Learn about all the different reproductive hormones that make pregnancy possible
When you come to our Austin infertility clinic and your doctor orders fertility bloodwork, what is our team looking for? Our goal is to learn more about your levels of important reproductive hormones. Because many people are only familiar with estrogen and testosterone, we’re here to provide a quick overview of the different types of hormones and how they help you conceive.
What types of reproductive hormones are important for women?
To start, our Austin infertility clinic team is going to review some of the important hormones for the hopeful mothers who visit us.
Anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) is an important hormone that your ovarian follicles produce. When your doctor orders fertility bloodwork to test AMH, it helps them gain information about your egg supply. A low AMH level suggests that the ovaries have fewer eggs.
As you might have guessed from the name, estradiol is a type of estrogen that your ovaries produce. Your doctor will test your estradiol level on day 3 of your cycle to learn more about your ovarian reserve (egg supply). A high estradiol level suggests a diminished egg supply.
Your pituitary gland produces follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). This hormone stimulates the growth of the egg-containing follicles in the ovary. As a result, this hormone tells your doctor about your egg supply. Like estradiol, an elevated FSH level suggests diminished egg supply.
Luteinizing hormone (LH) helps trigger ovulation (the release of an egg). Rather than use a blood draw, our Austin infertility clinic team typically asks patients to measure LH levels using a urine ovulation predictor kit. An LH surge tells us that ovulation is occurring.
Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) is made in the pituitary gland, much like FSH. A high TSH indicates an overactive thyroid, while a low level suggests an underactive thyroid. Both issues can interfere with ovulation.
Is fertility bloodwork also necessary for men?
All men who visit our practice will have a semen analysis. Sometimes, men will also undergo fertility bloodwork to assess certain reproductive hormones.
For example, our Austin infertility clinic team may order an FSH blood test. In men, FSH helps the testes produce sperm, so it can be a good way to evaluate testicular function. A high FSH level in a man suggests that the testicles aren’t functioning as they should.
How does our team use the findings of fertility bloodwork?
Knowing more about your levels of different reproductive hormones is key. Your doctor will use this information to learn more about your fertility and create a customized treatment plan. When creating your plan, your doctor will also consider your medical history and the results of other tests, such as semen analysis and ultrasound.
Contact us to schedule an appointment if you’d like to learn more about fertility testing at our clinic. We can help diagnose and treat a variety of fertility issues to make parenthood possible.