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3 Signs Your Dealing With A Hormone Imbalance (& What To Do About It)

Author:

Carleigh Ferrante

July 06, 2024

mbg Commerce Editor

By Carleigh Ferrante

mbg Commerce Editor

Carleigh Ferrante is the Commerce Editor at mindbodygreen.

July 06, 2024

We carefully vet all products and services featured on mindbodygreen using our commerce guidelines. Our selections are never influenced by the commissions earned from our links.

Hormones impact everything from mood and energy levels to skin and fertility—and fluctuations in these chemical messengers can be entirely normal.

For example, estrogen dips during menopause1 and pregnant women have an influx of an influx of the human chorionic gonadotropin hormone (hCG)2. But some hormonal fluxes have devastating impacts on the body.

An imbalance of major hormones like estrogen can lead to an entire breakdown in how your hormonal system operates. This can disrupt a variety of bodily processes including metabolism, mood, sleep, and appetite.

Unexpected weight gain, low sex drive, and feelings of tiredness can all be signs of a hormonal imbalance—but kickstarting your journey to better hormonal health could be as simple as taking the best hormone imbalance tests.

Best hormone imbalance tests:

Best test for perimenopause: Everlywell Perimenopause TestBest PCOS test: LetsGetChecked PCOS TestBest thyroid test: Labcorp OnDemand Standard Thyroid TestBest ovarian reserve test: Bird&Be Ovarian Reserve TestBest for longevity: InsideTrackerBest general women’s hormone test: EmpowerDX Women’s Hormone Test

Thanks to modern tech, these comprehensive panels can be done from the comfort of your own home (though we recommend talking to your healthcare practitioner about your results). What’s more, there are tests for different stages of life and concerns to help cater to your specific needs.

After personally testing multiple brands, interviewing hormone health experts, and performing extensive research, we’ve selected the five best hormone imbalance tests from Everlywell, LetsGetChecked, InsideTracker, Labcorp OnDemand, and EmpowerDX. Below, learn which you should try based on your use case, budget, concern, and yes, how comfortable you are with blood. 

FYI

Hormone imbalance is a vague term referring to either too much or too little of any hormone (and there are 50+ types of hormones). These at-home tests only account for the most common hormonal imbalances in women and are not comprehensive of all fluctuations that may occur in the body.

What is a hormone imbalance test?

“At-home hormone tests are tests that a person can order on their own and test without needing to visit their doctor and have them order them,” explains licensed naturopathic doctor and hormone and fertility consultant Leah Gordon of Womanhood Wellness.

With the rise of at-home testing, there are now many tests available to conveniently gain insights into your hormonal health. Depending on which you choose, hormone imbalance tests can be performed at home on your own, at home with a licensed phlebotomist, or in a local lab. 

Per Gordon, self-testing at home can also be a helpful preventative measure for those who want to be proactive about their hormonal health beforesymptoms arise. Additionally, many symptoms associated with hormone imbalances are vague—and these tests can help provide clarity or peace of mind. 

Hormone levels are measured using blood, urine, or saliva. The type of hormone imbalance test you choose will depend whether you have existing symptoms or are simply taking a proactive approach to your hormonal health. 

Types of hormone imbalance tests:

Thyroid tests are often used to screen for an underactive (hypothyroidism) or overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) by measuring levels of TSH and Free T4. (Not so) fun fact: Women are five to eight times more likely than men to have thyroid problems, which can impact heart health, metabolism, mood, and fertility. PCOS tests screen for polycystic ovary syndrome, a condition that’s often tied to fertility issues and irregular menstrual cycles.Perimenopause tests provide a deeper look into the hormones specifically impacted by this phase of life (e.g. estrogen and FSH) to help women determine whether they are transitioning into menopause.Fertility tests measure levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (FH), estradiol (E2), and other hormones that impact your reproductive system. Progesterone tests are meant to help you track ovulation—as progesterone levels fluctuate throughout your cycle (and in different life stages)—but do not diagnose fertility. Low levels of progesterone could be linked to fertility challenges, and high progesterone levels may indicate recent ovulation.Ovarian reserve tests typically ​​look at FSH levels in your urine to determine how many healthy eggs you have in your ovaries compared to the average for people your age.

While many at-home tests include a combination of hormone measurements, brands often offer additional dedicated tests such as cortisol tests, testosterone tests, and more.

How we tested and selected the best hormone imbalance tests

After extensive research about the best hormone imbalance tests on the market, we enlisted multiple testers to try these tests themselves. From there, each test was evaluated based on the below factors:

Ease of process: We evaluated the online ordering process and how easy it was to schedule the appointment (if applicable).Sample collection: Our testers paid close attention to the sample collection process, how detailed the instructions were, how quick the collection process was, and what was included in each test kit.Results time: For the tests on our list, the time it takes to receive results ranged from 10 minutes to one week.Accuracy: We only chose tests that have high accuracy and use accredited laboratories to evaluate samples (if applicable).Actionable insights: Hormone imbalance tests are only as useful as the information they provide. We prioritized tests that provide actionable, easy-to-understand information to help optimize your hormonal health and overall well-being.

