So it’s been a while (about 2.5 years) that I had fertility lab work done, I decided to do a refresher and make sure I’m still in good shape.
For that, I ran 4 basic tests:
Let me tell you why these tests are very helpful, what my results were, and what should be the ideal ranges for fertility so you can compare with yours.
THE FOLLOWING TESTS SHOULD BE DONE ON DAY 3 OF YOUR CYCLE
(Thyroid Stimulating Hormone)
This is commonly used as an indicator of thyroid metabolism. It is also a hormone and as such, hormonal balance plays a key role in fertility, pregnancy, and the health of our future baby. For now, I will talk about the role in fertility. The thyroid helps to regulate your body’s temperature (very important for conception), your periods, ovulation, libido, prolactin levels and has a direct impact on our luteal phase. If any of these is out of balance, it may prevent pregnancy.
Since I’ve personally been affected by hypothyroidism (which means my thyroid produces too little or not enough thyroid hormones), I ran just the TSH (since I was paying for it, not my insurance) which helps me to get a “decent” idea of how my other hormones are performing plus I am getting a full panel by the end of month with my Endocrinologist which is covered by insurance. Let me just be clear here…for proper thyroid management you should always run (at a minimum) the following: TSH, Free T4, Free T3, and TPO. Your doctor must likely will not order all these by default, so make sure to request them.
Ranges: Labs usually say that NORMAL range is anywhere 0.40-4.50. I disagree with this based on my personal experience and also what I have learned through Functional Medicine courses I’ve taken. The optimal should be below 2.5 for fertility.
My Test Result:2.49 – this is borderline my desired number and I sort of expected it to be a bit high since I’ve had lots of anxiety lately. Anxiety is an immediate trigger for me and usually spikes my number. Even though I am borderline, I am still happy about it since I use to have spikes anywhere from 4.9 – 8.5. I continue to take Cytomel for T3 support, Euthyrox (brought from Europe since I can’t take the American version Synthroid) for T4 support and completely gluten free.
(Follicle Stimulating Hormone)
This is one is a great indicator of your ovarian reserve. Meaning how many follicles remain (you know we are born with approximately 1 million eggs, by puberty they are down to 300,000~, and from there 300-400 only will be ovulated, crazy right!) and the quality of those follicles. It is also used to identify possible cases of PCOS in combination with FSH, so the ratio is LH:FSH (1:1). If LH is higher than FSH, then usually that indicates PCOS.
Ranges: 6 considered excellent, 6-9 is good, 10-13 is diminished reserve, and 13 or higher is considered hard to stimulate for ovulation.
My Test Result: 8.1 – so I’m not a 6, but quite frankly I have not seen anyone in that range after 35 (if you are a lucky #6, then CONGRATS!). So I am very happy with my 8.1.
Is a hormone produced in the anterior pituitary gland and controls the ovaries in women and testes in men. This hormone stimulates the release of an egg during ovulation. If the egg is fertilized, then it will stimulate the corpus luteum which is the once that produces progesterone to be able to sustain your pregnancy. High levels of LH can be cause of infertility and is linked to PCOS. Low levels can also be a cuase of infertility as it can affect your ability to ovulate (in men, it can affect sperm production).
Ranges: Higher than 3 but lower than 7 mlU/ml. Ideally LH is similar to FSH, if LH is higher than FSH it can indicate PCOS. If lower than 3, then ovarian stimulation response may not be good.
My Test Result: 4.3 – so its not in the 1:1 ratio with FSH, but it’s not higher than FSH which is good (no PCOS) and it’s not lower than 3 which predicts poor response to ovarian stimulation even with Clomid should I ever go for IVF or a full IUI cycle.
This hormone is most commonly known for its function to promote milk during lactation but for fertility purposes, if too high it inhibits FSH which can cause lack of ovulation. This is why many breastfeeding women tend to not get pregnant until they stop breastfeeding. To much of this hormone can also disrupt (stop) your period, cause estrogen deficiency or testosterone deficiency (in men). Certain medication can raise prolactin as well as hypothyroidism.
Ranges: Less than 24 ng/ml, higher than this requires further testing.
My Test Result: 8.6 – yay!