In a woman’s body, dozens of different biologically active substances called hormones are produced every second. They affect mood, skin, hair, nails, the functioning of the nervous system and, of course, reproductive function. The constancy of the hormonal balance is extremely important for the body, but when hormones start to “play naughty”, inevitably there are numerous complaints and problems.
In the body of a woman of reproductive age, cyclical changes occur monthly. This process is called the menstrual cycle. Throughout the cycle, one phase replaces another. There are three of them, and each is characterized by its own level of hormones.
Сharacterized by active growth of follicles, maturation of the egg and the onset of bloody discharge. The average duration of the phase is 14 days, but it can vary from 7 to 22. During the follicular phase, the level of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) increases: this is the main condition for favorable growth of follicles. Together with FSH, the concentration of estrogen increases. They are responsible for preparing the endometrium for the attachment of a fertilized egg: the layer becomes whiter, thicker and more loose.
- The shortest phase is ovulatory. Its duration does not exceed 5 days. It is characterized by a sharp release of luteinizing hormone (LH). In addition to LH and FSH, estradiol begins to be actively synthesized. Finally, the dominant follicle ruptures and releases an egg. This is called ovulation.
- The third and final phase is luteal, characterized by the formation of a corpus luteum. It synthesizes progesterone, which in turn prepares the endometrium (the inner layer lining the uterus) for embryo implantation. The level of estrogen and FSH decreases during this period. If fertilization has not occurred, the endometrium and corpus luteum are rejected. This is manifested by characteristic bloody menstrual flow.
The menstrual cycle is regulated by follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), prolactin, luteinizing hormone (LH). Research of hormonal levels is mandatory in preparation for conception, during gestation, in determining the cause of infertility and its treatment. The study is quite informative and allows you to accurately determine the readiness of the reproductive system for conception or its condition.
FSH rate depending on the phase
- From 1.3 to 9.9 or more for follicular;
- From 6.16 to 17.2 or more for ovulatory;
- From 1.1 to 9.2 or more for luteal;
- From 1.67 to 15.0 or more for follicular;
- From 21.8 to 56.5 or more for ovulatory;
- From 0.60 to 16.2 and more for luteal;
E2 (estradiol) rate in pmol / l
- From 67 to 1270 and more for follicular;
- From 130 to 1650 or more for ovulatory;
- 90 to 860 and more for luteal;
The rate of progesterone in nmol / l
- From 0.3 to 2.1 or more for follicular;
- 0.6 to 9.3 or more for ovulatory;
- From 7.1 to 56.5 and more for luteal;
The level of FSH, LH, progesterone, the norm of which does not correspond to the above, indicates a hypo- or hyperfunction of the endocrine glands. Based on the results of laboratory studies characterizing the ratio of LH and FSH, a number of pathologies can be determined. In women of reproductive age, this indicator varies within 1.5-2.0 units.
The concentration of some biologically active components changes against the background of age-related changes in the body. For example, an increase in FSH at the age of 40-45 is considered quite normal. This is the age of menopause, and such changes indicate the depletion of the ovarian reserve and are accompanied by scanty menstrual flow. Such symptoms can also manifest itself in women under 40 years of age and indicates an early menopause, developing against the background of taking medications, after undergoing surgery or endocrine disease. The accuracy of the results is influenced by a number of criteria, the main of which is the donation of blood to a certain time:
- 3-5 days of the cycle – assessment of the concentration of LH and FSH;
- 19–21 days – assessment of progesterone and estradiol. Such requirements are explained by a change in the level of hormones during the menstrual cycle.
You should not independently interpret the results of the analysis, because what may puzzle you, the specialist will find quite natural and will tell you about the causes, consequences and methods of correction.