There’a a plethora of hormone tests out there, but we’re here to help you figure out which type is right for you. Keep reading to learn about the different types of hormone tests and what they’re used for.
Blood Spot Test: A blood spot test can be easily administered at home and is minimally invasive. It requires you to prick your finger to get a small sample of blood that dries quickly and is sent to a lab to be analyzed. It cannot test for as many hormones as a blood serum test, but can still accurately measure insulin, thyroid hormones, estrogen, testosterone, and more.
Saliva Test: A saliva test is one of the easiest hormone tests to administer and is often done at home. After collecting spit in a tube, the sample is sent off to a laboratory where it is analyzed for particular hormone levels. These tests are useful to detect hormones that are readily available to the body such as estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and cortisol. One drawback is that external variables such as pH levels and dental health can impact the accuracy of the results. Saliva tests are often recommended for those interested in topical Hormone Replacement Therapy options.
Urine Test: Urine tests are typically used to measure the “free’ hormones that are readily available to be analyzed in saliva tests as well. Urine samples are collected throughout the day and taking multiple tests can allow you to analyze daily fluctuations. This test is unique in that it allows for analysis of how hormones are being metabolized and it can also identify cancer risk as well. Estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and cortisol are often analyzed through urine tests.
Blood Serum Test: Generally administered in your physician’s office, a blood serum test draws a larger amount of blood from an individual. Fasting is recommended before taking a blood test to ensure that hormone levels are at their relatively normal levels. Although it is more complex, blood serum tests can measure a wider variety of hormones including insulin, thyroid, prolactin, LH, FSH, and other sex hormones.