So, you suspect that your hormone balance might not be where you’d like it to be, and you want to dive deeper to figure out what’s going on. Great!
There are three main types of hormone testing available, and it can be confusing to figure out which one you should go for.
They can all be super handy in different ways, but how to figure out what’s going to serve you best?
We are all different; as are our circumstances, long term goals and motivations for testing.
So, we’ve put together a holistic guide of pro’s and con’s to help you compare the three main hormone-testing options, and decide which is best for YOU.
1. Blood Testing
Cost: Varies, depending on cost of GP visits and eligibility of funded lab testing. Often around $50-$100.
WHAT IS IT?
Also known as serum testing, blood testing for hormones has long been accepted as the norm in the world of conventional medicine.
It involves taking a script from your GP to a local lab testing facility, where blood is collected from a vein in your arm and analysed, where hormone levels can be measured along with other markers such as nutrient status, organ function, inflammation etc.
This is the main benefit of this form of testing. Blood tests are often fully or partially funded if you are eligible for public health care. You’ll usually just have to pay to see your GP.
It can be a relatively fast process; in many cases you can receive your results within a few days. However, hormones such as progesterone will still need to be tested at a certain time of your cycle in order to be accurate.
- FSH & LH Testing
- Diagnosis of Medical Conditions
Testing through your GP is the only way to diagnose any health issues (such as PCOS) that you, or your Doctor thinks you may be suffering from. If you’re concerned there may be something medically wrong with you, it’s important you head to your Dr.
- Doesn’t measure metabolites
While a blood test can measure levels of a few key hormonal markers, it cannot capture their metabolites—which is important as it often metabolites that can have the greatest impact on hormonal symptoms.
- Lab Collection Required
You must find the time to get to a laboratory collection centre and there are needles involved, which can be off-putting for many.
- Testing has traditionally been used to identify illness rather than wellness
Your GP is there to help you treat diagnosable health conditions, prescribing medication to this end. Therefore, your GP will interpret your test results based on medical ranges that are meant to diagnose illness. Of course, this is fantastic if your goal is reaching a diagnosis! However, if your goal is investigating and learning how to optimise your overall wellness, you may not get the answers you are looking for.
2. The Eve Hormone Balance Test
WHAT IS IT?
The hormone test you may already know a little about, given you are here! The Eve Hormone Balance Test involves collecting an at-home urine sample first thing in the morning, during days 19-22 of your cycle, and free-posting it to our lab in Hawkes Bay.
- Non-Invasive & Easy
Being a urine sample, it’s non-invasive and as easy as peeing in a cup at the right time of your cycle.
- Comprehensive: Measures 18 Hormonal Markers
The Hormone Balance Test measures 18 markers of key sex hormones covering progesterone, oestrogen, testosterone and androgens. It also includes metabolites for oestrogen and androgens—which is important, as the way hormones are being metabolised (processed by the body) can be just as important in explaining your wellness as the actual levels of hormones.
- One-Off Cost Includes Diet, Lifestyle and Nutritional Recommendations
The cost of the test includes analysis by a PhD Scientist and a Health Consultant who provide you with handwritten notes about your results, as well as diet; lifestyle and nutritional recommendations to support your unique hormone picture.
- Easy Access, Anytime
You can purchase the test online and don’t need to go to a naturopath, nutritionist or other registered health practitioner to understand your results or receive recommendations.
- Cost vs. Blood
It is more costly than blood tests ordered through a GP.
- Longer Wait For Results
It takes around 4 weeks for us to run your sample through the lab, analyse your results and put together your report and recommendations after your sample is sent to the lab.
3. The D.U.T.C.H Test
Cost: $460 + Cost of Health Practitioner Services
WHAT IS IT?
DUTCH stands for Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones. It is the most comprehensive hormone test on the market, and involves taking 4-5 dried urine samples over a 24 hour period.
- Most Comprehensive
Of all hormone testing options, the D.U.T.C.H test is the most comprehensive. It tests for hormonal markers, but also adrenal, methylation and organic acid markers. This makes it a great option for those with more complex health goals, where diving into methylation status and organic acids can help add commentary to your health picture.
- Non-Invasive & Easy
Like the Eve Hormone Balance Test, it is a non-invasive urine test that can be done at home.
- Can Only Be Accessed Through A Health Practitioner
The D.U.T.C.H test is only available for purchase through certain practitioners, such as naturopaths, nutritionists or the BePure Clinic. This means you must be seeing a natural health practitioner to get your hands on it.
- Most Expensive Overall
This kind of testing involves the greatest investment when you include the cost of the test itself, plus an initial appointment and follow up sessions with a practitioner to go over your results.
- Longer Wait For Results
Like Eve, this test is a longer process and usually takes around 4 weeks or so to get your results back.
Which Test is Right For You?
That depends entirely on you!
When deciding which hormone test is the best match for you, it’s important to consider these three things:
1. How much information are you wanting to receive?
The three hormone testing options outlined above provide three very different degrees of information, blood test being the least (generally testing 3-5 markers), and D.U.T.C.H being the most (testing 47 markers).
2. How much hand-holding do you want for your hormone journey?
It’s important to remember that testing is really just the first step. It’s after you receive your results and some guidance around how to work with them that the magic really happens!
A GP will be able to give you a snapshot into your hormones and whether there’s anything you need to be medically concerned about. Traditionally, they may suggest medication to support anything that comes up and will walk with you on your journey with your meds.
Eve aims to empower you with recommendations in terms of diet, lifestyle and nutritional recommendations. Then it’s over to you to play with implementing these into your life.
After doing a DUTCH test, your health practitioner will give you recommendations and hold your hand as you walk forward with these.
3. How much are you willing to invest in understanding your hormones?
As sense would have it, the amount of information and assistance you receive with each hormone testing option runs parallel to the financial investment involved.
Your finances are your business, and your decision, so we’ll leave this area in your capable hands.
Looking for more information? Head over to our FAQs page where you can find out about Eve.