Laboratory Testing

Antimullerian Hormone (AMH)

  • a hormone produced by the growing preantral follicles
  • the newest test to assess a woman’s egg quantity and quality
  • a test of ovarian reserve that can be done at any time during the menstrual cycle (or even when pregnant)

Estradiol (E2)

  • a hormone produced by growing eggs
  • typically, each mature egg will produce at least 150 pg/ml of estradiol
  • this hormone is used to assess a woman’s response to fertility medication and to better assess how many eggs are growing
  • also referred to as the estrogen level

Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)

  • a standard ovarian reserve test that will assess a woman’s egg quantity & egg quality
  • most accurate and meaningful if tested at the beginning of a woman’s menstrual cycle on day one, two or three (if she has regular menstrual cycles)
  • usually tested in conjunction with estradiol, since an abnormally elevated estradiol above 100 pg/ml, will lower the FSH level

Hemoglobin A1c

  • otherwise known as glycosylated hemoglobin is used to monitor blood sugar levels
  • this blood test assesses the glucose levels over the past three months
  • can diagnosis someone with Type II diabetes, but a 2 hour glucose tolerance test is usually preferred

Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG)

  • this is pregnancy hormone
  • hormone level should double every two to three days during the first eight weeks of a normal pregnancy
  • medication containing this hormone is often used to induce ovulation while taking fertility medications

Luteinizing Hormone (LH)

  • hormone that causes ovulation to occur
  • chronically and slightly elevated in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
  • often is tested to determine if a woman is at risk for prematurely ovulating while taking fertility medications


  • a pituitary hormone that should only rise during pregnancy or while breastfeeding
  • if abnormally elevated, may be indicative of benign tumor
  • overproduction of prolactin can impair ovulation and a woman’s ability to ovulate and conceive and, therefore, is treated

Progesterone (P4)

  • hormone produced by the ovary after ovulation
  • high level indicates ovulation has occurred
  • low level in pregnancy may be associated with an abnormal pregnancy or a woman at risk for miscarriage

Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)

  • first line test to assess thyroid function or to monitor someone’s response to thyroid medication
  • should not be repeated sooner than six weeks after adjusting medication since the body takes this amouont of time to respond
  • having either hypo- or hyperthyroidism can impair a woman’s fertility by affecting ovulation

Testosterone (T)

  • this male hormone or androgen may be abnormally elevated in women with hirsuitism or polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • measurement of both total and free testosterone levels will identify women at risk for acne or hirsuitism
  • rapidly rising levels may suggest an ovarian or adrenal gland tumor