Hormone testing is an essential tool in evaluating unexplained infertility and can help identify potential issues that may be affecting a couple’s ability to conceive. It is usually one of the first diagnostic tools used by reproductive endocrinologists to evaluate infertility in both men and women. When infertility is unexplained, meaning no clear reason has been identified for the inability to conceive, hormone testing can help identify potential issues related to hormone imbalances.
In women, hormone testing typically involves measuring levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), estradiol, progesterone, and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). FSH and LH are responsible for regulating the menstrual cycle and ovulation, while estradiol and progesterone play a critical role in preparing the uterus for implantation and supporting early pregnancy. TSH levels are also evaluated, as thyroid imbalances can affect fertility.
In men, hormone testing usually involves measuring levels of testosterone, luteinizing hormone (LH), and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). Testosterone plays a crucial role in sperm production, while LH and FSH stimulate the production of testosterone and sperm.
The timing of hormone testing is also essential. In women, testing is usually done on specific days of the menstrual cycle, typically on days 2-4 or 3-5 of the menstrual cycle, depending on the specific hormones being evaluated. In men, testing can be done at any time, but it is often recommended to test in the morning when testosterone levels are typically highest.
If hormone testing reveals imbalances or abnormalities, further testing or treatment may be recommended. For example, if a woman’s FSH levels are elevated, this could indicate diminished ovarian reserve, which can make it harder to conceive. Similarly, if a man’s testosterone levels are low, this could indicate an issue with sperm production.
Despite hormone testing’s ability to screen for imbalances, sometimes the underlying issue is not as obvious. One of the most common causes of unexplained infertility is uterine lining dysfunction caused by inflammation, most often endometriosis. A woman’s hormone levels may be normal but her body may be “progesterone resistant”, a condition caused by the inflammation.
A new test called ReceptivaDx can help uncover this underlying condition. ReceptivaDx uses a protein marker highly associated with endometriosis. This test has helped thousands of women solve the mystery of unexplained infertility after hormone work-ups were normal. Knowledge is power. Learn more at ReceptivaDx.com.