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35 Difference Between FSH and LH

35 Difference Between FSH and LH

The anterior pituitary gland in the brain produces two key hormones: FSH(Follicle-Stimulating Hormone) and LH(Luteinizing Hormone). They have critical roles in the regulation of the reproductive system in both males and females.

FSH(Follicle-Stimulating Hormone)

FSH is an abbreviation for “Follicle-Stimulating Hormone.” It’s a hormone made by the anterior pituitary gland, a tiny gland at the base of the brain. FSH is essential in the control of both male and female reproductive systems.

In males ,FSH activates the seminiferous tubules in the testes, which are responsible for sperm production.It aids in the formation and maturation of sperm cells, a process known as spermatogenesis.It collaborates with another hormone known as luteinizing hormone (LH) to regulate testosterone production, which is necessary for male reproductive function and the development of secondary sexual characteristics.

In females ,FSH stimulates the formation and development of ovarian follicles, which are tiny fluid-filled sacs within the ovaries containing developing eggs (oocytes).The hormone oestrogen is released in increasing amounts as the follicles grow and mature.It levels are highest at the start of the menstrual cycle, when numerous follicles are recruited. Eventually, one follicle becomes dominant and continues to grow, while the others degenerate.

Ovulation is triggered by an increase in FSH levels, which results in the release of a mature egg from the dominant follicle. Following ovulation, the follicle’s remaining portion converts into the corpus luteum, which generates progesterone.

LH(Luteinizing Hormone)

The anterior pituitary gland, a tiny gland near the base of the brain, produces the hormone luteinizing hormone (LH). LH is a component of the endocrine system that regulates reproductive activities in both males and females.

In females, one of the key functions of LH is to stimulate ovulation. The process through which a mature egg is released from the ovary and becomes ready for fertilisation is known as ovulation. The mid-menstrual cycle rise in LH levels leads the mature follicle to burst, delivering the egg into the fallopian tube. When attempting to determine the most fertile period in a woman’s cycle, ovulation prediction kits typically detect this rise in LH.

After ovulation, the follicle from which the egg was released turns into a structure known as the corpus luteum. The corpus luteum generates progesterone, which is necessary for uterine lining maintenance and the early stages of a potential pregnancy.

In males , LH is essential for stimulating Leydig cells in the testes to create testosterone. Testosterone is the principal male sex hormone, responsible for the development of secondary sexual traits in males (such as facial hair, voice deepening, and muscle growth), as well as the regulation of sperm production.

Here are 35 differences between FSH (Follicle-Stimulating Hormone) and LH (Luteinizing Hormone):

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FSH (Follicle-Stimulating Hormone)

LH (Luteinizing Hormone)


Hormone Type

Glycoprotein hormone

Glycoprotein hormone


Production Site

Anterior pituitary gland

Anterior pituitary gland


Target Organs

Ovaries and testes

Ovaries and testes


Primary Function in Males

Stimulates spermatogenesis

Stimulates testosterone production


Primary Function in Females

Stimulates follicular development

Induces ovulation and corpus luteum formation


Timing of Secretion

Early follicular phase of menstrual cycle

Surge just before ovulation


Levels During Menstrual Cycle

Peak before ovulation

Surge before ovulation


Feedback Regulation

Regulated by inhibin and estradiol

Regulated by inhibin and estradiol


Rate of Secretion

Relatively constant

Exhibits a surge during ovulation


Influence on Spermatogenesis

Essential for spermatogenesis

Supports spermatogenesis indirectly via testosterone


Influence on Testosterone

Does not directly stimulate testosterone production

Stimulates Leydig cells to produce testosterone


Influence on Ovulation

Does not trigger ovulation directly

Induces ovulation


Application in Ovulation Prediction

Not typically used for ovulation prediction

Used in ovulation prediction kits (OPKs)


Influence on Follicle Growth

Promotes follicle growth and maturation

Induces the final stages of follicular maturation


Role in Luteal Phase

Not directly involved in the luteal phase

Stimulates the formation and maintenance of the corpus luteum


Use in Assisted Reproduction

Used in assisted reproductive technologies to stimulate follicle development

Sometimes used in combination with FSH to trigger ovulation


Influence on Estrogen Production

Stimulates granulosa cells to produce estradiol

Also stimulates the production of estradiol


Levels During Pregnancy

Low during pregnancy

Generally low during pregnancy


Role in Menopause

Levels increase significantly during menopause

Levels also increase during menopause


Interaction with Hypothalamus

Affected by gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) from the hypothalamus

Also influenced by GnRH from the hypothalamus


Binding to Receptors

Binds to FSH receptors

Binds to LH receptors


Molecular Weight

Slightly heavier molecule

Slightly lighter molecule


Role in Gonadal Maturation

Initiates gonadal maturation

Completes gonadal maturation


Influence on Uterus

Does not have direct effects on the uterus

May have some indirect effects on the uterus through hormone interactions


Role in Colligative Properties

Affects colligative properties of solutions

Also affects colligative properties, particularly lowering the vapor pressure


Influence on Water Potential

Doesn’t directly influence water potential

Can significantly affect water potential


Role in Testicular Function

Important for normal testicular function

Necessary for normal testicular function


Role in Ovarian Function

Essential for normal ovarian function

Essential for normal ovarian function


Effect on Gonadotropin Levels

Influences LH and FSH levels

Influences FSH and LH levels


Role in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

May not be directly affected by PCOS

Often affected by PCOS


Levels in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Typically normal or slightly elevated in PCOS

Often elevated in PCOS


Role in Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS)

Can contribute to OHSS when used in fertility treatments

Also involved in OHSS development when used in fertility treatments


Impact on Food Preservation

Used for processes like drying and salting

Osmotic pressure used in food preservation techniques like pickling


Molecular Movement

Involves the movement of individual solute molecules

Primarily involves the movement of solvent molecules in clusters


Role in Reproductive Cycles

Initiates and sustains the early stages of the reproductive cycle

Triggers the events leading to ovulation and corpus luteum formation

Also Read: Humoral vs Cell-mediated Immunity- 27 Differences

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What happens to FSH and LH levels during the menstrual cycle?

FSH and LH levels change during the menstrual cycle. Both FSH and LH levels are quite low at the start of the cycle. FSH levels rise as the cycle proceeds, encouraging the development of ovarian follicles. There is a spike in LH levels just before ovulation, which causes the egg to be released.

What role do FSH and LH play in infertility treatment?

FSH and LH levels are frequently evaluated in people undergoing reproductive treatment. Abnormal levels can suggest reproductive system problems. FSH levels can help determine ovarian reserve (the amount and quality of eggs), and LH levels can predict ovulation timing.

How can FSH and LH levels get measured?

Blood testing can be used to determine FSH and LH levels. These tests are frequently used to acquire information on reproductive health on various days of the menstrual cycle.

What happens if FSH or LH levels are abnormally high or low?

FSH or LH levels that are abnormal can suggest a variety of reproductive health concerns. For example, high FSH levels in women may indicate a depleted ovarian reserve, whereas low levels may signal a pituitary gland dysfunction. High or low levels of these hormones in males can have an impact on sperm production and testosterone levels.

What effects do hormonal contraceptives (birth control) have on FSH and LH levels?

Hormonal contraceptives, such as birth control pills, patches, and hormonal IUDs, frequently function by reducing FSH and LH variations. This helps to prevent ovulation and, as a result, conception.

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