A LH (luteinizing hormone) test analyzes the quantity of luteinizing hormone in a sample of blood or urine. LH is the production of the pituitary gland.
Why LH Blood Test is Conducted
A luteinizing hormone (LH) test is conducted to:
- Allow to determine the reason for a couple's inability to conceive. LH testing is generally used to enable screen a woman's egg production (ovarian reserve) and a man's sperm count.
- Help screen menstrual irregularities, like irregular or absent menstrual periods. This can enable determine if the woman has entered into the phase of menopause.
- Examine if a child is undergoing early puberty. If the puberty starts in girls younger than age 9 and in boys before 10 years it is considered as early puberty.
- Determine the reasons behind delayed puberty. When sexual features or parts are not developing at the right time when they should have been it is considered as delayed puberty.
- Determine (normally with a urine sample) the time of ovulation for a woman.
- Monitor a woman's reaction to drugs administered to stimulate ovulation.
How to Prepare For LH Blood Test
- Many drugs, such as clomiphene, levodopa and others can influence your reports. You may be suggested to stop taking drugs containing estrogen or progesterone or both for up to 4 weeks prior to undergoing a luteinizing hormone (LH) test.
- Explain your doctor if you had undergone a test that facilitated a radioactive substance in the last 7 days. Recent tests (viz., thyroid scan or bone scan) using a radioactive tracer can influence LH test results.
- Tell your physician about your first day of your last menstrual cycle. If your bleeding pattern is light, consider the heaviest bleeding day as your first day.
How LH Blood Test is Done
The health care specialist drawing blood will:
- Tie an elastic band on your upper arm to cease the flow of blood. This makes the veins under the band exaggerate so it is easy to put a needle into the vein.
- Clean the needle location using alcohol.
- Insert the needle into the vein. Attach a tube to the needle to collect the blood.
- Untie the band from your arm when sufficient blood is taken.
- Compress a gauze pad over the needle site as soon as the needle is removed.
- Apply some pressure to the location and then a bandage.
How it Feel
You don’t feel anything at all at the needle insertion site, or you may feel a light sting or pinch asthe needle punchers the skin to slip into the vein. Some individual may feel a stinging pain at the time of inserting the needle inside the vein. But several people do not feel any uneasiness (or have only brief discomfort) once the needle is placed in the vein.
Risks Factors Associated with LH Blood Test
- You may observe a small bruise at the insertion site. You can cut down the risk of bruising by applying pressure on the site for a couple of minutes after the withdrawal of the needle.
- In rare events, the vein may get inflamed when the blood test is over. This condition is termed as phlebitis and is generally treated with the application of a warm compress many times regularly.
- Consistent bleeding can be a risk for individual with bleeding problems. Aspirin and other blood-thinning drugs can also catapult the bleeding incidents. If you have bleeding or clotting disorder, or if you are on blood-thinning drugs, speak with your doctor prior to blood test.
A luteinizing hormone test evaluates the amount of luteinizing (LH) in a sample of blood. LH level is based on an individual’s age and phase of sexual progress, and, in a woman, on the stage of hermenstrual cycle.
What High Values Speak
High luteinizing hormone levels in a woman may signal:
- Absence of ovaries or removal of ovaries.
- Ovaries are ineffective due to menopause, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), or damage due to chemotherapy.
- Early puberty in girls.
High luteinizing hormone levels in a male may indicate:
- Absence of testicles or removal of testicles.
- Malfunction of testicles due to surgery or damage occurred due to X-ray exposure, mumps, cancer, chemotherapy, or some trauma.
What Low Values Speaks
Low luteinizing hormone levels in a man or woman may indicate:
- Pituitary gland failure.
- Anorexia nervosa.
- Harm to a part of the brain termed as hypothalamus.
- Less body weight.
Precautions to be Taken
- If you are on some medicine that carries estrogen, testosterone, or progesterone (like birth control pills), inquire from your health care specialist whether you should cease continuing those drugs for some days prior to undergoing a luteinizing hormone (LH) test.
- You can purchase home ovulation kits from a drugstore to enable identify the most fertile times of a woman's menstrual cycle. Other home ovulation examinations that screen the quantity of LH in urine and manifest the results on a small computerized monitor are also available.
- Other examinations for ovulation may include evaluating basal body temperature, checking the progesterone level post ovulation, and noting changes in cervical mucus.