Why It Is Done
A luteinizing hormone (LH) test may be done to:
How To Prepare
Many medicines, such as cimetidine, clomiphene, digitalis, and levodopa, can change your results. You may be asked to stop taking medicines (including birth control pills) that contain estrogen or progesterone or both for up to 4 weeks before having a luteinizing hormone (LH) test. Make sure your doctor has a complete list of all the prescription and over-the-counter medicines you are taking, including herbs and natural substances.
Tell your doctor if you have had a test that used a radioactive substance (tracer) within the last 7 days. Recent tests (such as a thyroid scan or bone scan) using a radioactive tracer can interfere with LH test results.
Let your doctor know the first day of your last menstrual period. If your bleeding pattern is light or begins with spotting, the first day is the day of heaviest bleeding.
Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding the need for the test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results will mean. To help you understand the importance of this test, fill out the medical test information form(What is a PDF document?).
How It Is Done
The health professional drawing blood will:
For women, more than one blood sample may be needed to get an accurate indication of luteinizing hormone (LH) levels. Several blood samples may be taken in one day, or one sample may be taken each day for several days in a row.
Urine test for ovulation
To determine if you are ovulating, a sample of your first urine of the morning is usually tested. It is important to follow the package directions exactly if you are doing home ovulation testing on a urine sample.
You may also be given a plastic test strip to hold in the urine stream. The test strip has a color indicator on it that can detect luteinizing hormone (LH).
How It Feels
You may feel nothing at all from the needle puncture, or you may feel a brief sting or pinch as the needle goes through the skin. Some people feel a stinging pain while the needle is in the vein. But many people do not feel any pain (or have only minor discomfort) once the needle is positioned in the vein.
Collecting a urine sample does not normally cause any discomfort.
There are no risks linked with collecting a urine sample.
A luteinizing hormone test measures the amount of luteinizing hormone (LH) in a sample of blood or urine.
LH levels depend on a person's age and stage of sexual development, and, in a woman, on the phase of her menstrual cycle. The urine test to determine whether a woman is ovulating detects only the presence (positive result) or absence (negative result) of LH.
The normal values listed here—called a reference range—are just a guide. These ranges vary from lab to lab, and your lab may have a different range for what's normal. Your lab report should contain the range your lab uses. Also, your doctor will evaluate your results based on your health and other factors. This means that a value that falls outside the normal values listed here may still be normal for you or your lab. Ask your doctor for normal values of your luteinizing hormone test.
Luteinizing hormone in urine. Most home urine tests to predict ovulation determine only the presence of LH (called qualitative testing) and not the specific level or quantity. Home urine test results are either "positive" (LH is present) or "negative" (LH is not present).
Many conditions can change LH levels. Your doctor will discuss any significant abnormal results with you in relation to your symptoms and past health.
High luteinizing hormone values in a woman may mean:
High luteinizing hormone values in a man may mean:
Low luteinizing hormone values in a man or woman may mean:
What Affects the Test
Results of the luteinizing hormone test may be affected by:
What To Think About
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