What Are Female Hormones
Estrogen and progesterone are the primary sex hormones in females. Most of the body’s supply of these hormones is produced by the ovaries, although small amounts are supplied by other tissues in the body. While best known for their primary function of regulating the reproductive system, female hormones also play a role in other aspects of women’s health, including cardiac function, metabolism, bone health, skin thickness and elasticity, urinary tract health, emotional health and brain function, among others.
Cortisol and the thyroid hormone can become imbalanced for various reasons and affect both men and women. Ensuring a healthy profile means keeping abreast of your body’s levels. A comprehensive hormone test can provide much needed insight.
The three primary sex hormones in women are estrogen, progesterone and testosterone.
Best Home Hormone Test Kit
Home testing kits typically use saliva or blood from the fingertip to measure your levels of cortisol, key thyroid hormones, and sex hormones such as progesterone and testosterone. Some tests may require a urine sample.
In spite of that, are at home hormone tests accurate?
Cost range: a basic urine test is only about $9.99, while a more extensive blood test can cost anywhere from $39 to $59. The verdict: Unfortunately, high or low levels of all these hormones is not a reliable indication of whether or not you are going through menopause, says Salas-Whalen.
By no means, is there an at home estrogen test? Estrogens can be tested in blood, urine, or saliva. Blood or urine is usually tested in doctor’s office or lab. Saliva tests can be done at home.
Somehow, how do I know if my hormones are balanced?
5 Signs Your Hormones Are Out of Balance
What kind of doctor do you see for hormone imbalance?
In medicine when a doctor specialises in diagnosing and treating conditions that are caused by, or that affect your hormones, they are called an endocrinologist. Most endocrinologists work in endocrinology and/or diabetes departments in general hospitals, rather than in a GP’s surgery.
Q When Should I Collect The Sample
A.The saliva sample should be collected upon waking before eating, drinking, or participating in any exercise, unless otherwise instructed. If you are still experiencing menstrual cycles, it is ideal to collect saliva between days 19 to 21 of cycle. If your normal cycle is > 28 days, collection should be done 7 days before next period is due. If you are on cyclic hormone therapy, it is best to collect sample towards the end of the hormone therapy cycle. If you have gone 3 months without a period, are postmenopausal and not taking hormone replacement therapy or you take hormones every day, you may collect the sample at anytime of the month.
Also Check: Does Blue Cross Blue Shield Cover Testosterone Therapy
What Causes A Hormone Imbalance
Hormonal imbalance can occur when the endocrine glands are not functioning properly, for example, the thyroid gland and pituitary gland. An overactive or underactive thyroid can cause a hormonal imbalance.
If you suffer from chronic stress, then high levels of the stress hormone cortisol will impact the production of other key hormones such as progesterone. The body will create more cortisol by using available progesterone, thus depleting progesterone levels. Progesterone is a key balancing hormone so will impact the production of other hormones such as oestrogen.
Conditions such as type 1 and 2 diabetes and Cushings syndrome can also result in a hormone imbalance.
And finally, a poor diet and lack of good nutrition will also have an impact, as well as your age. As women enter the menopause around their mid-forties their hormones will begin to fluctuate.
How Is A Hormonal Imbalance Diagnosed
First, make an appointment with a health care provider for a physical exam. The health care provider will ask about your symptoms. Then, depending on your symptoms, they will suggest which hormone imbalance tests to do. These could be evaluations like:
- Blood test: Estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, thyroxine, TTH, insulin, and cortisol levels can be detected in the blood.
- Pelvic exam: A health care provider will search for any lumps or cysts.
- Ultrasound: Images of your uterus, ovaries, thyroid, and pituitary gland can be obtained.
Recommended Reading: Does Melatonin Cancel Out Birth Control Implant
What Is A Hormone Imbalance
Hormones are your bodys chemical messengers. Produced in the endocrine glands, these powerful chemicals travel around your bloodstream telling tissues and organs what to do. They help control many of your bodys major processes, including metabolism and reproduction.
