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Birla Fertility & IVF
Birla Fertility & IVF

What is Luteinizing Hormone (LH) Test?

  • Published on September 06, 2022
What is Luteinizing Hormone (LH) Test?

Luteinizing hormone (LH) is one of the hormones that is involved in the reproductive system. The body has receptors that respond to this hormone and allow it to exert control over the reproductive system, but LH can also be useful for diagnosing other health problems.

If you think your body might be producing too much or too little LH, getting an LH test could be an important step in determining how to move forward with your healthcare treatment plan.

Read on to know all about the luteinizing hormone test and why it’s so important.

 

What is LH?

The luteinizing hormone (LH) is a hormone that’s produced by the pituitary gland. LH is important for women and men.

In women, this hormone helps regulate the menstrual cycle and egg production. In men, LH helps to produce testosterone.

When a boy reaches puberty, LH begins stimulating the testes to produce testosterone and other hormones. When it comes time for sperm production, LH stimulates the Leydig cells in the testes to create more testosterone and other hormones like estrogen.

 

What is a luteinizing hormone blood test?

A luteinizing hormone blood test is a way to measure the levels of luteinizing hormone in your blood. LH is a hormone that helps control the menstrual cycle and ovulation in women. A high level of LH can indicate that you are about to ovulate.

If you are trying to get pregnant, your doctor may recommend an LH blood test every month. The LH levels will be at their highest just before ovulation.

Some people may also want to take this test if they feel like they might be pregnant but don’t want to take a pregnancy test yet or if they want confirmation from their doctor.

In addition, some doctors recommend this test for women who think they might be infertile because it gives insight into what might be wrong with their cycles.

 

Why should you get a luteinizing hormone blood test?

An LH hormone test measures the level of LH in your blood. LH is a hormone that stimulates the production of testosterone in men and estrogen in women.

– Menstrual Pause

The test is usually done during a woman’s menstrual cycle, and a high LH level indicates that ovulation is about to occur.

A low LH level may indicate that there is a problem with ovulation.

– Puberty

The LH test can be used to diagnose puberty in girls and boys.

An LH surge usually occurs about two years before menarche (the first period) in girls. In boys, a surge usually occurs about one year before the first signs of puberty, such as testicular enlargement.

– Fertility

The LH test is also used to predict when you’re most likely to ovulate, which can help you time intercourse or insemination for when you’re most fertile.

– Pregnancy

If you are trying to conceive, your doctor may recommend tracking your LH levels so you can time intercourse around ovulation.

Other than that, a doctor could request a luteinizing hormone blood test for the following reasons:

  • If the level of estrogen is high
  • To determine the chances of getting pregnant
  • If they suspect the thyroid is interrupting with menstrual cycles
  • If a woman does not have a regular menstrual cycle
  • If they suspect a woman has entered menopause
  • If a girl or boy seems to have entered the puberty stage too early or too late

 

How to prepare for an LH test

You should always consult with your doctor before having any blood tests done. There is no special preparation necessary to give an LH test.

You must avoid taking birth control or other hormone pills during the four weeks before your pregnancy test. Your doctor will also ask you about your last period. When a blood test is imminent, one may be advised not to eat or drink for a certain period of time.

 

How is the test administered?

An experienced medical professional will wrap a band to your upper arms so that they are able to see the veins. After disinfecting your skin, they will insert a needle into the vein and collect a small amount of blood in a tube attached to the needle.

It is a quick and painless process.

 

Risks associated with an LH test

There are not many risks associated with giving a luteinizing hormone blood test. The most common risk is bruising or discomfort at the site where the needle was inserted. In rare cases, an infection may occur.

Other symptoms can include fever, vomiting, pain in the abdomen, dizziness, difficulty breathing and chest pain.

 

Understanding the results of an LH test

 

For women

If you’re a woman, an increased level of LH and FSH could mean that you’re approaching menopause. These hormones are responsible for stimulating ovulation, so as levels increase, it’s an indication that your body is preparing for menopause.

In some cases, high levels of LH can also indicate polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is a hormonal disorder that can cause irregular periods, fertility problems, and other symptoms.

 

For men 

An LH test measures the level of luteinizing hormone in your blood. This hormone is produced by your pituitary gland and helps regulate your reproductive system. For men, increased levels of LH could mean:

  • Problems with sperm production
  • Undescended testicles
  • A tumour on the pituitary gland
  • Early puberty
  • Anabolic steroid use
  • Inflammation or infection of the testes or prostate
  • Tumours involving the brain and spinal cord that can cause prolactinoma (a tumour on the pituitary gland)

 

For children

For children, increased LH levels could mean they are going through puberty. In girls, this could mean that they will soon start menstruating; in boys, it could mean that their testicles will start producing sperm.

 

Conclusion

If you are thinking about starting a family or if you have trouble conceiving, the LH test is a simple blood test that can give you important information about your fertility.

Contact Birla Fertility and IVF Clinic if you are considering starting a family and want to know more about your fertility status; our doctors will answer any questions you might have. Reach out today, to book an appointment for an LH test.

 

FAQs

1. Is fasting required for the LH test?

Fasting is not required, but it may make it easier to notice the result of your test if you have not eaten in a few hours

 

2. When should LH hormone be tested? 

Most women will see an increase in their LH levels as they approach ovulation. It can also be measured from any time point on day 21 of their menstrual cycle, with or without progesterone supplements.

 

3. Why LH test is done? 

The LH hormone is important because it stimulates the production of testosterone and sperm. The LH test can help diagnose problems with fertility, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

Written by:
Dr Shobhna

Dr Shobhna

Dr Shobhna is an experienced reproductive health specialist, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist with a forte in treating fertility-related concerns in subfertile couples by individualized patient-centric approach. Her area of expertise is treating Recurrent IVF failure, Recurrent Pregnancy Loss, PCOS, Endometriosis and Uterine anomalies. Dr Shobhna is specialized in advanced Laparoscopic and Hysteroscopic surgery for various Gynaecological conditions. She is adept in performing various major Gynaecological surgeries such as Total Abdominal Hysterectomy, Vaginal Hysterectomy, NDVH, TOT (Transobturator tape), Laparoscopic Tubal Ligation and Laparoscopic Salpingectomy. Her dexterity also lies in procedures such as suction evacuation, endometrial sampling, IUCD insertion, Colposcopy, LEEP (Loop electrosurgical excision procedure) and cryotherapy (Chronic cervicitis).

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