Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) helps your ovaries to function normally and plays a key role in egg production and ovulation. If your FSH levels are imbalanced you might have trouble getting pregnant. Or high FSH levels can be a sign that you’re menopausal.
Luteinising hormone (LH) plays a key role in reproduction. Mid-cycle, your LH levels increase which triggers your ovaries to release an egg — ovulation. If your LH levels are imbalanced you might have irregular periods and have trouble getting pregnant. Or high LH levels can be a sign that you’re menopausal.
Oestradiol (E2) is a type of oestrogen and is the main female sex hormone. E2 is essential for egg production, protects you against bone loss, and helps regulate your cholesterol levels. Your E2 levels fall as you age so low levels can be a sign that you’re menopausal. If your E2 levels are imbalanced it can cause a wide range of symptoms like irregular periods, hot flashes, fatigue, headaches, sleep problems, anxiety, depression, low sex drive, and worse premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
Sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) binds with certain hormones and transports them in your blood. When these hormones are bound to SHBG your body can’t use them. This helps regulate how much is available for your body to use. If your SHBG levels are imbalanced it can cause either high or low levels of testosterone and oestradiol.
Testosterone is an androgen (sex hormone) produced by both men and women. Men produce it in much higher amounts, but levels naturally drop as men age. Other factors, like kidney disease, liver disease, alcoholism and being overweight can also cause testosterone levels to drop. Men with low testosterone might feel tired, have a low sex drive, gain weight, feel depressed and have low self-esteem. Women might also experience these symptoms but it’s harder to detect low testosterone as women’s hormones fluctuate a lot.
The thyroid is a gland in your neck. It produces hormones that control your body’s growth and metabolism. An overactive or underactive thyroid causes hormonal imbalances that can cause symptoms like weight gain or loss, tiredness, low mood, anxiety, depression and difficulty sleeping. A basic thyroid profile measures Thyroxine (T4), the main hormone produced by your thyroid, and Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), a hormone that regulates your thyroid.