There are several aspects to be assessed or taken into account when planning to conceive a new life. In addition to the good health of both parents, factors such as FSH and fertility hormone, which is found in both men and women and plays a relevant role in the process of fertilization and procreation, must also be considered.
Although the hormone FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) is part of the organism of both sexes, its name “follicle stimulating hormone” is derived from its function in the female body, which consists of stimulating the ovarian follicles with the intention of maturing the eggs inside them.
What is FSH hormone?
This hormone is a type of gonadotropin synthesized and secreted by the pituitary gland located at the base of the brain.
As already mentioned, this hormone is found in the body of both men and women, and the function of FSH hormone and fertility is as follows:
- In males, it is responsible for stimulating sperm production, also known as spermatogenesis.
- With respect to females, the hormone has the task of stimulating the development of ovarian follicles and regulating the menstrual cycle.
On the other hand, FSH is the active component of the drugs used in assisted reproduction treatments.
What influence does the FSH hormone have on male fertility?
In both females and males, follicle-stimulating hormone synthesis begins with the onset of puberty. In males, this event activates the testicles and triggers sperm production.
At the same time, the testicles begin the secretion of androgens, thus generating the manifestation of secondary sexual aspects in young people between eleven and twelve years of age.
Regarding the specific functions of FSH in men, it influences the cells known as Sertoli, located inside the seminiferous tubules of the testicle.
Sertoli cells have the task of providing protection and nutrition to the sperm predecessor cells, which function as a support or basis for spermatogenesis.
In general terms, FSH and the hormone testosterone have the task of triggering sperm production in the testes.
On the other hand, sperm production has a reverse control or normalization system managed by the hormone inhibin. Inhibin leaves the testis and signals the pituitary gland to stop the synthesis of more FSH.
Normal FSH hormone values
To measure the value of fertility in men, the seminogram is used. Likewise, FSH analysis can also be used to obtain information about any irregularity in seminal values.
As for the value that is considered normal and is taken as a reference with regard to FSH in males, this is located in a range of 1-12 mIU/ml.
When the follicle-stimulating hormone level is outside the indicated range, it is very likely that the man’s testicular function is impaired.
FSH hormone and low fertility
Low FSH levels may be due to one of these reasons:
- Hypogonadotropic hypogonadism.
- Hyperprolactinemia, which should be assessed for its cause, ruling out, for example, the use of drugs such as antidepressants and antihypertensives, among others.
FSH hormone and high fertility
When FSH levels are high, the reason may be one of the following:
- Chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatments.
- Pituitary tumors.
- Klinefelter’s syndrome, advanced age or andropause.
Possible consequences of having a high FSH hormone level
In the case that males have high levels of follicle stimulating hormone, this means that the pituitary gland through FSH is increasing production to achieve sperm production, but from the testicle is not achieving the effect, this may be due to external causes such as cancer treatment that has affected the testicles, or the genetic condition known as Klinefelter’s syndrome.
Both of these situations have the potential to cause infertility in men.
Possible consequences of having a low FSH hormone level
Low FSH levels may also be linked to fertility problems in males.
The causes may be varied, it may be due to a malfunction of the pituitary gland or hypophysis, which is in charge of the production of the FSH hormone.
The endocrine system plays an essential role in fertility, so any inconvenience that occurs at the level of this system can cause problems in achieving pregnancy.
Additionally, having low levels of follicle-stimulating hormone may be related to poor sperm production.
Follicle stimulating hormone test
In some cases, medical specialists decide to resort to this test to obtain data that will help them detect the reasons for possible infertility.
Normally this medical evaluation is carried out to determine several aspects such as:
- The amount of a woman’s egg supply. In other words, to determine your ovarian reserve.
- In men it is performed to test for low sperm count.
- It also allows the collection of information that contributes to the study of menstrual problems. Some of these problems may be irregular menstrual periods, or the absence of menstrual periods known as amenorrhea. All of this helps to discover if the female has reached menopause.
- Identify whether an infant is experiencing precocious or early puberty. It is classified as precocious when puberty occurs in girls under nine years of age and in boys under ten years of age.
- Another problem that can be detected thanks to the follicle-stimulating hormone test is delayed puberty.
- The test can also help diagnose pituitary irregularities, such as a tumor.
All these factors related to the FSH hormone and fertility, and to males, should be considered in case of any inconvenience or irregularity at the time of achieving pregnancy. Like women, men can also experience fertility problems.