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Luteinizing Hormone

How It Is Done continued...

For women, more than one blood sample may be needed to get an accurate indication of luteinizing hormone (LH) levels. Several blood samples may be taken in one day, or one sample may be taken each day for several days in a row.

Urine test for ovulation

To determine if you are ovulating, a sample of your first urine of the morning is usually tested. It is important to follow the package directions exactly if you are doing home ovulation testing on a urine sample.

  • Place the collection container into the stream of urine and collect approximately 4 Tbsp (60 mL) of urine.
  • Do not touch the rim of the container to your genital area, and do not get toilet paper, pubic hair, stool (feces), menstrual blood, or other foreign matter in the urine sample.
  • Finish urinating into the toilet.

You may also be given a plastic test strip to hold in the urine stream. The test strip has a color indicator on it that can detect luteinizing hormone (LH).

How It Feels

Blood test

You may feel nothing at all from the needle puncture, or you may feel a brief sting or pinch as the needle goes through the skin. Some people feel a stinging pain while the needle is in the vein. But many people do not feel any pain (or have only minor discomfort) once the needle is positioned in the vein.

Urine test

Collecting a urine sample does not normally cause any discomfort.

Risks

Blood test

  • You may develop a small bruise at the puncture site. You can reduce the risk of bruising by keeping pressure on the site for several minutes after the needle is withdrawn.
  • In rare cases, the vein may become inflamed after the blood sample is taken. This condition is called phlebitis and is usually treated with a warm compress applied several times daily.
  • Continued bleeding can be a problem for people who have bleeding disorders. Aspirin, warfarin (Coumadin), and other blood-thinning medicines can also make bleeding more likely. If you have bleeding or clotting problems, or if you take blood-thinning medicine, tell your doctor before your blood is drawn.

Urine test

There are no risks linked with collecting a urine sample.

Results

A luteinizing hormone test measures the amount of luteinizing hormone (LH) in a sample of blood or urine.

LH levels depend on a person's age and stage of sexual development, and, in a woman, on the phase of her menstrual cycle. The urine test to determine whether a woman is ovulating detects only the presence (positive result) or absence (negative result) of LH.

Normal

The normal values listed here—called a reference range—are just a guide. These ranges vary from lab to lab, and your lab may have a different range for what's normal. Your lab report should contain the range your lab uses. Also, your doctor will evaluate your results based on your health and other factors. This means that a value that falls outside the normal values listed here may still be normal for you or your lab. Ask your doctor for normal values of your luteinizing hormone test.

Luteinizing hormone in blood1
Menstruating women 

Follicular phase:

1.68–15 international units per liter (IU/L)

Midcycle peak:

21.9–56.6 IU/L

Luteal phase:

0.61–16.3 IU/L

Women past menopause:

14.2–52.3 IU/L

Men:

1.24–7.8 IU/L

Luteinizing hormone in urine

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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