When to order female hormone labs during menstrual cycle?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 16, 2012 at 6:48 PM

I've been diagnosed with PCOS and want to order some hormones so I have markers to compare with in the future. Since hormones vary widely at different times in a menstrual cycle, I'm unsure what to have tested and when. Apparently FSH/LH should be done on day 3? What about testosterone (do I also need to know free?), estrogen (assume I should get the breakdown by type)/progesterone (would guess this should be done post-ovulation). I know there is a panel that includes 6 x Cortisol, 3 x DHEA-s, 1 x Testosterone, 7 x Progesterone at various points over a cycle, but not sure this is the data I actually need (and this panel is expensive for something that won't yield me valuable information). So if anyone knows what hormones I should measure and when during my cycle, I'd appreciate it.



on May 24, 2012
at 08:54 PM

I can't remember where I read it (Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom maybe?), but there was a suggestion to test hormones on day 21 for some reason. I would think your doc would know when the tests would be most beneficial.



on April 16, 2012
at 08:17 PM

I'm now wondering this, too, for the sake of getting a home saliva testing kit to test hormone levels. I've been having terrible brain fog, and wonder if it's related to hormone levels. I was on hormonal birth control for 10 years and recently went off of it.

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on March 16, 2012
at 08:58 PM

I've always had everthing drawn on CD3. It will probably easier to get everything done then. I've also had estrogen and progesterone tested on subsequent days (I've had a LOT of testing for IVF), but it will be easier for you to just have one blood draw.



on March 16, 2012
at 07:52 PM

Because not everyone's cycle is a perfect, textbook length (in fact, few people's are), there isn't going to be a day that is just right to walk in the clinic and get hormone testing done. If you track your cycle using vaginal secretions or saliva, you will have a better picture of what point in your cycle you are at. Ultimately though, I would discuss this with your OB/GYN. I know when I had my hormones tested for PCOS (my mother had it), my doctor asked to come in when it was convenient for me, but preferably soon after a menstrual period had finished. If you are on any hormonal birth control, obviously that will change your test and, again, your OB/GYN is going to be the best person to discuss this with.



on May 24, 2012
at 08:41 PM

Maybe my endocrinologist was gravely misinformed, but I was told to go in on the first or second day of my period. Anytime after or before would apparently yield inaccurate results.

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