Hormone Tests, Dutch Test, and Fertility Tests in Toronto
Do you feel like you have a hormonal imbalance, but your lab work has come back normal? Have you not been provided with the option of hormone testing? You deserve answers and there are many methods of getting them. If you have painful periods, irregular periods, PMS, fibroids/polyps, infertility, hair loss, low libido, hot flashes, recurrent vaginal infections, weight gain, anxiety, burn out etc. then you need your hormones checked.
I offer the following hormone testing options:
- Blood or serum hormone testing – this involves going to a lab and getting a blood draw
- Saliva hormone testing – best for measuring adrenal function and stress hormones
- Urine hormone testing – aka “DUTCH”
Blood (serum) Hormone Testing
Testing hormones in the blood is the standard assessment. If you’ve gone for blood work before, you may have been asked to go to the lab on day 3 or day 21 of your menstrual cycle. This is because hormones act differently on different days of your cycle. In fact, hormones act differently depending on the hour and minute of the day! Blood hormone testing gives us a quick snapshot of what is happening in the body, but it doesn’t give us much more information than that. This is why your lab work may come back looking “normal”, but your symptoms have not changed and you do not feel normal! My favourite route of complex hormone testing is through urine, as it provides us with the most information about our hormones and how they function in our bodies.
Learn about the top labs to test in the blood right HERE
Urine Hormone Testing (DUTCH)
DUTCH stands for dried urine test for comprehensive hormones. The test measures hormones excreted in your urine: for example, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and cortisol.
Here’s how it’s completed:
- “Collection day” is 6-7 days before your expected menses- e.g. if you have a 28 day cycle you will be collecting urine on days 21-22 of your cycle
- You’re given 4 sheets of laboratory paper for your samples
- You are instructed to pee on the paper at 4 different times: once around dinner time, once before bed, once when you wake up, and once 2 hours after waking (I brought my pee paper with me to work, it’s the only way if your collection days don’t land on a weekend!)
- You will be given specific instructions on how much water to drink as to not dilute the urine
- You will fill out demographic information and answer questions about your menstrual cycle and corresponding symptoms
- Then pack up all of the materials and send it to your lab and you’ll have the results within 3 weeks
Here’s how it works:
Sex hormones exist in our bodies in many different forms. Inactive hormones are bound to proteins in the blood; active hormones are free in the blood. Hormone testing via blood measures both free and bound hormones, urine testing measures free hormones only. These free hormones are found in the urine as precursor hormones like estrone and estradiol, or in the form of free metabolites like 2-OH-E1. The DUTCH test is the only hormone test that measures hormone metabolites, which means it can measure how your body metabolizes and excretes hormones! This is important information when we’re trying to figure out why you’re feeling a certain way.
Learn more about the DUTCH test by reading my own results and blog HERE
Saliva Hormone Testing
You also have hormones in your saliva. If you have noticed anxiety, low mood, low energy, nervousness, weight gain, burnout etc. there may be an issue with your stress hormones. Your main stress hormone is called cortisol, and cortisol levels are easiest to test in the saliva.
A saliva test is a 4-part test. To perform this test you’ll be given 4 test tubes, and you’ll have to collect saliva at 4 moments throughout the day. This ensures we have an accurate assessment of how your stress hormones look at multiple times in the day. We can also assess female hormones, like estrogen and progesterone, in the saliva.