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Why take this test?
This test is an advanced version of our Female Hormone Check and includes a full thyroid function test with thyroid antibodies to give you a complete view of your reproductive and thyroid hormones. This profile looks at the hormones which govern a woman's reproductive system including those which support the maturation and release of a healthy egg for ovulation and conception to occur. Hormone balance is not only important for fertility, but also for mood, energy, weight and bone health. Many women want to test their natural levels of hormones to see if a hormone decline or imbalance could be causing symptoms such as irregular periods, mood swings and male characteristics (such as acne and male pattern hair growth associated with polycystic ovaries).
Many of the symptoms of unbalanced or declining hormones that come with age (perimenopause and menopause) can be similar to the symptoms of an underactive thyroid. Thyroid disorders affect more women than men, and are often caused by an autoimmune disorder when the body's antibodies start attacking the thyroid gland. This test identifies whether your thyroid is functioning normally and 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, whether overactive or underactive, can also raise risks to both the mother and the foetus in pregnancy.
The Female Hormone Check Advanced also measures testosterone, a male hormone which is produced in women in small amounts, but which can cause unwanted male characteristics if elevated. By including a free androgen index (FAI) ratio we can calculate the amount of testosterone which is available to your cells. High levels of male androgens can be associated with polycystic ovary syndrome.
This test should be taken on day 3 of your cycle, 3 days after your period has started - although it can also be taken on day 2,4 or 5.
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 are taking for contraception or hormone replacement therapy (HRT) will influence your results. 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.
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. Levels of FSH rise in women as egg production declines, therefore raised FSH often coincides with the onset of the menopause and is a measure of ovarian reserve.
Elevated FSH in women indicates reduced egg supply whereas low levels can signal that you are not ovulating or are pregnant.
Levels of FSH in men rise with age, but can also indicate testicular damage and reduced sperm production. Low levels of FSH are detected when men are not producing 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.
Raised LH in women can signal that you are not ovulating, that you are menopausal or that your hormones are not in balance (as with polycystic ovaries).
Raised LH in men can signal that the testes are not producing enough 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.
Triiodothyronine (T3) is one of 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.
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.
Raised levels of thyroglobulin antibodies (TGAb) can indicate autoimmune thyroid disease.
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 (TPOAb) in the blood which indicates that the body's immune system is attacking the thyroid gland and impairing its function.
Raised levels of thyroid peroxidase antibodies are often found in Hashimoto's disease (underactive thyroid) and can sometimes be detected before any symptoms are reported.
Raised levels are also found in over half the cases of Graves' disease (overactive thyroid).
We will send you your Female Hormone Check Advanced blood sample collection kit together with the details of a convenient clinic where you can go and have your sample taken.
Your Female Hormone Check Advanced 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 Advanced 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 Advanced 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.