In females, an LH surge triggers ovulation and development of the corpus luteum (a temporary endocrine structure in female mammals that promotes relatively high levels of progesterone). In males, where LH had also been called ICSH, it stimulates Leydig cell production of testosterone. It acts synergistically with Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).
The detection of a surge in luteinising hormone shows ovulation will soon happen. LH can be detected by urinary test kits. Tests are done daily, round the time ovulation is expected. A swing from a negative to a positive reading suggests that ovulation will occur in 24–48 hours. The women has two days to engage in sexual intercourse or artificial insemination with the intentions of conceiving.
Tests may be read manually using a colour-change paper strip, or digitally with the assistance of reading electronics.
- Louvet J; Harman S. & Ross G. 1975. Effects of human chorionic gonadotropin, human interstitial cell stimulating hormone and human follicle-stimulating hormone on ovarian weights in estrogen-primed hypophysectomized immature female rats. Endocrinology 96 1179–86. doi:10.1210/endo-96-5-1179. PMID 1122882.
- Nielsen M, Barton S, Hatasaka H, Stanford J (2001). "Comparison of several one-step home urinary luteinizing hormone detection test kits to OvuQuick". Fertil Steril 76 (2): 384–7. doi:10.1016/S0015-0282(01)01881-7. PMID 11476792.
- "Ovulation Predictor Kit Frequently Asked Questions". Fertility Plus. http://www.pinelandpress.com/faq/opk.html. Retrieved 12 March 2012.
- "How to Get Pregnant". OPregnancy.com. 2009. http://opregnancy.com/how-to-get-pregnant/. Retrieved 12 March 2012.