When you first hear your doctor use the phrase hormone testing, you probably think about doping scandals in sports events. After all, it was the hormone testosterone that got Tour de France winner Floyd Landis stripped of his title.
But with women over the age of forty (and sometime, even younger), hormone testing generally refers to checking for normal amounts of female hormones estrogen and progesterone in your system. This is to help diagnose your problems as resulting from menopause.
Hormone testing is sometimes referred to as “the FSH” test, since it does detect the follicle-stimulating hormone that often is an indicator of whether or not your body is undergoing menopause. FSH is generally done in conjunction with other kinds of hormone testing for estrogen, progesterone and estrodiol. Generally, this is a blood test although urine tests and fresh saliva tests can also be done. FSH hormone testing can be done just for the presence of FSH levels.
There are also home kits for hormone testing available to women. They don’t need a blood sample, so don’t worry. They only need a saliva sample. You would then put the sample in the mail off to the company’s laboratory and then get your results back in a few days. The costs of these home hormone testing kits vary widely. Some medical health professionals think you are ultimately much better off getting the tests done at a hospital.
However, home kits do have distinct advantages for some women, especially women who don’t or can’t drive and can’t take the time off to sit in a hospital waiting room all day in order to get a blood test. If you give the results to your doctor, then he or she will be the best person to help you interpret them and see what direction your treatment should take. You might be recommended to go on progesterone replacement therapy.
Other Reasons For Tests
Hormone testing, especially FSH testing, isn’t just for women suspected of beginning menopause early. They are also recommended for girls or boys who have very early development of their sex organs. It’s also recommended when boys or girls in their mid teens haven’t shown any sign of starting puberty yet.
Some men are also recommended to get the tests in some medical instances (yes, men’s bodies can make female hormones, just as women’s bodies can make testosterone). It’s also recommended for helping doctors diagnose a problem with the pituitary gland.