What you need to know about testing women’s hormones

When a woman goes to the doctor and says “I think my hormones are all messed up” she may be given a requisition to test her hormones.  When she’s told that her hormones are fine and brings the results to us, we often ask her to do them again.  Here’s why:

  1. The day of your cycle has everything to do with when you go to the lab.  Hormones vary with your cycle and they peak at different times.
  • Day 3 is when you test estrogen
  • Day 21 (or 7 days before your expected period) is when you test progesterone
  • This means that you need two requisitions
  1. TSH (thyroid hormone) can be tested at any time during your cycle.  If it is a repeat test, go at the same time of day as you went last time as the hormone can vary during the day.
  2. FSH (follicular stimulating hormone) should also be tested on Day3.
  3. Androgens, like testosterone and DHEA are tested to determine if PCOS is an issue.  DHEA and Testosterone can be tested at any point in your cycle.  We want to see free testosterone though as bound testosterone isn’t actively causing symptoms.