Hormones And Fertility

There are over 50 identified hormones in the endocrine system. Hormones are the body’s messengers sending signals to organs, muscles, and tissues to impact function. Hormones like prolactin, AMH, and FSH play a vital role in fertility. When these are out of sync, there is a direct issue with conception and reproductive health. Today 1 in 8 couples struggle with fertility, which can often be linked to a hormone imbalance.

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Prolactin and fertility

Prolactin is a hormone involved in several processes of the body. Two of prolactin's primary functions are the triggering of ovulation and the production of breast milk. Prolactin is healthy at low levels, but prolactin naturally increases if a woman is pregnant. Abnormally high levels before pregnancy can reveal conditions like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Patients should note that prolactin levels can vary from lack of sleep, excessive exercise, foods, and certain medications.

Check your AMH

The anti-müllerian hormone (AMH) helps develop an unborn baby's reproductive organs during pregnancy. However, AMH can also give insight into a woman's reproductive health. The hormone allows doctors to gauge the number of follicles in the ovaries. An AMH imbalance also helps pinpoint conditions like PCOS, early menopause, and menstrual disorders. High AMH levels can indicate a woman has a healthy reproductive system and signal PCOS.

Follicle-stimulating hormones (FSH)

The pituitary gland produces follicle-stimulating hormones (FSH). This hormone impacts sexual development in women and men. In addition, FSH controls the menstrual cycle, egg growth, and sperm production. Low FSH levels can point to conditions that affect infertility. These conditions include primary ovarian insufficiency (POI), ovarian tumors, and Turner syndrome.

Taking action

Hormones testing can help women and men uncover fertility issues. Before taking further action, doctors may recommend lifestyle changes to help balance hormones. These include losing weight, quitting smoking and alcohol use. If these fail, doctors could then ascertain if fertility treatment can help. For instance, hormone medication can help with FSH levels, increasing the chances of pregnancy. These tests can also help decide if treatments like in vitro fertilization (IVF) can help. Couples struggling with conceiving should consider a complete hormone test to determine the next course of action.

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