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Hormones play a key role in your body. As the body’s messengers, they control a wealth of biological processes – including vast areas of female and male reproductive physiology. A hormonal problem can therefore be the reason why you have not been able to become pregnant yet. To determine this, we conduct targeted hormone analyses in our laboratories. These provide information about your hormonal situation and the treatment options we can offer you in our clinic.
The body’s hormonal system is complex – even small changes can upset the delicate balance. Hormonal imbalance is often triggered by a malfunction in the hormone-producing centres, such as the pituitary gland or the thyroid. But problems involving the hormonal messengers – such as GnRH, which controls the production of sex hormones in the pituitary gland – can also have an indirect influence on a woman’s fertility, through:
Being seriously under- or overweight, major changes in weight, stress, medication and – in rare cases – tumours can also upset the hormonal balance.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a malfunction of the ovaries as a result of several hormonal problems that mutually influence and reinforce each other. Elevated levels of male sex hormones (androgens) in a woman’s blood is characteristic of PCOS. Due to increased production of FSH and LH, many ovarian follicles in the ovaries start maturing. However, elevated testosterone levels prevent follicle maturation – the follicles wither away without ovulation taking place. The remains of the ovarian follicles show up on an ultrasound as small black “cysts” in the ovaries. PCOS is almost always associated with irregular menstruation or no menstruation at all (amenorrhoea). Should PCOS be the reason why you have not yet become pregnant, you have various treatment options available in terms of medication or, alternatively, artificial insemination.
Many hormonal problems have an interactive effect. For instance, hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) is usually associated with elevated prolactin levels, and PCOS with elevated androgen levels. Our specialists will analyse your hormones and provide you with comprehensive feedback about the causes and symptoms.
As a rule, specific hormonal problems can be established through blood analysis. However, please bear in mind that the causes for a failure to become pregnant are very complex – quite often, there are several different reasons. Our doctors align the diagnosis and subsequent treatment methods to your individual case, thereby giving you the best possible chances of a successful pregnancy.