Longer than 5-6 days and dark red with blood clots
None of the above
0-27 = Stress
Based on your results it likely that overproduction of stress hormones is impacting your hormones. Let’s start with some definitions… Stress is a normal physiological and psychological adaptation to triggers in the environment. Stress can be present in our lives in many different forms, sometimes the things that cause us stress are more ‘hidden’ and contribute to the invisible load of stress. Stress includes:Relationship issues.Work conflict.Chronic illness.Chronic infection such as gut infections or overgrowths like candida.Accidents.Skipping meals.Poor sleep.Caregiver stressors.Deadlines such as work deadlines or the time constraints we put on ourselves.Extreme exercise such as too much HIIT exerciseTraumatic events this is often held in our subconscious and sometimes but not always relates back to early life events.Research has shown that when under stress the brain will signal to your body to produce stress hormones and temporarily decrease sex hormone production.Your adrenal glands, the two little glands that sit on top of your kidneys, produce a hormone called cortisol, adrenaline, and noradrenaline in response to stress. They also produce aldosterone, which regulates blood pressure, and DHEA, which is a precursor to oestrogen and testosterone.When your body perceives there is a great deal of stress it pushes into higher cortisol production while also down regulating the mechanisms that lead to reproduction. This is exactly why when you are stressed your libido takes a big hit! If you are in a stressful environment then your body is receiving a signal that now is not the best time to become pregnant. Your body is actually trying to protect you. It down regulates the production of sex hormones, like progesterone, and up regulate survival hormones like cortisol.Strategies for support your stress response:Moderate caffeine intake: no more than 1 coffee/day. Eat a balance breakfast containing proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Use a tool such as journalling or meditation to unpack the causes of your stress.
28-54 = Low Progesterone
Progesterone is one of our main sex hormones, progesterone's job is to maintain the lining of the uterus which makes it possible for a fertilised egg to implant if you're trying to get pregnant. It also helps maintain healthy cervical mucus which provides nourishment and safe travels for sperm as it moves towards the egg. Without sufficient progesterone, your oestrogen levels naturally take the lead and this creates a cascade of classic PMS type symptoms. Symptoms of low progesterone: mood swings, fertility challenges, lack of ovulation, anxiety, fatigue, low sex drive, and sleep disturbances. For some women, PMS hits the week before their period. For others, the symptoms are more erratic, seemingly lasting throughout the month.Period pain and PMS symptoms are considered common, but common is certainly not normal. Ps: Ovulation is how you make progesterone. My top tips for supporting progesterone levels are: Scheduling in more rest & relaxation across your week. Correcting nutrient deficiencies such as iodine and zinc which could be inhibiting ovulation.Addressing any underlying reasons for ovulation issues such as low thyroid hormone.
55-81 = Low Thyroid Hormones
Every cell in your body needs thyroid hormone, including your brain and ovaries. Thyroid hormone is essential for follicle development in the ovary (a necessary step in ovulation). It is also involved in brain hormone signalling to the ovaries, which is essential to a healthy menstrual cycle. If brain-ovarian communication is interrupted, or the ovaries are unable to ovulate, then your cycles may become irregular. Having insufficient amounts of thyroid hormones can lead to:Anovulatory cycles (no ovulation)MiscarriagesInfertilityLong periodsHeavy periodsIrregular periodsOther symptoms include: fatigue, weight gain, depression, hair loss, joint pain and stool changes.My top tips: If you haven’t already please speak to your GP about testing your thyroid. Complete thyroid testing includes TSH, T4, T3, TPO, Tg Ab and while you are at is please check the nutrients needed for thyroid function zinc, iron, iodine, vitamin D. It’s key to work out if your thyroid is auto-immune driven or not. Prioritise rest and relaxation. Thyroid conditions are very complex, I recommend working with a practitioner to ensure you are getting the best possible care.
82-108 = High Androgens
Androgens are hormones like testosterone and DHEA. There are a few reasons why androgens might be elevated but the most common reason for androgen excess is PCOS. Key symptoms of PCOS include:Irregular menstrual cycles.Hair loss,Hair growth or darkening of hairs around the chin or nipples.Acne including across the back and shoulders or chest.Other than PCOS here are some other reasons for elevated androgens:Hypersensitivity to a normal amount of androgenAdrenal androgen excess (including adrenal PCOS)Ovarian androgen excess (classic PCOS)Hormonal birth control with a “high androgen index”Adrenal hyperplasiaA few things to know about PCOS: You can be lean and have PCOSMetformin won’t fix your PCOS While PCOS is not technically reversible, the causes such as insulin resistance are and it is possible to reverse your symptoms with the right intervention.My top tips: Request the following testing from your GP, close to ovulation is ideal: fasting insulin, free testosterone, SHBG, DHEA-S, prolactin. This will provide answers to whether or not you have PCOS and what is driving your PCOS. Supplements such as zinc, NAC and inositol can be useful in conjunction with the right dietary strategy.
109-135 = Excess Oestrogen
Oestrogen excess is one of the most common hormonal problems for women, it is what I see most in clinics with clients. It’s so common because stress and environment both greatly impact your ability to metabolise hormones like oestrogen. Oestrogen excess can develop from excess body fat, environmental oestrogen's, poor digestion, stress, adrenal issues, and even autoimmune conditions.Key symptoms of excess oestrogen include:Heavy periodsIrregular periodsBreast swelling and cyclical breast painHeadaches and migrainesWeight increasePainful periodsMood swingsHeightened emotionsHigh oestrogen also impacts the availability of thyroid hormone. Excess oestrogen can be responsible for many of our dreaded monthly symptoms. My top tips:Moderate caffeine intake; no more than 1/day. Reduce alcohol consumption especially before your period arrives. Support your bowel movements; plenty of water, 4-6 cups of vegetables per day (aiming to include 2 cups brassica vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower). Correct nutrient deficiency like iron, b12, b6, iodine, zinc which can impact oestrogen metabolism. Reduce/avoid using plastics e.g. T/A coffee cups.