What Is the LH/FSH Ratio and Why Does it Matter in PCOS?
A hallmark of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or PCOS, is a hormonal imbalance resulting from excess androgen levels, or increased amounts of male hormones. When this happens, an unusually high amount of testosterone and other male hormones is present. But does this imbalance also affect the levels of female hormones, such as Luteinizing Hormone and Follicle Stimulating Hormone?
Understanding Female Hormones
Luteinizing Hormone and Follicle Stimulating Hormone are both very important components of the menstrual cycle. Follicle Stimulating Hormone, or FSH, does just what its name implies—it triggers the development of an egg follicle in the ovary.1 After an egg follicle is present, Luteinizing Hormone, or LH, sparks the release of the egg.1 When the egg is released, ovulation occurs.
When ovulation fails to occur, women experience anovulation. For women with PCOS, periods may not be regular because ovulation does not consistently take place.
What Is the LH/FSH Ratio?
To measure the present amounts of LH and FSH, healthcare professionals create a ratio. When doctors first started studying this disorder, they used this ratio to help make diagnoses; however, modern medicine has determined that the ratio is not as accurate as once perceived.
- Banaszewska, R.Z. Spaczynski, M. Pelesz, and L. Pawelczyk performed a study that determined how the LH/FSH Ratio changes in women who have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. The participants of the study were 119 women who have the condition and are of reproductive age. Only 45.4 percent of participants were found to have an abnormal LH/FSH Ratio, even though they had all been diagnosed with PCOS.2
This rather surprising conclusion indicates that an abnormal ratio between LH and FSH is, contrary to common belief, not a solid indicator of this condition. While it does reveal a hormonal imbalance, an abnormal ratio does not necessarily indicate that this particular endocrine disorder is present.
Making Sense of this Surprising Discovery
Banaszewska et al. have shed some valuable light on modern medicine’s understanding of this disorder. Whereas previous attempts at diagnosing this condition may have relied upon the ratio between LH and FSH, this ratio is clearly an indicator of a secondary issue. Banaszewska et al. have determined that this secondary issue is increased adrenal androgenic activity.2
As researchers continue to learn more about Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, diagnostic efforts will increase. Understanding the roles of specific measurements, including the ratio of LH and FSH, will enable researchers to better comprehend this condition.
The other thing a women suffering Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) might do is to look into the Insulite Health supplements that are available. In particular, the PCOS System offers hormone-balancing effects that have been scientifically calibrated to reverse the condition. That means there is hope for women who properly educate themselves and take the precautions necessary to thwart the effects of the disease, and no reason why PCOS has to be interpreted as a devastating diagnosis.