Infertility Tests | Hormonal Tests

What are Hormonal Studies? 
Hormonal studies measure the levels of certain hormones produced by your body during each menstrual cycle. Hormones affect every step necessary in achieving pregnancy from stimulating the development of an egg to ovulation and implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterus. If the hormones that affect fertility are not produced in specific amounts at specific times during your cycle, your chances of conceiving a child may be greatly inhibited.Your physician may run tests to determine the levels of the following hormones that play a role in ovulation and implantation of the egg.

What Hormones are important in achieving a Pregnancy?

Estradiol - stimulates the growth of the follicles and the production of cervical mucus from the cervix, and prepares the uterine lining for implantation of a fertilized egg
Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) - stimulates the development of the egg. Is found to be high in women approaching menopause/ having premature ovarian failure.

Luteinizing hormone (LH) - stimulates the release of the egg from the follicles. Is found to be out of balance and high in PCOS.

Progesterone - stabilizes the uterine lining for implantation of a fertilized egg and supports early pregnancy

Androgens - normally small amounts of androgens (testosterone) are produced in women; excess production can interfere with development of the follicles, ovulation and cervical mucus production. Free Testosterone, DHEAS, 17 OHP are the androgens evaluated.

Prolactin - stimulates milk production, prolactin levels may be higher than normal in certain disorders or when certain medications are taken.

Thyroid - an under active thyroid can result in high prolactin levels. An optimum TSH level is very important for achieving pregnancy also because if a pregnancy is achieved with high TSH levels, there are risks of mental retardation in the child.