Once you’ve tracked your symptoms – the tiredness, the lack of sex drive, the acne, the weight gain – back to your hormones, you’re already on the right path, headed towards good health. But, what’s next? However you choose to pursue treatment, you will need to get your hormones tested. The results can provide the confirmation you and your healthcare provider need to move forward and make important decisions.
Getting your hormones tested is a perfectly logical next step in this process and it can be eye-opening. There’s just one hormone test all women should get when they start to suspect their hormones are not in balance. This one hormone test will provide you with the overview that you’re looking for and give you the essentials on what’s happening with your hormones.
That said, there are other ways you can get to grips with the root cause of your symptoms and come to understand what your body needs to feel good and healthy. Let’s take a look at the hormone test, and then come back to how you can, at home, figure out the hormonal fix you’re in.
The one hormone test all women need
When you visit your OBGYN you will want to ask for the Female Hormone Panel. This hormone test measures your estrogen, progesterone and FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) levels. Make your appointment so that you’ll be getting the test during your follicular phase (in the next few days after your period has ended) – this is the best time to test these hormone levels.
- Your FSH level indicates your ovulation status – whether you’re ovulating regularly and therefore fertile (this is particularly important if you are trying to get pregnant)
- Your estrogen and progesterone levels will reveal why you are symptomatic by indicating estrogen dominance or progesterone deficiency
When you get your results you’ll be looking to see if:
- FSH is higher than 15, as this can indicate irregular ovulation, fertility issues, and perimenopause.
- Estradiol levels are between 27 and 123 pg/mL, the normal range. It’s better to know what’s normal for you, preferably by looking at previous hormone tests you’ve had taken since you were a teenager. If this has not been a norm for you, then know that the most common imbalance issue is high estrogen levels, on the higher end of this normal scale or above.
- Progesterone levels are 5 to 20 ng/mL, the normal range. Again it’s better to compare your previous normal from prior hormone tests, but otherwise know that the most common imbalance issue is low progesterone, or progesterone deficiency with a number on the low end of this normal scale or below.
If you find yourself in the situation in which your numbers are within the normal ranges, but you still feel that your symptoms are down to a hormonal imbalance you can choose to test yourself instead with a 30 day saliva-based protocol. Hormone levels can range quite widely through a day and a week, so this will give you another level of accuracy and detail.
From this point you can start a new tradition of getting your hormones tested every 2 years. This file of data will be really helpful to you throughout your life – and it should aid in you in getting to know your own normal range, unique to you, as well as the numbers that make you feel bad or cause you symptoms.
The hormone test all women can do at home
While lab work like the Female Hormone Panel is super valuable information – especially once you have a personal database of tests that track your body’s progress – there are ways you can check in on your hormones, at home, without the assistance of your OBGYN. If you’re experiencing symptoms – like PMS, acne, low sex drive, mood swings – the next time you get your period, look at what color it is! Like really look.
Look at the color of the bleed, the consistency, note how long your period is, how it starts and how it ends…numbers on a page (like your hormone test results) can be hard to connect back to how you feel, but your period is right there in front of you. It’s a part of you and it’s a visual indicator of what’s going on with your hormones. You can tell what kind of hormone imbalance you are dealing with by observing:
- The color of your period blood (bright red, dark red, brown, pink)
- The way it starts (with spotting, in the morning, intermittently) and the way it ends
- The consistency of the period blood (is it thin, watery, clotty and thick, heavy or light)
- The length of time you have your period
- How much you bleed (how many tampons or pads are you using each day)
This easily observable, immediately accessible information is right there for your understanding. Notice it, note it, actually write it down if you like in a period diary and it can give you so much important information.
But, how to know what it all means?
Well, you’re in luck, because I recently created the V-Sign Type™ Quiz. It’s a simple questionnaire that asks you the right questions to get the necessary information about your period in order to pinpoint and diagnose your specific hormonal situation. You will receive your results immediately in an email (including whether you’re likely to be estrogen dominant, progesterone deficient, or have problematic FSH levels) and be able to download, again immediately, basic information on how to move forward with treating the hormonal imbalance. Just like a hormone panel, these results can set you on the right path to good health.
Always remember, that once you have the right information about how your body really works, you can start making health choices that finally start to work for you! You can do this – the science of your body is on your side!
to your FLO,
Good things come in threes:
I want to hear from you!
First, do you think you have a hormonal imbalance?
Second, do you have hormonal symptoms?
Third, everyone you know is hormonal – spread a little good ovary period and share this article on social 😉
Is Your Period Healthy?
How do you know if your hormones are healthy? The answer is in your 5th vital sign – your period.
The color of your flow, frequency of your period, and symptoms you have each month can tell you a lot about your health. There are 5 different V-SIGN TYPES, and knowing which one you have will help you get healthy now and prevent disease in the future.