There are three preferred testing measures to see where your hormone levels fall. Blood spot, salivary and urine. These tests are vital for ongoing hormone monitoring.
Blood Spot Testing
Blood spot testing involves pricking the finger with a small lancet and putting a few drops of blood on paper. This test can be done at home and should be done before eating and drinking, first thing in the morning. Blood tests performed at a lab by drawing blood are still sometimes used but most find the at-home spot test easier. Capillary testing is the gold standard in steroid hormone testing because it is the only true way to measure the bioavailability of steroid hormones in the blood stream.
Salivary hormone tests detect active hormones in the body. This provides the level of hormones that are bioavailable at the cellular level versus free to be used in the blood stream. The level of bioavailable hormones is more clinically relevant than the amount of bound hormones. Many doctors consider this to be the most accurate way of measuring hormone balance. For hormone therapy applied transdermally, saliva is the preferred testing method. Saliva testing also has the benefit of being widely available and easy to use. It does not require drawing blood or sending out for blood tests. There are different kinds of saliva tests for both female and male hormones including estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, and cortisol.
Urine tests do not detect hormones with the efficacy of the other tests, but can help understanding how hormones are processed. If hormone levels are reading normal but a woman is still experiencing symptoms, a urine test may show that there is a problem with metabolism. A urine test is sometimes taken first thing in the morning when hormone production peaks. A more accurate collection method includes a 24-hour profile to factor in hormone fluctuations. This provides a better perspective about available hormones and how they are being metabolized.
At Hormone Therapy of Orlando we offer the most relevant testing available to our patients.