Female Hormone Testing: Everything You Need to Know
Have you ever wondered exactly what female hormone testing options are available? Considering having your own hormone levels tested? Your Wellness Center specializes in the treatment of hormonal imbalances through bioidentical hormone therapy.
Throughout your life, you’ll experience naturally fluctuating hormone levels. But as women approach perimenopause and menopause, the hormone levels can fluctuate wildly and become imbalanced, leading to many unpleasant symptoms.
So what exactly is female hormone testing and should you have testing? Keep reading to learn more!
How are Female Hormones Tested?
Female hormone testing includes testing the levels of many hormones your body makes. Testing with a blood draw is the gold standard and how we test for hormone levels here at Your Wellness Center.
If you are having your hormone levels tested, expect to have several lab tests checked. A comprehensive test will evaluate several levels. We will look at individual levels and the ratio of hormones and how they balance each other.
We typically consider estrogen a female hormone. Estrogen regulates the menstrual cycle, but it also affects the brain, bones, liver, heart, skin, and metabolism. There are three main types of estrogen—estrone, estradiol, and estriol. Estradiol is most common in women during childbearing age. During pregnancy, estriol is the estrogen produced by the placenta, and estrone is an estrogen produced after menopause.
Progesterone is a hormone that is needed to support pregnancy. It helps thicken the uterus lining, preparing a place for the fertilized egg to implant and grow. If fertilization doesn’t happen, progesterone, FSH, and LH levels fall, resulting in a period. Progesterone also has other functions even later in life, including:
- Regulation of blood pressure
- Mood stabilization
- Sleep cycles
- Improved memory and thinking
We often think of progesterone as our most protective hormone—read more about it here from our provider, Judy Couch!
We often think of testosterone as a male hormone, but females produce testosterone as well, just in smaller amounts than males. In females, testosterone helps with muscle and bone strength, brain function, fat metabolism, energy levels, and sex drive.
The thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland in the front of your neck. Thyroid hormones help regulate metabolism. They also affect heart rate, body temperature, and brain development.
These are the main hormones that are typically looked at and have the greatest impact on any symptoms you may be seeing (listed below). When you sit down with one of our providers here at Your Wellness Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, they’ll go over everything that will be tested. The bloodwork we require is often much more extensive than what you would receive at your regular physician’s office. This allows us to fully hone in on where hormone imbalance issues may be coming from.
What are the Signs of Hormone Imbalance?
Hormone imbalance affects everyone differently, but some things you might experience that could point to an imbalance include the following:
- Mood changes, depression, or anxiety
- Heavy or painful periods or irregular periods
- Decreased sex drive
- Trouble sleeping
- Unexplained weight gain or unable to lose weight
- Skin problems
- Bone loss leading to osteopenia or osteoporosis
- Vaginal dryness
- Chronic fatigue
- Hot flashes
Our hormone therapy provider, Judy Couch, walks you through female hormone testing here and how to specifically address hormone imbalances in women!
While it’s normal for hormone levels to decline as we age, when you have symptoms that interfere with your life, it’s time to discuss them with a healthcare provider. Hormone imbalance can be a sign of a more serious problem, such as:
- Hypo or hyperthyroid
- Pituitary tumors
- Cushing’s syndrome, or high levels of cortisol
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
And some medications can cause alterations in hormone levels.
How is Female Hormone Imbalance Treated?
Treatment of hormone imbalance will depend on which hormones are out of the normal range and the ratio of hormones. But even more important than the number, are your symptoms. Often, women with “normal” levels still have unpleasant symptoms. At Your Wellness Center, we focus on individualized therapy and will treat your symptoms, not just the value of your labs.
Testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone can be supplemented with bioidentical hormone therapy. Therapy typically includes pellet insertion (learn more on the hormone therapy page), but in some rare cases, there is topical medication as well.
Other treatment options that address hormone imbalance include:
- Thyroid treatment
- Nutritional guidance
- IV Therapy to treat nutrient and amino acid deficiencies
- Hormone supplements
Contact Us to Learn More About Female Hormone Testing!
The easiest way to determine if your symptoms could be a hormone imbalance is to fill out our consultation form. Our providers will review your goals and health history before contacting you to get your initial blood work scheduled. We can’t wait to help you feel your best!