When you have a hormonal imbalance, you have too much or too little of a certain hormone. Even tiny changes can have serious effects throughout your whole body.
Think of hormones like a cake recipe. Too much or too little of any one ingredient affects the final product. While some hormone levels fluctuate throughout your lifetime and may just be the result of natural aging, other changes occur when your endocrine glands get the recipe wrong.
How Is Low Testosterone Diagnosed What Treatments Are Available
Most healthcare providers will measure their testosterone levels by having a blood test, doing a physical exam and having the patient describe his symptoms. Finally, they may order additional tests to rule out other possible diagnoses.
Testosterone is sometimes prescribed for men with low testosterone. Almost all hormone supplements and testosterone treatments are available in different forms, including lozenges, patches, gels and creams.
Because of the limited knowledge regarding this condition, challenges in having a proper diagnosis, as well as the possible side effects of treatments, HRT should not administer for men without proper testing, retesting and consultation with a healthcare provider to discuss the pros and cons. One may want to consider an endocrinologist who specializes in hormones.
Recommended Reading: Breakthrough Bleeding On Bioidentical Hormones
Why Do I Need An Estrogen Test
You may need an estradiol test or an estrone test if you:
- Are having trouble getting pregnant
- Are a woman of childbearing age who is not having periods or having abnormal periods
- Are a girl with early or delayed puberty
- Have symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes and/or night sweats
- Have vaginal bleeding after menopause
- Are a boy with delayed puberty
- Are a man showing female characteristics, such as the growth of breasts
If you are pregnant, your health care provider may order an estriol test between the 15th and 20th week of pregnancy as part of a prenatal test called a triple screen test. It can find out if your baby is at risk for a genetic birth defect such as Down syndrome. Not all pregnant women need to get an estriol test, but it is recommended for women who have a higher risk of having a baby with a birth defect. You may be at a higher risk if you:
- Have a family history of birth defects
- Are age 35 or older
- Have a viral infection during pregnancy
What Is A Hormonal Imbalance
A hormonal imbalance occurs when your hormones are not produced at the proper levels. You can have many different types of hormonal imbalances. Sometimes, the imbalance means a deficiency in the given hormone while in other times, there might be an overflow. The kind of hormone that is imbalanced will play a major role in determining how the sign and symptoms will manifest and what would be the associated risks involved.
Though there are a few common life transitions that can cause a hormonal imbalance, such as menopause or pregnancy, you can struggle with such a problem at any point in your life. Both men and women can experience hormonal imbalances. Children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly may also find their hormones out of balance.
Because hormones and their functionalities are so varied, theres no one single way to detect a hormonal imbalance. A wide range of issues can indicate that something is amiss with your hormones. This is one of the reasons why your best bet is to get tested occasionally, especially when you start developing uncommon symptoms.
Read Also: Where To Buy Estrogen Pills Over The Counter
Recommended Reading: Nugenix Estro-regulator Reviews
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Low Estrogen In Men
In men, male menopause may result from too little estrogen in addition to lower testosterone levels, at least according to some recent studies. Diminished libido, strength and energy are the main symptoms. However, testosterone levels tend not to fall as sharply in aging men as estrogen does in women who are post-menopausal. Further research is needed to determine if changes that come with aging are due to hormonal declines and if so, which hormones are the culprit.
Are You Living With A Hormone Imbalance
Hormones are chemical messengers that affect the way your cells and organs function. Its normal for hormone levels to fluctuate over time, such as with your monthly cycle, during pregnancy, or with the onset of menopause.
For women, the most pronounced hormonal changes come in the 40s and 50s, but are also seen in the mid-30s. Hormonal changes not only progress with age, but are also linked to lifestyle, diet, medications, pollution, toxins and xenoestrogens that we are exposed to every day.
