About the test
Measures hormones often affected by POS
PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) is a hormone disorder that affects women of reproductive age. It can cause irregular menstrual periods, excess hair growth, acne, and infertility.
This lab-based screening measures eight hormones associated with PCOS: Cortisol, DHEA,can give you a better understanding of your hormonal balance and a possible explanation for symptoms you may have been experiencing.
Please keep in mind that this is not a diagnostic test, and PCOS is not the only cause of hormonal imbalances. Additionally, this test does not rule out PCOS, as symptoms among women with PCOS vary widely, and not all women with PCOS will have the same hormonal imbalances.
Cortisol is a steroid hormone produced in the adrenal glands and released in response to stressors like illness and exercise. While it’s often called the “stress hormone,” cortisol regulates various vital body processes. Stress and high cortisol levels can exacerbate PCOS symptoms.
DHEA, or dehydroepiandrosterone, is an androgen primarily produced by the adrenal glands. Women with PCOS often have elevated levels of DHEA, which can contribute to symptoms like acne and hirsutism (excessive hair growth).
Estradiol (E12) is the strongest of the three naturally occurring estrogens. Although it’s the primary female hormone, estradiol is found in all sexes. The ovaries produce estradiol. As one of the primary sex hormones responsible for ovulation, it is vital for reproductive health and pregnancy. In PCOS, the normal menstrual cycle is disturbed. There’s often a lack of ovulation, which can result in persistently high estradiol levels.
Testosterone, often regarded as the male sex hormone, is essential for libido, bone density, body fat distribution, and muscle mass support across all sexes. In women, testosterone is produced in small amounts by the ovaries and adrenal glands. High testosterone levels are a key feature of PCOS and contribute to symptoms like acne, hirsutism, and irregular periods.
Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) is a measure of blood sugar control over the past two to three months. It’s used to diagnose and monitor diabetes. Women with PCOS often have insulin resistance, which can lead to elevated blood sugar levels and an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
High-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) is a marker of inflammation in the body. Elevated hs-CRP levels have been found more often in women with PCOS than women without the condition.
In women, progesterone is most commonly known for its role in maintaining regular menstrual cycles and early stages of pregnancy. Low levels of progesterone can cause abnormal cycles and problems with conception. Low progesterone can also result in higher estrogen levels, which can decrease sex drive and cause weight gain. On the contrary, high progesterone levels can lead to symptoms like mood swings, bloating, and breast tenderness. Progesterone levels are often lower in women with PCOS because they don’t ovulate regularly.
Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
TSH is produced by the pituitary gland. It regulates the production of thyroid hormones, which play a crucial role in metabolism, growth, and development. While there is no direct relationship between TSH and PCOS, thyroid disorders can be more common in women with PCOS. Furthermore, hypothyroidism, characterized by elevated TSH levels and low thyroid hormone levels, can exacerbate PCOS symptoms.
Experiencing symptoms related to hormonal balance?
The following symptoms are related to PCOS.
- Excessive hair growth in unwanted places
- Darkened or excess skin on the neck or armpits
- Weight gain, particularly in the midsection
- Thinning hair and hair loss from the head
- Sleep problems like sleep apnea
- Irregular periods or no periods at all