1.876 uIU/ml {Free Androgen Index Profile} Serum Testosterone: 27.39 ng/dl Serum FSH: 5.63 mIU/ml Serum LH: 3.70 mIU/ml Serum Insulin: 8.60 uU/ml Serum SHBG: 28.60nmol/L (26.1-110) S. Free Androgen Index: 3.33% Serum DHEA-SO4: 272.00 ug/dl (35-430) Serum 17-OH Progesterone 0.40 ng/ML Glucose fasting: 81 mg/dl Serum Testosterone: 57.89 ng/dl Serum Estradiol: 71.00 pg/ml Serum Progesterone: 0.60 ng/ml

I am 53 and had a supracervical hysterectomy 10 years ago. I kept the ovaries because of stroke risk in my family. I just got all my bloodwork back. I have had 3 ovarian cysts and felt that was "sputtering" of hormones causing it. My Progesterone level is .59 and estradiol is <20.0. My FSH is 110.1. I know I am post menapause. What I would like to know, is now with the results, is there still egg producing to create the cysts oe are the numbers low enough that now it has stopped?

Sophia - if you are seeking guidance regarding your test results I highly recommend you discuss your concerns with the doctor that provided you with these results. He or she is familiar with your case specific information and can best advise you. If you are looking for a second opinion I'm happy to assist. You can email me directly at

i am 41 year old, it is 1 year since i got married, i unable to get pregnant, my 3rd day FSH test resulted = 28.46 ml U/ml and my 3rd day LH test resulted = 10.66 mlU/ml, my 3rd day T3 test resulted = 89.18 ng/dl my 3rd day T4 test resulted = 6.13 ug/dl my 3rd day TSH test resulted = 1.83 mlU/L please guide me with my results whether i will be able to become mother regards sophia

Hello Sanzay,
We are not doctors nor can we provide any medical advice. Have you tried seeing a specialist? Or has your GYN been able to explain the results to you? Please let us know if we can assist you in any way. Please contact our PCAs at 855-955-BABY (2229)
Thank you,

Hi I am 29 years old n having amenorrhea since last three months ... Get checked n had periods after taking 2 different medications ... Now had my test done on second day ov menstraution that is ; FSH 52.06 n LH 27.74 ... Do help me ... Tell what does it depict .....

Paniz - Did your doctor indicate that he or she was concerned by your symptoms and test results? I am not a doctor nor do I have any medical training but it sounds like there could be an underlying issue here. I recommend that you consult with your doctor regarding these results and your symptoms. If you would like a second opinion please email me directly at and I can assist you in finding another specialist

Hi i'm 24 years old i had three periods during last month also i got thick hairs on my chin and body i got fsh, lh, 17 OH progestrone the results were: fsh:7.4, LH:3.6, 17 OH pro: 0.94 Do these indicate a severe problem? I got the tests on 8th of my cycle.

Hi, I'm 45 years old, and have had an IUD in for 3 years. I do not get regular menstrual cycles, nor do I get regular spotting's all over the board. I recently had an FSH and LH test. My FSH was 7.5 and my LH was 5.0. Does the IUD interfere with this blood test? I notice most people tend to have these tests during certain days of their menstruation. Thank you

Sorry fish means fsh

Sir doctors opinions are different some says it should be possible if testis are normal now I had done an ultrasound this is normal.some says that you should to go through surgery while other says that nothing is possible not to do any surgery for undescended Testis. Now I am confused sir plz sir suggest me I am in tension that what to bring normal On semen test only was written azospermia. Fsh is 18.7. During semen test two three drops were dropped on floor is this bring normal result. Or this is OK because of fish?

These are all questions for your doctor. If you are feeling confused you should get a third opinion. You should be seeing a doctor that specializes in your condition and you will need to know what type of Azoospermia you have before you can decide on a treatment.

Hello - Did your doctor tell you if your Azoospermia was obstructive or non obstructive? The type of Azoospermia you have will determine your treatment options.

Your doctor can best assist you in determining the next step.

Sir I have undescended testis since of birth (both) . According to semen test I hv azospermia. Fsh was 26 two months back now recently I done a test showing fish 18.7 . Ultrasound was normal both testis size shape . My age is 24.. partner age 19. Married time two year. What should I do , is it durable please? Suggest me briefly please. thanks. Regard

hello i am 45 years old and my fsh was 20.0and my lh is at 5.3 can you tell me what that means?

Am 30yrs nd had my fsh test to be 12.8mlu lh14.8mlu h prolactin 19.4ng/ml what are my chances of getting pregnant av not had any child

Hi Mary,

Are you currently working with a fertility doctor? Only a fertility doctor (reproductive endocrinologist) can tell you your odds of success with IVF and also with donor eggs. Give us a call at 1-855-955-BABY (2229) and we can connect you with a fertility doctor in the US.


