Luteinizing Hormone (LH) is an important hormone released by the pituitary gland that is crucial for our reproductive system. It’s one of the three glycoprotein hormones; the other two are thyroid-stimulating hormone and follicle stimulating hormone. LH is a gonadotropic hormone and controls the function of ovaries in women and testes in men which are known as the gonads.
In women, the luteinizing hormone carries out different functions in two halves of the menstrual cycle. In the first half, it stimulates the ovarian follicles in the ovary to produce the female sex hormone estriol. Around day 14, a surge in luteinizing hormone causes the ovaries to release an egg during ovulation. If the egg is fertilized the luteinizing hormone will stimulate the corpus luteum to produce progesterone.
In men, LH stimulates the production of testosterone from Leydig cells in the testes. Testosterone stimulates sperm production and helps developing male characteristics in men.
Too much luteinizing hormone can be an indicator of infertility in both men and women because it directly impacts the reproductive system.
In women, a high level of luteinizing hormone is often connected with polycystic ovarian syndrome. In this condition, inappropriate levels of luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone can stimulate a high level of testosterone.
In men, high LH levels can indicate a problem with the testes that can originate from conditions such as a history of viral infections, such as the mumps, trauma, radiation exposure or autoimmune disorders.
Genetic conditions like Klinefelter’s syndrome and Turner syndrome, may also cause a high level of luteinizing hormone.
Low levels of luteinizing hormone can also cause infertility. Insufficient levels of luteinizing hormone will limit the production of sperm and ovulation process.
An endocrinologist may help you detect the imbalance of the luteinizing hormone. Your doctor may check the luteinizing level with a blood or urine test. The best course of treatment can be determined after test results are in. If you have an infertility problem, your doctor may run some other tests of infertility too.
At Coast to Coast Compounding we can provide you with an at-home testing kit which can allow you to test your own hormone levels. Speak with one of our knowledgeable pharmacists or your healthcare provider for more information on using one of these testing kits. Click here for more information on how to get your hormones tested.