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Hormones and fertility: what to check?

The menstrual cycle of each woman is highly regulated by hormones. The regular level of hormonal fluctuation is unique, but there are standard healthy ranges for fluctuations. Going out of range can be a sign of hormonal dysregulation and reproductive issues.

If conceiving is among your plans in the future, we highly recommend reading this article, to understand how a woman's body functions. 

Why do you need to check your hormonal level? 

First of all, what is important to know is that hormonal imbalances can cause female infertility. 

Secondly, it helps avoid a lot of stress and anxiety to rule out or address any hormonal imbalance or issues prior to trying to conceive. This would include trying to conceive with low progesterone, or anovulation and other similar conditions that are best to be diagnosed earlier on.

Thirdly, your hormonal status influences your mood, energy level, skin, and hair condition.  Undoubtedly, it is easier and cheaper to check your hormone levels and balance them in advance than seek medical treatment afterwards. 

Hormones and fertility

Menstrual cycle phases

Understanding what phases we have in our cycle is important both for conceiving and for predicting changes in our mood, productivity and health. If you feel tired, inspired, or upset, maybe the reason is in the current part of your personal monthly timeline. 

Women’s cycle consists of two phases: follicular and luteal. Let’s deep dive into what's going on in each of them.

Phases of Woman's Cycle

The follicular phase

It starts from the first day of your menstrual cycle and lasts until ovulation ( releasing an egg from the ovary). During this phase, women may feel energetic, and their skin and hair usually look better. You may also feel flirty, evolution has cleverly made us this way so we can increase chances of conception upon ovulation.. It’s not necessary to strive to have a baby each cycle in reality, but the mechanism is still there. 

The average length of the follicular stage is around 14 days but is dependent on how long it takes for one dominant egg follicle to emerge and women have different cycles. As a matter of fact very few women have a typical 28 day cycle

The luteal phase

This phase begins after an egg has been released from the ovary and lasts for around 14 days. The luteal phase ends just before your menstrual period. After ovulation, the follicle ruptures, and its egg is released. The main difference here is the high production of progesterone. This hormone helps maintain a potential pregnancy if an embryo is implanted. 

Now, let’s see which hormones rule women’s fertility and should be checked primarily.

Female fertility hormones

A woman’s body is a highly complex system, regulated by different hormones. Mood, menstrual cycle, and fertility levels are under their control. 

There are 4 main hormones influencing fertility:

  • Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH)
  • Luteinising Hormone (LH)
  • Oestradiol (estrogen)
  • Progesterone

Female fertility hormones

Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)

Follicle Stimulating Hormone, or FSH, is an important hormone for fertility in both women and men. It controls sperm production in men and, similarly, egg development in women. Right before ovulation, there should be the highest rate of FSH. 

Not enough FSH can cause anovulation, which leads to further conceiving issues. The opposite situation, when the FSH level is too high, can indicate primary ovarian insufficiency and menopausal transition..

Estrogen

Ovaries produce estrogen during their growth. The critical function of this hormone is to allow ovulation and cause the endometrium (womb lining) to thicken in preparation for pregnancy. Estrogen also promotes mucus secretion inside the vagina and the uterus which provides an ideal environment for sperm survival.

Too little estrogen can cause issues with ovulation and also prevent adequate thickening of the endometrium leading to irregular cycles and possible infertility.. On the other hand, too much estrogen can lead to extreme PMS symptoms, bloating, period issues and more..

Luteinizing Hormone (LH

Like FSH, Luteinizing Hormone, or LH, is also produced in the pituitary gland and is important for both male and female reproduction cycles. Male LH stimulates the production of testosterone. Female LH is responsible for releasing the egg from the ovary.  

Not enough LH can also cause difficulties conceiving. While too much LH in comparison to FSH is one of the signs of polycystic ovarian syndrome. . 

All this can seem complicated, but with the right testing and support it can be easy and empowering., You can take an easy at-home test, have a consultation from experts from ScreenMe and receive personal recommendations for your hormonal profile.   

Progesterone

Progesterone is sometimes called the “pregnancy hormone” because it helps with implantation and the future survival of pregnancy. If no egg has been fertilized, progesterone levels will drop, and menstruation will begin. Low progesterone levels can lead to problems with becoming pregnant and maintaining a pregnancy

pregnancy hormone

Other hormones factors that impact fertility

A woman’s fertility can also be impacted by imbalances in hormones due to other factors, such as:

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Overactive or underactive thyroid
  • Conditions that cause the release of excess stress hormones
  • Egg reserve of a woman which can be indicated through measuring her anti-mullerian hormone(AMH)

A man’s hormone levels can also affect his ability to impregnate his partner. So, the problem can be on either side. There are some natural ways to increase male fertility and sperm count, but we advise testing your partner to have better and faster results.

Nowadays, there are different ways to restore your hormonal balance, from natural adaptations, like changing your nutrition and activities, to medical ones. The important thing is to have an understanding of what your hormones are doing and receiving the best help possible to reach your goal.. 

At ScreenMe we believe insight into your hormones and fertility should be a tight and not a privilege that’s why we provide all women with a free first consultation

Take an easy at-home ScreenMe test, tailor your lifestyle and stay healthy, fertile, and balanced!

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