If you are a female in the reproductive years, your health care provider may want you to obtain the blood test on certain days of your menstrual cycle.

Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) is a hormone secreted from the anterior pituitary gland. This test measures the amount of FSH in the blood. It is performed when certain reproductive or pituitary disorders are suspected. LH blood test measures the amount of luteinizing hormone (LH). This test may be performed when a disorder associated with abnormal levels of LH is suspected. LH is a protein hormone secreted by the anterior pituitary gland.

In women: FSH stimulates production of ovarian follicles (eggs) and estradiol (another reproductive hormone) during the first half of the menstrual cycle. An LH surge at mid-cycle causes ovulation. For the next week or so, LH maintains the corpus luteum which synthesizes progesterone. If a woman does not become pregnant, the corpus luteum disintegrates after about 10 days.

In men: FSH stimulates production of sperm in the testicular tubules. LH stimulates production of testosterone by the Leydig cells of the testes.

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