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PCOS and confusing LH/FSH levels

I was officially diagnosed with PCOS last August although I have believed I've had it for about the last 10 years. I was prescribed metformin and have been taking it since. My last natural period was almost a year ago (1 May 2014). This is the longest time my periods have been missing. Normally it was an extra week to 10 days.

I had my blood tests done on day 2 of my cycle a few months ago (I was given progesterone to induce a bleed) and they are listed below. I am confused as usually with PCOS the LH level is often 3 times more than FSH. Whereas with me my FSH is almost 3 times my LH.

Does anyone have any experience of this? I'm seeing my GP on Monday as I know there is something not right with me but can't get to the bottom of what it is.

FSH: 5.8 U/L

LH: 1.8 U/L

Oestradiol: 96 pmol/L

Testosterone: 0.7 nmol/L

SHBG: 18 nmol/L

If anyone has any advice it would be greatly appreciated. My GP seems to thing I am time wasting and that I should just be happy that he thinks the blood tests are ok. We are trying for another baby but as I have one child already the GP is not prepared to help with anything that is involved with ttc as the trust will only help childless couples. Which I have no problem with but I am getting concerned about my health now.

Thanks in advance.

2 Replies

Hi Monsterpage. Reading your story, I am wondering whether the Metformin you have been on, has helped to regulate your hormones, but you probably need something like Clomid to ensure ovulation has occurred?? I don’t know if you know much about how Metformin works, but I will explain as simply as I can, with apologies if you already know. People who are diabetic are treated in 3 different ways – diet, tablets (Metformin) or insulin injections. Women who have PCOS and who are not ovulating properly and/or do not have regular periods, are often prescribed Metformin. The reason being is that they often have an excess of insulin in their body cells. Because of this the glands in the brain that control ovulation, the pituitary and the hypothalamus cannot get their message through to the ovaries to get them to ovulate properly. Metformin “mops up” the excess insulin to allow the messages to get through. Often it can regulate periods, but ovulation still does not occur. This is when a drug called Clomid is often introduced as well to hopefully ensure ovulation occurs. Metformin allows Clomid to do its job more efficiently. It all sounds very complicated, but the mechanics of the idea work well. Of course this treatment does not work with every woman, and there is always the possibility that IVF or similar treatments may be required. Hope this helps a little. By the way your other hormones are fine. Diane


Thanks Diane. I was just confused as the LH & FSH figures don't correspond with that of someone with PCOS.

I am very concerned as my periods have simply disappeared and I am desperate to get to the bottom of why.

I'm seeing my GP tomorrow to ask him what can we do next. I want my thyroid and female sex hormone redone to check them against my results 6 months ago as a comparison. I'm hoping he'll agree.


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