Hormone tests provide an abundance of vital information about your health. For instance, estrogen levels disclose a woman’s menstrual cycle and can help reveal the cause of fertility issues or even give pointers on the onset of menopause. Hormonal balance is important to maintaining good health for individuals of all ages as hormones control various body processes such as metabolism and reproduction.
Once hormonal imbalance sets in, you will have inadequate or more than enough of a certain hormone. These changes can have detrimental effects on your body. Finding out what hormones are out of balance and finding solutions for the problem makes hormonal imbalance testing a prevalent thing in today’s modern world. As we dig into this topic, you might want to understand what different hormonal imbalance tests entail.
Saliva testing to determine hormonal imbalance levels has been around for more than a decade now after years of studies. It is believed to be the most accurate measurement of hormone concentration in the body. Hormones such as cortisol, testosterone, estrogen, DHEA, and progesterone can be traced in saliva samples. Saliva testing differs from blood testing in that it’s more specific and accurately identifies hormonal levels at a cellular level.
During blood testing, your doctor will derive a sample of your blood and send it to the lab. The blood sample, also known as a serum, should be tested to reveal hormone levels. In most cases, serum testing targets free hormone levels that easily settle within cells, total hormone levels attached to substances transporting hormones within the bloodstream, or a combination of both total and free hormone levels. Blood tests are often recommended for estrogen, thyroid, cortisol, and testosterone levels.
Normally after visiting a doctor after your hormonal imbalance concerns, they should start with physical exams that reveal your concern’s possibilities. Your doctor may ask a series of questions such as the symptoms causing your suspicions and the timeline in which they’ve erupted. You may also reveal the list of medications and supplements you’ve been taking. Your doctor will ask you to describe your menstrual cycle or your sex drive in recent times. For men, the doctor may ask if you have trouble maintaining or getting an erection. Depending on your physical exam symptoms, your doctor will request additional diagnostic tests to confirm your hormonal imbalance suspicions.
Follicle-stimulating hormone testing
As the term suggests, follicle-stimulating hormone testing is typically used to determine the hormonal status of pre-menopausal women constantly complaining of menopausal symptoms such as mood changes, hot flashes, and other symptoms. During the FSH test, your doctor will draw about three blood samples at different time intervals of about sixty minutes. The test should reveal hormonal concentrations during the time intervals and confirm the suspicions of hormonal imbalance. However, on some occasions, a single blood sample may be adequate to detect hormonal imbalance. Experts recommend immediate treatment to help reverse the imbalance and restore normalcy.
Pelvic exams are often subsidiary tests used to back the diagnostic hormonal imbalance tests. For women, your doctor may conduct a pap smear to check for unusual tumors, lumps, or cysts. For men, doctors check the scrotum for abnormalities such as lumps. Should there be any abnormalities, your doctor will suggest a more diagnostic test such as the serum test.
Sperm count tests
Basically, sperm count tests analyze semen samples in terms of health and viability. You will be asked to provide a semen sample that will undergo tests to measure the number of sperm, sperm motility, and the shape of the sperm. Doctors normally will perform three separate sperm tests to get a more accurate analysis of the sperm’s health. Because sperm counts vary greatly from one day to another, sperm tests should be conducted at least every seven days, over the course of a month to three months. This should give a more conclusive result. Additional hormonal imbalance tests include:
- Thyroid scan
You may have to undergo one or a couple of these tests before arriving at a conclusive result of your suspected hormonal imbalance issue. Your doctor will recommend the best bioi-dentical treatment for your condition.
Do you have constant suspicions of hormonal imbalance that you’ve been struggling to disclose? Don’t worry, call us today at (205) 352-9141 to look into your symptoms, provide adequate testing, and offer solutions. Don’t go through this journey alone.