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What is Luteinizing Hormone (LH): Function, Test and Levels




The pituitary gland, located at the base of the human brain, secretes a series of crucial hormones that regulate the entire human body. The luteinizing hormone(LH) is one of them. An imbalance in the LH level may lead to poor reproductive health.

Abnormal LH levels can cause several reproductive conditions. Both men and women are the victims of abnormal LH levels. Though the prevalence in males is less or poorly detected, women are much more affected by it.

One of the most common results of abnormal Luteinizing hormone levels is PCOS. Nearly 10% of American women have PCOS. India, too, does not lag. One out of every five Indian women is struggling with PCOS.

Infertility issues are common LH problems. This blog gives you a clear outline of the luteinizing hormone, its levels and its functions. 

What is Luteinizing Hormone?

luteinizing hormone is one of the most crucial hormones in your body. It is secreted from the pituitary gland at the human brain's base. The luteinizing hormone is a messenger that transmits signals from the brain to the reproductive organs. It stimulates different processes of the human body, including development, sexual health and reproduction. Your testes or ovaries receive signals from the brain through Luteinizing hormones and function accordingly to carry out the reproductive cycle.

The pituitary gland secretes the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) to balance the level of the luteinizing hormone. 

Standard Range of Luteinizing Hormone 

Since the luteinizing hormone plays the most essential role in regulating your sex organs and overall reproductive system, a minute imbalance may incur remarkable changes in your health. Doctors detect the imbalance through LH tests. You can check the standard range of luteinizing hormones (international units, units per litre) at different stages of your life from the following points:


  • Between the age group 20-70: 0.7 to 7.9 IU/L
  • Between the age group 70 and above: 3.1 to 34 IU/L


  • The follicular phase of the menstrual cycle: 1.9 to 12.5 IU/L
  • The top of the menstrual cycle: 8.7 to 76.3 IU/L
  • The luteal phase of the menstrual cycle: 0.5 to 16.9 IU/L
  • During pregnancy: below 1.5 UI/L
  • After menopause: 15.9 to 54.0 IU/L
  • Under regular use of contraceptives: 0.7 to 5.6 IU/L
  • Children: 0.3 to 3.9 IU/L

Functions of the Luteinizing Hormone

The luteinizing hormones serve a series of functions in the human body. The luteinizing hormone functions are as follows:

  1. The luteinizing hormone regulates the arrival of puberty among children.
  2. The luteinizing hormones send signals to the ovaries and testicles to release estrogen and testosterone. 
  3. Luteinizing hormones trigger the ovary to release eggs, a process called ovulation.
  4. The luteinizing hormones regulate the menstrual cycle of a female.
  5. The luteinizing hormone plays a crucial role in the production of sperm in males.
  6. The production of progesterone is the result of the stimulation of the corpus luteum by the luteinizing hormones. 

What are the Tests to Check Your LH Level?

You can check the level of the luteinizing hormone in your body with a simple blood test (LH Test). But before that, you have to submit a proper doctor's prescription to the lab officials. 

If the count exceeds the normal range, you have a high LH level; if it remains below the standard range, you have a low LH level. Each condition has distinct consequences. 

Potential Complications Due to LH Level Imbalance

An imbalance in the LH level can cause various health issues. Check the potential health issues caused by different stages of the LH level.

High levels of the luteinizing hormone:


  • A problem in the testicles


  • Primary ovarian failure
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS (DFAB)

Low levels of the luteinizing hormone:


  • Disorder in the pituitary gland or hypothalamus
  • Functional Hypothalamic Amenorrhea


  • Secondary ovarian failure

Symptoms of an LH Level Imbalance

An imbalance in the level of the luteinizing hormone cannot be detected through visible symptoms. However, you must visit a doctor if you experience any of the following:

Symptoms of an increased level of LH


  • Changes in libido


  • Difficulty in conceiving
  • Irregular menstrual cycle
  • Shorter or excessively long menstrual cycle
  • Sudden weight gain or loss
  • Mood swings
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Fatigue
  • Hot flashes
  • Change in libido

Symptoms of deficiency of LH


  • Late puberty
  • Less growth in pubic hair
  • Lower sex drive
  • Erection problems
  • Fatigue


  • Late puberty
  • Poor sex organ development
  • Irregular menstrual cycle
  • No pubic hair
  • Fatigue
  • Minimal production of breast milk

Preventive Measures

Doctors and scientists have yet to find preventive measures for abnormal LH hormone levels at home. It has yet to be proven which food helps control the LH level. If you have an abnormal LH level, the only solution to treat your problem is to visit a gynaecologist. Proper medication will help you to get better. 

However, you can exercise regularly to maintain the FSH level on point. It is better to avoid being overweight if you have an abnormal LH level. 

Book LH Test


In short, the luteinizing hormone is vital in regulating your ovulation cycle. A high LH level indicates that you are at the right time to get pregnant. However, you must check your luteinizing hormone levels regularly. A low LH level may trigger infertility issues along with other reproductive problems. Visit an experienced gynaecologist as soon as possible if you experience any unusual symptoms during menstruation. It would be best if you also kept close attention to other notable physical changes. 

Metropolis Healthcare has been maintaining its reputation as one of the best diagnostic centres in India. As one of the largest pathological chains in India, you can find a branch of Metropolis Healthcarenear your residence. Every unit is run by efficient and skilled staff and provides accurate and verified test reports within 24 hours with a doctor's certification. 

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