This test measures five essential hormones that are known to affect women’s overall health and wellness
Estradiol (E12) is the strongest of the three naturally occurring estrogens. Although it is 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 to reproductive health and pregnancy. After menopause, estradiol levels decline significantly. Estradiol also plays a role in developing bone and female-associated sex characteristics and is needed for optimal brain and reproductive system functioning.
In women, progesterone is most commonly known for its role in maintaining normal menstrual cycles and early stages of pregnancy. Low levels of progesterone can cause abnormal cycles and problems with conception. Low levels may 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.
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 by the ovaries and adrenal glands. Most testosterone produced in the ovary is converted to estradiol. Free testosterone refers to the testosterone that is not attached to proteins. Total testosterone includes free testosterone and testosterone bound to the proteins in the blood.
DHEA, or dehydroepiandrosterone, is an androgen hormone that is primarily produced by the adrenal glands. DHEA is a precursor hormone, meaning it has a little biological effect on its own. However, when it’s converted into other hormones like testosterone and estrogen, it has powerful effects. DHEA peaks in early adulthood and gradually decreases with age.
Cortisol is a steroid hormone that is produced in the adrenal glands and released in response to stressors like illness and exercise. While it’s often referred to as the “stress hormone,” cortisol also regulates various vital processes throughout the body. It also controls the body’s blood sugar levels and regulates energy metabolism. Levels of cortisol vary throughout the day, but for most people, it peaks in the morning and is the lowest in the middle of the night.