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Luteinizing Hormone

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Most home urine tests to predict ovulation determine only the presence of LH (called qualitative testing) and not the specific level or quantity. Home urine test results are either "positive" (LH is present) or "negative" (LH is not present).

Many conditions can change LH levels. Your doctor will discuss any significant abnormal results with you in relation to your symptoms and past health.

High values

High luteinizing hormone values in a woman may mean:

  • Ovaries are absent or have been removed.
  • Ovaries are not functioning because of menopause, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), or damage from chemotherapy.
  • Early puberty in young girls.

High luteinizing hormone values in a man may mean:

  • Testicles are absent or have been removed.
  • Testicles are not functioning because of surgery or damage from mumps, X-ray exposure, chemotherapy, cancer, or injury.
  • Klinefelter syndrome.

Low values

Low luteinizing hormone values in a man or woman may mean:

What Affects the Test

Results of the luteinizing hormone test may be affected by:

  • The use of certain hormones, including those containing estrogen or progesterone (such as birth control pills).
  • The use of medicines, such as clomiphene, spironolactone, naloxone, phenothiazine, and those given for seizures (anticonvulsants).
  • Diagnostic imaging procedures, such as a thyroid scan or bone scan, that use a radioactive substance (tracer) and were performed within 7 days prior to LH testing.
  • Obesity.
  • Hyperthyroidism.
  • Liver disease.

What To Think About

  • If you are taking a medicine that contains testosterone, estrogen, or progesterone (such as birth control pills), ask your doctor whether you should stop taking it for several days before having a luteinizing hormone (LH) test.
  • You can buy home ovulation kits at a drugstore to help identify the most fertile days of a woman's menstrual cycle. The kits test for LH in urine with a dipstick or test strip. Other home ovulation tests that measure the amount of LH in urine and display the results on a small computerized monitor also are available.
  • Other tests for ovulation include measuring basal body temperature, testing the progesterone level after ovulation in the menstrual cycle, and noting changes in cervical mucus. To learn more, see the topic Fertility Awareness.


  1. Pagana KD, Pagana TJ (2010). Mosby’s Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests, 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby Elsevier.

Other Works Consulted

  • Chernecky CC, Berger BJ (2008). Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures, 5th ed. St. Louis: Saunders.

  • Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009). Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerSarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerFemi Olatunbosun, MB, FRCSC - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Current as ofMarch 12, 2014

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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