Infertility can be caused by an imbalance in the five basic hormones essential for a menstrual cycle. Furthermore, an excess of male hormones in the body, or an excess of the hormone prolactin in a non-breastfeeding woman may also contribute to infertility.
An appropriate, balanced level of sex hormones present in the female body is crucial for ovulation, fertilization, and pregnancy. Cyclic hormonal changes in a female organism are a prerequisite for conception. Measuring the hormonal levels in specific phases of the cycle will show whether the hormonal levels work properly. Examinations are usually performed on the third day of a menstrual cycle by taking a blood sample. If necessary, tests for the presence of other hormones may be carried out to supplement the newly discovered findings.
Changes in the secretion of the five major hormones, whose levels rise and fall during the menstrual cycle, have a specific meaning.
FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) is produced by the anterior pituitary gland and stimulates the growth of follicles in the ovaries. The follicle is a small sac with an egg, located in the ovary.
LH (luteinizing hormone) is also produced by the anterior pituitary gland. It is responsible for releasing the mature egg from the follicle.
GnRh (gonadotrophin releasing hormone) supports releasing FSH and LH into the blood flow. It is produced in the hypothalamus of the brain.
Estrogen is produced in the ovaries and, together with progesterone, it contributes to creating the inner membrane of the uterus – the endometrium.
Progesterone is created in the ovaries after ovulation in a place where a corpus luteum is created. It also changes the structure of endometrium, prepares it for embryo implanting, and helps sustain a pregnancy after its conception.
A disturbance in the delicate balance of these hormones can cause infertility. Precise questions from a physician about the course and regularity of menstruation together with an examination of blood hormonal levels and ultrasonography can usually help identify the cause of hormonal imbalance. Other hormones that contribute to the ability to conceive are also examined.
Androgens play an important role from the beginning of a man’s life because they influence the proper development of the male reproductive organs from the time of male fetus development in the uterus. Without androgens, men would not have a deep voice, hairy chest, and muscles. Androgens affect the development of the organism, bone growth and quality, memory, red blood cell production, and other processes. Lack of androgens causes a decrease in libido.
There are many types of androgens. TESTOSTERONE is the most common type. Androgen secretion is not linear throughout a man’s life. A sharp increase in production occurs in adolescence when the male physique is being formed, and the penis, seminal vesicles, and libido are getting bigger and stronger.
Androgens are also produced in small amounts in a female body. They are produced in the ovaries, adrenal glands, and adipose tissue. However, in a healthy woman, their production is very small. They are important for the production of female reproductive hormones. Overproduction of androgens can lead to the development of some male characteristics and affect woman’s fertility. Therefore, the examination of androgen levels is an important part of a woman’s hormonal examination.
During the examination of an infertile patient, the thyroid gland hormones TSH – THYROID-STIMULATING HORMONE, fT4 – THYROXIN, and the anti-thyroid peroxidase aTPO are also examined. Decreased or increased function of the thyroid gland affects fertility. Thus, it is necessary to know its functioning and, if necessary, treat its malfunction.
A hormone produced by the hypophysis. It is responsible for the onset and maintenance of milk production in the mammary gland. HYPERPROLACTINEMIA, i.e., unusually high secretion of prolactin, in a non-breastfeeding woman, it usually causes ovulation disorders and infertility.
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