Male and female hormonal profiles

When a couple consults a fertility specialist, it is common for them to recommend, both to men and women, a very simple examination to know their fertility potential. This test is known as hormonal profile analysis, and is done through a blood sample where the main hormones that regulate fertility in both members of the couple are analyzed.

In women, we study hormones that are directly related to the functioning of the ovaries, and in man are analyzed hormones related to the production of sperm.

According to their age and other variables such as obesity and diseases in the endocrine system, many women may have hormonal imbalances that may have an impact on their fertility and overall health. To detect these abnormalities, your doctor may order a profile to evaluate the functioning of hormones and thus recommend the appropriate treatment to improve or regulate your production.

The hormones that are usually studied in a hormonal profile are:

  • Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH): It is a hormone of the order of gonadotrophins that acts on the ovary, favouring the development and maturation of ovarian follicles.
  • Luteinizing hormone (LH): It is another gonadotropin in charge of the final step of follicular maturation, ovulation and progesterone production in the luteum body.
  • Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH): It is a hormone released in the pituitary that regulates the production of thyroid hormone in the thyroid gland.
  • Prolactin: This hormone is especially important during pregnancy. It stimulates milk production in the mammary glands and the synthesis of progesterone in the luteum body. Elevated levels in a non-lactating woman make the diagnosis of hyperprolactinemia, which is a cause of infertility and requires treatment to achieve pregnancy.
  • Estradiol (E2): It is a hormone produced by the ovaries in the ovulatory follicle in response to Gonadotrophins (FSH) which, among other functions, allows to complete secondary sexual development and female sexual characteristics, stimulates maturation Of the ovum inside the follicle and activates the release of LH, thus inducing ovulation. In addition, together with progesterone, it intervenes in the preparation of the endometrium for embryonic implantation.
  • Progesterone (P4): It is a hormone, released mainly by the luteum body and the placenta (in case of pregnancy). It acts during the second phase of the menstrual cycle, preparing the endometrium for embryonic implantation. She is also in charge of maintaining pregnancy. If the pregnancy does not occur and its level decreases, it causes the expulsion of the endometrium that is known as menstruation.
  • Antimülleriana hormone (AMH): This hormone is secreted by the immature follicles of the ovary so it is used as indicative of the ovarian reserve. It does not depend on mature eggs or gonadotrophins, i.e. it is not dependent on the menstrual cycle so it can be taken at any time.
  • Free Triodotironina (T3): It is a hormone produced in the thyroid gland in response to the stimulation performed by TSH. It helps to evaluate thyroid function.
  • Free thyroxine (T4): Another hormone produced in the thyroid gland in response to TSH. Low values of free T4 and T3 may indicate decreased thyroid hormone production, which is essential for metabolism, including ovulation and pregnancy.
  • Total testosterone (T): is the male hormone par excellence. However, women produce low levels of testosterone that should later become estrogen. However, in diseases such as congenital adrenal hyperplasia or polycystic ovaries may be elevated.
  • Inhibin B: It is a hormone produced by the ovary and allows the selection of a single follicle for ovulation. Its levels have been associated with the study of the ovarian reserve, however its results have not been expected as far as the prediction of ovarian reserve so its use has decreased in recent years.
Hormones Normal Value
FSH 3-9 mUI/ml
LH 2-10 mUI/ml
TSH 0,2-4,7 mUI/ml
Estradiol 27-161 pg/ml
Progesterona 5-20 ng/ml (en día 21)
Prolactina 0-20 ng/ml
AMH 0,7-3,5 ng/ml

 

It is important to know that the values of FSH, LH, estradiol and progesterone may vary during the menstrual cycle so they will be requested at specific times of the menstrual cycle, also that some results vary between laboratories so these values are not absolute.

Male Hormonal profile

Male sex hormones play a key role in reproduction, as they are widely involved in sperm production (spermatogenesis). The most important hormones in this function are prolactin, testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, LH and FSH.

  • FSH and LH: FSH and LH have very related functions, since both act at testicular level in men. On the one hand, FSH regulates spermatogenesis in the seminiferous tubules of the testicle. It acts on the Sertoli cells, which are responsible for protecting and nourishing the sperm precursor cells (spermatogonial). In addition, FSH also promotes the production of androgen-binding proteins (ABP). LH stimulates the secretion of testicular testosterone by acting in the Leydig cells. In addition, by the action of the ABP, testosterone can be fixed in the testicle and act in the spermatogenesis.
  • Testosterone and Dihydrotestosterone: Testosterone is the male sex hormone par excellence. It is synthesized mainly in the testicles by the action of LH. Also in the adrenal glands, both in men and women, as well as in the ovaries, although in the latter only in small quantities. It is essential for the proper production of sperm so low levels are related to damage in the quality of these. The 5 α-dihydrotestosterone (5 α-DHT) is a derivative of testosterone, ie it is synthesized from testosterone thanks to the action of an enzyme, the 5 α-reductase.
  • Prolactin: Like FSH and LH, prolactin is a hormone that is also segregated by the pituitary gland and is involved in the male reproductive function. It is necessary for the proper functioning of the male reproductive system and acts mainly on the Leydig cells and the synthesis of testosterone.
Hormone Minimun Level Maximun Level
Testosterona libre 90 pg/mg 300 pg/mg
Testosterona total 270 ng/dl 1070 ng/dl
5a-DHT 30 ng/dl 85 ng/dl
FSH 1 mUI/ml 12 mUI/ml
LH 2 mUI/ml 12 mUI/ml
Prolactina 2,5 ng/ml 17 ng/ml

 

We invite you to follow the doctor’s recommendations before practicing these hormonal tests. The results of these analyses depend on the good preparation.

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