Chapter 11. Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH)


Maria Superson, Dorota Bartusik-Aebisher and David Aebisher
Medical College of The University of Rzeszów, Poland

Part of the book: The Biochemical Guide to Hormones


Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is a tropic hormone and has a peptide structure. It consists of 207 amino acids that make up two subunits – alpha and beta. The decrease in serum FSH levels causes the smaller follicles in a given cohort to atresia because they do not have enough FSH sensitivity to survive. FSH levels are measured in International Units (IU). High FSH levels indicate that there is a lack of normal restrictive gonadal feedback, leading to unrestricted FSH production in the pituitary gland. High FSH may contribute to postmenopausal osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. FSH is widely used in the treatment of infertility, mainly in ovarian hyperstimulation under the IVF method (in vitro). Sometimes it is also used to induce ovulation in the case of anovulation.

Keywords: follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone (LH), gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH), glandular, International Units (IU)


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