You may know that the luteinizing hormone is an important hormone for femalthe es, menstrual cycle, and pregnancy. But do you know that it is important for males too?
How much luteinizing hormone do men have and what makes it low or high?
Let’s sit down and look at how to increase luteinizing hormone, and if you have other questions in mind, we are here to answer those for you too!
- Studies have shown that giving hypogonadal patients pulsatile GnRH or LH (or hCG) and FSH can motivate spermatogenesis and thus increase sperm count. 
- We recommend the measurement of serum LH and FSH levels to distinguish between primary (testicular) and secondary (pituitary-hypothalamic) hypogonadism. 
- For etiologies of male infertility, such as in Kallman’s syndrome or hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, deficiencies in LH production can be overcome by the pharmacologic activation of LH or the LH receptor. 
- Human Menopausal Gonadotropin Treatment can help to boost LH and FSH levels in females during their childbearing period.
- Always remember that what works for you does not mean it works for others too. Speak to your doctor and find out the best treatment plan for you.
What Is Luteinizing Hormone?
Luteinizing hormone (LH) is a glycoprotein hormone that is secreted along with follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) by the anterior pituitary gland. 
Luteinizing hormone release is stimulated by gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) and inhibited by estrogen in females and testosterone in males. 
Functions of Luteinizing Hormone
Luteinizing hormone contributes to the maturation of primordial germ cells in both sexes. 
In men, luteinizing hormone causes the Leydig cells of the testes to produce testosterone. 
In women, it stimulates the ovary to produce steroid hormones and plays a crucial role in regulating the menstrual cycle in females by playing roles in both ovulation and implantation of an egg in the uterus. 
Normal Luteinizing Hormone Levels
The onset of the LH surge precedes ovulation by 35–44 hr, and the peak serum level of LH precedes ovulation by 10–12 hr. 
Women, weeks one and two of the menstrual cycle: 1.37 to 9 IU/L. 
Women, week two, before ovulation: 6.17 to 17.2 IU/L. 
Women, weeks three and four of the menstrual cycle: 1.09 to 9.2 IU/L. 
Women, postmenopausal: 19.3 to 100.6 IU/L. 
Men: 1.42 to 15.4 IU/L. 
How Does Luteinizing Hormone Stimulate Testosterone Production?
LH acts upon the Leydig cells of the testis and is regulated by gonadotropin-releasing hormone. The Leydig cells produce testosterone under the control of LH.
The onset of puberty is controlled by two major hormones: follicle-stimulating hormone initiates spermatogenesis and LH signals the release of testosterone.
When serum testosterone levels are low, the pituitary gland is stimulated to release LH. As the levels of testosterone increase, it will act on the pituitary through a negative feedback loop and inhibit the release of GnRH and LH consequently.
Causes of High Luteinizing Hormone Levels
High levels of LH simply echo the inability of your sex organs to produce enough steroid hormones to maintain the reproductive process. This is typical when testes and ovaries are not able to produce enough testosterone and estrogen respectively. 
Turner syndrome in females and Klinefelter syndrome in males are examples of genetic conditions associated with high LH levels. 
High LH levels may mean you are not ovulating. If you are in a childbearing period, this may mean you have a problem in your ovaries. If you are older, it may mean you have started menopause or you are about to start.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a hormonal disorder common among women of reproductive age. Women with PCOS may have irregular menstrual periods or excess androgen levels. The ovaries may develop numerous small collections of fluid and fail to regularly release eggs. 
High LH levels may occur as a result of having your testicular tissues damaged due to chemotherapy, radiation, infection, or alcohol abuse.
Causes of Low Luteinizing Hormone levels
Low LH levels can signify that your pituitary gland isn’t making enough LH to spur changes in your body that support sexual development and maintain reproductive health. 
Kallman’s syndrome is characterized by congenital hypogonadotropic hypogonadism with low levels of serum testosterone, FSH, and LH in addition to midline defects such as anosmia (a deficiency of the sense of smell). 
Pituitary gland disorder
Men with TT levels <150 ng/dL in combination with a low or low/normal LH should undergo a pituitary MRI regardless of prolactin levels, as this may indicate non-secreting adenomas. 
