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Fsh and LH levels in menopause

Updated February 21, 2017

Your pituitary gland secretes follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) to regulate your menstrual cycle. The level of these hormones fluctuate when a woman experiences menopause, particularly as oestrogen levels decrease.

What the Hormones Do

During a regular menstrual cycle, FSH and LH levels increase midway through the cycle, a day or two before ovulation. FSH stimulates the ovary to ripen a follicle, and with the help of LH, to release an egg. After that, FSH and LH levels decrease as your uterus gets ready for pregnancy or another period.

FSH and Menopause

Your pituitary gland secretes FSH in response to low oestrogen levels. Because oestrogen levels decrease as you approach menopause, FSH levels tend to be higher.

LH and Menopause

LH levels also go up as you approach menopause.

Considerations

Testing levels of FSH and LH alone cannot be used to predict or confirm menopause because the levels can fluctuate greatly from month to month in the years approaching menopause.

Expert Insight

According to Dr. Marcelle Pick, an obstetrician/gynecologist who founded the Women to Women medical clinic in Yarmouth, Maine, FSH and LH tests are more useful for identifying fertility issues than for determining menopause.

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About the Author

Carol Wiley started writing as a technical writer/editor in 1990, was a licensed massage therapist for almost 12 years and has been writing Web content since 2003. She has a Bachelor of Science in aerospace engineering, a Master of Business Administration, a Certificate in Technical Writing and Editing and a Certificate in Massage Therapy.