A woman's sex hormones govern the reproductive system and any imbalance can affect fertility, the menstrual cycle and much more, including mood, libido, skin and bone health. Women's hormones will fluctuate during the menstrual cycle where the action of different hormones at different stages of the cycle will ensure the maturation and release of an egg from the ovary as well as the preparation of the lining of the womb for pregnancy. By measuring FSH, LH, prolactin and oestradiol on day 3 of your cycle (3 days after the start of your period - although you can also take this test on day 2, 4 or 5) this test will help to assess whether any hormonal issues may be affecting ovulation.
Levels of FSH rise in women as egg production declines, so it may be used in certain circumstances to assess the likelihood of whether a woman is going through the menopause. FSH levels can fluctuate significantly around the time of the menopause and may not be a reliable indictor or whether a woman has been through the menopause. The National Institute for Health & Care Excellence (NICE) recommend that FSH testing is only considered to diagnose menopause in women aged 40-45 if they have menopausal symptoms (including a change in their menstrual cycle) or in women under the age of 40 in whom menopause is suspected.
The Female Hormone Check also measures testosterone, a male hormone which is also produced in women in small amounts, but which can cause unwanted male characteristics such as facial hair, deepening voice and acne if levels are too high. By including a Free Androgen Index (FAI) ratio we can measure the amount of testosterone which is available to your cells. High levels of male androgens are associated with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Two key thyroid hormones, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and free T4 (FT4) are also included in this profile to check your thyroid health.
*Please note that any hormones you are taking for contraception or hormone replacement therapy (HRT) will influence your result. If you are looking for a true picture of your natural hormone status then please take this test at least 12 weeks after stopping any hormone replacement or contraceptive pill, implant or hormone IUD (if you are premenopausal and do not wish to become pregnant then please make sure that you use an alternative non-hormonal form of contraception). If you have not been through the menopause then we suggest waiting until your periods have re-established a regular cycle (for you) before taking this test