LH (or luteinizing hormone) is produced by the body and, in women, regulates pregnancy, menstruation and ovulation. Men also produce LH, which assists the testicles in the production and secretion of testosterone. Abnormally high LH levels may indicate menopause or the presence of certain medical conditions.
High LH levels are seen in anovulation, in which the ovaries do not consistently release an egg each month, causing fertility problems. Treatment involves diet, exercise modification, managing stress and using medications to encourage ovulation.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is characterised by abnormal menstrual bleeding and abdominal pain from elevated luteinizing hormone levels. The condition results in cysts forming on the ovaries, disrupting ovulation. Medications (like Clomid) or surgery can minimise symptoms and improve fertility.
Ovarian failure may be caused by developmental problems (like chromosomal abnormalities or failure to develop ovaries); premature ovarian failure (caused by autoimmune diseases, chemotherapy or radiation therapy) or chronic anovulation (caused by PCOS, an ovarian tumour, thyroid disease or adrenal disease).
Precocious puberty results from high LH levels. It is defined as the exhibition of signs of puberty before the age of 7 to 8 in girls or 9 in boys. Emotional difficulties, physical embarrassment and occasionally signs of an underlying medical condition are associated with early puberty.
Abnormally High LH Levels In Men
High LH levels in men indicate the removal or absence of testicles, testicular failure (due to cancer, chemotherapy treatment, injury or mumps) or a chromosomal abnormality like Klinefelter syndrome.