How can I find out what my female hormone levels are?
This test uses saliva to test female hormone levels very accurately so that Dr. Cushing can make sure that any symptoms you may be experiencing are not connected to abnormal hormone levels. He is also able to test patients to see if they are allergic to their own hormones, if found it can be easily corrected using AllerCease™.
The Cyclical Pacing of the Ovaries
Your ovaries release hormones in cycles; this is known as a menstrual cycle, on average, a cycle last between 26 to 30 days. The hormones GnRH, FSH, LH are hormones from the hypothalamus & pituitary glands in the brain. They control the timing & pacing of the release of the two major classes of ovarian hormones. The most important female steroid sex hormones are estrogens & progesterone, the major & most active being estradiol & progesterone.
There is a Cycle of 3 Female Physiologic Phases:
Phase I: Starts with the follicular phase, the start of menstrual blood flow which can be of variable length. Phase one is normally subject to both low estrogen & progesterone levels.
Phase II: The ovulation phase is between one to three days long, & during this time, the egg, which is held in the ovaries, is then released during this phase. High estrogen & LH levels precede this phase.
Phase III: known as the luteal phase & is constant in length & lasts between 12-14 days & ends with menses & in contrast to the follicular phase & the luteal phase is dominated by high progesterone concentrations & lower levels of estrogens.
Functions of Female Sex Hormones
Estradiol & Progesterone have an affect on several target organs that are heavily involved in pregnancy. Also, these hormones have an effect on a number of female sexual characteristics, such as; soft skin texture, reduced body hair, a high pitch of the voice & also release of pheromones.
Estrogen & Progesterone control these organs:
The Uterus – Estradiol lays the foundation for conception in the uterus & produces a considerable increase in the inner lining thickness also promoting uterine gland development & the secretion of mucus. Progesterone involves a swelling of the uterine lining & an increase in glycogen, which is a complex sugar & an increase in mucus secreted by the uterus. If pregnancy does not occur, the uterine lining is then eliminated as menstrual flow.
Fallopian tubes – The fallopian tubes are stimulated by the sex hormones to move the egg towards the uterus, they also nourish the egg the sperm & ultimately the embryo once fertilization takes place with secreted fluids.
Vagina – The vagina is more resistant to infection through the promotion of a thicker vaginal lining & secretions within the vagina from Estrogens.
Breasts – Preceding puberty, the breasts growth is only in proportion to the rest of the body; however, during puberty they fully develop under the influence of estradiol & progesterone. Excess estradiol causes breast swelling & tenderness & this can occur during menses.
Bones – In the female adult, Progesterone & Estradiol play an important role in bone health & inhibit the onset of osteoporosis, also improving the use of calcium & magnesium in bone health. The use of Estrogen can be of benefit to menopausal women.
Kidney – There is an increase in fluid buildup due to Estrogens that cause the body to retain sodium. On the other hand, progesterone causes a loss of fluid & excess sodium. PMS- associated complaints are associated with the increase in Estrogen before menses.
Liver – Liver proteins increase with Estradiol & this can reduce thyroid hormones & increase the risk for cardiovascular disease. The liver has an increased inability to quickly detox various harmful substances with increased Estradiol.
Generally Estradiol can elevate blood sugar in certain individuals & Progesterone is known to increase the appetite in certain patients but it generally has a calming effect on the nervous system at night especially.
What Dr. Cushing Tests for:
The Female Hormone Panel™ is a simple, non-invasive FDA approved lab test. The patient collects eleven saliva samples during speciﬁed time periods throughout the menstrual cycle.
* Using this panel, Dr. Cushing can simultaneously view his patients’ estrogen & progesterone level & the cycle average for testosterone & DHEA. This minimizes diagnostic guesswork, & evaluates for possible hormonal imbalances. This enables Dr. Cushing to then put together a personal treatment plan for his patients.
* The expanded panel (which is the most comprehensive female hormone test panel) includes five FSH & LH measurements to check if brain control & stimulation of the ovaries are working optimally.
Applications of the Female Hormone Panel™
Hormonal Imbalance & PMS A great deal of women suffer from progesterone & estrogen imbalance. Dr. Cushing uses FDA approved lab panels & they can define the state of hormonal imbalance with exquisite accuracy & this, in turn, provides him with the speciﬁc insights for the appropriate targeted natural intervention to relieve his patients from PMS-related & hormonal imbalance symptoms.
Luteal Phase Deficit Detection There are at least 3 luteal phase-deficit patterns characterized by a estrogen/progesterone imbalance. This is usually associated with fibroids, infertility, PMS & other female hormone related health issues and are easily detected by these test panels.
Customized Hormone Therapy Current medical diagnostic tests do not provide sufficient data, & consequently most woman are treated without regard to their individualized physiology leading to cookie cutter treatment within limited medical guidelines. The saliva hormone tests that Dr. Cushing uses takes in to account every aspect of a patients hormonal needs. This allows Dr. Cushing to treat women with a targeted natural therapeutic plan that is unique to their individual chemistry.
Dr. Cushing’s hormone test can also be used to detect & monitor the following:
- Birth control pills causing cycle irregularities
- Influence of diet, exercise & other lifestyle factors on the cycle
- Functional infertility
- Brain originating menstrual problems
- Miscarriage during early pregnancy known as spontaneous miscarriage
- Dysmenorrhea (painful & heavy periods)
- Early osteoporosis
- Migraine headaches
- Cystic ovarian disease
What are the Advantages of this Test?
Convenience: No blood draws, No inconvenient 24-hour urine collection.
Physiological accuracy: It has been demonstrated by research that the free hormone fraction is most dominant in saliva & the female hormone levels correlate at 93% with the free hormones in the tissues. The free hormone fraction is very important, because it is the bioactive fraction that most significantly influences living cells. Dr. Cushing’s FDA approved saliva hormone tests provide a view of the ovarian capacity over a whole menstrual cycle.
It is Dr. Cushing’s opinion, and it is a scientific fact that saliva testing for reproductive hormones is superior in many ways to the traditional blood & urine analysis approach. The reason being that it is more important to know if the hormones are active in the tissues than to measure the amounts stored in the blood.
Economy: Saliva testing is considerably cheaper than the cost of two blood draws & a urine analysis. Not to mention the fact that medical testing is often incomplete & inadequate for most patients.
We do not deal with Insurance companies so all tests are payable at time of visit.
However, if Patients would like to submit a claim to their own insurance carrier, Dr. Cushing will give them the appropriate insurance claim codes for their particular diagnosis. This can only be done after the test is complete & a diagnosis has been determined.
The sale of all laboratory test kits is final. No refunds or credits are given.