Jan 24

Hormone Testing Helps Diagnose and Treat Infertility

Hormone Testing and Infertility - San Antonio, TX

Posted on January 24, 2017 — by Joseph E. Martin, M.D., FACOG

A fertility specialist analyzing samplesThe Fertility Center of San Antonio always takes time to consider the causes of infertility before moving forward with treatment of any kind. We believe in thorough, state-of-the-art fertility evaluation techniques, which allow us to carefully tailor procedures to the needs of the patient.

In a number of cases, hormone imbalances are a primary reason for infertility. Let's take a moment to consider what this means for patients.

The Role of Hormones in Fertility

Hormones are essential chemicals in the bloodstream that help regulate organ function and various systems of the body. Hormones play a crucial role in being able to become pregnant, guiding the reproductive systems in men and women. A variety of health issues and environmental factors can lead to hormonal imbalances.

When hormonal imbalances occur, they can lead decreased libido, disrupted ovulation, diminished sperm production, and a lower chance of successful pregnancy.

Potential Hormonal Imbalances in Females

There are a variety of hormonal imbalances that can negatively impact female fertility. These include:

  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone (GnRH) – GnRH releases other hormones in the body responsible for follicle-stimulation.

  • Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) – FSH helps follicles that contain eggs to mature, allowing these eggs to be fertilized.

  • Luteinizing Hormone (LH) – LH is the hormone that helps trigger ovulation.

  • Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) – HCG helps maintain proper levels of estrogen and progesterone, which help with successful pregnancy.

  • Estrogen – A key hormone in women, estrogen plays a role throughout the menstrual cycle, and in helping a fertilized egg develop into an embryo.

  • Progesterone – Progesterone is released after ovulation and helps ready the lining of the uterus to receive an embryo.

Potential Hormonal Imbalances in Males

Hormonal imbalances play a role in only a small percentage of male infertility cases. Still, it's important to consider the role of the following hormones:

  • Testosterone – Low testosterone can result in low sperm count, impaired sperm motility, and poor sperm quality.

  • Luteinizing Hormone (LH) – LH is crucial for the production of sperm and semen.

  • Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) – Like LH, FSH is crucial for the production of sperm and semen.

  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone (GnRH) – If GnRH is not produced in the brain, this could lead to issues with testosterone levels.

How Fertility Evaluation Works

Fertility evaluations will involve a physical exam of the patient as well as an analysis of the patient's ovarian reserve and semen. Blood tests will be taken in order to check hormone levels and determine if there are other factors to keep in mind that may be causing infertility.

Addressing Hormonal Imbalances

Sometimes lifestyle changes are all that's needed to address hormonal imbalances. These can involve changes in diet and exercise, or avoiding certain kinds of activities ensure proper hormone levels in the body. Fertility drugs or hormone therapy may be considered as well to achieve a proper balance that makes pregnancy possible.

Turning to Fertility Treatments

If less invasive treatments prove ineffective or not viable, fertility specialists can suggest the use of in vitro fertilization (IVF), egg donors, sperm donors, surrogate carriers. During the consultation process, we can assess your fertility evaluation results and go over all treatment options that are right for you.

Contact the Fertility Center of San Antonio

For more information about fertility treatments and how we can help you start the family you have always wanted, be sure to contact our team of fertility specialists today. The team at the Fertility Center of San Antonio will work with you to ensure you undergo the most effective treatment possible.

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