Everlywell Perimenopause Test

Best perimenopause test

Collection method

Finger prick

Measures levels of

Estradiol, luteinizing hormone, and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)

Results time

5 to 7 days

Coverage

Not covered by insurance, can use HSA or FSA account

Pros & Cons

Detailed instructions to follow

Results are actionable and easy to understand

Cons

Results can take up to 7 days

Everlywell’s Perimenopause Test measures three hormones that fluctuate during a woman’s menopausal transition: estradiol, luteinizing hormone, and follicle-stimulating hormone (GSH). By providing insights into these three key hormones, testers gain a better understanding of whether they are transitioning into menopause.

The at-home blood test is easy to order online and ships directly to your door. In the test kit, you’ll receive detailed directions, two lancets for the finger prick, gauze, an alcohol pad, a bandage, a collection card, and a pre-paid shipping label and bag to return your sample.

Once your test is registered, your sample is collected and sent back, you’ll receive clear, personalized, actionable results in your Everlywell account within 5 to 7 days.

Who should take it?

Tester feedback

LetsGetChecked PCOS Test

Best PCOS test:

Collection method

Finger prick

Measures levels of

Testosterone, Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG), Free Androgen Index (FAI), Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH), Luteinizing Hormone (LH), Cortisol and Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH)

Results time

2 to 5 days

Coverage

Not covered by insurance, can use HSA or FSA account

Pros & Cons

Instructions are very easy to follow

Results are easy to understand

Cons

Specific for PCOS

Because the symptoms are often vague (e.g. irregular periods, excessive body hair growth, weight gain, and hair thinning), PCOS is often left undiagnosed. Although as many as 5 million women have PCOS, research indicates that up to 75% of women with PCOS may be unaware of it3

The LetsGetChecked PCOS Test helps provide clarity or peace of mind by measuring the hormones most impacted by PCOS—but it’s important to note that if you do receive irregular results, you’ll need additional testing with a medical provider to officially diagnose PCOS (often with an ultrasound). 

Through an at-home finger prick and saliva sample, this test measures testosterone, sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), free androgen index (FAI), FSH, LH, cortisol, and anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH). A prepaid envelope is provided to return your sample, results are received within 2 to 5 days, and dedicated clinical support is included in the cost.

Note: The test should be taken on day 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7 of your menstrual cycle (if you have a regular cycle) in the morning before consuming food or drink.

Who should take it?

Tester feedback

Labcorp OnDemand Standard Thyroid Test

Best thyroid test

Collection method

In-lab blood draw

Measures levels of

TSH and Free T4

Results time

24 hours

Coverage

Not covered by insurance, can use HSA or FSA account

Pros & Cons

Only one vial of blood drawn

Easy process from ordering test to receiving results

Over 2,000 lab locations across the countr

Cons

Need to visit lab

An overactive or underactive thyroid gland can impact your heart health, metabolism, mood, mental health4, and fertility—and women are five to eight times5 more likely than men to have thyroid problems. Labcorp OnDemand makes testing easy, with a network of 2,000 patient service centers in 46 states across the U.S. 

You’ll simply order the test online, schedule an appointment at your local lab, and go in for your blood draw. Labcorp OnDemand has some of the speediest testing I’ve ever experienced, with results delivered within 24 hours. 

The Labcorp OnDemand Standard Thyroid Test measures both TSH and Free T4 to screen for thyroid conditions such as hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) and hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid). No fasting is required, but it’s recommended that you stop taking any supplements containing biotin within 72 hours of your appointment.

Who should take it?

Tester feedback

EmpowerDX Women’s Hormone Test

Best general women’s hormone test

Collection method

Finger prick

Measures levels of

Estradiol, progesterone, total testosterone, LH, FSH, and DHEA-S

Results time

2 to 3 days

Coverage

Not covered by insurance, can use HSA or FSA account

Pros & Cons

Fast results

Sample collection is simple (finger prick only)

Cons

No option to connect with doctor within the platform

EmpowerDX deliveres fast results (2 to 3 days) and measures six vital hormones: progesterone, total testosterone, LH, FSH, and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S). In your results, you’ll see whether your levels are normal, low, or high compared to the average person your age. 

The EmpowerDX Women’s Hormone Test is delivered to your home, where you’ll collect your sample with a simple finger prick. The kit comes with detailed instructions and a prepaid shipping label to return your sample.

It’s recommended to stop taking any supplement containing biotin at least 3 days prior to collecting your sample. Additionally, estrogen cream can impact your lab results—so be sure to thoroughly wash your hands beforehand if you’ve recently used an estrogen cream.

Who should take it?

