The Fertility Center of Las Vegas

Fertility Bloodwork Measures Fertility Hormones and Ovarian Reserve

Recognizing that everyone’s fertility journey is deeply personal, our Nevada fertility clinic works diligently to lay groundwork using fertility bloodwork to understand the unique architecture of each patient’s fertility. Fertility bloodwork allows us to measure fertility hormones and better understand a patient’s ovarian reserve, or the number of remaining eggs in the ovaries. The results can empower patients to make informed treatment decisions.

How fertility hormones provide insight

Our fertility bloodwork examines hormones, which are the chemicals released into the blood. The choreography of hormones is a complex process that begins in the command center of the brain, with the pituitary gland, a pea-sized gland with a sizable role in fertility. These hormones signal the ovaries to take action by releasing a mature egg.

A bloodwork panel conducted at our Nevada fertility clinic examines hormones that directly play a role in ovulation, or give clues about ovarian reserve. Most fertility hormones should be tested on day 3 of your menstrual cycle, except progesterone.

  • Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) delivers a message to signal the ovaries to produce follicles, which are small fluid-filled sacs that contain egg cells. If your ovarian reserve is low, your body may produce higher levels of FSH to spur ovarian function.
  • Luteinizing hormone (LH) is considered a partner to FSH. This is the chemical messenger that prompts your reproductive system to take action. The LH communicates with an ovary to signal it is time to ovulate.
  • Estradiol (the most common form of estrogen) surges shortly before ovulation and communicates with the brain that the ovary is ready to release the egg. It also helps prepare the uterine lining so an embryo can implant and grow.
  • Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) is produced by cells in ovarian follicles. Increased levels of AMH mean that more eggs can be recruited if a patient is opting for fertility treatment. AMH numbers provide useful insight, but do not reveal the quality of eggs, so don’t lose hope if your numbers are low.
  • Progesterone is secreted by the ovaries, and the level of progesterone can confirm ovulation. It also thickens the uterine lining, creating a healthier environment for an embryo. These levels increase later in a woman’s menstrual cycle, so when we test for progesterone then, it is sometimes called a day 21 test.

Other hormones can interfere with or disrupt ovulation.

  • Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) can be tested at any time. Currently, the American Thyroid Association recommends checking TSH in women with a history of miscarriage or infertility. Low levels can hamper ovulation.
  • Prolactin is secreted by the pituitary gland, and elevated levels can cause irregular ovulation or inhibit FSH. It can be evaluated in the second half of the menstrual cycle.

Our doctors break down the complexities in fertility bloodwork

There is a lot of interplay between hormones and fertility, and it can be complicated. The reproductive endocrinologists  at our Nevada fertility clinic are specially trained to go beyond the numbers and fully explain what fertility bloodwork results truly mean to you, and how your fertility hormones might affect your family-building goals. Contact us for an appointment.