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Alternative namesAn FSH test measures the amount of FSH (a hormone of the reproductive system) in the blood.
How the test is performed
Blood is drawn from a vein, usually from the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. The puncture site is cleaned with antiseptic, and a tourniquet (an elastic band) is placed around the upper arm to apply pressure and restrict blood flow through the vein. This causes veins below the tourniquet to fill with blood.
A needle is inserted into the vein, and the blood is collected in an air-tight vial or a syringe. During the procedure, the tourniquet is removed to restore circulation. Once the blood has been collected, the needle is removed, and the puncture site is covered to stop any bleeding.
Infant or young child:
How to prepare for the testAdults:
If you are a female in the reproductive years, your health care provider may want you to obtain the blood test on certain days of your menstrual cycle.
Infants and children:
The physical and psychological preparation you can provide for this or any test or procedure depends on your child's age, interests, previous experiences, and level of trust. For specific information regarding how you can prepare your child, see the following topics as they correspond to your child's age:
How the test will feelWhen the needle is inserted to draw blood, some people feel moderate pain, while others feel only a prick or stinging sensation. Afterward, there may be some throbbing.
Why the test is performedThis test may be performed when certain reproductive or pituitary disorders are suspected.
FSH is a hormone secreted from the anterior pituitary gland. In the woman, FSH stimulates production of ovarian follicles (eggs) and estradiol (another reproductive hormone) during the first half of the menstrual cycle. In the man, FSH stimulates production of sperm in the testicular tubules.
Note: IU/L = international units per liter.
What abnormal results meanDisorders that may be associated with abnormal FSH results include:
What the risks are
Special considerationsVeins and arteries vary in size from one patient to another and from one side of the body to the other. Obtaining a blood sample from some people may be more difficult than from others.
Update Date: 10/18/2003Francisco L. Gaudier, M. D., Maternal Fetal Medicine, Jacksonville, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT