The balance of hormone levels in a woman’s body can have a real and direct impact on many of the systems in her body. The most obvious example is perhaps estrogen, the loss of which can cause a wide range of issues after menopause.
Hormone replacement therapy can’t always be prescribed on the basis of symptoms alone, since they may be shared with other conditions or causes. Testing can help to evaluate hormones as a diagnostic clue.
Our team at Southeast Urogyn and our sister clinic, Ovation Wellness, can help you get to the root of your hormone-related symptoms with comprehensive testing.
A diagnostic process
Sometimes, your symptoms combined with medical history are enough for our team of caregivers to give a confident diagnosis of your condition. But this isn’t always the case.
Just as a headache can be the result of varied conditions like stress, sinus pressure, or muscle strain, plenty of conditions and diseases share symptoms.
Without additional clues to pinpoint a cause, it may be impossible to identify the correct treatment to relieve those symptoms. When we at Southeast Urogyn suspect a hormonal origin, we can test levels using one of four common hormone evaluation methods.
Types of hormone testing
We match a hormone testing method to the symptoms you’re experiencing to best reveal the hormone condition that could be causing the problem. These types of testing include:
While saliva testing can create a good picture of free hormones in your system, your mouth isn’t always the best place to check, since toothpaste and mouthwash could affect the results.
Some hormones are naturally more concentrated or in shorter supply in saliva, so this type of test is less common than other methods. But it’s a simple test to collect at home, and it’s well-suited to evaluating estriol, estradiol, and estrone, three estrogen components.
Blood spot tests
Also called a finger prick test, you collect a few dots of blood on a filter card. These blood spots dry and they’re rehydrated for testing, remaining stable while in dried form. There’s no rush to get your test to the lab because of this.
But only some hormones remain viable through the drying and rehydrating cycles, so blood spot tests provide limited diagnostic information.
Blood serum tests
This is the typical needle-based blood test that’s widely used by labs for medical testing. Using whole blood means that the sample can’t be stored for very long before analysis, but it’s able to assess a wider range of hormone levels than a blood spot test.
You may need to fast before some tests to provide accurate results.
Urine sample tests
When it comes to testing for hormones, we may instruct you to collect tests throughout the day to capture fluctuating levels using a special jug to store these together. The large sample volume minimizes the impact of factors like changes in urine concentration.
For evaluating levels of estrogen components, urine samples match saliva tests for versatility while providing more consistent results.
Contact us at Southeast Urogyn when you suspect you’re suffering from hormone-related health conditions. You can reach our Madison or Flowood, Mississippi, offices by calling the most convenient location directly. There’s no need to live with your symptoms. Make an appointment today.