What does cycle Day 3 hormone testing reveal?
For those struggling with conception, your OB physician or Reproductive Endocrinologist, may likely order CD3 labs, which consists of a blood draw on day 3 of your menstrual cycle. Have you ever wondered what those tests reveal and what information is gained? Here are some of the most commonly ordered tests and what your physician learns from them.
AMH is a hormone secreted by the growing antral follicles found inside a woman’s ovaries. The level of AMH in a woman’s blood is generally a good indicator of the size of her ovarian reserve, or the number of eggs she has remaining. Women are born with all of their eggs and that reserve diminishes over time.
Follicle Stimulating Hormone(FSH)
FSH is a hormone released by the pituitary gland, and is the mainly responsible for the egg maturation process. FSH “steps on the gas” early in the menstrual cycle to get a follicle growing. FSH also assesses ovarian reserve but neither AMH or FSH denote the quality of the remaining eggs. High levels are associated with diminished ovarian reserve.
Estradiol is a form of estrogen. E2 stimulates follicle growth and helps prepare the lining of the uterus for implantation. The ovaries, breasts, and adrenal glands make estradiol. E2 levels should be low in the early part of the menstrual cycle. High day 3 levels may indicate a cyst in the ovary or diminished ovarian reserve.
LH helps regulate the menstrual cycle and triggers egg maturation (ovulation). Abnormal levels can indicate problems with the ovarian reserve or with the pituitary gland or hypothalamus.
Thyroid Stimulating Hormone(TSH)
TSH is a blood test used to check for thyroid gland problems that may affect fertility.
Prolactin levels rise after a woman is pregnant to stimulate milk production. High levels of prolactin in women trying to get pregnant can cause infertility. High Prolactin can inhibit (FSH) and gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), the hormones that trigger ovulation and allow eggs to develop and mature.
Reviewed by Chelsee Young, RN
IVF Coordinator, CLinical Manager
Utah Fertility Center