The follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) blood test measure the level of FSH in the bloodstream. FSH is a hormone that is released by the pituitary gland, which is located at the base of the brain. It provides valuable information about how well the testicles are making sperm. Having too little or too much FSH can affect sperm production, making it difficult to get pregnant.
Why it's done
In men, FSH stimulates the production of sperm. The test is used to help diagnose or evaluate:
- Male infertility or problems getting pregnant
- Men who do not have testicles or whose testicles are underdeveloped
There is little risk in getting an FSH test. When the needle is inserted to draw blood, some people may feel some pain. Others feel only a prick or stinging. Afterward, there may be some throbbing or a slight bruise.
How to prepare
For men, there is nothing that you need to do ahead of time. You do not need to be fasting when the labs are drawn.
Normal FSH levels will differ, depending on a person's age and sex. Normal values for men are as follows:
- Before puberty: 0 to 5.0 mIU/mL (0 to 5.0 IU/L)
- During puberty: 0.3 to 10.0 mIU/mL (0.3 to 10.0 IU/L)
- Adult: 1.2 to 15.8 mIU/mL (1.2 to 15.8 IU/L)