LH Test

Other names: Luteinising Hormone

Luteinising hormone (LH) is a hormone which is produced by the pituitary gland. LH production is controlled by a complex series of hormones, which are produced by the gonads (the ovaries in females and the testes in males), the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus. Levels of LH increase prior to ovulation; tests can be used to determine when ovulation is set to occur and this can help women to conceive if they are having problems.

When is the test used?

The test is used to measure the function of the pituitary gland and to identify potential causes of infertility (in both males and females). The test can also be used to identify problems which may be causing irregularities with the menstrual cycle.

The test is usually ordered when a couple are having problems conceiving; the test can be used in the investigation of both male and female infertility. Measuring LH levels can also help women to predict when they will ovulate, which will help with conception.

The test may also be ordered if a woman is having irregular or problematic periods.

The test may also be ordered of the doctor suspects that a patient has problems with the function of their pituitary gland.

The test may be carried out alongside tests to measure levels of FSH (follicle stimulating hormone).

How is the test done?

The test is done by taking a sample of blood from the patient’s arm; a needle in inserted into the vein and the blood is collected in a syringe. Once the sample has been collected, it will be bottled, labelled with the patient’s name and sent off to the laboratory for testing.

What do the test results mean?

In female patients, the levels of FSH and LH can help to determine between primary and secondary ovarian failure; increased levels are associated with primary ovarian failure, which may be caused by numerous factors, including developmental defects, treatments (including radiation and chemotherapy), thyroid disease and PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome).

Low levels of FSH and LH usually indicate that the patient has secondary ovarian failure, which is caused by problems with either the hypothalamus or pituitary gland.

High levels of FSH in men are usually linked to primary testicular failure; this may be caused by trauma or injury, developmental defects, infections or treatments, such as radiation therapy or chemotherapy.

Certain medications may affect the levels of LH and FSH in the blood.

Specific Blood Tests

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