My fsh level s 75 & lh level s 30. Have irregular periods nd no follicle development. Is there any to get pregnant naturally? Pls suggest me. Im very scared. Suggest some home foods also

If that information is correct, it does seem that you would need fertility treatment to get pregnant. Have you seen a reproductive endocrinologist? If not you really should. I wish you all the best, Claire

My latest blood work showed these numbers. My periods come monthly but either later than normal and the consistency is different. I have been trying to conceive fir three years. This month I had bloody discharge with no period. I also have thyroid and adrenal symptoms i take supplements for. They seem to lesson the symptoms, an i am taking metformin for my diabetes. Could I be pregnant now or are my lh and fsh levels too adnormal? They use to be lh 12.4 and fsh 2.5...

I just recently had some blood work due to severe symptoms that I have been having for over a month now. My FSH on 3rd day of menses came back 0.2. Can you please please tell me what this means. I faxed the results to obgyn and haven't heard anything and it has been four days. Please help

I'm 30. I haven't had a period in two months, and I'm growing a beard... I asked my amazing on and she pulled blood work. So far I have two labs back.. Fhs is 7.7 and Dhea_s is 206. I have more test not complete. Do my results thus far indicate I'm not fertile or have issue? I should mention my general thyroid ths, no t3 or t4, came back normal. My doc said my thyroid looked "full"? I'm scared. Any answers would be great

On CD9, I had a saline u/s as we were starting to determine why my husband and I hadn't conceived after 18 months of trying. It showed that my uterus and tubes were normal, and that I had a large follicle, close to ovulating. I had bloodwork done that same day and results were as follows: FSH 3.0, LH 7.5, AMH 1.6. Our doctor didn't seem concerned about my bloodwork, but normal range of FSH suggested that my FSH is too low for ovulation. My husband does have morphology/motility issues from his SA results, and we are working on that. Thank you for your time!

Your FSH should be tested on day 3 of your cycle for accuracy - and it will give you information about your ovarian reserve. I hope you and your husband are in the care of a fertility doctor, who can address the male factor issues and a treatment plan to help you get pregnant. Please keep us posted. Claire

i lost my menses four year before i am on pill but my fsh level is normal even if i left pill for two to three months i want pregancy but injection fail to stimulate my ovaries

Hallo I did an FSH and LH test on the third (3rd) day of my period. These were the results I got: FSH: 3.12 LH: 2.5 PRL: 23.21 Are these levels normal?

Hi. Is my case completely hopeless? I have just a partial ovary left due to cysts. Is there any point in seeing a reproductive endocrinologist? Thank you . Nikki.

A reproductive endocrinologist can give you complete information on getting pregnant or having a baby, regardless of your situation. I believe it's important to understand all your options before considering it hopeless. If you'd like information on doctors in your area, please contact our Patient Care Advocates at 855-955-2229 or Best, Claire

Hi, I am 33 and I haven't had a period for a year. My lh and fsh levels are extremely low. I am wanting to try for a baby. Can anyone explain how I can increase to get a period? Thanks kate

If you have not have your period for a year, and you want to get pregnant, you really should see a fertility doctor (reproductive endocrinologist) for a consultation. S/he will do a "fertility workup" to get a full understanding of your specific situation. If you need help finding a fertility doctor, please contact our Patient Care Advocates toll free at 855-955-2229 or email Best, Claire

I'm married 27 yr old.... I'm having irregular periods from past 5-6 yr ... Now we r planning for baby by repots says I have high FSh Thyroglobulin ,antibody 29.6 AMH<0.16 T4 1.02 DHEA sulfate 242.2 Serum 167 TSH3.5 LH 21.7 FSH 42.4 I know I have to go for donor egg.... Still is there any chance getting pregnancy for my own baby?????? Some one plz help me.

I am 38 and have not had my period since losing a pregnanacy in its sixth month in June, 2013. I had an hormonal profile test did in November and test result shows LH 2.12. FSH 2.31 prolactin 4.2 and progesterone 0.62. This this means ovaries are no longer functioning? Kindly advise

I'm so sorry for your loss. You don't say if you had your blood test on day 3 of your cycle, but that is important. In addition, many doctors are doing an AMH test which they believe is a good indicator. At 38, and not getting your period, I would recommend seeing a fertility doctor, not an ob/gyn - I'm not sure if that's the case right now. If you'd like more information, please contact our Patient Care Advocates at 855-955-2229 or Best, Claire

my doctor tested my fsh level, but not on day 3. it was the 17th day of my cycle. does this make a big difference, could this be one reason my level was high (28.4)

Yes, your FSH levels should be checked on day 3. Another good indicator of ovarian reserve is the AMH test. I would ask your doctor to recheck your FSH on day 3. If you are looking for a fertility doctor, please contact our patient care advocates at 855-955-2229 or Best, Claire

Hi I had a hysterectomy 7yrs ago. I had a tubal during my c-section. I still have my ovaries My Dr ran a fsh, lh, estrogen and estradiol level test. Lh is 4.0. Fsh is 7.7 Progesterone 0.4 estradiol 37.4 and estrogen 90 Can someone explain them to me please? Thanks! !



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