Before knowing about the Follicle Stimulating Hormone, it is important to know what a follicle is. So, before going into it, we must know about ovaries. The ovaries are a part of the female reproductive system and every female has a pair of ovaries. A follicle is a part of the ovary. Follicles are a small sac filled with fluids and contain an immature egg cell and a matured egg cell is released during ovulation.
At the beginning of puberty, every woman has three to four lakhs of follicles. As age increases, the follicles start decreasing.
Follicle Stimulating Hormone or FSH is a type of gonadotropic hormone, that is, these hormones act on the gonads (in case of females, it is the ovaries). These are secreted by the pituitary gland in the brain directly into the bloodstream.
In males, the Follicle Stimulating Hormone is essential for the production of sperm cells. These hormones act on a certain type of cells present in the testes to stimulate the process of production of sperm cells. Testosterone is required for the regulation of FSH in males.
In the females, FSH is needed for the growth of the follicles present in the ovaries so that they can be matured enough to release a matured egg cell during ovulation. FSH is also essential for the development of ovaries and development during puberty.
Deficiency of Follicle Stimulating Hormone
In females, if there is any deficiency in the secretion of the Follicle Stimulating Hormone then the development during the phase of puberty is not complete. In addition to this, the ovaries also do not develop completely and hence, do not function properly.
Since the follicles and the ovaries do no develop properly due to low levels of Follicle Stimulating Hormone, the egg cells are not released. As a result of this, the female may become infertile completely unless treated.
In addition to this, a low level of Follicle Stimulating Hormone leads to another condition which is known as Kallman’s syndrome. In this situation, the person may partially lose the ability of smell and incomplete development during puberty. This disorder is a type of hypogonadotropic hypogonadism in scientific terms.
Deficiency of Follicle Stimulating Hormone in males may also cause some problems. Follicle Stimulating Hormone is required for the production of sperm cells. If there is a complete absence of this hormone occurs then the person can become infertile due to no production of sperm cells.
The complete absence of Follicle Stimulating Hormone also causes the absence of puberty in males. The partial absence of this hormone is also troublesome and can lead to physical problems. This causes a delay in the occurrence of puberty. Also, the production of sperm cells is limited in such a condition.
But it is to be noted that insufficient presence of the Follicle Stimulating Hormone does not cause infertility in males. Since the production of sperm cells is limited, infertility is not generally caused. The absence of FSH after puberty can also cause infertility in males.
Excess of Follicle Stimulating Hormone
Excess of Follicle Stimulating Hormone, just like deficiency of it, is also not beneficial. More than the expected level of the Follicle Stimulating Hormone can cause ovarian malfunctioning in the females. This can also cause the malfunctioning of testes in males.
In simple words, the excess of Follicle Stimulating Hormone may lead to the failure of the ovaries or the testes. Klinefelter’s syndrome in males and Turner’s syndrome in females are examples of such conditions. In scientific terms, such a condition is known as hypogonadotropic-hypogonadism.
In females, the level of Follicle Stimulating Hormone naturally rises after menopause. As a result of this, the levels of estrogen and progesterone significantly decline. This causes the ovaries to not function properly. Also, enlargement of the ovaries may occur in the females due to excess of FSH in them.
The level of Follicle Stimulating Hormone varies from one cycle to another. If someone is tested with high FSH then she should get it tested another time. But it is to be kept in mind that the highest reading the FSH level is the normal one for you.
Regulation of Follicle Stimulating Hormone
The Follicle Stimulating Hormone is controlled and regulated by some other hormones that are secreted by the ovaries and the testes. A part of the brain known by the name of the hypothalamus secretes another hormone known as Gonadotropin-releasing hormone that ensures the functioning of the follicle-stimulating hormone.
The other hormones required for the regulation of FSH levels in the body is sensed by the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland. The level of FSH decreases with an increase in the age of the individual.
Foods to regulate Follicle Stimulating Hormone
As stated earlier that Follicle Stimulating Hormone is secreted by the pituitary gland, no food supplement can directly affect the levels. But below are some of the food items whose intake may help in regulating the levels of Follicle Stimulating Hormone.
Often termed as a superfood, milk helps in regulating the levels of FSH by adding the different vitamins. It also helps meet the other nutritional requirements and thus the Follicle Stimulating Hormone reaches an optimum.
Besides, consuming milk can improve other health issues. Also, the levels of estrogen, progesterone, and other hormonal levels are maintained.
Avocados are also rich in different nutrients and are very important sources of the vitamin B complex. Vitamin B complex is known to regulate the levels of follicle-stimulating hormone. Consuming avocados can thus help regulate this hormone.
Avocados are also essential for maintaining the level of other sex hormones. So, adding avocados in the diet is a good idea.
Green leafy vegetables
Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and other food items have long been known to regulate the hormonal cycles in females. Being rich in iron, they are of great importance for the process of ovulation.
These have a rich presence of vitamin B complex that can help in boosting the production of FSH.
Beans and lentils are very healthy and are beneficial for maintaining a normal chemical balance in the body. These are rich sources of different vitamins that are needed to maintain a proper hormonal balance in the body. It is a great idea to add legumes to your diet.
It is to be remembered that any food that enhances the levels of vitamin B complex in your diet can be beneficial to solve the issues regarding the secretion of Follicle Stimulating Hormone.
But a thing which is of utmost importance that people often ignore is that the level of Follicle Stimulating Hormone in the bloodstream can be imbalanced because of many complexities. Ameliorating the diet is indeed a good idea but this is not the ultimate step.
It is always suggested to consult a professional medical practitioner for further help in this regard. The imbalance of Follicle Stimulating Hormone that arises from any medical complexity can only be solved by proper treatment and no small remedies will be helpful.
Also, the effects of deficiencies and upsurge of the Follicle Stimulating Hormone is to be kept in mind along with the effects. Any abnormality can lead to infertility.
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Mother of Two children. I’m a former teacher with a background in child development and a passion for Good parenting. I understand child development and know how to develop activities to help children learn and grow. Spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, and volunteering in my community.