The endocrine system plays an important role in different systems of the human body. The system makes many hormones that help to regulate certain features. Many hormones play a role in reproductive health in the male body.
The endocrine system exists in multiple glands. Each of these glands is responsible for producing specific hormones. The glands release hormones into the bloodstream. Each hormone then provides a specific function.
Reproduction is only one function regulated by hormones. Other functions include metabolism and electrolyte balance.
A child’s body also depends on hormones, especially during puberty. Hormones help with growth and development during this stage of life.
Luteinizing hormone is one of the many hormones that are needed for both men and women to be able to reproduce. The hormone plays a part in reproductive health. It also has a role in the production of other hormones.
We look at what the luteinizing hormone is and what it does in the human body. We also consider how much luteinizing hormone the body needs, with a primary focus on men.
What Is Luteinizing Hormone?
Luteinizing hormone is classified as a gonadotrophic hormone. The hormone is present in both the male and female bodies. It plays a critical role in the production of the sex hormone that is responsible for each sex characteristics.
In women, LH secretion is critical for the production of hormones the ovaries release. The testes produce testosterone in men.
This is where LH secretion becomes essential among the male population. The production of these steroid hormones2 depends on the presence of the luteinizing hormone.
In both sexes, the anterior pituitary gland produces luteinizing hormones. As the hormone is produced, the anterior pituitary gland will also release these hormones into the blood circulatory system.
Here, the hormone travels to the appropriate areas of the body – in men, this would, of course, be the testes.
How Does LH Stimulate Testosterone Production?
Before the luteinizing hormone is produced, it is important to consider that there are other hormones involves in the production and release of this particular chemical.
The gonadotropin-releasing hormone comes into mind first3. The production of gonadotropin-releasing hormone triggers the endocrine system to release both follicle-stimulating hormone, as well as luteinizing hormone.
Following the release of luteinizing hormone, these chemicals are transported to the testes within the male body. The testes will then be triggered to produce testosterone – this is the location of the male body where testosterone is primarily produced.
The area of Leydig cells is another area of interest. These cells are present in the testes. They play a role in the testosterone and luteinizing hormone connection that exists.
These cells are found in a type of connective tissue that is located around the seminiferous tubules. The primary purpose of Leydig cells in the testes is to produce hormone – thus, the presence of the luteinizing hormone in the testes causes the function of these cells to be activated.
The connection between the two is also why men expected to suffer from either primary or secondary hypogonadism will often need to be tested for levels of luteinizing hormone and not only testosterone.
What Is The Function Of Luteinizing Hormone?
The function of the luteinizing hormone is simple but differs between men and women. The primary purpose, as we have described, is to act as a stimulant to cells that are responsible for producing certain sex or steroid hormones that are present in the human body.
The corpus luteum is stimulated by luteinizing hormone in women. This leads to the production of progesterone, which is the case when a woman is pregnant.
Among male patients, the role of luteinizing hormone is to assure that the Leydig cells can be stimulated in the testes. This causes these cells to start producing testosterone. The amount of luteinizing hormone sent toward the testes depends on the level of testosterone in the body.
When levels of testosterone drop, the anterior pituitary gland will detect this decline. It responds with a larger amount of luteinizing hormone.
After Leydig cells produce testosterone, the hormones are pushed into the bloodstream. The hormones then circulate through the body and serve several purposes. This includes an assistant role in the production of sperm – a critical factor in male reproductive health.
Effects Of Luteinizing Hormone On Male Fertility
There are several factors that can contribute to infertility in men. This is why the process of determining the cause behind fertility is difficult. It also makes it harder to provide a male patient with appropriate treatments.
Luteinizing hormone is one factor that does have a role to play in male fertility.
Problems can develop with the production of luteinizing hormone. This can have adverse effects on male reproductive health. In some cases, it may contribute to infertility in men too.
Luteinizing hormone also plays a critical role in human health. This is alongside follicle-stimulating hormone or FSH. The luteinizing hormone is an important factor that contributes to the appropriate levels of testosterone5.
A problem with luteinizing hormone production can be disastrous. It can cause testosterone levels to decline. This makes the effects of testosterone less prominent in the male body.
A reduction of the luteinizing hormone can be problematic for men and women. The effects are similar in seriousness when looking at fertility in both sexes. It often leads to problems with the woman’s menstrual cycle.
What Causes Low Luteinizing Hormone In Males?
Luteinizing hormone is definitely a factor in fertility among men. When infertility strikes, tests can help to determine if this hormone is at a low level.
It should be noted, at the same time, that a lack of this particular hormone puts the body at other risks.
When luteinizing hormone levels decline in men, other hormones can drop too. One of these hormones includes testosterone – the sex hormone of the male body.
Testosterone plays an important role in more than only a man’s fertility. When there is a deficiency or lack of testosterone, other problems can develop. This would yield similar symptoms as generally associated with testosterone deficiency.
