Have you been actively trying to get pregnant for more than a year? If so, now is the right time to move on to the next step and get yourself tested for fertility hormones. But what tests are these exactly? And how does testing improve your chances of conceiving?

Read on as we uncover:

  • · Benefits of fertility blood testing
  • Highly recommended fertility blood tests
  • How to improve your fertility naturally and increase your chances of getting pregnant

Once you feel that you might be struggling in your fertility journey, you and your partner will require a comprehensive analysis to understand its probable causes. Following a detailed medical examination, your fertility expert will recommend a panel of blood tests assessing your hormones and other essential parameters to evaluate how these could impact your fertility.

Benefits of Fertility Blood Testing

Blood work is a vital part of fertility testing and treatment. It involves testing your hormones to determine ovarian reserve and function, among other essential hormones, such as Thyroid-stimulating Hormone (TSH), Luteinizing Hormone (LH), Prolactin, Progesterone, Androgens, etc. In addition, your blood work will offer a glimpse of why it may take longer for you to conceive. Therefore, fertility blood testing is one of the primary steps you may take on your journey to parenthood.

Here is a rundown of the routine blood tests your physician will most likely suggest when you go in for hormone testing.

Testing Your Ovarian Reserve

Testing ovarian reserves will tell you the possible quantity of eggs you have for your age.

While women are born with all the eggs that will last their lifetime, it is possible that you may have lower or higher ovarian reserves than expected. This is especially seen in those with PCOS[1]. While ovarian quantity only decreases with advancing years, through a healthy PCOS fertility diet and lifestyle, you can work towards improving the quality of eggs you do have left because you only need one healthy egg to take.

This test checks a basic panel of hormones and gives your healthcare provider an idea of how you will respond to further treatment strategies.

test kit

Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)

One of the most common tests prescribed to women experiencing fertility problems is the FSH test. This test measures the amount of the Follicle-stimulating hormone in your bloodstream, which is needed to regulate menstrual cycles and follicle growth. Your doctor can also ask for an FSH test to evaluate egg supply and ovarian function.

If your reports show elevated levels of FSH[2], that may mean that your ovarian reserve is compromised. It may also point toward ovarian disorders. On the other hand, low levels of FSH may indicate that your ovaries aren’t releasing enough eggs.

No matter how far you are from the normal FSH range, you can achieve a successful pregnancy with some help and medical guidance.

Pro Tip: A fertility diet customized to improve FSH levels is the stepping stone to success here.


An essential female reproductive hormone, estrogen plays a crucial role in women’s reproductive health, from developing body parts to regulating your period, pregnancy and menopause. Testing for estradiol (an estrogen) and an FSH test helps your doctor measure your ovarian function and understand the quality of your eggs[3]. If you’re undergoing IVF, your fertility specialist will ask for an estradiol test to optimize gonadotropin dosing.

Pro Tip: Add plenty of fibrous foods to your diet to help flush out excess and unused estrogen from your body.

food rich in fiber

Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH)

Regarded as the benchmark in fertility blood tests, the Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) is a substance secreted by follicles that surround your eggs. Since AMH is produced only in these small ovarian follicles, it gives doctors a clear understanding of the pool size of growing follicles in women[4]. As a woman ages, this pool size decreases, and so does the AMH.

If you are trying to conceive, considering IVF or egg freezing, and your result comes back with normal levels of AMH, you may have better chances of success since your specialist may have more eggs to retrieve and work with.

RDN Nicole Holness is an expert at devising personalized protocols for patients with low AMH.

Pro Tip: Food rich in vitamin D like wild-caught salmon and pasture-raised eggs and anti-inflammatory foods like ginger and berries are known to improve egg health.

Other Fertility Hormones Routinely Tested

Luteinizing Hormone (LH)

The Luteinizing Hormone is like a precursor to your ovulation. Fertility experts use the LH levels to understand whether you are ovulating or not. When LH begins to rise, ovulation follows within a couple of days after LH hits a peak. Consistently higher levels of LH are observed in women undergoing irregular cycles or those with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

Pro Tip: Read this blog to know which fertility supplements are best to manage PCOS.


Produced in the ovaries following ovulation every month, progesterone helps prepare the uterine lining for implantation. It is also crucial for maintaining a healthy pregnancy. Your doctor may ask you to get a progesterone test during the second half of your cycle as it increases after ovulation. If your test report shows low levels of progesterone, this may point towards inefficient ovulation, which your doctor will treat accordingly.

