The Impact of Hormone Levels on Fertility?

Hormonal imbalances affect one’s ability to carry a healthy pregnancy to term. Issues with hormonal regulation and production might be the underlying factor if a woman suffers from unexplained infertility after several attempts at conception. Here’s everything to know about the impact of hormone levels on fertility:

Hormones That Affect Fertility

Several hormones play a role in a woman’s reproductive system, and understanding the role of these hormones helps narrow down the cause of infertility problems. These hormones include:


Estradiol is a type of estrogen produced by the ovaries. Estrogen is the primary hormone responsible for the development of the female reproductive system. Estradiol helps with ovulation, conception, and pregnancy, but low levels may cause irregular cycles or lack of ovulation.


The levels of progesterone change during a woman’s menstrual cycle to prepare the body for pregnancy. The body produces more progesterone to line up the uterus and prepares ovaries for fertilization after insemination. Low levels cause irregular periods, while high levels restrict ovulation.

Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH)

The pituitary gland in the brain produces FSH to regulate one’s menstrual cycle and fertility. It helps develop the ovarian follicles, which stimulate the start of the menstrual cycle. This is because the increase in FSH signals to the ovaries its time to grow and prepare an egg.

Luteinizing Hormone (LH)

LH is also produced by and released from the pituitary gland and signals the ovaries to release an egg for fertilization. Imbalances lead to infertility and menstrual problems because LH is necessary for successful ovulation.


While prolactin helps produce breast milk after fertilization, it also regulates ovulation when its levels are balanced throughout the cycle. Too much prolactin causes irregular ovulation, leading to infertility issues.

Thyroid Hormones

The thyroid glands produce hormones that manage energy levels, metabolism, and reproductive functions. The thyroid hormones for reproduction are T3 and T4. Low thyroid levels might impact conception.

Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH)

The ovarian follicles produce AMH, which sustains immature eggs. Low levels might indicate few mature eggs, while high levels might impact the ovaries’ health.

Causes of Hormonal Imbalance

Overall fitness contributes to the consistent and regulated production of hormones that influence fertility, conception, libido, and the menstrual cycle. Stress leads to lower activity in the pituitary gland, which leads to an imbalance in FSH and LH levels. Weight fluctuations impact estrogen levels in the body, which limit the general health of a woman’s reproductive system.

Some disorders like hypothyroidism (underactive thyroids) and hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroids) impact T3 and T4 levels. Other disorders indicate elevated levels of hormones vital for fertility, like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is a hormonal disorder that affects AMH levels due to the development of cysts in the ovaries.

Effects of Hormonal Imbalance on Fertility

Conditions like PCOS that cause hormonal imbalance might result in anovulation, where ovaries fail to produce healthy eggs or release eggs regularly. An imbalance in progesterone levels affects a woman’s ability to maintain a healthy pregnancy or increases the risks of miscarriages. It also impacts egg quality, which reduces the chances of fertilization or embryo development.

Issues with hormone production reduce the length of the luteal phase, which occurs before ovulation. The normal range for the luteal phase is between 10 and 14 days, which allows the eggs adequate time to develop before fertilization. A short luteal phase makes it difficult for the egg to attach to the womb.

Management and Treatment of Unexplained Infertility

Hormone issues result in several symptoms that highlight health problems related to fertility. Irregular weight gain, mood swings, unexplained bleeding before periods, irregular cycles, and skin rashes and acne are some of the symptoms that point to hormonal imbalances. Lifestyle changes like maintaining a healthy body mass index (BMI) and managing stress help reduce hormonal imbalance. A physician might prescribe medication for thyroid disorders and PCOS to restore balance.

Other options to help with unexplained infertility include assisted reproductive technologies like in vitro fertilization (IVF). In vitro fertilizations take healthy eggs and help inseminate them outside the womb, which increases the chances of conception if one suffers from excessive hormonal imbalances.

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