Pathology Handbook

Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)


Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)

Clinical Indications

LH and FSH are anterior pituitary hormones which regulate male and female gonadal function.

Measurement of LH/FSH can be useful in suspected disorders of gonadal function.

FSH may be useful in helping identify menopausal status in some patients

Request Form

Request on ICE


On request

Specific Criteria

Investigation of suspected hypothalamic, pituitary or gonadal dysfunction.

If the sample is for ?menopause ONLY an FSH is required

Patient Preparation

FSH is suppressed in patients taking the combined oral contraceptive pill and there is no point in measuring gonadotrophin levels under these circumstances

Turnaround Time

Same Day (Monday to Friday)




1 ml


Vacutainer gold top


If patient is having menstrual cycles, collect between days 1 to 5 of cycle

Causes for Rejection

Unlabelled or incorrectly labelled sample

Reference Range

In women in the early follicular phase (days 1-5 of cycle)  1-10 U/L

Levels in women rise at mid-cycle and are difficult to interpret at this time

Males: 1-8 U/L


Low LH/FSH: pituitary / hypothalamic disease.

High gonadotrophins: primary gonadal failure (LH and FSH), azoospermia / ovulatory failure (FSH), polycystic ovary syndrome (LH>FSH).

Towards the menopause, FSH tends to rise before LH, although both show considerable variation. After the menopause, levels of both FSH and LH are greatly elevated (greater than 28 U/L).