There are a plethora of options to decide from when choosing how to get your hormones tested, and you might be wondering whether it is best to get them tested at home or in a lab/doctor’s office. Here are some pros and cons of each method to help you decide. You can learn more about what is hormonal testing.
At-Home test kits:
Pros: These tests usually involve saliva or blood, which can be obtained by pricking your finger. At-home tests are easy to use and can measure most types of hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. When used correctly, they are quite accurate and deliver results comparable to lab tests.
Cons: Although samples can be collected at home, they must be sent off to a lab to be measured and analyzed for hormone levels. When administering the test at home, it is important to be cognizant of sanitation, as contamination can significantly impact results; at a lab, you will receive more guidance to ensure you are collecting your samples in a clean and effective way. At home kits will often diagnose your levels and indicate potential hormonal imbalance, but this does not include speaking to a hormonal health specialist or physician that can give you personalized treatment or advice.
The Bottom Line: If you are just looking to test your hormones and understand your hormone levels, at home tests are great for you! But if you are more concerned about specific hormonal health conditions and how to treat them, it might be more useful to get your levels checked professionally in a lab.
At a lab:
Pros: When getting your hormone levels checked at a lab, they will generally take a larger sample that allows for analysis of a bigger variety of hormones. Sample collection is also more likely to be an accurate process as it is kept sterile and sanitized. If you get your hormone levels checked by a healthcare provider such as an OBGYN or hormone health specialist, they can help you interpret your results and give personalized recommendations to balance your hormones.
Cons: Sometimes, it may not be worth it to schedule an appointment to get your hormones checked and getting your blood drawn may be unnecessary if there is a specific hormone you would like to get checked.
The Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a detailed analysis of your hormones and wish to speak to a specialist about treatment and their recommendations, going to a lab to get your hormones tested might be the best step for you!