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Low FSH Levels

Low FSH Levels

Low levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) in the body interfere with the ability for reproduction. Here is more information on the effects, causes, symptoms and treatment of low FSH levels in men and women.
Madhura Pandit
Last Updated: Mar 12, 2018
Low levels of FSH are associated with infertility in men and women.
FSH, or the follicle-stimulating hormone, is secreted by the pituitary gland. It is an important hormone as it plays a role in puberty maturation and reproduction in human beings.

Functions of FSH
In women, FSH stimulates the follicle for production of the egg. The stimulation of the follicles results in ovulation, releasing the egg in the uterus. Therefore, it is found that the level of FSH is the highest during the time of ovulation in women. It controls the menstrual cycle in women. In men, FSH is important for production of sperm. An increase or decrease in the levels of FSH leads to complication or problems in both men as well as women.

Low FSH in Men
In males, this hormone stimulates testicular growth. It also, indirectly, helps in regulating spermatogenesis. Thus, it is found that FSH is required for both, formation and maturation of the sperms. Decrease in the levels of FSH in males leads to low sperm count. It is one of the reasons for infertility.

Low FSH in Women
In women, fluctuation in FSH causes irregular menstrual cycle. It prevents formulation of egg and ovulation. As the fluctuation of FSH results in abnormal functioning of the reproductive organs, it can lead to infertility.

Low values of FSH can occur due to various reasons. Here is detailed information on the causes, symptoms and treatment methods for the same.

Improper functioning of the pituitary gland is the most common cause of low FSH levels in men and women. The pituitary gland is present in the brain, hence, any trauma or damage to this gland, or diseases like brain cancer, stroke, etc, can result in malfunctioning of this gland; and consequently in decreased production of the FSH. Hypopituitarism, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), Turner Syndrome, Klinefelter Syndrome, etc., are some of the other causes. On the other hand, being underweight, smoking, and excess stress also create FSH imbalance in human beings.

In women, irregular menstrual cycle is the most significant symptom of FSH imbalance. Apart from this, excess weight gain, hair growth and deepening of voice are the other symptoms observed in women. During the phase of menopause, the FSH level in women is the highest. On the other hand, increase in height, gynecomastia (development of breasts in men) and decrease in the amount of body hair are the symptoms of low FSH in men.

A blood test is used to determine the levels of follicle-stimulating hormone in the body. Increasing the levels of FSH can help in treating the symptoms to a great extent. It is debatable whether it can actually help in treating infertility. Injecting artificial hormones, HRT, birth control pills (for women), etc., are used to treat hormonal imbalance.

FSH injections stimulate the function of these hormones artificially. In some people, it may even help in treating infertility. However, note that FSH injections are not solely responsible for treating infertility. Secondly, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is one of the best known methods today to treat hormone imbalance. Testosterone therapy is also an effective technique used for treating hormone imbalance in men.

If the above mentioned symptoms are observed, the doctor should be consulted immediately to prevent further complications. On the other hand, you should remember that low FSH levels can be prevented to some extent by having a balanced diet and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Lastly, note that discontinuing smoking and treating stress effectively helps to have a healthy and a long life.

Disclaimer: The article is intended only to provide information. It is not to be used as a substitute for proper medical treatment.