Hormone Testing

Hormones tests, or an endocrine profile, may be done to check the levels of ovulatory hormones, as well as, thyroid and pituitary hormones. Usually done on cycle days 3 – 5, it checks brain - thyroid - adrenal – and ovary axis. When grouped together these tests (FSH, LH, E2 (estradiol), Prl (prolactin), DHEA-S, Testosterone, TSH) are called an endocrine profile. They are all normally occurring hormones.

When the levels are out of the normal ranges, interference with ovulation can occur. Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) is produced by the pituitary gland and stimulates the ovary to produce estrogen (E2). Luteinizing hormone (LH) is also produced by the pituitary gland and induces the ovary to ovulate.

Many specialists offer a hormonal panel of tests for infertilty patients, which might include FSH, TSH, DHEAS, prolactin and others. However, the number of hormonal assays may be limited by the ability or willingness of the person to pay for them.

Prolactin (Prl) is also produced by the pituitary gland and may interfere with the mid cycle LH surge if prolactin levels are higher than normal. Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S) is a hormone produced by the adrenal gland. Its level allows us to determine whether or not the adrenal gland may be acting to suppress the ovulatory process.

Testosterone is an androgen (male-like hormone) that is produced by both the ovaries and the adrenals. Its production, along with DHEA-S, allows us to better identify if the ovaries or adrenal glands are in a resistant (suppressive) state. Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), yet another hormone produced by the pituitary gland, may increase prolactin production to higher than normal levels that act to interfere with ovulation.

The saliva tests are not as accurate and need to done through bloodwork on the correct day of your cycle.


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Related Resources

FertilityPlus.org: Hormone Testing
IVF.com: Hormone Testing
AdvancedFertility.com: Hormone Testing
WebMD.com: Hormone Testing


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