Menopausal Hormone Panels: Provider Overview
Advantages of Salivary Testing
Saliva hormone levels reflect the active tissue fraction, and they correlate more closely with clinical symptoms
than serum hormone levels.
What Do We Test For and What Does It Tell You?
We test for male and female natural hormones. One, two, six or eight of them, depending on your need. We
utilize your saliva as a sample for measuring hormones, such as testosterone, DHEA, progesterone, estriol,
The brain-derived regulating hormones FSH and LH, are also measured to help assess efficacy of control and
feedback between the brain and ovaries. Measurement of FSH and LH is included in the expanded panel, the ePostM™
as well as in the ePeriM™.
Saliva hormone values reflect the tissue concentration of your hormones. Blood and serum contain the total hormone,
but your tissues are only bathed with the active or effective fraction as found in saliva. Active fraction measurements
are superior to blood and urine measurements both in diagnosis and treatment.
Significant Perimenopausal Hormone Changes
Just as gonadal hormone levels begin to cycle long before the initiation of menses, there are substantial shifts in
hormone levels prior to the onset of menopause. Some of the most important changes are summarized below.
Neuroendocrine Hormone Changes
- Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) levels increase progressively (threefold to sevenfold
their prior average values).
- Increases in FSH levels appear to correlate with an increased severity in hot flashes, a higher rate of bone loss
and poor sleep quality.
- Increases in LH appear to correlate with decreased output of progesterone.
- There is a gradual decrease in the number of functional follicles.
- The follicles are less responsive to regulation by FSH and LH.
- Estradiol fluctuations are exaggerated.
- Progesterone production gradually declines and eventually flattens out. Other Changes
- As ovarian function declines, the adrenal androgen contribution approaches 90% of the total.
- Adipose tissue estrogen becomes a larger fraction of the total circulating estrogen.