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 basic prerequisite for conception. Measuring the hormonal levels in specific phases of the cycle will show whether the hormonal functions work properly. Examinations are usually performed on the third day of a menstrual cycle by taking a blood sample. Different hormones than those listed below can also be tested if there are any additional concerns. Tests of hormonal functions can also be performed.

Main important hormones

Changes in the secretion of the main 5 hormones during a menstrual cycle have a specific meaning.

  • FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) – is secreted by the adenohypophysis and stimulates growth of the follicles in the ovaries (follicle – a small sac which contains an egg and is located in the ovaries)
  • LH (luteinizing hormone) – also secreted by the adenohypophysis; releases a mature ovum from the follicle.
  • GnRh (gonadotrophin-releasing hormone) – supports releasing FSH and LH into the blood flow. It is secreted by the brain.
  • Estrogen – secreted by the ovaries and, together with progesterone, it contributes to creating the inner membrane of the uterus – endometrium.
  • Progesterone – secreted in the ovaries after ovulation in a place where corpus luteum is created. It also changes the structure of the endometrium, prepares it for embryo implanting and helps sustain pregnancy after conception.

A hormonal balance disorder can cause infertility. Precise questioning of a patient about the course and the regularity of menstruation together with an examination of blood hormonal levels and ultrasonography can usually help identify the causes of hormonal imbalance.

Other hormones that contribute to the ability to conceive are also examined.

ANDROGENS

Androgens play an important role from the very beginning of a man’s life, because they influence normal development of the male reproductive organs from the time of male fetus development in the uterus. Without androgens, men will not have hairy chest, developed muscles or a deep voice. Lack of androgens causes a decrease in libido. Androgens affect overall development of the organism, bone growth and quality, memory, erythrocyte production and other processes. There are many types of androgens. Testosterone is the most common type. Androgen secretion is not linear. It decreases or increases at different stages of life. The first increase comes during puberty, when the male physique is being formed and the penis, seminal vesicles and libido are getting bigger and stronger.

Androgens are also produced in a female’s body but in very small quantities. They are secreted in the ovaries, adrenal glands and fat tissue. A healthy woman produces very little amounts of androgen, but androgen is important for production of female reproductive hormones. Overproduction of androgens can lead to the development of some male secondary sex characteristics and it may affect woman’s fertility. Therefore, examination of the blood androgen levels is an important part of a hormonal profile test.

Examinations of the thyroid gland hormone levels, the TSH (thyroid – stimulating hormone), fT4 – thyroxine and the anti-thyroid peroxidase (anti-TPO) hormone are part of the hormonal profile test because these also affect fertility.

PROLACTIN

Is a hormone produced by the hypophysis. Prolactin is responsible for milk production by the breasts. HYPERPROLACTINAEMIA sometimes occurs such that a woman who is not breast feeding develops an unusually high secretion of prolactin, which causes hormonal imbalance, infertility and ovulation problems.

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