Lab Testing (At-Home!) for PCOS & Endo

Maybe you’re like me and you’ve gotten some blood tests done only to have your doctor say that despite your numerous (& often debilitating) symptoms, your results are “normal”.

 

Or perhaps your doctor has refused to do testing with you – dismissing your symptoms as “normal”, “all-in-your-head” or something that can easily be fixed with birth control.

 

I often found myself feeling stupid and small leaving the doctor’s office after one of these experiences, thinking there MUST be another way. 

 

The thing is: You CAN make a big difference in how you feel simply be addressing symptoms. 

 

BUT: Testing is incredibly important. Especially when you are making changes and not seeing results. 

 

Or when you have a TON of symptoms and what’s causing them isn’t clear.

Or when you’ve made some changes and want to check on your progress.

Or when you’re working on regulating your cycle for health or fertility purposes. 

 

Doing the right tests at the right times during your cycle is like finally breaking through the fog and seeing what’s really going on in your body. 

 

It becomes so much easier then to choose foods, supplements and lifestyle choices that are 100% targeted to YOU (vs. a one-size-fits-all approach!).

 

By the end of this article you will:

  • Understand why you can have “normal” test results despite loads of symptoms
  • Be able to get lab tests without your grumpy doc
  • Discover the BEST tests to get with PCOS or Endometriosis
  • Learn how to test yourself at home (& see my personal experience!)

 

Let’s get to it!

 

Why Do I Have “Normal” Test Results Despite Loads of Symptoms?

 

There are many reasons for this, including:

  • Wrong tests done
  • Tests done at the wrong time during the cycle
  • Fasted/Not Fasted
  • Sensitivity or resistance at the hormone receptor site (not in the blood)
  • Results within “normal” but not OPTIMAL range (which docs don’t consider)

 

For example, certain tests like estradiol and progesterone need to be done at certain times during the menstrual cycle for accurate results. 

 

If you are told to get the test on day 21 of your cycle (which is based on a 28-day cycle with ovulation on day 14) but you haven’t ovulated yet because your cycles are absent or irregular, the results will be useless. 

 

Rather, you’d need to wait for 7 days after your own ovulation (whether day 14 or day 100) to do the test for accurate results. 

 

Unfortunately, most doctors do not take irregular/absent cycles into consideration when testing, which leaves you with crappy results and loads of discouragement.  

 

The BEST Lab Tests to Get With PCOS or Endometriosis

 

 

LH:FSH: Look at the ratio. Should be close to 1:1 but many with PCOS have 2:1, 3:1, 4:1 or higher! This can prevent ovulation and impede fertility.

 

Estradiol: During menstruating years, this is the form of estrogen favoured by your body (cuz it’s super powerful).

 

OH-17 Progesterone: Low levels (especially in ratio with estradiol) can contribute to anxiety, infertility, irregular periods, anovulation, heavy flow, PMS, cramps, etc.

 

HbA1c: A snapshot of what your blood sugar has been doing for the past 90 days. This is better than glucose/insulin testing when looking for Insulin Resistance.

 

Vit D: Low levels impede egg quality & development, fertility, increase metabolic issues and contribute to mood problems. 

 

Iron (Ferritin): The storage form of iron, Ferritin is great to look for in helping with hair loss, mood, and energy. Especially important if you have heavy periods or have given birth.

 

Diurnal Cortisol: Ideally tested with saliva 4x in one day, it’s an accurate pattern of your adrenal health, which if in disarray can stop periods, give anxiety, create fatigue, cravings and more.

 

Thyroid Panel: TSH, free T3, free T4, TPO antibodies and rT3 are ALL important markers of thyroid health. A “normal” TSH doesn’t mean your thyroid is healthy. Low thyroid is common in PCOS and effects cycles, mood, energy, hair, skin, fertility, etc.

 

Cholesterol: Lump triglycerides in here too, many with PCOS have issues here. Looking at ratios is important.

 

 

hsCRP: An high-sensitivity inflammatory marker, in studies is much more effective at detecting levels of inflammation in women with endo than the basic CRP due to often chronic, subclinical levels of inflammation.

 

Estradiol: During menstruating years, this is the form of estrogen favoured by your body (cuz it’s super powerful). Endo tissue is responsive to estrogen and levels should be monitored. 

 

OH-17 Progesterone: Low levels (especially in ratio with estradiol) can contribute to anxiety, infertility, irregular periods, anovulation, heavy flow, PMS, cramps, etc. Should be compared in ratio with estradiol to check for estrogen dominance.

 

Vit D: Low levels impede egg quality & development, fertility, increase metabolic issues and contribute to mood problems. Caution: Some women with endo have high levels. 

 

Iron (Ferritin): The storage form of iron, Ferritin is great to look for in helping with hair loss, mood, and energy. Especially important if you have heavy periods or have given birth.

 

Vit B12: Low levels contribute to fatigue, bloat & digestive dysfunction and more. 

