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The follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) test is a blood test that measures the level of FSH in the bloodstream. FSH is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland that plays a crucial role in the menstrual cycle and fertility in both men and women. In women, FSH stimulates the growth and development of ovarian follicles, which are structures that contain the eggs. In men, FSH stimulates the production of sperm in the testes.

Abnormal FSH levels can indicate various conditions related to fertility and reproductive health. In women, high levels of FSH may indicate a decline in ovarian reserve or premature ovarian failure, which can make it more difficult to get pregnant. Low levels of FSH in women may indicate polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a condition that can cause irregular periods and infertility. In men, high FSH levels may indicate testicular failure, while low levels of FSH may indicate a pituitary gland problem.

The FSH test is commonly used in fertility testing and treatment, particularly for women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF). In IVF, FSH levels are monitored to determine the optimal time for egg retrieval, and FSH injections may be used to stimulate the growth of multiple follicles and increase the chances of successful fertilization.

Overall, the FSH test is a useful tool for assessing fertility and reproductive health in both men and women. If you are experiencing fertility issues or other reproductive health concerns, talk to your healthcare provider about whether the FSH test may be appropriate for you.