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LH urine test (home test )


Alternative names

Luteinizing hormone urine test (home test); Ovulation prediction test; Urinary immunoradiometric assays (IRMA)

Definition

This urine test detects LH levels above a certain threshold.

How the test is performed

Urine is collected. A sample of the urine is then applied to the test kit. The first urine of the day should not be used for this test.

Why the test is performed

The test is done to determine the time of ovulation and is also used to adjust doses of certain medications.

The anterior pituitary gland secrets hormones called gonadotropins (LH is one of these), which stimulate the ovary to prepare a follicle to release an egg. Once the follicle has matured, a dramatic rise in LH levels (known as the "LH surge") signals the ovary to release the egg. (This is ovulation.) Ovulation typically occurs 10-12 hours after the peak of the LH surge.

Normal Values

Most test kits can detect urinary LH levels as low as 20-40 IU/L (international units per liter). An LH "surge" is detected if the urinary LH is above the threshold. However, variations between different urinary LH kits are common. Check with the manufacturer to find out the detection limit of their kit in IU/L.

Special considerations

Drugs that can decrease LH measurements include estrogens, progesterone and testosterone. Estrogens and progesterone may be found in birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy.

While it would seem that knowing the exact time of ovulation would increase a woman's chances of getting pregnant, research finds that home urinary LH tests are no more likely to help a woman get pregnant than charting her basal body temperature during initial attempts to induce ovulation with clomiphene citrate.

Update Date: 7/30/2003

Douglas L. Levine, M.D., Gynecology Service, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

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Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT
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