Bird&Be Ovarian Reserve Test

Best ovarian reserve test

Collection method

Urine sample

Measures levels of

Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)

Results time

10 minutes

Coverage

Not covered by insurance, can use HSA or FSA account

Pros & Cons

Easy to perform at home (urine sample only)

Results are viewable within 10 minutes on the test itself

Cons

Limited information (only measures FSH levels)

The Bird&Be Ovarian Reserve Test uses at-home urine test strips to measure levels of FSH, a key marker of ovarian reserve. The tests are over 99% accurate when compared to FSH blood tests, and results are viewable at home within 10 minutes.

You’ll use the testing strips on days 3, 4, and 5 of your cycle—and each box contains six tests, which is enough for two testing cycles. The test needs to be taken first thing in the morning for most accurate results.

While ovarian reserve tests do not diagnose infertility, this test helps equip you with valuable information about your egg quantity (rising FSH levels can indicate a decreased ovarian reserve). What’s more, the brand can help connect testers with a nearby clinic to discuss results and a plan of action if desired.

Who should take it?

Tester feedback

Our deputy commerce editor Braelyn Wood couldn’t believe how easy it was to take this at-home test. You simply collect pee in vessel—you can buy one from the brand or use a disposable cup—and then quickly dip your test strip into your urine.

It takes 10 minutes to dry and start reading your FSH levels. Once the timer is up, you simply compare against the reader included in every kit (so don’t dispose of it between tests!).

Wood recommends reading the instructions; an initial glance at the test left her stressing about low FSH levels. It turns out low levels are a good thing when it comes to this test.

The hardest part is just remembering to take it on days 3, 4, and 5 of your menstrual cycle. Wood’s results stayed consistent across each testing day (and two cycles).

InsideTracker Ultimate + Membership

Best for longevity

Collection method

At-home blood draw with phlebotomist

Measures levels of

50 biomarkers across all areas of health

Result time

2 to 7 days

Coverage

Not covered by insurance, can use HSA or FSA account

Pros & Cons

Licensed phlebotomist comes to your home

Longevity focused

Cons

Significant amount of blood drawn (about 7 vials)

Recommendations are a bit generic

While it’s not a dedicated hormone imbalance test, InsideTracker tests levels of key hormones (thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), cortisol, DHEAS, testosterone, and SHBG), along with 50+ other biomarkers impacting your health and longevity. 

This comprehensive tests provides detailed insights into how well your body is performing, with actionable steps on how to optimize your well-being. Once you join the InsideTracker platform, you’ll be prompted to schedule an appointment for a certified phlebotomist to come draw your blood (about seven vials!!!).

Within 3 to 7 days, you’ll receive detailed results with a breakdown of 10 areas of your health: heart health, hormone balance, sleep, recovery, cognition, endurance, fitness, gut health, inflammation, and metabolism. You’ll be given personalized recommendations to help build an optimization plan—and you can retest and compare results over time.

Who should take it?

Tester feedback

Comparing the best hormone imbalance tests

ProductCostCollection methodMeasures levels ofResults timeEverlywell Perimenopause Test$99Finger prickEstradiol; luteinizing hormone; and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)5 to 7 daysLetsGetChecked PCOS Test$139Finger prickTestosterone; sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG); free androgen index (FAI); follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH); luteinizing hormone (LH); cortisol and anti-mullerian hormone (AMH)2 to 5 daysLabcorp OnDemand Standard Thyroid Test$89In-lab blood drawThyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and Free T4 (thyroxine)24 hoursEmpowerDX Women’s Hormone Test$149Finger prickEstradiol; progesterone; total testosterone; LH; FSH; and DHEA-S2 to 3 daysInsideTracker Ultimate + Membership$489At-home blood draw with phlebotomist50+ biomarkers2 to 7 daysBird&Be Ovarian Reserve Test$40Urine sampleFollicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)10 minutes

How to choose the best hormone imbalance test for you

There are a few factors to consider when choosing the best hormone imbalance test for you.

Budget: The tests on our list range from $40 to $489. Of course, some are much more comprehensive than others.Results time: If you are looking for a test with very fast results, we recommend opting for a company like Labcorp OnDemand, which performs the sample collection in person and delivers results within 24 hours.Use case, symptoms, or concern(s): Are you experiencing specific symptoms or concerns, or are you simply hoping to take a proactive approach to your hormonal health? This can help determine whether you need a test that measures one or two specific hormone levels, or something more broad and comprehensive.Comfort with blood: Most blood tests on our list require only a finger prick or one vial of blood—but a few (i.e. InsideTracker) require multiple vials and is not the best choice for those who are particularly squeamish.

The takeaway

Hormones play a huge role in our well-being, and imbalances can be incredibly difficult to detect. The best hormone imbalance tests provide clear insights into your hormone levels, with actionable insights to help optimize your health and feel better in your day-to-day life. The right test for you depends on your budget, symptoms, and use case—but I’ve personally gained a game-changing understanding of my own health and longevity through testing my own hormones with InsideTracker and Labcorp OnDemand.

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