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You are viewing: H4H Monographs - Natural Fertility Management (NFM) - Hormone Testing - Level 2

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Welcome to Natural Ferility Mamagement - Level 2

H4H Monograph

H4H Natural Fertility Management (NFM)
Hormone Testing for Women 

Natural Fertility Management (NFM)
Welcome

Natural Fertility Management (NFM)
Hormone Testing

Natural Fertility Management (NFM)
An Introduction

Natural Fertility Management (NFM)
Sperm & Hormone Testing 
for Men

Natural Fertility Management (NFM)
The Menstrual Cycle

Natural Fertility Management (NFM)
Conception Management

Natural Fertility Management (NFM)
Ovulation Prediction

Natural Fertility Management (NFM)
Homeopathic Protocol for Couples

Natural Fertility Management (NFM)
Pre-Conception Management

Natural Fertility Management (NFM)
Fertility Supplements

H4H Natural Fertility Management (NFM)Hormone Testing for Women

1. The pregnancy hormone test or
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG)
This is the most frequent and useful hormone measurement used to detect signs of pregnancy. The hormone can be found in the urine as well as the blood and forms the basis of the home pregnancy test kits.

HGC can be detected as early as 10 days into pregnancy following successful fertilisation (ie even before the forst missed period is experienced). Concentration levels double on average every day or two until values of around 6,500 mIU/ml are reached at approx. 8 wks post the last menstrual period (LMP). Peak concentration is attained around 9 to 10 weeks post LMP. Thereafter HCG levels should remain constant until birth. It is not a favourable sign for the concentration levels to wane or fall away as in such situations the pregnancy has a high risk of ending in miscarriage (spontaneous abortion).

HGC levels in Early Pregnancy

Days into pregnancy

Wks/days from
LMP

Av level for single baby
mIU/ml

10

3w3d

25

12

3w5d

50

14

4w0d

100

16

4w2d

200

Early-detection pregnancy kits are able to detect levels as low as 20 mIU/ml
and can detect pregnancy before the first missed period.

2. Follicular Stimulating Hormone (FSH)
When to get tested?
In general if one is still getting a period it is recommend that blood samples are taken on day 3 of the menstrual cycle (ie the third day of the period).

If one is no longer getting a period then testing may be done any time. 

Because hormone levels can and do fluctuate it is also recommended to test more than once about a month apart (ie over 2 or 3 cycles). 

FSH Results
The level of this hormone is the key test to determining the advent of menopause. FSH levels rise when the ovaries stop producing enough estrogen and consequently high FSH levels are a signal that the body is entering a menopausal state.

  • A normal FSH day 3 value is below 10 mlU/ml
  • FSH levels above 10 to 12 mIU/ml indicate that the ovaries are starting to fail.  In other words this is the signal for perimenopause (the beginning stages of menopause when notice physical symptoms are present but before periods have stopped for a year.
  • Higher FSH levels of about 30 to 40 or above indicate menopause or ovarian failure.  Periods may even occur at these FSH levels but it still is a sign that the body isn't producing enough estrogen to maintain regular ovarian function. Once FSH levels have reached a certain level (ie over 35) for a period of time (ie 1 yr) it's highly unlikely that they'll drop back to premenopausal levels.
  • It is however possible for FSH levels to drop back to normal in cases of Premature Ovarian Failure (POF) with younger women and where higher FSH levels have been experienced for less than 1 yr. This is the distinguishing phenomena between POF and menopause and serves to underline the necessity for regular monthly testing.

Summary of FSH levels (mIU/ml)

Follicular phase 

below 10.0

Midcycle 

3.4 to 33.4

Luteal phase 

1.5 to 9.0

Menopausal 

23.0 to >116

3. Oestrogen Hormone
Estradiol is the primary human oestrogen and when the ovaries begin to fail circulating estradiol levels drop (ie this is opposite to FSH). In the case of Estradiol a lower level than normal indicates POF or menopause.Thus whilst normal estradiol levels on day 3 of the menstrual cycle vary from 25-75 g/ml levels of 30 or below together with a high FSH level (i.e. >30) is suggestive of menopause.

Increased or decreased levels of oestrogen are seen in many metabolic or clinical conditions (ie elevated levels of Estradiol are associated with PCOS and endometriosis). Care must be used in the interpretation of results and an opinion should be based on several readings taken over a length of time together with FSH levels.

It is also possible to have a period with Estradiol levels in the region of 50 and still experience menopausal symptoms of hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and sleep
difficulties.

Summary of Estradiol levels (g/ml)

Follicular Phase 

24-138

Periovulatory

107 - 402

Luteal Phase 

19 -164 

Postmenopausal 

No  HRT <36

Postmenopausal 

With HRT >18

4. Progesterone Hormone 
A progesterone test is done to confirm ovulation. When a follicle releases its egg it forms a corpus luteum and produces progesterone. Consequently the test is best performed on day 21 of the cycle. A level over 5ng/ml probably indicates some form of ovulation but in general levels over 10 on a natural cycle are really desirable with up to 38 considered normal in the luteal stage. Thus higher progesterone levels are associated with increased pregnancy success. By comparison menopausal levels are around 0.03 to 0.30ng/ml.

Progesterone lvels ng/ml

Period

Level ng/ml

Comment

Follicular phase

5+

Indicates weak ovulatory activity
Level over 10 desirable

Luteal phase

<1.5

 

First trimester

10 - 90

Av of 40 at 14 wks LMP

Second trimester

25 - 90

Av of 40 at beginning of trimester
Av of 90 at end of trimester

Third trimester

49 - 423

Usually peaks around 175


5. Luteinising Hormone (LH)
In adult women follicle ovulation is induced by a large burst of LH known as the (preovulatory) LH surge after which the cells of the ovulated follicle proliferate to form the corpus luteum. In addition to its follicle induction role LH is required for the continued health and development of the corpus luteum when increasing amounts of Progesterone (a hormone necessary for the maintenance of pregnancy) are produced. The name lentenising hormone is in fact derived from its role of leutenisation of the induced follicle.

Levels of LH vary with the phase of the menstrual cycle. It increases rapidly just before ovulation occurs (the preovulatory LH surge) and peaks about midway through the cycle (day 14 of a 28-day cycle). This rise and fall of LH levels follows that of FSH during menses cycle.

An LH test is used in adult women to
A] Help determine the cause of infertility
High levels can mean ovary not functioning/ removed/ damaged/ PCOS
Low levels can mean pituitary failure/ high stress/ low body weight.

B] Determine (usually from a urine sample) the time of ovulation.

Leuteinising Hormone levels IU/L

Follicular phase  

1.68 to 15.0

Mid menses 

21.9 to 56.6

Luteal phase 

0.61 to 16.3

Menopause 

14.2 to 52.3

For further information
in order to make a fully informed choice contact

Dr. Peter Darashah

Ph.D.,M.Sc (Lond), B.Sc., DIHom (Pract),FBIH, MARH

Nutrition Consultant & Homeopathic Physician

(087) 2621943
Consultations held at:
Dervish Holistic Cebtre, 50 Cornmarket Str., Cork.

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