Hormonal imbalance can be to blame for a long list of symptoms which include irregular periods and infertility, cravings and persistent weight gain, digestive problems, low libido and vaginal dryness, fatigue, anxiety, irritability and depression, insomnia and poor sleep patterns, chronic acne and night sweats
A simple oestrogen and progesterone test can identify a hormonal imbalance. Changes to diet, digestive health, stress management, improved sleep and consistent physical activity have been shown to be effective in managing the effects of hormone fluctuations.
We can also offer a home collection finger prick version of this test here: Female Hormone Check
*Note this test is not appropriate if you are taking oral contraceptives.
Don’t Miss: Estradiol And Progesterone Side Effects
How To Check Hormone Levels Easily
The Everlywell at-home Women’s Health test is the most comprehensive panel for a complete look at all the hormones that are critical to a women’s well-being. This hormone imbalance test checks your female hormone levels so you can discover if your levels are too high or low compared to reference ranges.
Our Womenâs Health test is taken in your own home, and results are provided by an experienced, CLIA-certified laboratory. At a low price for all of these tests, this is the perfect starting point for those wanting to take a first step in assessing their own hormone levels before turning to more expensive, difficult, or complex alternatives.
Where Should I Get A Hormone Balance Test
Hormone balance tests can be performed in a variety of settings. Many people first get their hormones tested by their primary care doctor or gynecologist. Others prefer to go straight to a lab facility. While both of these methods can garner accurate results, we recommend getting your hormones tested by a hormone health specialist. These practitioners will have the training and experience necessary to determine which tests are right for you and are experts at both interpreting your results and providing treatment.
Recommended Reading: Does Blue Cross Blue Shield Cover Testosterone Therapy
What Day Should Estrogen Levels Be Checked
When evaluating female estrogen levels, day 3 is when estradiol, along with follicle stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone blood tests will be performed.
Testing at the beginning of the cycle, along with FSH can help us understand brain-ovarian communication. Measuring FSH and LH is important to assess how the brain is talking to the ovaries.
When Should FSH Levels Be Checked?
For fertility or evaluating ovarian reserve, FSH is tested on day 3 of your cycle. If you cannot have lab testing done, most providers are fine testing between days 2-4. Remember, day 1 is the first day of your period.
Testing on or around day three of your cycle can be helpful in evaluating PCOS diagnosis as well. Note, this test alone will not diagnose PCOS. FSH and LH can help us understand how the brain is talking to the ovaries and the hormones can help us know how the ovaries respond to that message.
Why Test Estradiol?
During your reproductive years, estradiol or E2 is the predominant form of estrogen. As we transition into menopause, estrone or E1 becomes the most common circulating estrogen. This is important to understand because depending on the phase of life you are in, your estrogen levels and the type of estrogen will vary.
If you are in a phase of life where you should be having periods, you need to check estradiol.
Testing Estrogen Days 19-22 of Cycle
How Do Testosterone And Estrogen Differ
Testosterone, the key hormone in men, is the chief regulator of muscle tone and lean body mass, or the very essence of what gives a man his masculine appearance. A normal level of testosterone is a broad term, making deficiencies difficult to detect. The hormone is produced by the adrenal glands and testicles, with levels highest in the mornings and decreasing throughout the day.
Testosterone also regulates a mans sex drive. Lack of sexual desire and performance, often associated with low levels of testosterone, or low T, is a common complaint from men as they age and hormone levels drop. Sex drive and performance, however, require the presence of both estrogen and testosterone.
Estrogen, by contrast, is the hormone responsible for sexual and reproductive development in women and is also referred to as the female sex hormone. Estrogen is really a group of hormones that includes estrone, estradiol and estriol. Estrogen is produced in the ovaries but also by fat cells and the adrenal gland.
