Luteinizing Hormone (LH) – Definition, Levels, Test & Treatment

Luteinizing hormone (LH)

Luteinizing hormone (LH) is an important hormone both men and women produce. This hormone is known as gonadotropin, and it affects sex organs in both men and women. For women, it affects the ovaries, and in men, it affects the test. The Luteinizing hormone (LH) plays a role in puberty, menstrual, and reproductive ability.

The amount of Luteinizing hormone (LH) in your blood may indicate the underlying problems associated with various reproductive health problems.

What is Luteinizing hormone (LH)?

Luteinizing hormone (LH) is a hormone produced in the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is located on the basis of the brain, and it is roughly the size of a pea. If you are a woman, then Luteinizing hormone (LH) is an important part of your menstrual cycle. It works with follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which is another gonadotropin formed in the pituitary gland. FSH stimulates the ovarian follicle, causing the egg to grow. It also triggers the production of estrogen in the follicle.

Increase in estrogen tells your pituitary gland to stop FSH production and start making more Luteinizing hormone (LH). The change in Luteinizing hormone (LH) causes the ovary to release the egg, a process called the ovary. In the empty follicle, the cells grow, it turns it into corpus luteum. This structure releases progesterone essential hormones to maintain pregnancy. If pregnancy is not there, the level of progesterone falls and the cycle starts again.

If you are a man, your pituitary gland also produces Luteinizing hormone (LH). Hormones bound in receptors in some cells in your test called Leydig cells. This results in the release of testosterone, a hormone which is essential for the production of sperm cells.

What is a Luteinizing hormone (LH) blood test?

A Luteinizing hormone (LH) blood test measures the amount of Luteinizing hormone (LH) in your blood stream. If you are a female, then the amount of this hormone in your blood stream varies in age and throughout the monthly cycle. It also changes with pregnancy. If a doctor orders a test for reproduction of Luteinizing hormone (LH), then a woman may need many tests to track the level of hormones that fall and fall. By analyzing the urine sample, the Luteinizing hormone (LH) level can also be measured.

If you are a man, then your doctor can order the Luteinizing hormone (LH) test to establish baseline Luteinizing hormone (LH) level. After your injection of gonadotropin releasing  hormone (GNRH), your doctor can also measure your Luteinizing hormone (LH) level. After achieving this hormone, measuring Luteinizing hormone (LH) can tell your doctor if you have any problems in the pituitary gland or the other part of your body.

What are the reasons for requesting Luteinizing hormone (LH) blood tests?

There are several reasons to request a Luteinizing hormone (LH) blood test for your doctor. LH levels relate to menstrual issues, fertility, and the onset of puberty.

Examples of instances when a doctor can order LH blood tests include:

•  A woman is having difficulty getting pregnant
•  A woman is irregular or absent monthly menstrual period
•  It is suspected that a woman has entered menopause
•  A man has low testosterone levels, such as decrease in low muscle mass or sex drive
•  A pituitary disorder is suspected
•  A boy or a girl is too late or too early to enter adulthood
Your doctor may order a Luteinizing hormone (LH) blood test in coordination of other hormone measurements such as testosterone, progesterone, FSH, and estradiol.

Menstrual cycle and menopause

If you have an absent or irregular period, then your doctor wants to determine the amount of Luteinizing hormone (LH) in your blood flow to find the underlying cause. After menopause, the LH level should be increased because your ovaries do not work now and take the signal from LH.


If you are having difficulty in conceiving, your doctor may order Luteinizing hormone (LH) blood test. The LH level can indicate an issue with the supply of eggs in a woman’s ovary and the number of sperm count of a person, which both affect the reproductive capacity.


For a small person, Luteinizing hormone (LH) can order a blood test to find out the underlying causes of doctor delay or early puberty. A doctor will consider whether a person is showing signs of puberty or not. These include breast growth and menstruation in girls, testicular and gender growth in boys, and pubic hair growth in both boys and girls.


The Luteinizing hormone (LH) levels in urine can be tested to determine when you are oval. When LH levels begin to grow, it can indicate that ovaries will likely be within one to two days. These types of tests can be done at home and are often used to increase the probability of pregnancy. It is important to note that this is done with urine test and not blood tests.

How is the test administered?

To administer a Luteinizing hormone (LH) blood test, a health professional will take a small amount of blood from your hand, which is most likely to be on your arm. The small procedure will be done in your doctor’s office or in the laboratory. Sampling analysis will be done for LH levels.

To take the blood, a health professional will wrap your upper arm with an elastic band so that it can be easier to see your nerves. They will disinfect the skin and put a needle inside a vein inside your arm. A tube attached to the needle will collect a small sample of your blood. The process is short and mostly painless.

