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Hormones and Fertility: Finding the Right Balance

Pregnancy can occur only when many different conditions are in alignment. For example, unless timing is right, conception won’t occur, even if every other factor is in place. Likewise, even when your timing is right, conception won’t happen if structural problems prevent the egg and sperm from meeting.

Hormone levels in both the woman and the man must also be in balance for conception and pregnancy to proceed successfully. When hormone levels are out of balance, infertility may occur.

Lauren Rubal MD, our fellowship-trained reproductive endocrinology and infertility specialist, offers hormonal support to couples whose fertility struggles are related to out-of-balance hormones. She would like to share some important information about how hormones influence fertility.

Biological messengers

Hormones are substances produced by our bodies. These substances transmit information and influence the action of various organs and systems.

For example, thyroid-stimulating hormones produced by the pituitary gland control the action of your thyroid, a butterfly-shaped gland in your throat. Your thyroid produces its own hormones that play a role in many different systems and processes in your body, including digestion, sleep, metabolism, heart rate, and yes, even conception.

In general, when your hormone levels are out of balance, your body’s systems may not perform as intended. 

About reproductive hormones

Ovulation – the release of an egg from your ovary – is heavily influenced by hormones. For example, two hormones, luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), help tell your ovaries when to release eggs. Other hormones, such as progesterone and prolactin, also play an important role in fertility.

When these hormones are out of balance, ovulation may occur less often or not at all. You may also experience irregular menstruation. Approximately 25% of women with infertility have ovulation disruptions, according to The Endocrine Society.

A woman’s fertility can also be impacted by imbalances in hormones due to other factors, such as:

A man’s hormone levels can also affect his ability to impregnate his partner.

Finding the right balance

If testing indicates a hormone imbalance, Dr. Rubal works with you to design a customized treatment plan to address your imbalance. Your plan may include:

Lifestyle changes

In some cases, lifestyle factors such as weight, smoking, alcohol intake, and extreme stress can influence hormone levels.

Medication

Certain fertility drugs, such as clomiphene, may help regulate hormones related to ovulation.

Hormone injections

For some women, injections of LH, FSH, or another hormone, GnRH, can support ovulation and address infertility. Various combinations of hormones injected into a woman’s body may bring hormone levels into balance.

Help for out-of-balance hormones 

If you’re experiencing infertility due to hormonal factors or other causes, Dr. Rubal wants to help. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Rubal at our office in Newport Beach, California, call 949-415-6704 or use our online scheduling tool to make an appointment.

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