A hormone imbalance test is usually done by getting blood work or testing hormone levels in saliva.
Blood tests are the current standard for testing hormone levels.
Blood tests measure the amount of hormones that are protein bound in the blood. Biologically active hormones in the body are not protein bound.
Saliva hormone testing offers an accurate alternative to traditional blood tests and has been the standard of the World Health Organization for over fives years.
The most common way to test hormonal levels has been with a blood test that measures the blood serum or blood plasma content of the hormones.
These tests aren't reliable because a bioavailable "free" hormone isn't soluble in serum.
What's important is how much progesterone circulates through the target tissues for progesterone action.
The key point is saliva levels reflect tissue levels of sex hormones, and serum tests don't.
Saliva only contains the biologically active hormone molecules
The more important and relevant hormone levels are the 1 to 10 percent that are unbound and thus biologically active. Saliva contains only the unbound, biologically active hormone molecules.
Saliva testing is quick
Saliva testing is quicker, less expensive, and less painful than blood tests, and is a reliable way for your doctor to measure hormone levels and test for hormone deficiencies.
It will confirm that the hormones you are taking are being absorbed and utilized. Another advantage is it doesn't involve a trip to a lab or drawing blood.
It's inexpensive enough that you can do a number of test, such as over the course of a day or a month.
Also, for women that want to monitor their own hormone levels to find out if they are ovulating, the test can be ordered and easily done at home without a doctor's prescription.
Serum levels of progesterone will rise in about three months of using natural progesterone cream.
This could be a sign of overdosing, so it would be wise to check a saliva test.
If your doctor wants to measure your serum progesterone levels, here are some guidelines.
Note: This is a fourfold range.
The timing of the hormone imbalance test is crucial.
Men and postmenopausal women not taking hormones can take the test at any time during the month. Women taking hormones should be tested towards the end of a hormone treatment cycle.
For menstruating women, the test needs to be performed in the luteal phase. The luteal phase is the later half of the menstrual cycle.
In a normal 28-day menstrual cycle, this is usually about one week before the menstrual period, or days 19-21 of the cycle. This is when counting the first day of your menses as day #1 of the cycle.
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