What Does the Six-Hormone Test in Endocrinology Include?
The six-hormone test is a crucial diagnostic tool for gynecological endocrine disorders and serves as an indicator for monitoring follicle development during assisted reproduction. Many women who face infertility after marriage are often advised to undergo the six-hormone test by their doctors. So, do you know what the six hormones included in the endocrinology test are?
Experts indicate that the six hormones included in the endocrinology test typically comprise the following six items:
Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH): FSH is a glycoprotein hormone secreted by the anterior pituitary gland. Its primary function is to facilitate the development and maturation of ovarian follicles. Blood FSH concentrations vary throughout the menstrual cycle, ranging from 1.5-10 U/L in the pre-ovulatory phase, 8-20 U/L during ovulation, and 2-10 U/L in the post-ovulatory phase.
Note: Low FSH levels can be seen during estrogen and progesterone therapy and in Sheehan's syndrome. High FSH levels are associated with conditions like premature ovarian failure, ovarian insensitivity syndrome, and primary amenorrhea.
Luteinizing Hormone (LH): LH is also a glycoprotein hormone secreted by the anterior pituitary gland. Its primary function is to promote ovulation and induce the secretion of hormones from the corpus luteum. Blood LH concentrations typically range from 2-15 U/L in the pre-ovulatory phase, 20-100 U/L during ovulation, and 4-10 U/L in the post-ovulatory phase.
Note: LH levels below 5 U/L reliably suggest hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, often seen in Sheehan's syndrome. Elevated FSH, combined with high LH levels, strongly indicates ovarian failure. An LH/FSH ratio greater than or equal to 3 is one of the diagnostic criteria for polycystic ovary syndrome.
Prolactin (PRL): Prolactin is secreted by lactotroph cells in the anterior pituitary. It is a simple protein hormone primarily responsible for promoting breast tissue growth and the production and release of breast milk. In the non-lactating period, normal blood PRL levels range from 0.08-0.92 nmol/L.
Note: PRL levels exceeding 1.0 nmol/L are indicative of hyperprolactinemia.
Estradiol (E2): Estradiol is produced by the ovarian follicles and plays a vital role in stimulating the proliferation of endometrial cells, facilitating the development of secondary female characteristics. Blood E2 concentrations fluctuate during the menstrual cycle, with levels ranging from 48-52 pmol/L in the pre-ovulatory phase, 370-1835 pmol/L during ovulation, and 272-793 pmol/L in the post-ovulatory phase.
Note: Low E2 levels are associated with conditions such as diminished ovarian function, premature ovarian failure, and Sheehan's syndrome.
Progesterone (P): Progesterone is secreted by the corpus luteum in the ovaries. Its primary function is to transition the uterine endometrium from the proliferative phase to the secretory phase. Blood P concentrations typically range from 0-4.8 nmol/L in the pre-ovulatory phase and 7.6-97.6 nmol/L in the post-ovulatory phase.
Note: Low post-ovulatory P levels are associated with luteal phase dysfunction and anovulatory dysfunctional uterine bleeding.
Testosterone (T): Testosterone in the female body is primarily derived from peripheral conversion of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and is secreted by the adrenal cortex and ovaries. Its main function is to promote the development of the clitoris, labia, and mons pubis, counteracting the effects of male hormones and influencing overall metabolism.
Note: Female plasma testosterone levels usually range from 0.7-2.1 nmol/L. Elevated T levels, known as hyperandrogenism, can lead to female infertility.
These six hormones are essential for understanding female reproductive health and endocrine balance. Regular monitoring and consultation with healthcare professionals are crucial for addressing any potential health issues related to these hormones.