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FSH Tests: Checking the Eggs

"FSH Tests allow you to gauge your biological clock and offer you a window into your egg supply (or ovarian reserve). If you are looking for answers about fertility and infertility questions, FSH tests may provide the information you need to evaluate potential infertility issues..."

We spend several years of our lives trying to avoid pregnancy through various methods (from the birth control pill to abstinence), and then all of sudden we want to about face and become pregnant. Not as easy as it sounds. For a very lucky few, it takes a cycle or two. For most of us, it take months. For others, it may even take a year or more.

The fact is, 1 in 5 Couples will face infertility issues. To discern potential issues, there are home diagnostic kits: male fertility tests and female fertility tests. Male fertility tests check for sperm count and FSH tests for women evaluate ovarian reserve.

Want to Check Your Eggs? FSH Testing and Fertility

Follicle-stimulating hormone tests (or fsh tests for short) are designed to detect high levels of FSH - which may be associated with infertility issues, peri-menopause, or menopause symtpoms. Women experiencing symptoms of infertility, missed periods, or ovulatory irregularity may use FSH tests to determine if these symptoms are associated with high FSH levels. An FSH test can be used evaluate a woman's egg supply (ovarian reserve) and determine issues with hormonal balance.

FSH testing is commonly used in infertility clinics to measure a woman's egg supply (ovarian reserve). FSH testing can also help evaluate menstrual problems, such as irregular or absent menstrual periods (amenorrhea). This can assist in determining whether a woman is perimenopausal, menopausal, or if fertility issues may be attributable to other causes.

Ovarian Reserve - How Many Eggs Do I Have Left?

During the first part of the menstrual cycle, FSH is produced by the pituitary gland and is responsible for initiating the development of a woman’s ova. If a woman experiences infertility or peri-menopausal symptoms, this may indicate a low ovarian reserve - which is signalled by elevated levels of follicle stimulating hormone. With infertility or subfertility cases based on low ovarain reserve, the fsh is produced in higher amounts. In effect, there is an 'FSH overcompensation' that occurs to stimulate the ovaries into producing mature ova and increased estrogen. If you detect higher-than-expected levels of FSH, it may be a signal that your body is compensating for low ovarian supply and concomitant deficiencies in estrogen production. One aspect of menopause is the decrease of healthy eggs in the ovaries. With the start of menopause, the brain detects estrogen deficiency and releases more FSH in order to stimulate the ovaries to produce a healthy follicle.

The follicle stimulating hormone test can assist in determining ovarian reserve - both the quantity and quality of eggs/ova. When looking at peri-menopausal symptoms, age may of course be a key variable, though not necessarily. For example, you can be age 42 with high quality ova and still be fertile (healthy ovarian reserve), or you can be 32 with poor ovarian reserve and exhibit subfertility symptoms. However, the quality of ovarian reserve can be expected to start a slow decline around the mid 30's, then more significantly in the late 30s. By the 40s, this tend is exacerbated.

FSH Test Kits are available to determine high levels of FSH. At least 3 tests should be used consecutively as directed in determining elevated levels of FSH.

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