What are the effects of elevated luteinizing hormone?

The effects of elevated levels of luteinizing hormone can vary. Elevated levels around the middle of a woman's menstrual cycle usually stimulate ovulation, but sometimes the effects are not beneficial. When levels are high during other times of the cycle, the hormone can interfere with ovulation and contribute to irregular periods and infertility. In fact, high levels of luteinizing hormone are also associated with a condition called polycystic ovary syndrome. Also, high levels in men can cause problems with sperm and hormone production, as well as symptoms including decreased sex drive and mood swings.

The most common effect of high levels of luteinizing hormone is ovulation. This hormone may be present in small amounts in a woman's body throughout her menstrual cycle. However, somewhere around the midpoint of her cycle, a woman usually experiences a surge in luteinizing hormone that stimulates her ovaries to release an egg. However, the levels do not remain high for the rest of the cycle. Instead, they drop off significantly after this increase.

The effects of elevated luteinizing hormone levels can be more troublesome when they don't occur around the time of expected ovulation. When levels rise during other times in a woman's cycle, the results can be irregular periods and interference with ovulation and conception. Interestingly, low levels can also interfere with normal menstruation and a woman's chances of conceiving a child.

Sometimes elevated levels of luteinizing hormone are associated with disorders that affect the ovaries. For example, a woman with a high level of this hormone could have a condition called polycystic ovary syndrome. This condition is usually marked by multiple ovarian cysts, irregular menstruation, and trouble conceiving. Unexplained weight gain, abnormal facial and body hair growth, and acne can also accompany this problem. Furthermore, some women even develop baldness as a result.

It is important to note that in the case of PCOS, elevated luteinizing hormone does not cause the condition. Instead, the elevated level of this hormone is a symptom of the problem. Essentially, this means that a person's hormone level is higher than normal because he has the disorder; he does not have the disorder due to the hormone. The causes of this ovarian disorder are not well understood, but doctors theorize that it may develop in relation to too much insulin, high levels of male hormones, inflammation that leads to insulin resistance, and genetics.

Although people most often talk about this hormone in terms of women, men have it too. When present in excessively high amounts in men, it can cause a variety of problems. For example, it can contribute to testicular failure, which is characterized by problems with hormone and sperm production. Abnormal levels can also contribute to mood swings, fatigue, and changes in sex drive. Low sperm count and delayed puberty are also among the effects of abnormal levels.

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