Menopause and FSH Levels

FSH or Follicle Stimulating Hormone is an important part of fertility. This hormone is produced by the pituitary gland in both men and women. For women, FSH helps to stimulate the growth of the woman’s eggs; for men, it helps to produce sperm.

As a woman gets closer to menopause, the ovaries produce less estrogen. This in turn stimulates the pituitary gland to produce more FSH. Thus, women who are in menopause tend to see a rise in their FSH levels.





FSH tests usually will take place on the third day of a woman’s menstrual cycle. FSH levels can rise and fall throughout the entirety of her monthly cycle; by testing on the third day of the menstrual cycle, it gives a result that can be compared not only to the woman’s own levels from month to month, but to levels of other women, as well. A day 3 FSH test is standard in the medical field.

Here is what results of a FSH level test indicate:

  • FSH levels of 10 or lower are considered normal for most women on day three of the monthly cycle.
  • FSH levels of between 10 and 25 indicated that a woman may be in premenopause, but that she has not yet started menopause.
  • A FSH level of higher than 30 usually indicates that the woman has either already entered menopause, or that her ovaries are starting to fail.

Taken alone, FSH levels are not the only or even the best indication of whether or not a woman has entered menopause. Again, hormone levels fluctuate – sometimes dramatically – from one week to the next and one month to the next. You might have a FSH test with a high result one month, but the day 3 FSH test might be down to a normal level the next month.

Only if FSH levels have been elevated for several months in a row, and combined with other symptoms and evidence, should a woman be considered to be in menopause.


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