What is a Hormone Panel?
Hormone Panel is a blood test which regulates a female’s reproductive system. Hormones are crucial to a woman’s reproductive health. The main hormones affecting the menstrual cycle and fertility are produced by glands in the brain and by the ovaries. Those hormones regulate menstruation, fertility, and sex drive (libido) – any one of which can be adversely affected if the production of these hormones goes out of balance. As most women approach mid-life, hormonal changes gradually cause reproductive organs to shut down, eventually leading to menopause.
The Hormone Panel contains the following tests:
- DHEA-S: Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) is an androgen, a male sex hormone that is present in the blood of both men and women. It has a role to play in developing male secondary sexual characteristics at puberty, and it can be metabolized by the body into more potent androgens, such as testosterone and androstenedione, or can be changed into the female hormone estrogen.
- Estradiol: Estradiol testing is used to evaluate abnormalities of menstrual cycle, such as primary and secondary amenorrhea, fertility problems, abnormal vaginal bleeding, early or delayed sexual development.
- Free and Total Testosterone: Small amounts are produced in women’s ovaries and levels are tested to evaluate virilization. The concentration of free testosterone is very low, typically <2% of the total testosterone concentration. In most men and women, >50% of total circulating testosterone is bound to sex hormone-binding globulin, SHBG, and most of the rest is bound to albumin.
- FSH & LH: Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is made by the pituitary gland in the brain. Control of FSH production is a complex system involving hormones produced by the gonads (ovaries or testes), the pituitary, and the hypothalamus. In women, FSH stimulates the growth and maturation of ovarian follicles (eggs) during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle.
- Prolactin: Prolactin is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland and its primary role is to help initiate and maintain breast milk production in pregnant and nursing women. A prolactin test measures the levels of prolactin in the body.
Who should get this test?
You should strongly consider testing if you are a woman struggling with infertility, or if you are experiencing changes that suggest the onset of menopause. Strongly consider testing if you are experiencing abnormal menstrual cycles, abnormal or heavy vaginal bleeding, fatigue, moodiness, low sex drive, loss of muscle tone or increased body fat.
When will I receive my results?
Once completed, you will receive your results within 3-5 business days in your LabFinder portal.
How do I prepare? Do I need to fast?
No preparation or fasting required. Just bring your LabFinder Order and Insurance Card to your appointment.