There are a number of different hormones that your fertility specialist may require to be tested in your blood to fully understand the cause of your infertility.
Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH)
AMH is a hormone released from around the follicles in the ovary. It is a useful guide as to how active the ovaries are and is used to estimate how good a woman’s egg reserve is. The hormone test can be taken at any point in the menstrual cycle and then used in to try and predict how ovaries may respond to stimulation medication in an IVF cycle.
Follicular Stimulating Hormone (FSH)
FSH is a hormone released from the anterior pituitary gland in the brain. It is secreted throughout the menstrual cycle and stimulates eggs in the ovaries to grow. The FSH levels rise and fall through the menstrual cycle and are highest just before an egg is released. If a woman reaches the menopause and has no eggs in the ovaries then the FSH levels will be highly elevated.
Luteinising Hormone (LH)
LH is a hormone released from the anterior pituitary gland in the brain. In women it stimulates the ovaries to produce oestradiol. Two weeks into the menstrual cycle there is a surge in LH, which causes the ovaries to release an egg. If the egg is fertilised by a sperm then the LH continues to stimulate the corpus luteum on the ovary to produce progesterone.
Progesterone is a hormone released from the corpus luteum in the ovary after ovulation has occurred. The corpus luteum is formed from the left-behind follicle after the egg has been released. It produces progesterone after the egg has been released, to prepare the womb lining (endometrium) for an implanting pregnancy.
Prolactin is a hormone released in the pituitary gland and promotes breast growth and milk production. Levels rise by 10-20 fold during pregnancy as levels of oestrogen and progesterone rise.