Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)
Follicle Stimulating Hormone is a peptide hormone produced in the pituitary gland of the brain. It is normally present in the blood or urine varying in concentration with the stage of the menstrual cycle. When estrogen levels drop, FSH is released from the pituitary gland indicating that either a woman in mid-menstrual cycle or indicating the onset of perimenopause. During early menopause, changes take place in the balance of hormones that regulate and control menstrual cycles. As a woman grows older and passes out of childbearing stage of life, the ovaries gradually make less of the hormone estrogen and FSH increases. FSH normally regulates the growth and development of an egg. Once this part of the monthly cycle is complete, FSH production is stopped and it returns to normal. As the body decreases estrogen production with age, more FSH is made. Over time these hormone changes cause menstrual periods to stop completely and ""menopause"" has occurred. The slow change in ovary function can happen between 2 and 10 years before the final period. This early stage before menopause is called Perimenopause. During this stage, the levels of FSH may rise to positive levels and slowly return to normal, causing irregular or missed periods. The testing for FSH should, therefore, be performed twice to help identify the levels of FSH throughout a menstrual cycle. The one-step FSH Test is a chromatographic immunoassay (ICT) for the rapid qualitative determination of Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) level in urine to evaluate the onset of menopause in women. . The immunological specificity of the test kit virtually eliminates cross reactivity and interference to structurally related glycoprotein hormones such as hLH, hCG and hTSH.