Understanding the appropriate method for testing estrogen levels is crucial to ensure effective hormone therapy management. The method of testing depends on the form of hormone therapy you are using. Here’s a straightforward guide:

  • Ovary (No additional therapy): The ovary has a blood supply that uptakes hormones with every heartbeat. These hormones are then carried by the blood vessels to the target cells of the body. The hormones from the ovary are not transported via the lymph system or from cell to cell. The most appropriate way to test these hormones is in the blood or serum. This will give the most accurate results.
  • Hormone Pellet Therapy: If you are undergoing hormone pellet therapy, blood/serum tests are the recommended method for monitoring your estrogen levels. This type of therapy involves inserting pellets and blood vessels forming around them. These blood vessels pick up the hormones from the pellets and take them to the target cells of the body. This is done in the exact same way that blood vessels take hormones from the ovaries to target cells. Therefore, a blood test provides a direct measure of how much estrogen is circulating in your system, ensuring that your treatment is effectively tailored to your needs.
  • Hormone Patches or Creams: In contrast, if you are using hormone patches or creams, these forms of therapy are absorbed through your skin and do not enter the bloodstream in the same way as pellets. The hormones are then transferred via the lymph system or from cell to cell transfer. Because these hormones are processed differently by your body, blood tests may not accurately reflect the levels of hormones being utilized by your body tissues. For this reason, saliva testing is the preferred approach for these therapies. Saliva testing measures the levels of hormones inside the cell. Measuring the cellular levels of hormones by measuring the saliva gives a more accurate indication of what the hormone level is inside of the cells.