Struggling to conceive can bring about feelings of sadness, frustration, and anger. Each month your hopes become lifted only to experience disappointment. You watch your friends bring babies into this world, and while you're happy for them, it begins to feel like parenthood won't be a possibility. Your fertility struggles may be hormone-related, and here are some essential hormones that help fertility.
Estradiol or 17 beta-estradiol is a type of estrogen. Estrogen is a female sex hormone that supports different bodily functions, but primarily regulates a woman's menstrual cycle and reproduction. (1) The ovaries, breasts, and adrenal glands produce estradiol. It also is critical for the development of female sexual organs, including:
Estradiol also helps control fat distribution in the body and bone health. When you have low levels, it can indicate the late onset of puberty, infertility issues, or entering menopause. Speak to your doctor about having an estradiol test to determine if you could benefit from an estradiol cream to boost fertility levels.
Progesterone is an essential female sex hormone for fertility. It provides the uterus nourishment in preparation for pregnancy and helps sustain and grow the fetus. Without optimal levels, egg implantation may not occur in the uterus, or the placenta may not grow strong enough to support a healthy pregnancy.
Low progesterone signs may be shorter menstrual cycles, no periods, no ovulation, or even endometriosis. Research shows that women taking progesterone in early pregnancy, who've had a history of miscarriages, increased birth outcomes. (2) Women concerned about infertility can have progesterone levels tested.
LH is an important hormone produced by the pituitary gland. It's also known as gonadotropin and essential for both male and female fertility. It's integral to the menstrual cycle for women in that it works with the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) to grow an egg in the ovaries. It also triggers the production of estrogen. (3)
When LH production increases, the ovaries release an egg, commonly known as ovulation. At this point, the egg travels down the fallopian tubes to meet a sperm for fertilization. Without LH, ovulation may not occur, leading to infertility.
LH also plays a vital role in male fertility in that it helps produce testosterone. Testosterone builds up healthy sperm levels.
Two other important hormones for female fertility are FSH and AMH. FSH stimulates the egg follicle to help generate an egg each month and helps produce sperm cells. (4) AMH hormone plays a role in female features and reproduction.
Women produce thousands of eggs during their reproductive years, but the amount declines as they age or due to low ovarian reserve. Low AMH level indicates that you may have a lower number of quality eggs remaining.
Struggling with infertility takes a toll on your physical and emotional well-being. Supplementing with a high-quality estrogen or progesterone cream may help increase fertility.