What is FSH?

Follicle-Stimulating Hormone, or FSH, is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland in the brain, which plays an important role in the growth and maturation of ovarian follicles, as well as with ovulation and the menstrual cycle. Baseline FSH levels typically increase with age due to diminished ovarian reserve, and over time more FSH is then needed to stimulate ovarian function. 

Women who are checking this level because they are interested in getting pregnant can use this information in several ways. An FSH level in a premenopausal range indicates that egg quantity and hormone production may be sufficient to support conception. If your FSH is in an elevated or post-menopausal range, then you may want to see your healthcare provider to discuss further testing and appropriate next steps.