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Why take this test?
A woman's sex hormones govern the reproductive system and any imbalance can affect fertility, the menstrual cycle and much more, including mood, libido 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.
The National Institute for Health & Care Excellence (NICE) recommend that FSH testing is only considered to diagnose menopause in women aged 40-45 with menopausal symptoms (including a change in their menstrual cycle) or in women under the age of 40 in whom menopause is suspected.
Due to significant fluctuation in FSH levels around the time of menopause, there is a chance that this test may show normal pre-menopause levels of FSH in someone who is going through, or has been through, the menopause.
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. 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.
Please ensure your sample is collected in the morning. If you are tracking your results over time then it is vital that you always have your blood taken at the same time.
We send you an easy-to-use kit to collect your blood sample.
Post your sample to our lab in the prepaid envelope provided.
View results securely in your own personal dashboard.
Our tests are not a substitute for seeing your doctor, especially if you are suffering symptoms. Our doctors will interpret your results based on the information you have provided, but will not diagnose, consult or provide any treatment. You will be advised to see your doctor for any necessary follow-up action.
Follicle Stimulating Hormone is produced in the pituitary gland and is important for women in the production of eggs by the ovaries and for men in the production of sperm.
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.
Testosterone is a male sex hormone which is produced in the testicles of men and, in much smaller amounts, in the ovaries of women. It is responsible for bone and muscle strength, as well as mood, energy and sexual function.
Testosterone levels decline with age and it is unusual to find naturally elevated levels in men. Low testosterone is more common than raised testosterone in the absence of supplementation.
In women, raised testosterone can result in male characteristics such as body hair, greater bulk, a deeper voice and acne - all symptoms of polycystic ovaries, a condition in which elevated testosterone is commonly seen.
Most of the sex hormones - testosterone, oestrogen and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) - found in your blood are bound to Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) 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.
Elevated SHBG indicates that there is less testosterone or oestrogen available for use whereas low levels can mean an excess of available hormones.
The free androgen index (FAI) is a calculation used to determine the amount of male hormones (androgens) which are free (unbound) in the bloodstream. Most testosterone is bound to proteins - sex hormone binding globulin and albumin. The FAI is a calculation based on the ratio of testosterone and SHBG and is a measure of the amount of circulating available testosterone.
A low FAI in men can indicate reduced levels of testosterone available to the cells which can lead to symptoms such as loss of libido, difficulty gaining muscle mass and erectile disfunction.
In women an elevated FAI may signify polycystic ovary syndrome.
Oestradiol is a female steroid hormone which is produced in the ovaries of women and to a much lesser extent in the testes of men. It is responsible for the female reproductive system as well as the growth of breast tissue and bone thickness. Oestradiol levels decline with age, culminating in the menopause when the ovaries stop producing eggs.
Raised oestradiol in women can cause acne, constipation, loss of sex drive and depression as well as raising the risk of uterine and breast cancer.
Oestradiol can also be raised in men due to excess fat (which produces oestradiol) or in relation to testosterone levels which have declined with age. Raised oestradiol in men can cause the growth of breast tissue, the loss of libido and infertility.
Low levels of oestradiol in women can lead to osteoporosis, problems with the menstrual cycle and fertility as well as fatigue and depression.
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.
Raised levels in a woman who isn't pregnant or breastfeeding can signal fertility problems as well as irregular periods.
Raised levels in men can cause reduced sex drive, lack of energy, erectile disfunction and fertility problems.
Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) is produced in the pituitary gland and stimulates the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3).
High levels of TSH indicate an underactive thyroid while low levels indicate an overactive thyroid. In primary pituitary failure, a low TSH will be associated with an underactive thyroid.
Thyroxine (T4) is one of two hormones produced by the thyroid gland. Most T4 is bound to carrier proteins in the blood. This test measures the level of T4 which is free, or unbound, circulating in your blood.
High levels of free thyroxine can indicate an overactive thyroid while low levels can indicate an underactive thyroid.
We will send you your Female Hormone Check Blood Test finger-prick blood sample collection kit which contains everything you need to take your blood sample in the comfort of your own home. If you are unsure about completing a finger-prick blood sample collection you will have the opportunity to select a clinic-based venous blood sample option during the checkout process.How to collect a finger-prick blood sample
Your Female Hormone Check Blood Test includes 1st class postage and packaging for you to send your blood sample directly to our laboratory for analysis. If you live in an area where you cannot rely on the post or you simply want to ensure that your sample arrives at the laboratory the following day, you may wish to send your blood sample guaranteed next day delivery for extra reassurance.
Your blood sample will be analysed at one of our chosen laboratories. You can be assured of fast, accurate results from one of our accredited independent providers of clinical diagnostic tests.
Our medical team will comment on out-of-range blood results and give you follow-up advice where necessary. If you need it, a PDF copy of your Female Hormone Check Blood Test results can be downloaded for your doctor.
Once you have placed your order you can visit my.medichecks.com where you can manage your account, track your orders and view your Female Hormone Check Blood Test results.
Stay motivated by filling in your online health and lifestyle questionnaire and seeing how improvements in your lifestyle can influence your results. Your medical and family history gives us vital information when interpreting your results.