Also Check: Blue Cross Blue Shield Trt
How To Test Cortisol Levels
Cortisol levels are measured with lab tests. These may be blood tests, which measure levels of the hormone in the bloodstream, or saliva tests, which measure cortisol levels in a saliva sample. Cortisol testing is typically done early in the morning, when levels are normally highest. Often, to produce the most accurate results, testing is repeated in the afternoon of the same day. Cortisol testing is often done in conjunction with ACTH level tests, since this pituitary gland hormone works to regulate cortisone levels. ACTH tests measure levels of the hormone in the bloodstream.
Getting tested can be done through your health care provider, who can order your tests for you, take your blood or saliva samples or send you to a lab to have them done. Then, your provider will let you know your results once they are delivered to his or her office.
You can also order these lab tests yourself online or over the phone from independent testing services, like Health Testing Centers. Ordering your own tests is generally less expensive, since you skip the cost of an office visit, and more efficient, since the results are delivered directly to you.
However, it is important to note that if your tests show that your cortisol and/or ACTH levels are abnormal too high or too low following up on those results with a visit to your healthcare provider is essential. Abnormal levels of these important hormones require further examination and testing.
Saliva Testing Vs Blood Testing For Hormone Levels: Which Is Better
Have you ever said in a moment of moodiness, I think my hormones are out of whack!?
Did you consider that you might be right on the money? Fatigue, weight gain, anxiety, moodiness these can all be signs of a hormonal imbalance. A simple blood or saliva test in a doctors office can check your hormone levels and find out if lows or highs are responsible for your ongoing health concerns. But which is more accurate? Blood testing or saliva testing?
Read Also: Does Blue Cross Blue Shield Cover Testosterone Replacement Therapy
How Do I Get My Thyroid Levels Checked
A simple blood test to check yourthyroid’s hormone levels is all that’s needed to findout if you have hypothyroidism. For hyperthyroidism, yourdoctor will see if your thyroid gland is bigger than itshould be or if your pulse is too fast. She’ll also look for atremor in your fingers when you hold them outstraight.
Consequently, how are thyroid levels checked?
Blood Tests: Hypothyroidism can be detected by differentblood tests. TSH Test. A thyroid-stimulating hormoneor TSH is a blood test that measures the amount of T4 that the thyroid is being signaled to make. Ifyou have an abnormally high level of TSH, it couldmean you have hypothyroidism.
Also Know, how much does it cost for thyroid test? On MDsave, the cost of a Thyroid Testranges from $8 to $106 .
Keeping this in consideration, what are early warning signs of thyroid problems?
Hypothyroidism signs and symptoms may include:
- Muscle weakness.
Can you check your thyroid levels at home?
A simple blood test to check yourthyroid’s hormone levels is all that’s needed to findout if you have hypothyroidism. Forhyperthyroidism, your doctor will see if yourthyroid gland is bigger than it should be or if yourpulse is too fast.
You May Like Also
How Reliable Is A Salivary Hormone Testing Kit
Saliva hormone testing can give you accurate information about your hormone levels. A large amount of research done in the past decades has shown that hormone levels in saliva correlate with hormone levels in blood . So saliva tests offer a convenient, noninvasive way to evaluate a wide range of hormones, and saliva testing techniques can be just as accurate as blood testing methods.
Read Also: Nugenix Estro-regulator Review
Men And Estrogen: What You Need To Know
Estrogen is known primarily as a female hormone that helps regulate menstrual cycles, yet the hormone plays a bigger role in mens health than most people realize. Men produce small amounts of estrogen as part of their normal functioning male reproductive system, along with the male hormone testosterone. As they age, less testosterone is produced.
Yet questions are beginning to emerge as to what specific part estrogen plays in male development, especially as a man ages. Once largely ignored, estrogen levels in men are now under the microscope as researchers are trying to determine this hormone’s role in men and how it affects the body’s different hormone levels.
A decrease in estrogen, for example, may be a factor in fat accumulation in men as well as women. One endocrinologist at Harvard Medical School reported in a 2013 study that some of the symptoms of testosterone deficiency in males, including a decline in libido, were at least partially caused by lower estrogen production.