What we learned from female hormone testing

Health, Mind

Do you feel in the dark when it comes to understanding your hormones and suspect they may be out out of whack? Well, thanks to Thriva’s new female hormone testing kit you may be able to get all the answers you’ve been looking for. DOSE writers Chloe and Lizzy tried the test and here they share their results…

How does it work?

Triva’s new Female Hormones test is designed to allow women to learn about their bodies and understand why they may be suffering from things like mood swings, low energy levels, poor sleep and irregular periods. The at-home kit, which costs £79, involves a finger-prick blood test and a questionnaire including information about period frequency and cycle length. Thriva’s network of GPs use this data to interpret the results in the most credible way, and combined with the blood test women are able to see if a hormone imbalance or a polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) may be one of the factors affecting their fertility, or causing other symptoms.

What’s tested?

The test tracks the levels of female hormones to see if they are in normal range. These include FSH and Luteinising hormone, which are hormones that are essential to ovulation; Oestradiol, the primary female sex hormone; Testosterone, the primary male sex hormone; SHBG, which affects the availability of other hormones; and hormones produced by the thyroid, which controls the body’s growth and metabolism.

The results

Chloe Bacon, Executive Assistant & DOSE Contributor

I never would have thought 10 years ago that I’d be able to send off my blood in the post and receive my results in a matter of days (or hours in my case!). No longer do you need to take time off work to visit your doctor’s surgery and wait in a dreary room for your appointment, but you can now conduct your own blood test in a matter of seconds in the comfort of your home, whilst being virtually painless.

I had taken one of Thriva’s standard blood tests before – which measures a series of biomarkers – including cholesterol, liver function, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, Iron Profile and Folate, however, I was particularly interested in taking their new female hormones blood test. This test helps to determine if things like acne, mood swings, low energy and weight gain are because your hormones are imbalanced.

I’ve been on the contraceptive pill consistently for the past 10 years, and have recently been experiencing some health problems which I (and my doctor) believe have been contributed by the pill. My test results definitely reflected this. My results were normal other than that I had particularly high levels of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). I had never heard of SHBG before, but essentially it binds with certain hormones and transports them into your blood. However, high levels of SHBG can cause hot flushes, mood swings, decreased sex drive, and trouble sleeping.

Since receiving these results, I have decided to stop taking the contraceptive pill and I will definitely be taking this test again to see how my hormones have changed.

Lizzy Pollot, Marketing & DOSE Contributor

I found taking the Thriva test really tricky at first. Typically, I’d been in a rush and not paid enough attention to the instructions so my hand wasn’t warm enough to generate a good amount of blood for the sample. I had to redo the test as a result but second time around, after following the instructions properly, it was all very smooth. You just pop it in the post and the results arrive very quickly.

I had no idea what to expect from the results – my hormones aren’t something I’ve tracked with any precision before. I was relieved to see that my results were mostly normal for someone of my age and lifestyle. At first it was slightly concerning to see that my SHBG levels were raised, but I checked with my sister who is a doctor and she said it is nothing to worry about as I am on the combined pill.

My feeling about the test in general is that it’s a good piece of mind for people who have any concerns or want to delve a little deeper into their reproductive health. I could see how if you were wanting to conceive it would be a quick, easy and useful test to do. Anything that helps put people more in control of their own health is a winner in my book!

By Sam

To receive £5 off a Thriva Female Hormones kit use code DOSE5. Visit the Thriva website

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