Female and male hormones should always be testing in blood first as blood is more likely to show active hormones in the blood stream. For women who have a menstrual cycle, a hormone panel can’t just be done on one day.
A female hormone panel should be done at multiple times during your menstrual cycle. As women’s hormones change daily, the peak of each hormone happens at a different time in the cycle.
Day 1 is considered the first day of blood flow. Spotting is not day 1. A female hormone panel is done at 3 different times in a menstrual cycle. You need 3 different blood requisitions. Blood should be taken in the morning for consistency.
- Day 3: LH, FSH
- At ovulation: Estradiol
- 7 days after ovulation: progesterone. Other hormones that can be added include:glucose, HbA1C, fasting insulin, TSH, free T4, Free T3, reverse T3, aldosterone, DHEAs, cortisol, creatinine, eGFR, cholesterol (TG, HDL, LDL), ferritin, vitamin D (25-OH), GGT. When cortisol/glucose is being tested, blood should be taken fasting at 7-9am.
More extensive testing takes into consideration the fact that hormones are created from a base called cholesterol and then usually convert into other hormones.
Blood tests are helpful for active hormones, but sometimes the problem lies on the catabolism or break down of hormones.
The tests done to show the relationship between hormones and the breakdown of hormones are the Dutch Test.