The FSH and LH test contains 1 test with 2 biomarkers.
Description: A Follicle Stimulating Hormone, or FSH, test is a blood test that measures the levels of FSH in the blood. This can be used to diagnose conditions related to the sex organs, early or late puberty, or a condition affecting the pituitary or hypothalamus. It is also used to predict ovulation, evaluate infertility and monitor during infertility treatment. Levels that are out of range can help, along with several other hormone test, to evaluate the cause of irregular menstrual cycles.
A Luteinizing Hormone, or LH, Test is a test that measures the level of the LH in the blood. It is used to predict ovulation, evaluate infertility and monitor during infertility treatment, or identify a pituitary disorder. It can also help along with several other hormone test to evaluate the cause of irregular menstrual cycles.
Also Known As: Follicle Stimulating Hormone test, Follitropin Test, Luteinizing Hormone Test, Lutropin Test, Interstitial Cell Stimulating Hormone Test, ICSH Test
Collection Method: Blood Draw
Specimen Type: Serum
Test Preparation: No preparation required
Average Processing Time: 1 to 2 days
When is a FSH and LH test ordered?
An FSH and LH test may be recommended for a woman if she is having trouble conceiving or has irregular or absent menstrual periods.
When a woman's menstrual cycle has ended or grown erratic, FSH and LH may be ordered to see if she has entered menopause.
When a man's spouse is unable to conceive, when he has a low sperm count, or when he has low muscle mass or diminished sex drive, for example, the test may be ordered.
When a health care provider detects a pituitary issue in a woman or a man, testing may be ordered. Because a pituitary problem can disrupt the production of a variety of hormones, other signs and symptoms may appear in addition to those described above. Fatigue, weakness, unexpected weight loss, and decreased appetite are just a few examples.
What does a FSH and LH blood test check for?
FSH and LH are hormones linked to production and the development of eggs and sperm in both men and women. FSH and LH is measured in the blood.
The pituitary gland produces FSH and LH. The hypothalamus in the brain, the pituitary gland, and hormones generated by the ovaries or testicles all work together to control FSH and LH production. The hypothalamus secretes gonadotropin-releasing hormone, which causes the pituitary to secrete FSH and luteinizing hormone.
During the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle, FSH and LH increases the growth and maturation of eggs in the ovaries in women. The menstrual cycle is divided into two phases: follicular and luteal, each lasting approximately 14 days. During this follicular phase, FSH triggers the follicle's synthesis of estradiol, and the two hormones collaborate to help the egg follicle develop further. A surge of FSH and luteinizing hormone occurs near the end of the follicular period. Shortly after this burst of hormones, the egg is released from the ovary. The hormones inhibin, estradiol, and progesterone all help the pituitary gland regulate the quantity of FSH released. FSH also improves the ovary's ability to respond to LH.
Ovarian function declines and eventually quits as a woman matures and approaches menopause. FSH and LH levels rise as a result of this.
FSH induces the development of mature sperm in men's testicles, as well as the production of androgen binding proteins. After adolescence, men's FSH levels remain rather steady.
FSH levels rise early after birth in infants and children, and then quickly fall to low levels by 6 months of age in boys and around 1 and half years of age in girls. Before puberty and the development of secondary sexual characteristics, FSH levels begin to rise again.
The production of too much or too little FSH and LH can be caused by disorders affecting the brain, pituitary, ovaries, or testicles, resulting in infertility, irregular menstrual cycles, or early or delayed sexual development.
Lab tests often ordered with a FSH and LH test:
- Sperm Analysis
- Anti-Mullerian Hormone
- Sex Hormone Binding Globulin
Conditions where a FSH and LH test is recommended:
- Pituitary Disorders
- Endocrine Syndromes
How does my health care provider use a FSH and LH test?
There are various applications for the follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone test, which are hormones linked to reproduction and the development of eggs in women and sperm in men.
The test can be used with additional hormone assays including luteinizing hormone, testosterone, estradiol, and/or progesterone in both women and men to help:
- Find out what's causing infertility.
- Diagnose conditions involving ovarian or testicular dysfunction.
- Aid in the diagnosis of diseases of the pituitary or hypothalamus, which can impact FSH production.
FSH and LH levels are also relevant in women for:
- Menstrual irregularities are being investigated.
- Menopause start or confirmation prediction
FSH and LH levels in males are used to determine the cause of a low sperm count.
FSH and LH are used to identify delayed or early puberty in children. Puberty timing irregularities could indicate a more significant disease involving the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, ovaries, testicles, or other systems. LH and FSH levels can help distinguish between benign symptoms and real disease. Once it's been determined that the symptoms are due to an actual condition, more testing can be done to figure out what's causing them.
What do my FSH and LH test results mean?
FSH and LH test findings are frequently combined with those from other hormone testing estrogens, and/or testosterone.
A high or low FSH level as part of an infertility workup is not diagnostic, but it does provide some insight into the cause. A hormone imbalance, for example, can influence a woman's menstrual cycle and/or ovulation. To make a diagnosis, a doctor will take into account all of the information gathered during the examination.
- FSH and LH levels can assist distinguish between primary ovarian failure and secondary ovarian failure.
- Primary ovarian failure is associated with high levels of FSH and LH.
- Low FSH and LH levels are indicative of secondary ovarian failure caused by a pituitary or hypothalamic issue. Low FSH levels in the blood have been linked to an increased risk of ovarian cancer.
- Primary testicular failure causes high FSH levels. As shown below, this can be the result of developmental problems in testicular growth or testicular damage.
- Low levels are indicative of pituitary or hypothalamic dysfunction.
- Precocious puberty is defined by high levels of FSH and LH, as well as the development of secondary sexual traits at an extremely young age. This occurs far more frequently in girls than in boys. This abnormal development is usually caused by a problem with the central nervous system, which can have a variety of causes.
- Normal prepubescent LH and FSH levels in children who are showing signs of pubertal alterations could suggest a syndrome known as "precocious pseudopuberty."
- For children with delayed puberty, LH and FSH levels can be normal or below what is expected for children of their age.
We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.