When is a hormonal assessment indicated? Simply put, if something feels off about your cycle, or you’re having difficulty concieving.
Although some of the PMS-like symptoms may be common, this does not mean they are ‘normal’. These include debilitating menstrual pain, heavy bleed, clotting, breast tenderness, skipped cycles, spotting, significant changes in mood including irritability, rage, anger, or even heightened anxiety, low mood or sadness.
Pictured is a segment from a month-long female hormonal assessment, done via salivary samples. Salivary hormonal testing is often indicated when there are questions left unanswered following a blood female panel.
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I usually like to start with blood testing, as blood is more cost-effective and usually the turn-around time to get reports back is much quicker. Salivary can be more accurate measurement, but more costly. Panels I often run are;
- Female Hormonal Panel (Serum): LH, FSH, estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, and DHEAS. This is done if there are concerns with the timing or characteristics of the cycle.
- Female Hormonal Assessment (Salivary): Single sample of Estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, DHEAS, and cortisol.
- Month-Long Female Assessment (Salivary): 11 samples collected over 1 month to map the cycle. Same hormones tested as ‘Female Hormonal Assessment Salivary’ – Estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, DHEAS, and cortisol.
- Female Fertility Panel (Serum): LH, FSH, estradiol, progesterone, testosterone (free and total), anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) and thyroid (TSH, T3, fT4). This is part of a similiar panel by fertility specialists.
- Thyroid Panel (Serum): TSH, fT3 and fT4 (triiodothyronine and thyroxine, respectively), reverse T3, TPO (thyroperxidase antibody) and anti-thyroglobulin. This is run if there are additional thyroid symptoms, potentially contributing to irreguarlites and abnormalities within the cycle.
When in doubt, get yourself checked by your healthcare professional. For more information regarding any of these tests, I’d love to hear from you.
Yours in Health
Dr. Alison Gottschalk, ND