Has your doctor advised you to take a Day 3 FSH test for assessing your fertility status? If yes, you should get an idea of what this test is all about, before you proceed with your decision of getting it done. The Day 3 FSH test is a blood test that is done to find the levels of the Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) in your blood.
This test is usually done on the 3rd day of your period, thereby, earning the name of Day 3 FSH test. The FSH test makes you aware of your ovarian reserves and the status of the functioning of your pituitary gland and hypothalamus.
How Does The FSH Facilitate Fertility
Well, you must be aware that one of the foremost criteria for you to be able to conceive (fertility is the ability of a male or female to conceive) is your ability to ovulate (release fully mature fertile egg cells from the ovary) healthily, which is measured by the number and quality of ova (singular ovum) released by the ovaries.
The ovum is a mature oocyte (premature egg). The oocytes are housed in the ovarian follicles, and are stimulated by FSH that is secreted by the pituitary gland for growth and development. Hence, abnormal levels of the FSH in the blood adversely affect the maturation of the oocytes, leading to ovulation problems in women, which consequently result in fertility issues.
How Is The Day 3 FSH Test Administered
Day 3 FSH test is done in two ways:
Medical Laboratory Testing
The Day 3 FSH test is done in licensed medical laboratories, through a blood test, on the third day of your periods. The testing procedure for the blood test is similar to your routine blood examination, where blood is drawn from your veins, with minimum pain or discomfiture to you.
You might feel an insignificant and momentary pain or burning sensation when blood is being drawn from your body, due to the invasion of the injection needle with the aid of which, blood is drawn from your body. Though the Day 3 FSH test is commonly administered on the 3rd day of your period, it can be administered on any day ranging from the 2nd – 4th days of your menses.
Over-the-counter FSH testing kits are also available, which use the urine that you pass, for testing. Though using these over-the counter kits may seem convenient and harmless to you, as they use the non-invasive method of performing the test, these cannot be relied upon for accurate results. It is recommended that you get your Day3 FSH test done under medical supervision.
IDeal Levels Of FSH Blood
It has been observed that too high or too low levels of FSH in your blood discourage fertility, as they result in inadequate and inferior quality ovulation. However, the defined normal ranges of FSH levels in your blood vary across laboratories. Your medical practitioner will be the best person to interpret your Day 3 FSH test results and inform you regarding your fertility status. Generally, it has been observed that women with FSH levels that are lesser than 15 mIU/ml are found to have the highest fertility rate.
Finally, you should not be quick to take the readings of your vascular FSH levels to heart, as it takes more than your FSH levels to pass a verdict on your fertility status. The readings of other hormone levels in your blood and the current biological processes of your body are also to be considered while arriving at conclusions regarding your fertility status.