Studies have found6 that an isolated case of a deficiency in luteinizing hormone is rare in men. Men with low follicle-stimulating hormone levels are more likely to have this condition. Follicle-stimulating hormone is also produced by the pituitary gland.
Men with a low level of luteinizing hormone need to be assessed. There will usually be an underlying cause for the low hormone level.
Specialists generally know what to look for and what might be the cause. This could indicate an issue with the anterior pituitary gland. There are other potential causes, as well.
Which Endocrine Disruptors Affect Male Hormones?
A disruption in the endocrine system can wreak havoc on the male body. This could lead to a significant impact on the production of several hormones in some cases.
There are several endocrine disruptors that have been identified through scientific research. Many of these will have an impact on the production of luteinizing hormone. In turn, testosterone production could lower as well.
The most important endocrine disruptors include pharmaceutical products. This generally includes certain drugs. These drugs may interact with the endocrine system.
There are several drugs that have been found to contribute to the disruption in the endocrine system. This places a male patient at risk of conditions like hypogonadism. Other hormones involved in reproduction can also start to decline7
Which Hormones Affect Fertility In Men?
Many hormones can have an adverse impact on fertility among male patients. Therefore, men must understand how each of these hormones can affect their fertility. These hormones should also be included in a test when infertility is an issue.
The primary hormones that need to be addressed when looking at how the endocrine system can play a role in fertility among men include:
- Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH secretion)
- Luteinizing hormone
- Gonadotropin-releasing hormone
Each of these hormones has their own roles to play in fertility – with testosterone being at the end, the hormone that ultimately affects that production of sperm.
Normal Luteinizing Hormone Level For Men
A specialist will usually get a reading of the luteinizing hormone present in the patient’s body. Men need to understand what the test results mean – and have a better understanding of what readings would be considered normal.
When the readings do not fall within the “normal” range, then issues with luteinizing hormones may be contributing to fertility-related problems.
This is when an imbalance in the endocrine system may cause issues with a man’s sperm count and other factors. In such a case, treatments, such as testosterone replacement8 therapy, could be suggested.
What Is The LH Level In Menopause?
A woman who is going through menopause may experience a significant imbalance in her hormones. This is why the range of luteinizing hormone that is considered normal for women at this stage in their life is much more extensive compared to a normal range at another phase of life.
Generally, it is advised that the level of luteinizing hormone in the female body should not be lower than 14.2 IU/L.
On the other end, the level of this hormone in the body should also not exceed 52.3 IU/L.
When luteinizing hormone levels are outside of this range, it can cause adverse effects. Examples include problems with the stimulation of the corpus luteum, as well as changes in the woman’s menstrual cycle.
What Is The Normal LH Level In Males?
Even though there are different ranges of luteinizing hormone that is considered normal for women, there is only a single range that is used as a reference when testing levels of this particular hormone in a male patient’s body.
In both women and men, the LH blood test is often used in conjunction with other tests (FSH, testosterone, estradiol, and progesterone) to help diagnose:
- The cause of infertility
- Pituitary disorders that can affect LH production
- Conditions that affect the function of the ovaries or testicles
In Men, high LH levels may indicate a condition affecting the testicles themselves. Some examples include:
- Viral infection (mumps)
- Trauma, injury
- Exposure to radiation
- Autoimmune disease
- Germ cell tumor
- Failure to develop normal gonads (gonadal agenesis or gonadal dysgenesis)
- Chromosome disorder, such as Klinefelter syndrome
The minimum level should generally be 1.24 IU/L, with a maximum recommended level of 7.8 IU/L.
When levels of LH in the male body declines too much, it can lead to problems, such as hypogonadotropic hypogonadism.
In such cases, testosterone levels may become low and affect fertility and sex drive. When appropriate treatment is initiated in this situation, it may not only improve fertility but also boost sex drive in the patient.
Best Supplements For Increasing Luteinizing Hormone In Men
Some studies have shown that certain natural supplements may assist in providing a better hormone balance in the male body.
When it comes to looking at natural ways to increase luteinizing hormones in male patients, the primary focus is often toward gaining elevated levels of testosterone. Several natural supplements and chemicals have been scientifically-proven to increase testosterone.
Some supplements that men should consider if they need to increase luteinizing hormone and testosterone include:
- D-Aspartic Acid
- Ashwagandha Root Extract
- Tribulus Terrestris
- Fenugreek Seed Extract
- Zinc supplements
While some of these supplements might have a direct impact on testosterone production, others can be used alongside an exercise routine to gain a boost in strength.
The combined effects of the supplement and exercise might then yield improvements in the body’s ability to produce testosterone and luteinizing hormone.
Luteinizing hormone has important roles to play in reproduction and the production and release of hormones.
When luteinizing hormone declines too much in the male body, it may lead to several potential problems, such as hypogonadism. There are, however, several potential remedies that have been suggested to potentially increase the number of luteinizing hormones that are produced in the body.
However, men should only opt for herbal supplements that have been scientifically proven to yield effective results.