Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland. In females, FSH plays a key role in regulating the menstrual cycle and promoting the growth and development of ovarian follicles, which contain the eggs. In males, FSH is involved in the development and maturation of the testes and the production of sperm.
In the context of fertility treatments, FSH medications are often used to stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple follicles and eggs, which can then be retrieved and used in procedures such as in vitro fertilization (IVF). These medications can be administered through injection, and monitoring of FSH levels in the blood can help doctors adjust the dosage and timing of treatment for optimal results.
Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) medications can also be used in fertility treatments to regulate FSH levels and promote follicle growth. These medications work by suppressing the body's natural production of FSH and LH, and then introducing a controlled amount of the hormones to stimulate follicle growth.