LH stands for luteinizing hormone. LH plays a vital role both in the male and female reproductive system. For men, LH is involved in releasing the sex hormone testosterone and aids with the production of sperm. For the ladies, LH is regulated by estrogen and plays an important role in regulating the menstrual cycle. Let’s remember that ovulation starts in the brain. LH is produced in the anterior pituarity, it pulsates and binds with receptors in the hypothalamus (master fertility gland) before being released into the bloodstream to make its way to the ovaries. As estrogen rises it causes a spike in the luteinizing hormone, (you will see this LH surge on your ovulation sticks) where it triggers the release of an egg- the main event- ovulation.
The roles of FSH and LH are different. FSH as discussed in my previous post regulates follicular development. Together, these two hormones work to regulate the menstrual cycle and fertility. When there is an imbalance of LH hormone it can result in infertility and PCOS. Low LH and FSH reading can also indicate amenorrhea, as the required amount of FSH & LH hormone needed to stimulate ovulation isn’t present.
A low LH reading in men can impact fertility, as LH is required for sperm production. You can investigate further or if you’re undergoing hormonal/ fertility testing your doctor may order both FSH and LH blood tests. These tests can be used to determine:
•Abnormalities in ovarian function
•Irregular or absent menstrual cycles
If you have any concerns regarding your LH hormone, please consult a healthcare professional.
Amanda is the founder of Angea and has over 12 years of experience working with women to support their health journey. In addition to being a registered doctor of Chinese medicine, Amanda is a yoga teacher and founder of Mindful Pregnancy Yoga Training. Amanda offers acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and womb healing treatments at Angea.