Luteinizing Hormone: How Long Does The LH Surge Last?
Fertility and Luteinizing Hormone (LH)
What if you found out that a person’s fertility may have some form of marker? What if the said marker can also help pregnancy take a shorter amount of time? For a majority of women, a surge in LH or luteinizing hormone can be the pregnancy marker individuals may find beneficial. Finding out how tracking or detecting this can lead to easier baby-making and increase the chances of getting pregnant.
LH or Luteinizing Hormone: What is it?
Luteinizing Hormone or LH is a hormone from the pituitary gland. The said hormone’s secretion occurs at a low level throughout the cycle of the menstruation. However, once an egg follicle attains a specific measurement (occurring around the midpoint cycle), the secretion of LH surges to levels that can be considered as high. This surge in the hormones is what can initiate the process ovulation within one day to 36 hours.
The release of an egg that is mature by the ovaries is referred to as ovulation. It indicates the start of the window of fertility. Once the release of the egg is complete, the empty follicles will then transformed into a corpus luteum, then start to secrete the hormone progesterone. Progesterone is a hormone that supports conception. If there is no conception, the corpus luteum starts to get shriveled and stops progesterone from being secreted, having the menstrual period started or triggered.
The Importance of LH (Luteinizing Hormones) Surge
The surge in LH is critical due to it triggering the start of ovulation and the period of fertility. Those who are trying to get pregnant, this can be the ideal period to have intercourse without using any birth control. Once egg cells are released, it will only be available for fertilization within the day (24 hours). That makes is crucial in terms of identifying the best time to get pregnant.
Detection of the LH (Luteinizing Hormone) Surge
For a majority of women, the detection of the LH surge can be easy through the utilization of OPKs or Ovulation Predictor Kits. These kits are available in most pharmacies and online stores. OPKs or Ovulation Predictor Kits are similar to kits that detect pregnancy by measuring the levels of hormone found in the urine. Every kit may be different so people must check on the instructions on the label.
A positive result may be an indication of the presence of increased levels of the LH surge or LH. The levels of this hormone in the body will start getting reduced once ovulation is done, people will only get results that are positive during the fertility window or period.
LH Surge Test: How often should it be done?
Individuals are not required to have the LH surge tested every day (or even many times daily) until one gets a positive result. If frequently used, these tests can be pretty pricey. Ovulation will commonly happen on the 14th day before the menstrual period. The surge in luteinizing hormones may happen one to two days before ovulation.
Understanding the length of one’s cycle can help you when to take the test. One example is for a 32-day cycle in the middle of a menstrual period. The first day of the cycle is also day 1 of your period. Ovulation will happen most likely around the 18th day. You can also get a positive result using an ovulation predictor kit (OPK) one day or two days before ovulation or around day 16 or day 17.
It is also ideal that testing is started daily (or alternately) around the 13th day. That is to ensure that individuals can get an accurate result, especially those that have a monthly cycle that is shorter. Once individuals get positive results, then it may the ideal time to attempt to get pregnant or conceive. Most fertility experts may advise you to have sexual intercourse twice or three times in 24 hours to 48 hours.
Ovulation Predictor Kits: What Are the Disadvantages?
While OPKs or ovulation predictor kits can have its benefits, these kits can also have some disadvantages. Below are some of them:
- Those with irregular cycles can find it difficult to determine the best way of the period to start using an OPK. This process can be quite expensive and frustrating.
- If you are suffering from PCOS, you may be unable to utilize these OPKs, as you have LH levels that are constantly elevated. This can result in the OPK tests giving out a positive result whether or not you are within the cycle or not.
- Similar to those with PCOS, women who are near menopause may also have LH levels that are persistently elevated.
- If tests are done in the cycle too late, the surge in LH may be missed by the kit, and you may not be able to get a result that is positive for the month.
- OPKs or Ovulation predictor kits can be quite pricey, and the cost may stack up if it is utilized numerous times during the menstrual cycle.
LH Surge: Other Detection strategies
If you are having difficulties using OPKs, you may seek your doctor’s advice to have some blood work done to detect ovulation. Usually, a reproductive specialist can help you in having the blood test results interpreted. You may also have to undergo a transvaginal ultrasound to check on the growing follicles and the ovaries.