Fertility / The woman / Hormones that may be relevant to fertility

Hormones that may be relevant to fertility

If you have an abnormal hormone level, you may well have an irregular, short or long menstrual cycle. It can also be difficult to find out when you are ovulating using ovulation tests.

Your hormone levels can be assessed on the basis of blood tests, the most basic of which assess levels of the general sex hormones: FSH (Follicle-Stimulating Hormone), LH (Luteinising Hormone) and oestradiol. Your FSH and LH levels can indicate to us why you have not managed to become pregnant, if that is the case. The FSH and LH levels are also useful in planning the type of hormone treatment you should have and when deciding the dosage of the individual hormone preparations for you. Blood tests should be done on Day 2-3 of your cycle.

We would also like to do supplementary blood tests such as Prolactin, TSH ( thyroid-stimulating hormone), AMH (anti-Müllerian hormone) and in some cases we recommend checking your androgen status. Your test results will often deviate from the normal reference range if you suffer from irregular periods and anovulation, for example. The blood tests can be done by your own doctor or gynaecologist or here at StorkKlinik.

When we use hormone treatment, we aim to increase your chances of becoming pregnant. Hormone treatment works by enhancing, inhibiting or replacing your natural hormones. Most of the main sex hormones are formed in the pituitary gland in the brain, from where the hormones are transported in the blood to their destination in the body. The hormones are interdependent, and for some hormones an increase in one hormone results in a decrease in another.

In the case of anovulation and/or PCOS, treatment with Clomifene® tablets (which stimulate the pituitary gland to produce more of the natural FSH) is enough for some women to stimulate good egg development. Other women may need FSH injections (Menopur®, Gonal-F® or Puregon®).

These are always supplemented with an ovulation injection (Ovitrelle®) to ensure ovulation.

In the case of a slightly-reduced sperm count, mild endometriosis or unexplained infertility, insemination treatment will often be given. Clomifene® tablets or FSH injections are also used here to encourage good egg development.

GnRH, gonadotropin-releasing hormone – causes the release of FSH and LH in the pituitary gland.

FSH, follicle-stimulating hormone – is produced in the pituitary gland and stimulates the growth of the follicles. Also stimulates semen production in the male.

LH, luteinising hormone – is produced in the pituitary gland and causes ovulation. LH also occurs in men, where it activates the production of the male sex hormone testosterone, which must be present in the body for sperm to be produced.

Prolactin – is produced in the pituitary gland. Prolactin causes breast growth during pregnancy and stimulates milk production after birth. A very high level of prolactin (hyperprolactinaemia) can inhibit ovulation.

Oestradiol – s produced in the ovaries, among other places. During a menstrual cycle, oestradiol causes growth of the endometrium. An elevated oestradiol level mid-cycle causes an increase in LH, which triggers ovulation.

Progesterone – together with oestradiol during the luteal phase helps prepare the endometrium to receive the fertilised egg.

HCG, human chorionic gonadotropin – is produced in the placenta. It is this hormone that is measured when confirming pregnancy with a urine or blood test.

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Stork IVF Klinik | St. Kongensgade 40 H, 1. sal | DK-1264 Copenhagen K
Tel. +45 3257 3316 | Fax +45 3257 3346 | info@storkklinik.dk | CVR. No. 33 03 49 11

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