Hypogonadism and Luteinizing Hormone
In men, serum testosterone levels typically begin to decline in the fifth decade of life and are usually accompanied by increasing serum levels of FSH and stable or increased levels of LH. 
Hypogonadism is impaired testicular function due to a problem within the testes (primary hypogonadism) or due to a problem within the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis (secondary hypogonadism). 
Measurement of LH and FSH concentrations can help distinguish between primary and secondary hypogonadism. Men with primary hypogonadism have low testosterone levels in association with elevated LH and FSH levels, whereas men with secondary hypogonadism have low testosterone levels in association with low or inappropriately normal LH levels. 
Hypogonadal men have low serum testosterone levels and impaired sexual maturity, which can cause symptoms such as a lack of libido, depression, an increase in adipose tissue, and diminished erectile function. 
Patients with secondary hypogonadism usually have a problem with GnRH signaling, which then causes a decrease in FSH and luteinizing hormone secretion. This decrease in FSH and luteinizing hormone contributes to both decreased testosterone levels and reduced spermatogenesis. 
Because LH is secreted in a pulsatile manner by the anterior pituitary gland, serum LH levels in men with secondary hypogonadism may be below the normal range or in the low-normal range, but inappropriate about the low testosterone concentrations. 
In individuals with complete idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (e.g. Kallmann syndrome) and severe gonadotropin suppression or deficiency, LH pulsatility may be absent or markedly suppressed, and these men usually have very low testosterone and LH levels. 
Testosterone Replacement Therapy and LH Levels
Exogenous testosterone suppresses luteinizing hormone secretion and thereby decreases the high intratesticular testosterone levels essential for spermatogenesis. 
In the case of primary hypogonadism, normalization of the serum luteinizing hormone concentration may be used to judge the adequacy of testosterone replacement therapy, no matter which preparation is used. 
How To Increase Luteinizing Hormone Levels?
Onion is thought to work by increasing the production of luteinizing hormone and reducing testicular reactive oxygen species.  Total and high-fat dairy food intakes were positively associated with serum luteinizing hormone concentrations. 
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin
It is known that hCG mimics the effects of LH and stimulates the Leydig cells in the testicles to produce endogenous testosterone. 
In a 2015 study of 49 men showed that 3,000 units of human chorionic gonadotropin injections subcutaneously every other day are effective in supporting the recovery of spermatogenesis without significant adverse effects. 
Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators
Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERMs) block the negative feedback of E2 on the hypothalamus, resulting in increased LH production and increased downstream testosterone production. 
It has been primarily used for infertility treatment in both genders for over 50 years.
Clomiphene citrate is a selective estrogen receptor modulator. It has been primarily used for infertility treatment in both genders for over 50 years. 
It selectively blocks estrogen receptors in the hypothalamus and pituitary, thereby increasing gonadotropin-releasing hormone, luteinizing hormone, and follicle-stimulating hormone release. This boosts endogenous testosterone levels. 
Clomiphene citrate stimulates endogenous testosterone production by inhibiting the negative feedback at the hypothalamus and pituitary, resulting in an increased gonadotropin-releasing hormone and luteinizing hormone release. 
In men, clomiphene is used ‘off-label’ to treat hypogonadism and male infertility. It acts by preventing the binding of estrogen, which is peripherally converted from testosterone to receptors in the hypothalamus. 
Clomiphene is a less expensive alternative to testosterone replacement with the added benefit of fertility. 
Aromatase acts upon testosterone and breaks it down by a process called aromatization into estradiol. The aromatase enzyme is present in the testicles, brain, fat tissue, muscle, hair, and vascular tissues.
Therefore, an alternative approach that is used is to administer selective aromatase inhibitors which block the peripheral conversion of testosterone to estradiol through the process of aromatization. 
Further insight into the inhibitory effect of estrogens comes from observations in men with low E2 levels who are taking anastrozole, an aromatase inhibitor. For these men, there is a greater pituitary response to GnRH. Interestingly, luteinizing hormone (LH) pulse frequency is also increased suggesting that estrogen has an additional site of action at the level of the hypothalamus. 
A study of letrozole in severely obese men with hypogonadism demonstrated a significant increase in LH and T and a decrease in E2 from baseline. 
Men with normal T have increases in LH and T in response to anastrozole. Similarly, aromatase inhibitors increase T levels and decrease E2 levels in men with low T. 
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