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Can my hormone levels (estrogen and progesterin) be checked by an OBGYN doctor?

By Anonymous November 2, 2011 - 8:33pm
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I've been having trouble with finding the right words when talking to someone so I asked the question of testing my hormone levels to my doctor and this is what he said, "No memory function is not something a gyn deals with. I disagree that changing your hormone level is the right thing to do. In fact there is good evidence that HRT gives a slightly higher risk of dementia perhaps through micro strokes. So this is just another reason you should stop the hormones and if you are not willing to do that then we should decrease the dosage if you're willing.

Kaiser's Experts Opinion:
Will hormone level testing help me and my physician or nurse practitioner decide which hormones I should take and in what dose?
No. Your blood and saliva hormone levels fluctuate on an hourly basis, making these results nearly worthless. Repeat testing is not helpful. In fact, none of the tests is very accurate, and there is no information about whether there is a safe or ideal level. In addition, after menopause, your hormone levels are uniformly low. The only women who should be taking hormones are those with symptoms that are seriously affecting their quality of life, and who feel the benefits outweigh the risks. We will usually start you at a low dose of hormones and increase to the point where the symptoms become tolerable. What is most important is how you feel, not the level of hormones.

If I am considering starting hormone therapy, should I get a baseline test of my hormones?
We do not recommend baseline testing of estradiol, progesterone and testosterone. The hormone levels have very little to do with how you are feeling or which hormones you take. Since the results are not reliable and do not necessarily match up with your symptoms, the results do not change what we prescribe.

Consider attending one of our Menopause Classes, contact your local Health Education department to schedule
Read more by going to www.kp.org and searching under women's health and in the Health Encyclopedia
Go to www.menopause.org, the site of the North American Menopause Society, which is a very comprehensive resource

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