reference range for LH & FSH?

Discussion in 'Men's Health Forum' started by Britman, Nov 16, 2008.

  1. #1

    Britman Member

    Does anyone know what the reference ranges should actually be for LH & FSH?

    Even more so than with total testosterone there seems to be a wide variation in the reference range for these pituitary markers.

    One text I have gives 2-10 U/l for LH and 1-7 U/l FSH

    whilst other ref ranges I see give a much bigger range for FSH going and a few even with LH as having the bigger range

    The ranges as with TT for these 2 markers would de deemed to be very important given they are used in the diagnosis of primary versus secondary hypogonadism but given the grey area over their range then this means some confusion over an accurate diagnosis.

    My own thoughts are <4 U/l for both LH & FSH (confirmed by few results) with low TT may indicate secondary and I think the androxal studies stipulated a max value around 4 U/l for inclusion in their clinical trials for treating secondary hypogonadism

    Although even then I have seem people post decent testosterone values (450) with LH around 3 U/l indicating good set of nuts would still respond to low to medium LH & FSH values
  2. #2

    Britman Member

    (meant to write >450 ng/dL in my last post)
  3. #3

    JanSz Junior Member

    When in doubt, use hcg and monitor any increase in TotalTestosterone.
  4. #4

    JimRat Junior Member

    My LH has been roughly 1.9-2.2 for the last 2 years...FSH 1.9 consistently and yet my T has remained about 550. These numbers are without HRT (except for thyroid meds). I've been treating lyme disease first to see if things will rebound. Since my TSH is around 2, I'm wondering if a flaky pituitary is not giving me an accurate picture of what's going on. Maybe I need more thyroid meds.
  5. #5

    Britman Member

    Hi Jim

    Your numbers show that your testicles are responding well to low pituitary output - have you ever tried a SERM such as clomid?

    You might be good canditate for Androxal when it comes out in 2010
  6. #6

    JimRat Junior Member

    Britman, I actually did very well on a low dose of clomid but do not like the idea of that as a longterm solution. I seemed to have gotten more testicular rebound from clomid than from hcg and I'm not sure why. Both meds bumped up my T though. I'm off everything currently except thyroid meds.

    I'm intrigued about Androxal though...
  7. #7

    Britman Member


    I'm guessing your estrogen went way too low on clomid? did this not cause you ED issues?

    also you say clomid bumped up your T levels and have been off all meds for 2 years with TT ~ 550 ng/dL - what were you to start with? - do you really think Clomid could cause such a sustained effect (i would think any effect would only be short-term)

  8. #8

    JimRat Junior Member

    Britman, my beginning pre-treatment levels some 2 years ago (when my problems started) were roughly the same as they are now...generally upper 400s to about 550. However, I had at the time experienced some loss of testicular volume as well as testicular softness. This is still my main issue and I'm not sure what the mechanism is other than a possible link to suspected lyme disease and co-infections or simply suppressed spermatogenesis due to my consistently meager 1.9 FSH level. I've been treating hypothyroidism for about 15 yrs and have always felt good up until 2 years ago. My thyroid numbers usually look OK so I don't think it's thyroid influenced although I'm tempted to add in more as an experiment.

    Fortunately, I have had a very open-minded female doc well-versed in hormone treatments and she was willing to try me on clomid initially despite my low but normal T levels. Clomid helped over the course of a couple of months. Then she switched me to hcg (500 IUs 3x week) which bumped up my T to roughly 650-700. However, it did not cause a rebound in testicular volume. Again I'm thinking this might be related to spermatogenesis but can't be sure.

    At this point, I'm ready to try HCG/T combo just to see what happens. Libido there but diminished. Erections OK. Soft testicles are the most annoying aspect....

    By the way, the Clomid didn't give me ED issues really because I was only doing about 25mg every other day (if I remember correctly) as suspended release capsules (compounding pharmacy).

    Something like Androxal sounds like it would work well for me but I'd like to get a stronger libido back before that comes out if possible.....
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2008
  9. #9

    Britman Member

    I'm not sure if poor libido is an indicator of too low LH, estrogen or what but I think exercise helps me on that one together with good diet and few beers always does wonders for libido but maybe thats just because every girl looks good after a few :)

    Interesting to note that clomid resulted in you getting higher T levels but no increase in testicular volume - obviously testicles are 95% volume taken up by sperm cells and LH is not performing same function as FSH here but I believe LH does cause some spermatogenesis since medical literterature states this and not just soley dependent on FSH

    Glad to hear you have opened minded doc (your obviously not in UK as it seems to be worse than US) - you are one of the lucky few in that case - maybe being female she is more understanding to a man's issues
  10. #10

    JimRat Junior Member

    Yeah, I was actually in perfect health up until two years ago when I had mono (at age 36). After that, lost testicular volume and haven't been the same since. Some tests indicate that lyme has been rattling around in my system for some time...maybe exacerbated by the mono incident. These factors can upset normal endocrine function but it's very hard to separate the permanent from the temporary in these cases. Some claim antibiotics alone in such cases will restore normal endocrine outputs but I haven't seen that yet. I'm on IM Bicillin (penicillin).

    So I'm pretty much ready to go to straight T and hcg for a while.

    I was somewhat lucky that my MD is willing to try things. In fact, she suggested GH to me as well but I didn't want to try it because of the expense. My GH levels were low normal as well. Many things seem low normal with me including ferritin and vitamin D.

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