Female Hormone Blood Tests


Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) is produced by the pituitary gland. FSH stimulates the growth of an egg (follicle) in the ovary to get it ready for conception. As estrogen and other hormone levels decline (e.g. menopause or a decreased ovarian reserve), FSH levels increase as the pituitary gland produces more FSH to stimulate the follicle cycle.

This test may be used to evaluate such conditions as abnormal menstrual bleeding, difficulties becoming pregnant, or infertility, symptoms associated with menopause, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), pituitary gland tumors, and ovarian cysts.


Estrogen is a class of hormones that includes estradiol, estriol, and estrone. Estradiol is produced mainly by the ovaries and is responsible for sexual functioning, healthy bones, and female characteristics. 

Low estrogen levels may be a sign of such conditions as polycystic ovarian syndrome, hypopituitarism, hypogonadism, anorexia nervosa, or low body fat. Certain medications such as clomiphene can also lower estrogen levels. Elevated estrogen levels may occur with conditions such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and with the use of some medications, such as steroid hormones, phenothiazines, tetracyclines, and ampicillin.


In women, the source of testosterone in the body is the ovaries and the adrenal glands. High testosterone levels may result in irregular or missed menstrual periods, weight gain, excess body hair, acne, infertility, deepening of the voice, and hair loss. Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a common cause of high testosterone levels. Lower levels of testosterone may occur during menopause, which may result in a reduced libido. 

Like testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is an androgen. An elevated DHEA level may occur in conditions such as congenital adrenal hyperplasia or an adrenocortical tumor.

Thyroid Function

Tests that may be done as part of a thyroid diagnosis may include the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), which is secreted by the pituitary gland and regulates the release of the two thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). Other tests include reverse T3, thyroid peroxidase (TPO) antibodies, thyroid stimulating immunoglobulins (TSI), and thyroglobulin.


A hormone produced by the ovaries during ovulation, progesterone helps to prepare the uterine lining to receive an egg if it becomes fertilized by a sperm. If the egg isn't fertilized, menstruation begins. Progesterone levels may be measured to find the cause of infertility, to diagnose adrenal gland conditions and some types of cancer, or to assess the risk of miscarriage. 

Getting Tested

If you're experiencing any symptoms, it's important to talk with your primary care provider. 

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