Luteinizing hormone (LH) blood test
The LH blood test measures the amount of luteinizing hormone (LH) in blood. LH is a hormone released by the pituitary gland, located on the underside of the brain.
ICSH - blood test; Luteinizing hormone - blood test; Interstitial cell stimulating hormone - blood test
How the Test is Performed
How to Prepare for the Test
Your health care provider will ask you to temporarily stop medicines that may affect the test results. Be sure to tell your provider about all the medicines you take. These include:
If you are a woman of childbearing age, the test may need to be done on a specific day of your menstrual cycle. Tell your provider if you have recently been exposed to radioisotopes, such as during a nuclear medicine test.
How the Test will Feel
When the needle is inserted to draw blood, some people feel moderate pain. Others feel only a prick or stinging. Afterward, there may be some throbbing or a slight bruise. This soon goes away.
Why the Test is Performed
In women, an increase in LH level at mid-cycle causes release of eggs (ovulation). Your doctor will order this test to see if:
If you are a man, the test may be ordered if you have signs of infertility or lowered sex drive. The test may be ordered if you have signs of a pituitary gland problem.
Normal results for adult women are:
LH levels are normally low during childhood.
Normal result for men over 18 years of age is around 1.8 to 8.6 IU/L.
Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some labs use different measurements or test different samples. Talk to your provider about the meaning of your specific test result.
What Abnormal Results Mean
In women, a higher than normal level of LH is seen:
In men, a higher than normal level of LH may be due to:
In children, a higher than normal level is seen in early (precocious) puberty.
A lower than normal level of LH may be due to the pituitary gland not making enough hormone (hypopituitarism).
Veins and arteries vary in size from one person to another and from one side of the body to the other. Obtaining a blood sample from some people may be more difficult than from others.
Other risks associated with having blood drawn are slight, but may include:
Chernecky CC, Berger BJ. Luteinizing hormone - blood. In: Chernecky CC, Berger BJ, eds. Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures. 6th ed. St Louis, MO: Elsevier Saunders; 2013:743-744.
Jeelani R, Bluth MH. Reproductive function and pregnancy. In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 23rd ed. St Louis, MO: Elsevier; 2017:chap 25.
Review Date: 8/26/2017
Reviewed By: Peter J Chen, MD, FACOG, Associate Professor of OBGYN at Cooper Medical School at Rowan University, Camden, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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