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Functions of Luteinizing Hormone

Ensuring adequate production of testosterone in males is one of the main functions of luteinizing hormone (LH). It is a brain hormone that governs the functionality of the reproductive system in both males and females.
Bodytomy Staff
Did You Know?
Low sperm count in men that causes fertility problems has been attributed to disturbances in luteinizing hormone (LH) levels in the blood.

A pea-sized structure, the pituitary gland that lies in the center of the skull, at the base of the brain, does an important job of secreting the luteinizing hormone (LH). LH plays a very important role in the proper development of reproductive organs in both males and females. The hormone is critical for regulating the working of the reproductive system.
What Does the Luteinizing Hormone Do?
As aforementioned, the production of LH is necessary for proper functioning of the reproductive system in males and females. Its functions are elaborated as under:
Regulates Testosterone Production
In males, LH is known to stimulate the testes, which in turn releases the testosterone hormone. To be precise, it prompts the Leydig cells located in the testes to release the testosterone hormone. This is a male sex hormone that ensures proper development and maintenance of male characteristics. For instance, masculine qualities such as facial hair, muscle mass, and growth of hair on the chest and the armpit are due to the presence of testosterone. Decline in LH production can cause poor secretion of testosterone, which can lead to a low sex drive.
Helps in Maintaining a Healthy Sperm Count
Apart from follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), LH also contributes in sperm synthesis. Adequate supply of LH is essential to ensure normal sperm production. In order to treat fertility problems, intravenous administration of hCG hormone may help overcome shortage of LH, which prompts the testes to secrete sperm. Thus, to resolve low sperm count, adequate supply of LH is a must. For development of mature, healthy sperm cells, it is necessary that the LH supply does not diminish below the normal levels.
Regulates Oestradiol Production
Oestradiol is a female sex hormone that is released in the first phase of the menstrual cycle. It plays a critical role in the proper growth of breast tissue in women. This is the main sex steroid hormone present in women, and its presence is crucial for ovulation. The release of oestradiol is also regulated by the luteinizing hormone.
Streamlines the Menstrual Cycle
The first phase of menstrual cycle involves the production of luteinizing hormone. Without the release of this hormone, your body is not prepared for the next two phases of menstrual cycle. Menstrual problems are often an indication of disturbances in the LH levels in blood. Apart from controlling the menstrual cycle, LH plays a very important role in stimulating egg production in the ovaries. Thus, the process of ovulation cannot take place without adequate production of luteinizing hormone.
Couples unable to conceive are often advised to undergo a LH blood test. Difficulty getting pregnant has been associated with abnormally high LH levels. Too much of LH during pregnancy can also lead to miscarriage. On the whole, ditching unhealthy habits like smoking and alcohol consumption and following a healthy diet and exercise will ensure adequate supply of LH and avert any reproductive problems.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical professional.