For women entering menopause, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can be an effective way to reduce symptoms. Blood, saliva, and urine tests are used to determine if hormone therapy is needed and to control doses. It is important to have a comprehensive blood test before starting HRT in order to get an accurate picture of hormones and other factors that may affect them. This test is also used as a general health exam, but it can only be used to check overall health.
In some women, testosterone may decrease sooner than estrogen due to a decrease in testosterone production in the adrenal glands or because some women convert their testosterone to estrogen in a process called aromatization. The DUTCH test is a urinary evaluation of hormones and can provide useful information about the body's different hormonal systems. It is safe to have blood tests done during the pandemic and, according to government advice, it is recommended that you attend any appointments or procedures you have booked. If you want to start hormone replacement therapy, it's a good idea to have an initial conversation with your primary care doctor or nurse at your local primary care office.
The Menopause Society of North America states that determining the doses of menopausal hormone therapy based on blood or salivary hormone tests doesn't make sense for people in middle age, as these levels vary from day to day and even from hour to hour. Initial blood tests allow us to assess which hormone levels are elevated or lower than expected to help make an accurate diagnosis.