Luteinizing hormone, LH test is a blood test ordered by your physician to measure the level of LH in the blood. This test is mostly done as a part of infertility workup for a man or woman and to track ovulation during the menstrual cycle. Leutinizing hormone plays an important role in puberty, menstruation, and fertility.
Infertility is very common in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 6.1 million women in the U.S. who fall under the age group of 15 to 44 are having trouble in getting pregnant or staying pregnant. LH test can indicate the problems associated with reproduction. So, we highly recommend you to get tested for LH levels if you are planning for a baby and having trouble getting pregnant.
The article below covers all the significant topics related to luteinizing hormone test like the LH test cost, normal LH levels, procedure, preparation, risks, and how to get tested for the LH test.
For our readers, who are very much interested in knowing the LH test cost beforehand, we would like to begin with that section.
How much does the LH test cost?
Luteinizing hormone, LH test cost ranges between $40 and $64 in different labs and facilities across the U.S. To view and compare the prices in different labs offered by different providers, click the button below.
LH test cost with insurance
Many health insurance policies in the U.S. cover the cost of all the fertility tests including the LH test. However, the coverage offered by private health insurance companies and national health insurance programs like Medicare and Medicaid varies widely. So we recommend you to check the coverage of your health insurance plan before getting tested for LH levels.
Our LH testing providers do not accept any kind of health insurance plan. But, on request, they can provide you with an itemized receipt containing all the details like the name and code of the test, and CPT code that is necessary for insurance reimbursement purposes.
What is LH?
LH refers to luteinizing hormone and it is produced by the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is a tiny, pea-sized gland located at the base of the brain. LH plays a significant role in reproduction in both men and women. In women, it also has a major role in the menstrual cycle. This hormone is related to reproduction, and stimulation of ovulation and testosterone in women and men respectively.
LH is also known as a “gonadotropin”. Gonadotropins are hormones that are produced by the anterior gland and stimulate the gonads (sex organs) such as ovaries and testes to produce sex hormones and stimulates the production of eggs and sperm cells. FSH (Follicle-stimulating hormone) and LH are the main gonadotropins.
Why is an LH test done?
The LH test is done to measure the level of LH in the blood. The LH levels in the blood indicate menstrual problems, fertility, and the onset of puberty. This test also helps in the evaluation of pituitary function and in detecting the release of an egg from the ovary (ovulation). In children, this test is done to evaluate the early or delayed puberty.
Your physician will ask you to take the LH test if you experience the following problems.
- Irregular menstrual cycle
- Heavy menstrual periods
- Amenorrhea (absence of menstruation)
- Difficulty in getting pregnant
- Early menopause
- Reduced sex drive
- Low testosterone level
- Low muscle mass
Sometimes, your physician will also recommend the LH test to evaluate the pituitary function in case if you experience the following symptoms.
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
Normal levels of LH
The normal LH levels in the blood depend on the age and phase of the menstrual cycle in the woman and the age in man. The levels of LH are measured in international units per liter (IU/L) and the standard levels are mentioned below.
|Phase of the menstrual cycle||Normal LH levels (IU/L)|
|Follicular phase (when the follicles in the ovary mature)||1.9 to 12.5|
|Peak of the menstrual cycle||8.7 to 76.3|
|Luteal phase (a latter phase that occurs after ovulation)||0.5 to 16.9|
|Pregnant||Less than 1.5|
|Post-menopause||15.9 to 54.0|
|Using contraceptives||0.7 to 5.6|
|Age||Normal LH levels (IU/L)|
|Between 20 and 70||0.7 to 7.9|
|Above 70||3.1 to 34.0|
How is the LH test done?
LH test can be done using the blood or urine sample.
1. LH blood test
2. Ovulation predictor test kit (LH urine test)
Is there any preparation required before the test?
There is no special preparation required before the LH blood test. There is no constraint on the diet. But your physician may ask you to stop certain medications such as anticonvulsants, clomiphene, and digoxin for one day before the test as they may influence the LH levels and result in an inaccurate diagnosis. Also, you may be asked to stop taking hormone pills and birth control pills for at least four weeks before the test.
Are there any risks in the test?
There are no possible risks or complications associated with the LH blood test. Sometimes, after the blood sample is drawn, you might feel dizziness, slight pain, bruise or redness in the injected area for a very little period. If you have any abnormal bleeding in the injected area, inform your physician immediately.
What does the test result mean?
If the LH levels are higher than the normal, it indicates the problem in the ovaries. It is called primary ovarian failure and it might be caused by autoimmune disorders, chemotherapy drugs, radiation exposure, tumor in the ovaries or PCOS (poly-cystic ovarian syndrome).
Low LH levels indicate secondary ovarian failure. It means that the other part of the body, most likely, the pituitary gland, is causing the ovarian failure.
If the LH levels are higher than normal, it indicates early puberty which might be caused by a tumor in the CNS (central nervous system), inflammation in the CNS or a brain injury. Early puberty mostly occurs in girls.
If the LH levels are lower than normal, it indicates delayed puberty which might be caused by ovarian or testicular failure, chronic infection or hormone deficiency.
How to treat high and low LH levels?
The high and low levels of LH can be treated with the medications, therapies, physical exercise, and a proper healthy diet. Your physician will prescribe the medications, and therapies depending on the result of the other pregnancy tests such as FSH test and progesterone test.
If appropriate and necessary, your physician may also recommend imaging tests like ultrasound to figure out the problems in pregnancy.
The Luteinizing hormone test can be done in any of the following locations across the U.S. by visiting the nearest lab. To know the LH test cost, refer to the first section of the article.
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