FSH and LH hormones

Fertility Specialist Kristin Bendikson, MD, explains the role that FSH and LH hormones play in a women's fertility potential and how they can be used to predict fertility
How FSH and LH Hormones Affect Fertility
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FSH and LH hormones

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In order to get pregnant, the reproductive organs need to be synchronized. And the brain is the power center that synchronizes all the reproductive organs and it does this by secreting chemical hormones called FSH and LH. FSH is follicle stimulating hormone and LH is leutinizing hormone. FSH is important because it can predict a woman´s fertility potential. As a woman gets older, the number of eggs that she has in her ovaries decreases and the quality of those eggs decrease. The brain can sense that so the brain increases the amount of FSH it is secreting. So we can actually test the FSH values in a woman´s blood to detect which women are going to have a harder time getting pregnant. LH is also important to the reproductive process but we do not use it as a marker of fertility potential. LH, instead, is the signal from the brain to tell the ovary to release an egg. So after this LH surge, the woman will ovulate in the next few days. So we can use it as a predictor of ovulation. So this can help a couple time when they should have intercourse to maximize their chance of having a baby. LH can be detected in the blood but it can also be detected in the urine and this is very helpful because women can buy ovulation predictor kits from the pharmacy to help them predict when they are going to have this LH surge.

Fertility Specialist Kristin Bendikson, MD, explains the role that FSH and LH hormones play in a women's fertility potential and how they can be used to predict fertility

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Expert Bio

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Kristin Bendikson, MD

Fertility Specialist

Dr. Kristin A. Bendikson joined USC Fertility after finishing her obstetrics and gynecology residency at Harvard Medical School and completing her subspecialty training in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the internationally renowned Center for Reproductive Medicine and Infertility at Cornell University Medical College. During that time, she received intensive training in ovulation induction, in vitro fertilization and fertility surgery, as well as the management of other disorders including recurrent pregnancy loss, endometriosis, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Kristin received her undergraduate degree from UCLA and attended the prestigious New York University School of Medicine. Her extensive training and years in practice have prepared her to deal with the most difficult and challenging cases.

Kristin holds the title of Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the USC Keck School of Medicine. She is the currently the principal investigator of several research projects including the study of zygote intrafallopian tube transfer for women of advanced reproductive age, aging of the uterine endometrium and vitamin D and its role in infertility. It is her goal to provide the highest quality care for her patients and to help them fulfill their desire of having a healthy baby. In addition, she strives to guide her patients through what can be a trying and difficult journey by providing them with the support and personal attention they need.

Fertility expert, teacher, and researcher, Kristin is also a married mother of two. She resides in West Los Angeles with her family.

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