The Best Hormone Test for Women: Ultimate Guide

Best hormone test for women

If you’re experiencing symptoms like irregular periods, mood swings, acne or unexplained weight gain then you might be wondering what’s the best hormone test for women.

Almost all women will experience symptoms of hormone imbalances at some stage in their life. Fortunately, hormone testing can provide valuable insights into your hormonal health, helping you understand and address any underlying imbalances.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the most accurate hormone tests for women, how to get your hormone levels checked in the UK, the accuracy of home hormone tests, and whether you can access hormone testing through the NHS. Plus, we’ll introduce you to one of the leading hormone tests on the market today.

What is the Most Accurate Hormone Test for Women?

When considering hormone testing options, it’s essential to prioritise accuracy to obtain reliable results. Traditional blood tests have been the go-to method for hormone testing, but emerging research suggests that urine and saliva testing may offer even greater accuracy. This is because hormones are pulsed into our body throughout the day, as opposed to being released in a steady stream. With blood testing, you’re having to rely on a single point in time which might not be reflective of your true levels. However, with urine testing you’re easily able to collect a number of samples throughout the day and use an average reading.

Urine testing is more accurate than blood for hormones
Collecting multiple urine or saliva samples across the day and taking an average reading provides a more accurate assessment of progesterone than a single blood test.

A recent investigation by the British Medical Journal also revealed that finger prick blood testing for estradiol, a form of oestrogen, was often shown to be inaccurate.

Therefore, comprehensive hormone tests that incorporate urine and/or saliva samples, such as the FUTURE WOMAN Advanced Hormone Test, are increasingly recognised as the gold standard for assessing hormonal health. By taking an average of 4-5 samples across the day, this advanced testing method provides a more accurate assessment of your true hormone levels.

How Do I Get My Hormone Levels Checked in the UK?

Accessing hormone testing in the UK via the NHS is harder than you might think. Hormone testing via your GP will only be suggested in very limited cases, and the scope of testing can also be restrictive, providing limited insights into what’s driving your symptoms.

Getting My Hormone Levels Checked on the NHS

Here are three examples of hormone testing that might be available via your GP.

Testing and PCOS

PCOS hormone testing

PCOS, or polycystic ovarian syndrome, is a hormone and metabolic condition that affects as many as 1 in 10 women. Many women are diagnosed with PCOS based on ultrasound alone, without testing hormones. If you do get access to hormone testing via your GP, this will likely be limited to testosterone.

It’s important to note that there are many androgens besides testosterone – any or all of which could be raised and driving your PCOS. By only testing testosterone you’re getting a very limited picture.

Read more about testing with PCOS.

Testing and Perimenopause

Another example is testing for perimenopause, the transitional period leading up to menopause. Testing via your GP for perimenopause, if offered, will only include FSH testing. FSH levels fluctuate wildly in perimenopause so this test doesn’t provide much valuable information. Testing for hormones like oestrogen and progesterone, which are likely to be driving symptoms, are not available for women experiencing symptoms of perimenopause on the NHS.

Read more about testing in perimenopause.

Testing and thyroid imbalances

Finally, for women experiencing thyroid imbalances you may be given access to testing via your GP. However, this will likely only include TSH, providing a limited insight into your thyroid activity. Some areas of the country may also have access to free T4. A full and thorough thyroid panel should include free T3, free T4 and thyroid antibodies. This would provide a more comprehensive set of insights into the functioning of your thyroid.

As you can see, testing for hormones via the NHS can be quite restrictive. If you’re looking for a more comprehensive approach to hormone testing, consider ordering a private hormone test online.

With companies like FUTURE WOMAN, you can access advanced hormone testing from the comfort of your own home, with fast turnaround times and detailed insights into your hormonal health, including a personalised healthplan.

Which hormones do I need to test?

Which hormones do I need to test?

One common question women have about home hormone tests is which hormones you need to test. Many private hormone testing companies will offer hormone tests with multiple variations and it can be confusing to know which one is right for you.

As a general rule, it’s important to get an assessment of both your reproductive hormones (like oestrogen, progesterone and androgens) and also your adrenal hormones (like cortisol and DHEA) for a comprehensive picture of your hormone health. Very often poor adrenal health (due to stress) can lead to imbalances with our reproductive hormones. So by testing both you’ll be able to treat your hormone imbalances at more of a root cause level.

Another set of markers that’s useful to test if you’re experiencing symptoms are hormone metabolites. Once we’ve used our hormones we need to remove them via the liver and the gut. If these metabolism processes aren’t working optimally, it can result in hormones recirculating in the body and causing problems. For example, issues with oestrogen metabolism can result in symptoms typically associated with high oestrogen like heavy and painful periods, even if oestrogen levels are normal.

Finally, other markers can be useful in assessing the root cause of hormone imbalances. These include markers for inflammation, nutrients like B6 and B12 and gut health.

Most commercially available hormone tests will focus simply on reproductive hormones, providing limited insights into stress hormones or other potential root causes of your symptoms.

The Advanced Hormone Test at FUTURE WOMAN includes over 30 markers for reproductive and adrenal hormones, hormone metabolism, nutrients, inflammation and gut health to provide the most comprehensive insights into your hormone health.

Understanding the Importance of Test Timing

The importance of hormone test timing for women

When choosing a hormone test, understanding the timing of the test is crucial for obtaining accurate results. Reproductive hormone levels fluctuate throughout the menstrual cycle, so you can get very different readings depending on when you test.

Many hormone testing companies opt to test hormone levels on day 3 or 4 of the menstrual cycle, when hormone levels are typically at their lowest.

However, at FUTURE WOMAN, we recognise the importance of testing hormones when they are at their peak levels in the second half of the menstrual cycle for a more accurate assessment of true hormonal health. In particular, we aim to test when progesterone levels are at their peak as this gives us valuable insights into whether or not you’re ovulating.

If you’re postmenopausal, or not getting a cycle, then you can test your hormones on any day.

Read more about picking the right day for hormone testing.

Hormone Testing for Women in Perimenopause

Perimenopause, the transitional phase leading up to menopause, is characterised by fluctuating hormone levels and can bring about a range of symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, and irregular periods.

Hormone testing during perimenopause can be particularly valuable in understanding these hormonal fluctuations and understanding other factors that might be influencing symptoms such as stress and inflammation.

Comprehensive hormone tests, like the FUTURE WOMAN Advanced Hormone Test, can provide women in perimenopause with valuable insights into their hormone levels, helping them navigate this transitional phase with greater ease. By identifying imbalances in estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, cortisol and other key hormones, women can work with our nutritional experts to develop personalised treatment plans that address their specific needs and improve their overall well-being during this stage of life.

Introducing FUTURE WOMAN's Advanced Hormone Test

Advanced hormone test

Ready to take control of your hormonal health? FUTURE WOMAN’s Advanced Hormone Test offers the most comprehensive insights into your hormonal health, allowing you to identify and address imbalances that may be affecting your well-being.

With over 30 key hormones and biomarkers analysed, including reproductive hormones, adrenal hormones, thyroid hormones, and metabolic markers, this advanced test provides a complete picture of your hormonal health. Plus, with a personalised plan for supplements, diet and lifestyle changes based on your results, you’ll have everything you need to optimise your hormonal balance and feel your best.

 

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