What is a hormonal assay test?
A hormonal assay test is performed to give an indication of metabolic processes and conditions, or ‘hormone imbalance’. Many hormones can be measured (assayed) in the blood, including male and female sex hormones (oestrogen, progesterone, testosterone) and hormones secreted by other glands such as the parathyroid and adrenal glands.
How are hormonal assays performed?
Hormonal assays are a blood test and require a few millilitres of blood from a vein.
When would you need a hormonal assay?
Specific hormones or sets of related hormones may be tested in a variety of clinical situations. Commonly, hormonal tests may be related to issues of fertility, menstrual irregularities, or menopause.
Your doctor may request specific hormonal tests if there is a suspicion of an endocrine problem, relating to the function of many glands in the body, including the pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid, adrenals, ovaries and testes.
Test results, explained
Hormone tests give the concentration of specific hormones in the bloodstream. These results are compared to a reference range of ‘normal’ values, obtained from testing well people without symptoms. The specific hormone level may therefore be low, normal, or high.
Each of these results needs to be carefully interpreted by a doctor who understands the complex interactions of the endocrine system, in the context of the limitations of biochemical testing of hormones. A high or low level may not indicate disease, and similarly, a normal test does not always rule out an abnormality.
Commonly done Hormonal tests
- Thyroid Function Tests
- Vitamin D
- Female Hormones (LH, FSH, Prolactin, AMH)
- Male Hormones (Testosterone)
- Serum Cortisol