Hormonal Imbalance often has a wide range of impacts, so it may be difficult to understand the true cause of your symptoms. Why you should get your hormones tested? Hormonal testing can help you understand which specific hormones are imbalanced and allow you to develop personalized treatment plans to help you feel your best.
What does a hormone test do?
Hormone tests measure the hormone levels in your body and help you predict if they are unbalanced or not. This is typically done through blood tests or saliva tests and commonly test hormones like estrogen, progesterone, FSH, testosterone, cortisol, and thyroid hormones. Hormone tests can be conducted by your physician or done through at-home test kits, and the results are sent to a lab to be analyzed. Results are provided in about a week.
While hormone levels are constantly changing, especially reproductive hormones, significant drops below your “relatively” normal level can indicate that the body is going through significant changes. For example, a significant increase in Follicle-Stimulating-Hormone (FSH) is a common sign that a woman is approaching menopause. Analyzing hormone levels can also identify causes of infertility such as low progesterone and help you treat them.
Other ways to test for hormonal imbalance include pelvic exams and ultrasounds. Administered by physicians, these tests do not measure specific hormone levels, but can notice abnormalities in your organs. A pelvic exam, where a woman’s reproductive organs are examined, can detect the presence of abnormal lumps, irritated skin, cysts, and more. During a pap smear, vaginal cells are examined to screen for cervical cancer, and can be analyzed to observe other tumors as well. Ultrasounds are used to visually observe your uterus, ovaries and thyroid – in fact, endometriosis is often predicted through ultrasounds as well!
In the coming days, we will be discussing the types of hormone tests in more detail and how to interpret them. Stay tuned!