Advanced Female Hormone Blood Test, from our experts to you.
Dr Sam Rodgers MBBS, MRCGP

Chief Medical Officer meet our doctors

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What can I
learn from this test?

With our advanced profile, you can look at the hormones that govern your reproductive system, including hormones that support the maturation and release of a healthy egg for ovulation and conception. It also includes a full thyroid function test with thyroid antibodies to give you a complete view of your thyroid hormones.

Hormone balance is also important for mood, energy, weight and bone health. You may want to test your hormones to see if a hormone decline or imbalance could be causing symptoms such as irregular periods, mood swings, and male characteristics (acne and male pattern hair growth associated with polycystic ovaries). By including a free androgen index (FAI), we can calculate the amount of testosterone that is available to your cells. High levels of male androgens can be associated with polycystic ovary syndrome.


Why does it test
my thyroid function?

Many of the symptoms of unbalanced or declining hormones that come with age can be similar to symptoms of an underactive thyroid. Thyroid disorders affect more women than men and are often caused by an autoimmune condition - when the body's antibodies start attacking the thyroid gland. Our test identifies whether your thyroid is functioning normally or whether an autoimmune condition could be causing symptoms.

Elevated thyroid antibodies are also associated with an increased risk of miscarriage, even if your thyroid hormones are within the normal range. An under-treated thyroid disorder can increase risks to the mother and the foetus in pregnancy.


When should
take this test?

This test should be taken on day three of your cycle, three days after your period has started - although it can be taken on days two, four, or five. Our doctors will interpret your results and let you know whether your hormone levels are normal for the stage of your cycle and your age.

Please note that any hormones you take for contraception or hormone replacement therapy (HRT) will influence your results. If you are looking for a true picture of your natural hormone status, 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, please use an alternative non-hormonal form of contraception. If you have not been through menopause, we suggest waiting until your periods have re-established a regular cycle (for you) before taking this test.


What's included?

Autoimmunity
Hormones
Proteins
Thyroid hormones
Select profile for more information

