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What do FSH levels have to do with fertility?

Hi. My doctor wanted to measure my FSH levels when I told him my husband and I were trying to have a baby. Why did he do this? I am a 33 year old female and he didn't explain as much as I would have liked.
FSH (which stands for follicle stimulating hormone) is a hormone that plays an important role in fertility. It stimulates the production of follicles, which are important in the function of ovulation. Together with the hormone LH, they help to regulate ovulation and the rest of your cycle. FSH levels in your blood change with the different times of you cycle and they can change if you have a change in your fertility. The only reason to measure FSH levels if your doctor was concerned that your reproductive system was not functioning properly. If you have been trying to get pregnant for over a year without success, then FSH levels would be an important measurement (among many others) in order to figure out why you were not able to get pregnant. If you have just started trying to get pregnant, and are having fairly regular cycles, then there is no reason I can think of to measure FSH. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your OBGYN for a pre-conception consultation. The two of you can discuss the best methods to increase you chances of getting pregnant. In addition, you can get a prescription of a prenatal vitamin that you can begin taking now before you get pregnant. Good luck.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
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