Why test your estrogen levels?
Maintaining an optimal sex hormone balance is crucial for many bodily functions – both in women and men. Disruptions to our hormonal balance can, among other things, cause menstrual periods to be very heavy or absent and mood swings to occur. If you suffer from such symptoms, you may want to consider checking your estrogen levels.
Our Estrogen + Progesterone Test will inform you of free oestradiol (oestrogen) and progesterone levels in your body. If your results indicate a possible estrogen deficiency or estrogen dominance, this can cause various complaints and increase your risk of developing certain diseases. With very high or low estrogen levels, you may want to consider booking in a medical examination to clarify whether possible hormone fluctuations could be the cause of your complaints.
How does the Estrogen + Progesterone Test work?
Using a straw, which is included in the test kit, collect some saliva into the small sample tube. Then send your sample in the return envelope to our specialised laboratory.
If you are a woman taking our test, it is vital that you make a note of which phase of your cycle you are in at the time of taking the sample. This is so that we can use the correct reference values in the results report.
What will the results report tell me?
In the results report, you will find two values from the laboratory analysis. One value is your free estradiol concentration, an estrogen, and the other value is your progesterone level, a progestogen. Both values are given in picogrammes per millilitre of saliva.
You will also find out the reference values of healthy men and women from our laboratory. The values for women differ depending on their phase in the cycle:
- Follicular phase: From the 1st day of menstruation
- Ovulation phase: Ovulation
- Luteal phase: Time between ovulation and menstruation
There are also reference values for women during their menopause.
Which recommendations will I receive?
The results report provides you with information about the causes of high or low free estrogen and progesterone levels. In addition, you will find out how to correct a hormonal imbalance.
Why are estrogens important?
Estrogens form the group of the most important female sex hormones, which include estradiol, estrone and estriol. Estrogens are responsible for sex organ function in women. The concentration of estrogen changes over the course of the female cycle. During menopause, estrogen levels decrease significantly.
In addition, estrogens play a role in healthy bones and the distribution of body fat – among other things, they promote the production of the good HDL cholesterol. These hormones are also found in lower concentrations in men.
What can you find out about your estrogen levels in your saliva?
Hormone levels can be determined in your blood serum, saliva and urine. As with other hormones, around 95 to 98 per cent of estrogen is found bound in the body; they are not normall active. The remaining two to five per cent is free, active estrogen. Only these free hormones can be measured in your saliva.
What is progesterone?
Progesterone belongs to the group of progestins. This group of hormones works together with estrogens, among other things, so that menstrual cycles, ovulation, fertilisation and pregnancy run smoothly for women.
In men, progesterone has an influence on fertility – this hormone initiates the processes necessary for sperm to reach the egg.
What are the signs of an estrogen deficiency?
It is quite normal for women to start menopause at around 50 years of age and for their estrogen levels to drop. This drop in estrogen levels is often accompanied by symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats, hair loss, sleep disorders and mood swings. These are also typical symptoms if estrogen deficiency occurs at a younger age.
If younger women have significantly lower estrogen levels, this is known as estrogen deficiency. If this occurs, menstrual periods may stop and intermenstrual bleeding or infertility may occur.
Possible causes of estrogen deficiency include malnutrition, chronic stress and certain diseases, such as adrenal insufficiency.
What are the signs of estrogen dominance?
If estrogen levels are too high and your progesterone too low, experts classify this as estrogen dominance. Causes can include stress, diet and sleep disorders. Often, estrogen dominance also occurs at the beginning of menopause, as estrogen metabolism is disrupted. Mood swings, heavy menstrual bleeding and cyst formation can occur as a result of estrogen dominance.
Scientists are currently discussing whether nutrition can also contribute to estrogen dominance in women and men. Some foods contain phytoestrogens – plant-based substances that resemble estrogen and can also act in a similar way. Phytoestrogens are mainly found in soy and red clover.
However, their effect is much weaker than that of the body’s own estrogen, and it is not yet clear how they can affect estrogen levels. If you consume usual amounts of soy products, this should not pose a problem for your health.
How do you treat estrogen deficiency?
If you suffer from estrogen deficiency, it is important to increase your estrogen levels again. Get to the bottom of what could be causing the deficiency and identify possible complaints that may be responsible for your low estrogen levels.
Various methods can be used to increase estrogen levels, including:
- Hormone therapy that doctors can prescribe
- Plant-based estrogens (phytoestrogens), such as those found in soya products or monk’s pepper
- Caffeinated drinks like coffee and green tea
If your progesterone levels are too low, hormone therapy can also be used; the hormone is usually administered as a tablet or ointment.
Who should NOT take the test?
The Estrogen + Progesterone Test is not or only partially suitable for certain groups of people:
- People with infectious diseases, like hepatitis and HIV, may not use the Estrogen + Progesterone Test.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women should only take the Estrogen + Progesterone Test under medical supervision. The given reference ranges and recommendations do not apply to people in this group; consult your medical professional for advice concerning your test results.
- The Estrogen + Progesterone Test is not intended for children under 18 years of age.
The test is also not intended for diagnosing illnesses. If you suffer from severe depression or extreme pain, for example, consult a doctor.