My Experience With At-Home Hormone Testing
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In this post, I share my personal experience getting my hormones checked at home with Let's Get Checked. I share which tests I used, why I chose them, what the process was like, and my test results, in case you've ever wanted to try this too.
Back in 2017, I sat in my doctors office tearing up as I explained my hair had been falling out for the past six months. And I had no idea why.
...the time I spent in the shower was becoming traumatic and I'd wake up each morning rubbing my hair follicles because it felt like they couldn't breathe.
Before this point, I had gone to the doctor four years prior and asked them to test my hormones.
She didn't see PMS or mood swings as a good enough reason.
It took me crying in a doctor's office, having felt like I'd lost half my hair, for my doctor to agree to testing my hormones. Which left me wondering why I or any other woman should feel unsupported by their health care provider.
Welp... my hormone tests came back normal... no thyroid or hormonal issues and I was "healthy".
When they tested my hormones, they did not have me pair the blood sample with my cycle. Which, now that I'm obsessed with cycle syncing, I know is crucial for women to be asked this question, depending on the labs you're getting.
Estrogen and progesterone fluctuate throughout the month, and in order to know what your hormones are truly up to, your cycle needs to be taken into consideration.
That's why I was excited to learn about Let's Get Checked, a company set up for you to test specific hormones and vitamin levels, all from your comforts of home.
1. The Tests
The two tests I started with were the Female Hormone Test and the Ovarian Reserve. There are many other tests you can do like your thyroid, vitamin levels, liver function, cortisol, and so many more. If your man is interested in getting his hormones and wellness exams done, there are tests for him too!
Since I was discovered and fix my hair from falling out and had regulated my cycle, I was curious to these lab results. In 2017, my hair had been falling out due to a progesterone deficiency that didn't show up on the hormone tests from my doctor.
The Female Hormone panel tests the four hormones related to your ovulation. This test was also super specific, as you can only collect your blood sample on the third day of your period.
You need to ovulate to have a healthy period and to get pregnant. Family planning was on my radar, so I wanted to make sure there were no issues here. And if there were, I would have time to fix them.
The second test I chose was the Ovarian Reserve. This tests your AMH (Anti Mullerian Hormone) which gives a good indication on the number of viable eggs you have left. It can be a good indication of fertility.
Here is a look at my online dashboard with the two tests.
Sunny Disclaimer: if you are on the pill or use the IUD, the female hormone panel may not be the best test for you until you come off them. You need to be ovulating for an accurate reading, and the pill masks ovulation.
2. Taking Your Blood Sample
Let's Get Checked mailed the kits to my house, which arrived in a few days. Each kit walks you through how to create an online profile and set up the specific numeric sequence attached to your test.
This way their lab will be able to keep track of your blood sample and provide you with your results. It was easy to set up and I recommend doing this before you take your sample.
To start, you take the blood sample before eating anything. I usually wake up starving, so this was helpful where I didn't have to drive to a clinic and have to wait for my much anticipated breakfast.
Next, I watched their how-to video, which they share a link to in a pamphlet that comes with the test. I DEFINITELY recommend watching this video!
Because I was waiting for the third day of my period, I took the Ovarian Reserve first. It could be taken on any day of your cycle.
The kit comes with four finger pricks and a vial where you put droplets of blood from your finger in. There is a max fill line that you need to reach. If you do not reach this line, then the sample would be considered unusable.
That first test... I had to watch the video four times - haha.
I'm also terrified of needles...
I was scared to prick my own finger, but thankfully you never see the needle.
You hold it over your finger, push down, and it pricks your finger. Once you prick, you hold your finger over the vial and allow the blood drops to flow down. You can squeeze/massage your finger to help increase blood flow.
I didn't have enough blood from the first finger, so I had to prick another one... and another... and another.. I used all four!
This was not something I was expecting and then had to walk around for a few hours with bandaids on half my hands. Later that night I also forgot about them and started chopping onions... which stung!
Tyler, my main squeeze, had taken a food sensitivity test at home a few months prior and said I should do jumping jacks beforehand to get the blood flowing more.
I tried this when I took the Female Hormone Test and it worked so much better! I only had to prick two fingers on that one.
After taking the blood sample, you put the cap on and shake the vial. This helps keep the sample viable to be sent to the lab. You then package the sample and drop it off to be mailed - on the same day.
Make sure you test on a day you know you can drop the sample in the mail.
Shipping was paid for, so it was convenient to just walk in and drop it off.
3. The Results
It's advertised that you'll get your results online within 5 days. This was where I was pleasantly surprised. A nurse emailed me and mentioned they had tried calling to discuss my test results and wanted to schedule a convenient time to call back.
I honestly hadn't thought I'd talk to someone directly, if I'm being honest with you. I thought I'd just get my results online and have to figure out what they meant. This was beyond helpful and I was really touched.
A nurse called back almost immediately and walked me through my results. They explained what each test meant, what the hormones being tested were indicating, and took time to answer my questions - which were a lot.
For the ovarian reserve, I was nervous. I almost didn't do this test because there was a part of me that thought ignorance was bliss. What if my fertility is low?
Regardless of the answers, I needed to know.
Here is what my Ovarian Reserve results were.
You ideally want to be somewhere in the middle of the two black lines, and I was! The nurse explained that for my age, this is a really good result. I was 32 when I had this done and she mentioned these were numbers women see in their early to mid twenties, so I was thankful.
Tyler and I were at his family's house for Thanksgiving when I got these results and it was a great way to ease some of my fears, while saying my gratitude prayers.
For the Female Hormone Panel, this is what the panel looks like with all four hormones tested. You can then click on each one to see what your results are.
The nurse answered my questions confirming what each hormone meant and what each was for. The Lutenising and Follicle stimulating hormone help with egg release and control ovulation.
Prolactin is related to milk production for breast feeding. And Oestradiol is a kind of estrogen, which you want balanced because it could through off the relationship with progesterone. Progesterone is another sex hormone you need for pregnancy and carrying a baby to term.
I was most concerned with the lutenising hormone since when I first got my hormones tested, this was the only one that was slightly off. Which made sense because at the time, my period was delayed.
As you can see in these results, it was back in normal range and was great confirmation! My period has been on track over the past year, so I was pleased that it showed up in my blood work.
Since getting these tests done, I have gone on to also get my progesterone, thyroid and iron levels checked!
Now you've got the ins and outs on two at home hormone tests related to your ovulation and family planning. Use my code BOMBSHELL at checkout and save 20% if you're interested in getting your hormones checked too!
*this post contains affiliate links, which means if you were to make a purchase with Let's Get Checked, at no cost to you, Balanced Bombshells, LLC will make a commission.
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