This hormone plays a vital role in the reproductive systems of both women and men.
Luteinizing hormone (LH) is a natural chemical released by the pituitary gland, which is located on the underside of the brain.
A member of a group of hormones called gonadotropins, LH stimulates the testes in males and the ovaries in females. Without it, humans could not reproduce.
LH is released when a woman is ovulating, and causes the ovaries to release an egg.
In males, LH causes the testes to make testosterone.
Checking Luteinizing Hormone Levels
Your doctor can check your LH level with a blood or urine test. The results may help you understand:
- Whether low LH is causing reduced sperm production
- Why you're having abnormal menstrual cycles
- The best point in your menstrual cycle to try to conceive
- Whether you have polycystic ovary syndrome
- Whether you have a pituitary gland disorder, such as prolactinoma
Treatment Options for Luteinizing Hormone
You and your doctor will determine the best course of treatment for your LH-related condition.
If you're having fertility problems because of your or your partner's luteinizing hormone levels, your doctor may also run other infertility tests, such as:
- For men: semen analysis, genetic tests, and other blood tests to measure different hormones
- For women: hormone blood tests, basal body temperature testing, pelvic ultrasound, and hysteroscopy
Menotropins injections, which are a mix of luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone, are a common treatment for both men and women receiving fertility treatment.
They help women ovulate and men produce sperm.
Your doctor may suggest other fertility treatments based on your unique situation.
Editorial Sources and Fact-Checking
- Gonadotropins: Luteinizing and Follicle Stimulating Hormones; Colorado State University.
- Follicle Stimulating Hormone And Luteinizing Hormone (Intramuscular Route, Subcutaneous Route); Mayo Clinic.
- Luteinizing Hormone (Blood); University of Rochester Medical Center.