Thyroglobulin antibodies This test looks for antibodies to thyroglobulin, a protein which is specific to the thyroid gland. Under normal circumstances it does not enter the bloodstream, but if your thyroid is inflamed or under attack from the body's own immune system, then thyroglobulin can be secreted and antibodies detected. Most cases of thyroid disease are caused by an autoimmune condition where the thyroid gland is attacked by the body's own immune system. This can cause the thyroid gland to produce more thyroid hormone (as in the case of Graves' disease) or to produce less as the cells in the thyroid gland are gradually destroyed (as in the case of Hashimoto's thyroiditis).
Thyroid peroxidase antibodies Thyroid peroxidase is an enzyme which is produced in the thyroid gland and is important for converting T4 to the biologically active T3. This test looks for antibodies to thyroid peroxidase which indicates that the body's immune system is attacking the thyroid gland and impairing its function.
Hormone phase Hormone phase is used to determine the appropriate range for hormone markers and is calculated using the date of last menstrual period and the date of the sample.
FSH Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) is produced in the pituitary gland and is important for women in the production of eggs by the ovaries and for men for men in the production of sperm. In the first half of the menstrual cycle in women, FSH stimulates the enlargement of follicles within the ovaries. Each of these follicles will help to increase oestradiol levels. One follicle will become dominant and will be released by the ovary (ovulation), after which follicle stimulating hormone levels drop during the second half of the menstrual cycle. In men, FSH acts on the seminiferous tubules of the testicles where they stimulate immature sperm cells to develop into mature sperm.
LH Luteinising Hormone (LH) is produced by the pituitary gland and is important for male and female fertility. In women it governs the menstrual cycle, peaking before ovulation. In men it stimulates the production of testosterone.
Oestradiol Oestradiol is a female steroid hormone, produced in the ovaries of women and to a much lesser extent in the testes of men. It is the strongest of three oestrogens and is responsible for the female reproductive system as well as the growth of breast tissue and bone thickness. In pre-menopausal women, oestradiol levels vary throughout the monthly cycle, peaking at ovulation. In women, oestradiol levels decline with age, culminating with the menopause when the ovaries stop producing eggs. Low oestradiol can cause many symptoms associated with the menopause, including hot flushes, night sweats and mood swings. Low oestradiol can also cause osteoporosis.
Testosterone Testosterone is a hormone that causes male characteristics. For men, it helps to regulate sex drive and has a role in controlling bone mass, fat distribution, muscle mass, strength and the production of red blood cells and sperm. Testosterone is produced in the testicles of men and, in much smaller amounts, in the ovaries of women. Testosterone levels in men naturally decline after the age of 30, although lower than normal levels can occur at any age and can cause low libido, erectile dysfunction, difficulty in gaining and maintaining muscle mass and lack of energy. Although women have much lower amounts of testosterone than men, it is important for much the same reasons, playing a role in libido, the distribution of muscle and fat and the formation of red blood cells. All laboratories will slightly differ in the reference ranges they apply because they are based on the population they are testing. The normal range is set so that 95% of men will fall into it. For greater consistency, we use the guidance from the British Society for Sexual Medicine (BSSM) which advises that low testosterone can be diagnosed when testosterone is consistently below the reference range, and that levels below 12 nmol/L could also be considered low, especially in men who also report symptoms of low testosterone or who have low levels of free testosterone.
Free androgen index The free androgen index (FAI) is a calculation used to determine the amount of testosterone which is free (unbound) in the bloodstream. Most testosterone is bound to proteins sex hormone binding globulin and albumin and is not available to interact with the body's cells. The FAI is a calculation based on the ratio of testosterone and SHBG and is a measure of the amount of testosterone that is available to act on the body's tissues. The free androgen index is used in women to assess the likelihood of polycystic ovarian syndrome. In men, free testosterone gives a better indication of testosterone status.
Prolactin Prolactin is a hormone which is produced in the pituitary gland and plays a role in reproductive health. Its primary purpose is to stimulate milk production after childbirth, and in pregnant and breastfeeding women prolactin levels can soar.
SHBG SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin) is a protein which transports the sex hormones (testosterone, oestrogen and dihydrotestosterone (DHT)) in the blood.Hormones which are bound to SHBG are inactive which means that they are unavailable to your cells. Measuring the level of SHBG in your blood gives important information about your levels of free or unbound hormones which are biologically active and available for use.
TSH Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) is produced in the pituitary gland in order to regulate the production of thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) by the thyroid gland. If thyroid hormones in the blood are low, then more TSH is produced to stimulate the thyroid gland to produce more of them. If thyroid hormone levels are high, then the pituitary produces less TSH to slow the production of thyroid hormones. If TSH is too high or too low, it normally signifies that there is a problem with the thyroid gland which is causing it to under or over produce thyroid hormones. Sometimes a disorder of the pituitary gland can also cause abnormal TSH levels.
Free T3 Triiodothyronine (T3) is the more active of the two thyroid hormones produced by the thyroid gland. Most T3 is bound to protein in the blood. Free T3 measures the level of T3 that is free, or unbound to protein, and is available to regulate metabolism.
Free thyroxine Thyroxine (T4) is one of two hormones produced by the thyroid gland. It works to speed up the rate of your metabolism. Most T4 is bound to carrier proteins in the blood - it is only the free, or unbound, T4 that is active in the body, which is measured in this test. Free T4 is the less active of the two main thyroid hormones. To have an impact on your cells it needs to convert to the more active T3 when your body needs it.

How to prepare
for your test

Special instructions

Prepare for your Advanced Female Hormone Blood Test by following these instructions. Please take your sample before 10am. Take this test two to five days after the start of your period, ideally on day three. It can be taken any time if you do not have periods. Hormonal contraception can affect this test, taking a break from this and using barrier contraception will give more accurate results. You should take this test before you take any medication or vitamin/mineral supplements. Do not take biotin supplements for two days before this test, discuss this with your doctor if it is prescribed.


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