Understanding Hormonal Tests and Your Cycle.
One of the best things you can do for your body is to stay in tune with its natural rhythms. But understanding your hormones and fertility journey can be so frustrating! Learn how Understanding Hormonal Tests and Your Cycle can make things so much easier. Garnet Moon Denver is the expert in Best Fertility & Women’s Health Acupuncture!
Lindsay Goodwin, LAc., FABORM, MSOM, BS is a Fertility and Women’s Health Expert, a Certified Fellow on The Acupuncture & TCM Board of Reproductive Medicine, and has over 13 years of experience in Fertility, Women’s Health, Hormones, & Pregnancy.
Understanding Your Hormones and Cycle.
In this article, I will go over common hormonal testing I recommend or review for women in my clinic.
When understanding your hormones and menstrual cycle, several tests are available to help identify any potential imbalances and guide personalized treatment plans. At Garnet Moon Denver, we know the importance of working with all members of your healthcare team, including your Fertility specialist, gynecologist, reproductive endocrinologist, or medical doctor. Let’s look at the different tests that can help you gain insight into your health, overall wellness, and fertility if trying to conceive.
Hormonal Testing or Baseline Testing.
Hormonal Testing or Baseline Testing – is a initial screening tool before starting any Fertility treatment or helping to identify where there are issues with hormonal imbalances. This test measures hormone levels such as estradiol (E2, estrogen), luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), progesterone (P4), testosterone, thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), free thyroxine (T4), triiodothyronine (T3), and prolactin (PRL); and AMH (Anit-Mullerian Hormone) for ovarian reserve if trying to conceive.
The results from these tests will provide insight into your hormones and Fertility status and allow for suggestions on how best to proceed with treatments that align with your goals.
Hormones are tested at different times in your cycle. This gives a more accurate hormonal balance evaluation, how well your ovaries respond, and overall health. Some hormones, however, like AMH (Anti-Mullerian Hormone) to see what the ovarian reserve (egg quality) level is and, will test on any day of the cycle for an accurate measurement. Testosterone is another hormone for testing at any time of the month and is crucial in Fertility and PCOS.
First, let’s briefly examine the menstrual cycle before diving more into hormone testing. A key part of Understanding Hormonal Tests and Your Cycle.
- Day 1: the first day you start the full bleed of your period.
- Day 14: the average day many women ovulate, but this varies from woman to woman and cycle to cycle based on hormones, stress, etc.
- Day 28: (depends from woman to woman)- some women have shorter or longer cycles than 28 days. However, having a cycle of fewer than 25 days or longer than 31 days could indicate hormonal imbalances happening if it happens often.
- Back to Day 1: your period returns, and a new cycle begins.
Day 3 Testing:
The day 3 tests measure estradiol (E2, estrogen), follicular stimulating hormone (FSH), and luteinizing hormone (LH). These tests show how your brain communicates with your ovaries. Testing on or around day 3 of your cycle can also be helpful in the diagnosis of PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome). It is important to note that even though estradiol (E2, estrogen) is generally tested on day 3 of your cycle, it can also be tested on days 19-22 or roughly 5-7 days after ovulation. Evaluating progesterone with estrogen can help to identify possible estrogen dominance, which can be a real problem in both trying to conceive and with hormonal issues like endometriosis, fibroids, and cysts.
Additional testing may be suggested depending on individual circumstances. A vaginal ultrasound is usually done on the same day as the day 3 testing to check for ovarian activity through an antral follicle count (AFC) and to get a medical image of the uterus’s health.
Progesterone (P4) is generally at its peak 5-7 days following ovulation, so this test is recommended on days 19-22 of a typical 28-day cycle. Ovulation happens around day 14 of your cycle, but this can vary from woman to woman and cycle to cycle individually. The best way to gauge when ovulation occurs each cycle is through BBT charting, basal body temperature recording, and cervical mucus evaluation. Mid-cycle testing is done around day 14 of an average 28-day cycle (day 1 being the first day of bleeding). This test measures estradiol (E2, estrogen) and progesterone levels, which helps determine if ovulation has occurred or if further evaluation is needed, such as ultrasounds or bloodwork during other parts of the cycle. The results from this test may show hormonal imbalances that need further investigation, which can lead to targeted treatments that support reproductive health.
Tests to Consider Having Tested for Not Getting Your Period:
- Thyroid panel
- Luteinizing hormone (LH)
- Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)
- Estradiol (E2 Estrogen)
- Free testosterone
- Fasting Insulin
- Pregnancy test
Want to learn more? I can help you if you are in the Denver area at my Denver-based clinic or from anywhere in the world; book a complimentary consult with me to learn more about how I can increase your fertility success and my highly successful signature Fertility program, The Garnet Moon Fertility Method!
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