Deficiency of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH),known as the gonadotropin, leads to different symptoms in men and women. Diminished secretion of FSH can result in failure of gonadal function (hypogonadism). It may be the cause of pairs problems with conception. This condition is typically manifested in males as failure in production of normal numbers of sperm. In females, cessation of reproductive cycles is commonly. Lack of FSH in children is associated with delayed puberty.

In female, low levels of FSH may be due to:

  • underweight or rapid weight loss
  • not producing eggs (not ovulating)
  • pregnancy
  • parts of the brain (the pituitary gland or hypothalamus) not producing normal amounts of some or all of its hormones

Injection of FSH (ovarian stimulating drug) is used for increase level of FSH. In female, treatment is started in early the menstrual cycle. It is usually used in the sense of stimulation of the development of ovarian follicles. It is important to check regularly to prevent excessive hormone replacement.

In male, low levels of FSH may be due to:

  • parts of the brain (the pituitary gland or hypothalamus) not producing normal amounts of some or all of its hormones 
There currently are no effective medications to treat oligospermia (a low concentration of sperm). Research in male fertility medication is currently ongoing.

Symptoms

  • delayed, reduced, or absent puberty
  • decreased libid
  • infertility
  • depressed mood
  • osteoporosis (bone fragility)
  • osteopenia (a bone condition characterized by bone loss)
  • erectile dysfunction in male
  • gynecomastia (development of breasts in male)
  • irregular menstrual cycle in female

Associated diseases

  • polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
  • obesity
  • non-obstructive azoospermia
  • Kallmann syndrome
  • hypopituitarism (a decrease in secretion of one or more hormones normally produced by the pituitary gland)
  • hyperprolactinemia 
  • hypogonadism
  • gonadal dysgenesis
  • thyroid disorders
  • hyperstrogenism
  • idiopathic female infertility
  • oligospermia

Complications

  • Treatment with follicle stimulating hormone increases of multiple births. Multiple births can carry risk both for the mother and for fetuses. Follicle stimulating hormone therapy should not be used if the woman is pregnant. FSH can to cause birth defects in an unborn baby.
  • After using injectable hormone medications may occur ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) is the most serious complication of controlled ovarian stimulation (COS) as part of assisted reproductive technologies (ART). While the safety and efficacy of ART is well established, physicians should always be aware of the risk of OHSS in patients undergoing COS, as it can be fatal. OHSS may be complicated by ovarian torsion, ovarian rupture, thrombophlebitis (vein inflammation related to a thrombus (blood clot)) and renal insufficiency (a condition of impaired kidney function in which the kidneys fail to adequately filter metabolic wastes from the blood).

Risk factors

In female, risk factors for low level of FSH include, for example:

  • stress is known to inhibit the release of FSH, leading to impaired development of an egg/s
  • not enough physical exercise
  • pituitary tumor
  • adrenal insufficiency

In male, risk factors for low level of FSH include, for example:

  • injury to your testicles
  • testicular or pituitary tumors
  • mumps infection affecting your testicles
  • pituitary tumor
  • adrenal insufficiency

Prevention

For both men and women, it is important to maintain an ideal weight, consume a healthy balanced diet and exercise regularly to remain healthy and active.

Physicians can reduce the risk of symptoms by monitoring of FSH therapy to use this medication judiciously.

FSH level correlates inversely with the number of eggs in the ovaries - it is a marker of ovarian reserve. A low ovarian reserve may indicate fewer available eggs and can lead to infertility. In this case synthetic FSH by injection or Clomid (Clomiphene citrate) via a pill can be given to stimulate follicles to mature in the ovaries.

FSH in males is important for both, formation and maturation of the sperms. The low levels of FSH leads to low sperm count (oligospermia). It can one of the reasons for infertility. However, chances are good if the female partner is fertile; many couples with this problem have been successful.

In more severe cases IVF (in vitro fertilisation), or IVF – ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) is done and is often the best option, specifically if time is a factor or fertility problems coexist on the female side.

Increasing the levels of FSH can help in treating the symptoms to a certain extent.

The prognosis is favorable if the substitution therapy is optimally guided and monitored properly. Increasing the levels of FSH can help in treating the symptoms to a certain extent. Women and men working age deficient gonadotropins problem tends concept is needed pharmacological ovulation induction in females and spermatogenesis in males and in some cases the methods of assisted reproduction.

Prognosis is more limited if there is a combination of factors that include sperm dysfunction and reduced ovarian reserve.

Find more about related issues

Sources

Signs of infertility ―sourced from Progesterone Therapy licensed under CC BY 3.0
Hypogonadotropic hypogonadism ―sourced from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY- SA 3.0
Fertility medication ―sourced from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome ―sourced from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
Infertility ―sourced from Boundless licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0
Oligospermia ―sourced from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
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