 

Diurnal Cortisol: Ideally tested with saliva 4x in one day, it’s an accurate pattern of your adrenal health, which if in disarray can mess with estrogen:progesterone ratios, make periods more painful, give anxiety, create fatigue, cravings and more.

 

Thyroid Panel: TSH, free T3, free T4, TPO antibodies and TG antibodies and rT3 are ALL important markers of thyroid health. A “normal” TSH doesn’t mean your thyroid is healthy. Thyroid autoimmunity is linked to endo. 

 

Celiac: Women with endo are at increased risk for celiac disease, as they both have autoimmune components. Testing and removing gluten if necessary is helpful for pain, bloat and digestive function.

 

How Do I Get Lab Tests If My Doc Won’t Do It?

 

Going to see the doctor can have you feel like a little girl – inexperienced, stupid, and not mature enough to understand what’s going on. Many of them actually like it this way.

 

To move through the fear and feel confident to ask (& receive!) what you need for your health, it helps to be armed with EVIDENCE – or, flip him the bird and find someone else.

 

Here are my tried-and-true strategies for getting the labs you need. 💉💉

 

1️⃣Speak up for Yourself – Show the Evidence 

 

It’s time to muster the confidence I know is in there – you might not have seen her for a while, but your confident, DIVA self is waiting to help you. 

 

You MUST speak up for yourself. bringing evidence helps. 

 

Prepare before you go – make a list of your symptoms, and find research articles and other evidence that testing X, Y, Z, is necessary because of ENDO or PCOS. 

 

Two of my fav places to find evidence are PubMed and Examine.com.

 

2️⃣ Get A Second Opinion

 

If you do the above step and your doc still isn’t budging, it’s time for a second opinion. Fire that doc and get a new one. 

 

I realize, especially in the USA where no healthcare is covered by the government, getting a new doc can be tricky. But don’t stop until you get one.

 

And if they don’t jive with you either, consider the next two steps.

 

3️⃣At-Home Tests

 

You can by-pass all this by getting at-home test kits. They ship to your door, you do the test, send it back to their lab and get results within a week or two.

 

My FAV company for this (cuz they’ve got great tests and are available in MANY countries) is Let’sGetChecked

 

I recently did their Thyroid Plus Kit and you can see my experience below!

 

And if you enter code DIVA at checkout, you’ll save 20%! They were so sweet to offer this to all my Divas. 

 

CLICK HERE to check out their full line of testing. 

 

(I’ve also linked to the most important tests in the section above).

 

Using Let’sGetChecked To Test Yourself At Home

 

Testing yourself at home couldn’t be easier. 

 

It saves SO much time – no more waiting in a doc office to ask for tests you may or may not get, then sitting in a lab to get poked then back to the doc office to hear your results. 

 

It also saves you the trauma of being belittled by your doc who doesn’t want you to have any knowledge about your own body. 

 

With at-home test kits from Let’sGetChecked, you simply choose your tests, take the tests after they arrive in the mail and send them back to the lab. 

 

Within 3-5 business days, you’ll have your results. No docs or blood lab visits needed!

 

Each test kit includes:

  • Instructions on how to activate your kit
  • Instructions on how to complete the test
  • Lancets (for the finger prick!)
  • Bandaids, gauze and sterile wipes
  • Blood collection vial
  • Biohazard bag
  • Prepaid shipping envelope (UPS)

 

The process of doing the test is crazy simple:

 

  1. Activate your kit
  2. Wash your hands
  3. Wipe chosen finger with alcohol pad
  4. Prick finger tip with lancet
  5. Fill the vial to the indicated line
  6. Pack everything required in the prepaid envelope and send ASAP back to the lab

 

You can watch a super simple video of the testing process below.

 

 

My Personal Experience Testing At Home With Let’sGetChecked

 

I recently used their Thyroid Plus Test Kit as I was diagnosed with Postpartum Thyroiditis after having my son in 2019. 

 

It took me less than 10 minutes to complete, and I now have a fantastic picture of what’s going on with my thyroid.

 

This kits includes:

  • TSH
  • T4
  • Free T4
  • Free T3
  • Thyroglobulin Antibodies (TGab)
  • Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies (TPOab)

 

After I’d sent in the tests and when I received my results, I got these helpful text messages from Let’sGetChecked.

 

 

There was no wondering if my test results were back or when (or if!) I would find out the results. They told me and I logged in – SO EASY!

 

And here are my results:

 

 

While many of my values are “normal”, they are still slightly out of OPTIMAL range for me. 

Additionally, you can see here that my thyroid antibodies are high – which is very common and if your doc only tests TSH and it comes back “normal”, you’d never know.

 

I will 100% be using their tests again in the future – and you should too.

 

Let’sGetChecked was gracious enough to offer 20% OFF to my community when you enter code DIVA at checkout.

 

Check out their full line of testing HERE.

 

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