Your doctor may request that you have blood samples made for several days. Since the amount of LH in the blood varies with your menstrual cycle, some samples may be necessary to obtain accurate measurements of your LH levels.

What are the risks associated with Luteinizing hormone (LH) blood tests?

There are not many risks associated with taking blood. The needle site may hurt later, but if you put pressure with a bandage, then you can reduce this possibility.

Phlebitis, rare, can occur when blood can occur. This occurs when the vein gets swollen after taking blood. If this happens, then your healthcare provider will have to apply hot compression throughout the day. If you have any type of bleeding disorder, make sure to tell your doctor to avoid complications by removing the blood.

How should I be prepared for a Luteinizing hormone (LH) blood test?

Your doctor should give you the right direction to prepare for your blood test. You may be asked to stop taking some medicines that can affect the results, so be sure to inform your doctor about all the medicines and supplements. If you are a woman, you may have to stop taking birth control or other hormone pills four weeks before the examination. Your doctor also wants to know the date of your last duration.

As there are many blood draws, you can be asked to test eight hours to avoid eating or drinking.

If you have a test or procedure with a radioactive substance seven days before the LH blood test, tell your doctor. These substances can interfere with your test results.

Understanding LH test results

Your doctor can tell you that the results of your test will be available and discuss the meaning of your level with you. According to the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in the University of California, San Francisco, the following values ​​are measured in normal LH blood levels per international international units (IU / L):

•  Women in the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle: 1.9 to 12.5 IU / L
•  Women on top of menstrual cycle: 8.7 to 76.3 IU / L
•  Women in the lute phase of menstrual cycle: 0.5 to 16.9 IU / L
•  Pregnant women: less than 1.5 IU / L
•  Women Before Menopause: 15.9 to 54.0 IU / L
•  Women using contraceptives: 0.7 to 5.6 IU / L
•  Men between 20 and 70: 0.7 to 7.9 IU / L
•  More than 70 men: 3.1 to 34.0 IU / L
While each result may vary based on your unique situation, some general interpretations of LH results may include the following.

For Woman

If you are a woman, then increasing levels of LH and FSH may cause problems in your ovaries. This is known as the primary ovarian failure. Some causes of primary ovarian failure may include:

•  Ovaries which are not properly developed
•  Genetic abnormalities, such as Turner syndrome
•  Exposure to radiation
•  The history of taking chemotherapy medication
•  autoimmune disorder
•  Ovarian tumor
•  Thyroid or adrenal disease
•  Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
Lower levels of both LH and FSH can indicate secondary ovarian failure. This means that another part of your body causes ovarian failure. In many cases, this is the result of problems with those areas of your brain that make pituitary gland like hormones.

For Men

If you are a man, then high Luteinizing hormone (LH) level can indicate primary testicular failure. Reasons for this situation may include:

•  Chromosome abnormalities, such as Klinefelter syndrome
•  Gonad development failure
•  History of virus infection, such as mumps
•  the strokes
•  radiation exposure
•  The history of taking chemotherapy medication
•  autoimmune disorder
•  Tumors, such as a germ cell tumor
Secondary testicular failure can also be caused due to brain related causes, such as the disorder in the hypothalamus. In addition, if your doctor has given you a GNRH shot and your LH levels have gone down or they are the same, pituitary disease is often the culprit.

Adult males may have less testosterone levels than lower levels of LH, potentially causing such symptoms:

•  Sexual dysfunction
•  Lack of sexual interest
•  Fatigue

For Children

For children, high levels of Luteinizing hormone (LH) can cause early puberty. It is known as unstable puberty. According to the American Association of Clinical Chemistry (AACC), girls are more likely to experience this condition than boys. The underlying causes may include:

•  A tumor in the central nervous system
•  Trauma or brain injury
•  Swelling or infection in the central nervous system, such as meningitis or encephalitis
•  History of Brain Surgery
•  History of brain irradiation

Delayed puberty with normal or lower Luteinizing hormone (LH) levels can indicate the underlying disorders, which include:
•  Ovarian or testicular failure
•  Hormone deficiency
•  Turner syndrome
•  Klinefelter syndrome
•  Chronic infection
•  Cancer
•  An eating disorder

Drugs that change Luteinizing hormone (LH) levels include:
•  Anticonvulsant
•  clomiphene
•  digoxin
•  Hormonal therapy
•  Contraceptive pills


The test Luteinizing hormone (LH) has the ability to indicate many development- and reproductive disorders. If your doctor suspects that you may have a condition that affects ovaries, testicles or parts of the brain that make LH, the test can provide more information.

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