FSH and LH Levels

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by: Whitney Deckard

FSH and LH Levels in Men and Women

FSH is found in both humans and animals. It regulates the development, growth, pubertal maturation, and the reproductive processes in the body. FSH is a glycoprotein. This means that each unit is a protein molecule with sugar attached to it. The sugar part of the hormone is composed of fucose, galactose, mannose, galactosamine, glucosamine, and sialic acid. The half life of FSH is 3-4 hours. FSH stands for follicle stimulating hormone while LH stands for luteinizing hormone. Menotropins are a mix of FSH and LH that are produced naturally by the pituitary gland. In both males and females FSH stimulates the maturation of germ cells. However, in males FSH induces the sertoli cells to secrete ABP’s (androgen binding proteins) and its secretion is being regulated by inhibins negative feedback mechanism on the Anterior Pituitary Gland. It also stimulates primary spermatocytes to undergo the first division of meiosis, to form secondary spermatocytes. It enhances the production of ABP by the sertoli cells in the testes by binding to FSH receptors on their basolateral membranes, and is critical for the production of sperm. In females, the FSH is higher after menopause. It is primarily responsible for stimulating growth of the ovarian follicle. This includes the developing of the egg, the cells that surround the egg that produce the hormones needed to support a pregnancy and the fluid around the egg. As the follicle grows, an increasing amount of estrogen is produced by the cells in the follicle and released into the bloodstream. Estrogen causes the lining of the uterus to thicken before ovulating occurs. The higher the blood levels of estrogen tells the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland to slow the production and release FSH. LH helps to increase the amount of estrogen produced by the follicle cells. But its main function is to cause ovulation. The sharp rise in the blood level of LH that triggers ovulation is called the LH Surge. If implantation of a fertilized egg doesn’t occur, the levels of estrogen and progesterone decrease, the endometrium falls off, and menstruation occurs. In males, menotropins are used to stimulate the production of sperm in some forms of male infertility. Conditions with high levels of FSH are:
  • premature menopause
  • poor ovarian reserve
  • gonadal dysgenesis (Turner Syndrome)
  • castration
  • Swyer Syndrome
  • certain forms of CAH
  • testicular failure
  • Klinefelter syndrome
Most of these conditions are associated directly with subfertility and/or infertility. High levels of FSH are an indication of infertility and/or subfertility. Conditions with very low FSH secretions are:
  • polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • kallmann syndrome
  • hypothalamic suppression
  • hypopituitarism
  • hyperprolactinemia
  • gonadotropic deficiency
FSH Reference Ranges Male: 1.6-8.0 mIU/ml FSH Reference Ranges Female: Follicular Phase 2.5-10.2 Mid-Cycle Peak 3.1-17.7 Luteal Phase 1.5-9.1 Postmenopausal 23.0-116.3 LH Reference Ranges Men: 18-59 yrs 1.5-9.3 >60 yrs 1.6-15.2 LH Reference Ranges Women: Follicular Phase 1.9-12.5 Mid-Cycle Peak 8.7-76.3 Luteal Phase 0.5-16.9 Postmenopausal 10.0-54.7 Here at Oz Preventive Medicine we will run an extensive blood panel that will check your LH, FSH levels, as well as many others. Article Reference: MayoClinic.com

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