Marla Ahlgrimm R.Ph.

Marla Ahlgrimm | Retired Pharmacist | Leading Expert in Women's Health

Pharmacist Marla Ahlgrimm Explains the Follicle-Stimulating Hormone Test

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Marla AhlgrimmA follicle-stimulating hormone test measures the amount of follicle-stimulating hormone.  Follicle-stimulating hormone, according to pharmacist Marla Ahlgrimm, is produced in the human body by the pituitary gland. The amounts of follicle-stimulating and other hormones such as progesterone, estrogen and luteinizing hormone have often been measured in women and men to determine why a particular couple may be experiencing fertility issues.

In women, follicle-stimulating hormone controls the production of eggs and the menstrual cycle, says Marla Ahlgrimm. The amount of follicle-stimulating hormone varies during the course of a woman’s menstrual cycle. The follicle-stimulating hormone level helps to determine whether female or male sex organs (ovaries or testicles) are functioning in the correct manner. Premature failure of a woman’s ovaries may be the result of chemotherapy, radiation exposure, autoimmune disease or other diseases.

A follicle-stimulating hormone level test may be performed to:

  • Help determine the cause of fertility
  • Woman’s ovarian reserve
  • Evaluate menstrual problems
  • Determine why sexual organs or features are not developing properly
  • Diagnose pituitary gland disorders

Many medicines including levodopa, digoxin, clomiphene and cimetidine may change a person’s test results, says Marla Ahlgrimm. The patient may be asked to stop these medicines from their routine for a certain time period before a FSH test. A doctor should be given a complete list of the patient’s over-the-counter and prescription medicines, including natural substances and herbs.

For a woman who may be experiencing issues with her menstrual cycle, Marla Ahlgrimm recommends making an appointment with a medical professional who can explain the risks and aspects of this test. A physician can also examine the results and determine the next course of action if necessary. If a woman has been experiencing issues with her menstrual cycle, additional blood samples may be required, notes Marla Ahlgrimm.


Author: Marla Ahlgrimm

Pharmacist Marla Ahlgrimm revolutionized the field of women’s health in the 1970s and continues to do so today. After introducing the term “premenstrual syndrome” to the American public in the late 1970s, Marla Ahlgrimm has continued to focus her pharmacy practice over the years to successfully address hormone concerns that affect women as they age. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Marla Ahlgrimm co-founded Madison Pharmacy Associates, and it was there she fine tuned individualized care protocols and prescription medication to optimize a woman’s hormonal health. One of the first hormone issues that Marla tackled was Premenstrual Syndrome, or PMS. At that time, there were no diagnosis or treatment options to address the severe symptoms that many women were reporting. As a result of Marla Ahlgrimm ’s intense attention to women’s health, Madison Pharmacy Associates gained a national reputation as an innovative practice. Founded in 1982, Madison Pharmacy Associates was the first pharmacy to special in women’s health in the nation. Thanks to the expertise of Marla Ahlgrimm, Madison Pharmacy Associates became known for the management of PMS. Over the years, Madison Pharmacy Associates evolved with Marla Ahlgrimm’s careful guidance, providing the national PMS Access newsletter, as well as a toll-free line where patients could obtain referrals to physicians who had the expertise to help them manage their symptoms. Marla Ahlgrimm founded Women’s Health America, Inc. in 1993 to help women by providing individualized hormonal medications to address the complex health issues of women and also to provide practical, helpful women’s health information. Over the years, Marla Ahlgrimm’s vision has grown to include Women’s Health America, Madison Pharmacy Associates, PMS Access and Cyclin Pharmaceuticals. In addition to her accomplishments with these landmark organizations, Marla Ahlgrimm is an author, having published two watershed books, The HRT Solution and Self-Help for Premenstrual Syndrome. Marla Ahlgrimm has also been published in numerous national publications, including serving as a columnist for The American Journal of Natural Medicine. Today, the primary work of Marla Ahlgrimm centers on natural hormone therapy, an important area for the large number of women who are menopausal and postmenopausal. Marla Ahlgrimm ’s work is unique because of her focus on individualized, natural hormone therapy options. According to pharmacist, Marla Ahlgrimm, many health issues facing women today are related to hormone changes. Using an individualized approach to therapy, she reports that many women feel reenergized for the first time in years. In addition to recognition in publications and journals, Marla Ahlgrimm has been recognized with a number awards over the span of her career. Some of Marla Ahlgrimm ’s most notable awards have been the YWCA’s acknowledgment of Marla Ahlgrimm as one of its Women of Distinction and recognition by her alma mater, the University of Wisconsin, as one of its Distinguished Alumni. Above all of the awards and honors, Marla Ahlgrimm finds that helping so many women is the greatest accomplishment of all. In fact, says Marla Ahlgrimm, she still works with some of her very first patients and their doctors. These women once sought the help of Marla Ahlgrimm for PMS, she says, and today she is helping them manage symptoms of menopause and the years that follow.

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