Pro Tip: Eat legumes, leafy greens, and avocados to give your progesterone levels a natural boost!


Prolactin is a hormone released by the pituitary gland. Prolactin is measured to assess the causes of infertility, inability to breastfeed, irregular periods, and decreased libido. Prolactin levels are greatly affected by high stress, intense workouts, thyroid imbalances, and consumption of certain drugs.

To increase the chances of conceiving, you ideally want normal (tending towards lower numbers) levels of prolactin as high levels can inhibit the release of FSH, which in turn helps mature the ovarian follicles[5].

Pro Tip: Foods high in zinc, such as shellfish, turkey, and beef, naturally improve prolactin levels.

food rich in zinc


Testosterone is probably the most commonly known androgen which impacts the sexual functioning of men and women. As women, our testosterone levels tend to stay consistent throughout our cycle. However, excess levels can be seen in cases of women struggling with PCOS, coupled with symptoms such as hirsutism, menstrual irregularities, acne, chronic inflammation, and weight gain. Your fertility expert may suggest getting your androgen levels tested to understand the probable cause of infertility.

Pro Tip: Some of the best fertility supplements for PCOS are red reishi mushroom, green tea, and spearmint[6]. Add them to your diet to reduce androgen levels. Get familiar with some of the most beneficial supplements for managing PCOS here.

Thyroid Hormone

Your thyroid controls several functions in your body, of which the reproductive system is a vital one. Both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism can impact the ability to conceive and have a successful pregnancy. Therefore, blood work determining various hormone parameters such as TSH, T3, and T4 is recommended to understand your thyroid function.

Studies indicate[7] that correcting thyroid hormone parameters can increase the chances of a natural conception when dealing with unexplained infertility. Working with an RDN will allow you to organically correct imbalances in your thyroid levels.

Pro Tip: Eat healthy fats like raw nuts, oily fish, garlic, and avocados to support healthy thyroid functioning.

How Can I Naturally Support My Fertility Hormones?

Working with a fertility support team to guide you along your fertility journey is highly beneficial when you are struggling to conceive. An invaluable member of your fertility team is the certified fertility dietitian nutritionist. Certified Fertility Dietitians Nutritionists are experienced in studying your blood work and developing a plan that supports your fertility.

Partnering with a trusted nutrition expert like Holness Nutrition can help you:

  • Analyze your current dietary intake and overall well-being.
  • Identify potential nutrient deficiencies that may be hampering your progress.
  • Develop meal plans based on optimal calorie and energy needs.
  • Work alongside symptoms of your fertility medications and develop solutions to navigate them.
  • Tailor your diets for PCOS fertility or other conditions you are struggling with that are hampering your fertility goals.
  • Guide you on the best-customized diet, nutrition and supplements your body needs when you are undergoing an egg freezing process or in vitro fertilization (IVF).
image of fiber rich food

How Can Holness Nutrition Help Me?

Following a targeted nutrition plan with the guidance of your fertility nutritional expert facilitates optimal hormone function, encouraging regular ovulation and enhancing egg health. When dealing with PCOS, in addition to modifying your diet, it is also crucial to consider filling in the gaps in your nutrition through fertility supplements. Knowing what these are and how you can incorporate them into your routine is something RDN Nicole Holness can help you with.

Nicole Holness is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who is experienced in helping women with their hormone health, improving egg reserve and quality, reproductive well-being (fertility, pregnancy, postpartum), gut health, and overall wellness.

If you are looking for the best way to optimize your diet to help you regulate your hormones, let’s talk about it. Book a free fertility strategy call to discuss your specific situation. We are here to help you create a personalized nutrition, diet, and lifestyle plan based on your unique needs to help you conceive.


[1] https://www.fertstert.org/article/S0015-0282(17)32097-6/fulltext Ovarian reserve in PCOS more, but for how long?

[2]https://academic.oup.com/humrep/article/17/1/118/554125 A moderately elevated Day 3 FSH


[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2688347/ Biomarkers of Ovarian Reserve

[4] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16679324/ Basal level of AMH associated with oocyte quality

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5941656/ Changes in Prolactin Level during ICSI and effect on pregnancy rate

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3693613/ Plant Derived Anti Androgens

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5800836/ High TSH levels associated with Unexplained Infertility