For some women, testing sex hormone levels (oestrogen and progesterone) on a single day is sufficient. This is the case for women who have a regular cycle, are using a contraceptive pill or who are post-menopausal. However, if a woman’s cycle isn’t regular or her symptoms change a lot throughout the month the only way to get a full clinical picture is to measure hormone levels throughout the cycle.
In a normal menstrual cycle, oestrogen levels start off low and surge as a woman approaches ovulation. Modest levels of oestrogen are then maintained for the latter half of the cycle, only falling just before a woman’s next period. Progesterone levels, on the other hand, stay relatively low until after ovulation. Then, levels increase 10-fold or more for the second half of the cycle, before dropping back down in the run-up to menstruation. A disruption in this pattern can lead to an irregular cycle, fertility problems or hormonal imbalances.
By using 25 different dried urine samples from key time points in the month the DUTCH Cycle Mapping test is able to determine whether a woman’s hormones rise and fall at the correct times.
This test is recommended for women who:
- Are struggling with infertility
- Have not had a menstrual cycle for an unknown reason
- Have an irregular menstrual cycle
- Suffer from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
- Have hormonal symptoms that tend to fluctuate throughout the cycle such as PMS, mid-cycle spotting, migraines, etc.