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Can LH Surge Happen Before Your Period?

Testing for an LH surge can help predict your fertility window and determine when you are ovulating. Generally, doctors in Australia recommend testing LH in the first half of your cycle or the follicular phase. 

However, there is merit in continuing to test for LH even after ovulation. You might assume that the level of LH falls back to the baseline once you ovulate – but did you know that it is common for some people to experience an additional increase in LH after the initial surge? The second peak in LH occurs before your menstrual period starts.

This article will explore these additional LH surges and explain what they might mean. Read on to discover more about your period and the way your body works.

Can you get a positive ovulation test right before your period?
Can you get a positive ovulation test right before your period?

How Common Is It to Have an LH Surge Before Your Period?

Having multiple LH surges during the menstrual cycle is quite common. 

According to a study conducted on 107 women, 33% had two peaks of LH during their menstrual cycle, 8% had multiple peaks, and 11% of women experienced an LH plateau after the initial surge.

Although almost 48% of women in the study had a single peak during their menstrual cycle, the study offers a good insight into the differences in LH peaks in different women. At the very least, it identifies that no two people will experience the same symptoms during their menstrual cycle.

Why Is There an LH Surge Before Your Period?

Scientists have more than one explanation for some women experiencing multiple LH surges. One of the most widely accepted explanations among Australian doctors is that when the progesterone level in your blood drops drastically at the end of the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, it triggers LH release. It is also possible that a small amount of LH is released after the embryo’s implantation in the uterine wall.

Suppose you naturally have a higher baseline level of LH. In that case, any small fluctuation can yield a higher-than-average result in the LH test, which offers another explanation for this phenomenon. You might be misled to believe there has been an additional LH surge when it is a natural occurrence for you.

Can LH Surge Before Your Period Prevent You From Being Pregnant?

No. Even if your LH test shows that your levels are surging, conceiving is possible. Remember, LH can be released once the implantation occurs, so there is no reason to worry if your LH levels are surging even after you ovulate. It most likely won’t prevent you from getting pregnant.

Why is my LH high before period due?
Why is my LH high before the period is due?

How Do LH Levels Look Throughout Your Cycle?

Although the LH levels amongst individuals can vary greatly, certain numbers are considered ‘normal.’ Here is how your LH levels wax and wane throughout the different phases of your menstrual cycle.

Before we proceed, we would like to clarify that the typical ranges of LH are taken from Mayo Clinic Laboratories. It is best to remember that different laboratories vary their numbers slightly and that everyone is unique in their reproductive health and needs.

Baseline LH levels

The typical baseline level of LH is between 0.7 to 14.6 IU/L. During the first 14 days of the menstrual cycle (also called the follicular phase), the LH measures around  1.9 IU/L to 14.6 IU/L, while it slightly dips to  0.7 to 12.9 IU/L during the last 14 days of your cycle (luteal phase).

However, most women’s baseline LH levels are between 5 and 15 IU/L, which is normal.

Lowest LH levels

You might experience the lowest LH levels during the luteal phase if you have a regular menstrual cycle. During this phase of your cycle, you can expect to see the LH ranges hovering between 0.7 to 12.9 IU/L.

In pregnant women, however, the level of LH can be significantly lower, being as low as below 1.5 IU/L.

Highest LH levels

The highest levels of LH are recorded about 24 to 36 hours before you ovulate. Generally referred to as an ‘LH surge,’ the normal range is anywhere between 12.3 to 118 IU/L.

It is common to see elevated baseline LH levels between 5.3 and 65.4 IU/L if you are going through menopause.

FAQs Regarding LH Surges

What Are the Symptoms, if Any, of an LH Surge?

It is not usual to experience any significant symptoms of LH surge. However, some folks might experience physical symptoms, including:

  • Slight pain in the abdominal region, also called ‘mittelschmerz’;
  • Tenderness of the breast or breast pain;
  • Slight spotting;
  • Increased secretion of cervical mucus and change in consistency to ‘egg white’;
  • Increased basal body temperature.

How Long Does an LH Surge Last?

Typically, an LH surge lasts for about 24 to 36 hours. You should remember that the physiology of every individual is different, and there can be significant changes in these numbers. The duration of an LH surge can vary between cycles. So, in one cycle, it might be 24 to 36 hours; in another, it can be significantly lower or higher.

What are the chances of getting pregnant during LH surge?

What are the chances of getting pregnant during an LH surge?

What Is the Best Way to Test LH Surge?

You can use several ways to keep track of your LH surges. Some of the most popular methods include the following:

  • Tracking your period vb and accompanying physical symptoms;
  • Using ovulation predictor kits like our high-quality, accurate and affordable midstream and stripe kits;
  • Using a basal body temperature thermometer that can accurately measure your body temperature to determine LH surges;
  • A blood test in your doctor’s office.

The criterion for the best test will depend on your situation and pregnancy goals. For instance, merely tracking your physical symptoms to determine the LH surge might not be the best idea if you try to conceive.

Using ovulation prediction kits makes monitoring LH surges easy. Knowing when your LH surge occurs can be great information if you want to conceive quickly.

If you struggle to get pregnant or have been diagnosed with a hormonal health condition like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), getting your LH levels tested at your doctor’s office might be best. 

If you are trying to conceive, it’s a good idea to use various methods of tracking your cycle — just in case one fails. Use ovulation prediction kits to determine your LH surge and, hence, ovulation window while maintaining a journal of all the physical symptoms that you are experiencing.

Using multiple methods to track LH surges increases the likelihood of you successfully predicting your fertility window, enabling you to track your hormones, help you understand your body better and stay in tune with it.

How Often Should I Test for LH?

If you want to get the most information out of testing for LH, you should maintain a regular schedule. You should test your LH levels daily, five to seven days before your estimated ovulation date.

If you are unsure when you ovulate, it is good to start testing early in the cycle to minimise the chance of missing out on the surge when it happens. For most people who don’t know when they will be ovulating, beginning around the 6th day of your cycle is best.

Once you spot the spike in the LH levels, ovulation is imminent. For most, ovulation occurs within 24 to 36 hours of LH surge. If you are trying to conceive, this is the best time to have sex with your partner, as your fertility window starts 24 to 36 hours before ovulation and continues three days after you ovulate. Once you ovulate, it is unnecessary to keep tracking your LH throughout the rest of your cycle.

If you consistently track your LH and ovulation, you can have a solid idea about your fertility window. Gathering enough information to make predictions might take a few months, so be patient.

Increase Your Chance of Conception by Tracking LH

LH is a crucial hormone that helps your ovaries release mature eggs. Knowing when your LH surge occurs can help you identify your fertility window and start making efforts to get pregnant.

Although the levels of LH might keep fluctuating throughout your cycle, it is the initial surge that provides the most crucial information. Don’t be alarmed if you have two or more LH peaks during your cycle. It is common in some people to see multiple LH peaks, and it has little to no effect on your chances of getting pregnant.

Investing in affordable, quality fertility products is the simplest way to track your cycle and increase your chances of conception. Browse the range of fertility products available at Fertility2Family today and contact our team with any further questions.

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Evan Kurzyp

Evan is the founder of Fertility2Family and is passionate about fertility education & providing affordable products to help people in their fertility journey. Evan is a qualified Registered Nurse and has expertise in guiding & managing patients through their fertility journeys.

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