Luteinizing Hormone
January 2 2016 by Ray Sahelian, M.D.


Luteinizing hormone is a hormone released by the pituitary gland in response to luteinizing hormone - releasing hormone. Abbreviated LH, it controls the length and sequence of the female menstrual cycle, including ovulation, preparation the uterus for implantation of a fertilized egg, and ovarian production of both estrogen and progesterone. In males, luteinizing hormone stimulates the testes to produce androgen.

Luteinizing hormone releasing hormone

LHRH is a hormone that controls the production of sex hormones, such as testosterone. Luteinizing hormone releasing hormone can be synthetically produced to suppress the testicular production of testosterone. Zoladex and Lupron are two US brands.


Luteinizing hormone blood test
In the clinical laboratory the reproductive hormones are probably the most commonly measured hormones after the thyroid hormones.

The role of LH in the natural menstrual cycle is not disputed. However, there are a variety of opinions regarding the potential role of exogenous Luteinizing hormone in ovulation induction and whether it is actually needed. Recent years have seen renewed interest in this issue for several reasons. First, ovulation-inducing drugs are increasingly being administered to normally ovulating women. Second, recombinant human FSH products completely devoid of Luteinizing hormone activity are now available. Third, gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analogues (agonists and antagonists) prevent the untimely Luteinizing hormone surge but also suppress endogenous Luteinizing hormone activity during the follicular phase.


Reproductive Biol Endocrinology. 2013. Optimal usage of the GnRH antagonists: a review of the literature. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) antagonists, which became commercially available from 1999, have been used for the prevention of premature luteinizing hormone (LH) surges in controlled ovarian stimulation for in vitro fertilization or intracytoplasmic sperm injection. This review focuses on the recent literature on the use of GnRH antagonists and provides guidelines for optimal use in light of increasing evidence showing that GnRH antagonists are safe and effective, allowing flexibility of treatment in a wide range of patient populations. This includes patients undergoing first-line controlled ovarian stimulation, poor responders, and women diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome. The GnRH antagonist offers a viable alternative to the long agonists, providing a shorter duration of treatment with fewer injections and with no adverse effects on assisted reproductive technology outcome. This results in a significantly lower amount of gonadotropins required, which is likely to lead to improved patient compliance.