What Your Data Can Tell You About Your Hormones and Fertility

by | Apr 25, 2018

Getting pregnant isn’t something that magically happens. In fact, even if you and your partner are both fertile, you still only have a 25% chance of getting pregnant each cycle. Conception is a dance between your hormones and your partner’s and if you aren’t tracking your key fertility biomarkers (hormone data), it could take months or even years to figure out what’s not working.

Hormones control everything in our bodies from our appetites to our moods to our fertility. If we experience a drastic difference in our appetite or moods, it’s easy to determine something is wrong. But changes in fertility are harder to track unless you know the physical signs you’re looking for.

There are four major hormones responsible for pregnancy: estrogen, progesterone, luteinizing hormone (LH), and follicle stimulation hormone (FSH). An imbalance of even one will throw off the rhythm of reproduction and the dance is not likely to end in pregnancy. So, what can you do, outside of sending blood work to the lab every morning? You can track your physical symptoms. You can use Mira app to help you stay on top of your personalized hormone data.

Estrogen

Estrogen is produced by the follicles and remnant egg sac and healthy levels are essential for a fertile menstrual cycle. Estrogen becomes even more important once you’re pregnant because it helps with bone formation, cholesterol levels, and the formation of secondary sex characteristics like breasts and pubic hair. If you’re low in estrogen you might experience:

  • Painful sex because of little or no vaginal lubrication
  • Increase in the number of UTI’s
  • Mood swings
  • Irregular or absent periods
  • Headaches
  • Hot flashes
  • Depression

Any change in your estrogen level can affect your ovulation and fertility window. A high level of estrogen can also prevent conception through the creation of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis.

Progesterone

This hormone is produced by the adrenal glands and the remnant egg sac in the ovaries. Progesterone is essential for fully functioning fallopian tubes, a healthy period, and it otherwise ensures you get and stay pregnant, carrying until full term. On top of that, all other hormones are made from progesterone. That makes it a pretty important hormone to track! If you’re low in progesterone, you’ll likely see one or more of the following:

  • Estrogen dominance which leads to weight gain, heavy period bleeding, and breast tenderness
  • Change in your luteinizing hormone (LH) level
  • No spike in basal body temperature
  • Irregular cycle
  • Drop in sex drive
  • Hot flashes
  • Development of anxiety and/or depression

Luteinizing Hormone (LH)

The LH is extremely important in understanding exactly when you are ovulating. LH is produced in the anterior pituitary gland and is responsible for triggering ovulation and development of the remnant egg sac. If you’re low in LH, you might see the following:

  • No period
  • Fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • You’ll feel weak
  • Decreased appetite

To understand your LH surge, a tracking device like Mira Fertility can help you understand your personal hormone patterns for a more precise ovulation window.

Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)

Like LH, FSH is produced by the anterior pituitary gland and they work together to tell follicles in the ovaries to begin maturing. It’s important for your ovaries to release a mature egg when you ovulate because only mature eggs can be fertilized. FSH also affects your cervical mucus, one of the telltale signs you’re within your fertile window. If you’re low in FSH, you might experience:

  • No change in your cervical mucus
  • Hot flashes
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Mood swings
  • Vaginal dryness
  • A higher prevalence of urinary tract infections

Unhealthy levels in any of these hormones and your fertility will be at risk. So, it’s important to track the any physical changes you see throughout the month. Doctors usually tell their patients to “try” for at least a year (six months if you’re over 35) before you take any diagnostic tests. However, if you track your data using a device like Mira Fertility, then you’ll be able to help understand your hormone patterns (and see actual data) and realize that something might be wrong before your opportunity to conceive is up.

The contents of this blog were independently prepared, and are for informational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily indicative of the views of any other party. Individual results may vary.

Sources

  1. http://americanpregnancy.org/getting-pregnant-ebook/p7M7O0q1c71703C/gettingpregnant.pdf
  2. http://natural-fertility-info.com/restore-hormonal-balance-for-improved-fertility.html
  3. http://natural-fertility-info.com/estrogen-fertility-good-bad.html
  4. https://www.healthline.com/health/womens-health/low-progesterone#low-progesterone
  5. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/mar/23/fitbit-for-your-period-the-rise-of-fertility-tracking
  6. http://natural-fertility-info.com/restore-hormonal-balance-for-improved-fertility.html
  7. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/mar/23/fitbit-for-your-period-the-rise-of-fertility-tracking

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