How It Feels
You may feel nothing at all from the
needle puncture, or you may feel a brief sting or pinch as the needle goes
through the skin. Some people feel a stinging pain while the needle is in the
vein. But many people do not feel any pain or have only minor discomfort once
the needle is positioned in the vein.
There is very little risk of complications from
having blood drawn from a vein.
- You may develop a small bruise at the puncture
site. You can reduce the risk of bruising by keeping pressure on the site for
several minutes after the needle is withdrawn.
- In rare cases, the
vein may become inflamed after the blood sample is taken. This condition is
called phlebitis and is usually treated with a warm compress applied several
- Continued bleeding can be a problem for people who have bleeding disorders. Aspirin, warfarin (Coumadin), and other blood-thinning
medicines can also make bleeding more likely. If you have bleeding or clotting
problems, or if you take blood-thinning medicine, tell your doctor before your
blood is drawn.
A follicle-stimulating hormone test
measures the amount of follicle-stimulating
hormone (FSH) in a blood sample. The test results
depend on your age and stage of sexual development.
The phase of a
menstrual cycle can affect results, so it is important
to know the first day of your last menstrual period at the time the test is
Results are usually available within 24 hours.
The normal values listed here—called a reference range—are just a guide. These ranges vary from lab to lab, and your lab may have a different range for what's normal. Your lab report should contain the range your lab uses. Also, your doctor will evaluate your results based on your health and other factors. This means that a value that falls outside the normal values listed here may still be normal for you or your lab.
Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)
| Menstruating women
1.37–9.9 international units per liter (IU/L)
| Women past menopause:
Many conditions can change FSH
levels. Your doctor will discuss any significant abnormal results with you in
relation to your symptoms and past health.
High FSH values in a woman may
- Loss of ovarian function before age 40
- Menopause has occurred.
High FSH values in a man may mean:
- Testicles are absent or not functioning
- Testicles have been damaged by a disease, such as alcohol
dependence, or by treatments, such as
High values in children may mean that puberty is about to
Low FSH values may mean:
- A woman is not producing eggs (prevents
ovulation) or a man is not producing sperm.
- An area of the brain
pituitary gland) is not functioning properly.
- A tumor is present that interferes with the brain's ability to
control FSH production.
- Starvation or being