I'll be 40 in less than a month and I must admit it is shaking me up a little. I am SO lucky that I have four children, and I don't have any more planned but there is something about that 'line in the sand' that you feel at 40 - the line between a fertile young woman, and, well, a granny. I've also taken to wondering if some new symptoms I've been experiencing could be due to my age and I often wondered if I was going through the perimenopause. Forth are a company that offers at home test kits for many things, one of them being a female hormone mapping test. Essentially I was hoping that this would be a blood test for perimenopause test for me, and reveal how old my body thinks it is inside!
Disclosure - we were sent a female hormone mapping test kit by Forth free of charge for the purpose of this review. All opinions are honest and our own.
I have done a Forth test before - a baseline test and I was so glad that I did - it showed that I had a thyroid problem and a severe vitamin D deficiency. I was able to go to the doctors with the result and was subsequently diagnosed with hypothyroidism and now have the correct medication and regular monitoring. They were also able to closely monitor me through pregnancy too. I will be forever grateful that I was able to have this test and get the treatment that I didn't know I needed!
This time I took the female hormone mapping test. This shows you essentially if you have a hormone imbalance by tracking the four main female hormones across your cycle. The test results will show you, with an explanation and advice from an expert endocrinologist...
- Your unique curves which show how each of your four key hormones are predicted to fluctuate throughout your personal menstrual cycle
- Identification of any potential problem areas
- Confirmation if ovulation has occurred
- Ovarian response score indicating how well your hormone network is working
- For women over forty, confirmation if they have entered the perimenopause
- Increased understanding of the link between hormones fluctuations and your health & wellbeing
- An evidence-based action plan to support your female hormone network
It is really easy to do this perimenopause test at home and everything that you need is supplied in the kit. For this particular test you need to send off two blood samples, taken at different points in your menstrual cycle. The instructions are clear and I managed to get two decent blood samples without too much effort. You simply prick your finger with the lancet and drip the blood into the small bottle included.
Top tip for home blood tests: Wash your hands with warm water to increase blood rate and jump and wave your arms about to ensure the blood is flowing well. Make sure that the lancet is pressed firmly into your finger and it will make collecting blood a lot easier.
Once the sample has been taken, you pack it up into the envelope provided and just pop it into a post box as soon as you can. Make sure that you take your sample on a Monday-Thursday so it is able to be picked up by Royal Mail promptly.
You will then need to answer a few simple questions online - these take only about 5 minutes. After I had sent back both blood samples my results were quite quickly available and I could log into my online account to see the full report.
I was pleasantly surprised with my results. They showed that I have a FORM score (Forth Ovarian Responsiveness Metric) of 89 which is good score for hormone health. It shows that I am in good female hormone health and show no signs of the perimenopause in this cycle.
The results are very detailed, and really interesting. I didn't actually know that much about female hormones and what they mean so it gave me a great knowledge about my own body. My results showed that my ovarian hormones were within normal range throughout my cycle and that it was likely that I ovulated this month. This would be really good information if you were trying to conceive.
My control hormones were also within normal level which again shows that ovulation was likely this cycle. The report that you receive is detailed and personal to you and there are explanations for all the reports and levels, detailing exactly what they mean which is especially useful if you're not used to reading blood test results.
Forth also includes recommendations based on your results that will hopefully improve your sleep, mood and help with managing hunger and other hormonal symptoms that crop up over the course of a month.
Forth recommend testing every 4-6 months to track any intermittent changes that could signal the start of the perimenopause. I'm definitely going to be keeping an eye on my female hormone levels as I get to 40 and beyond. Once again I was surprised by the results (this time pleasantly surprised!)
The female hormone mapping test that I took is available on the Forth website and retails for £129. Taking a perimenopause test online really is as straightforward as that.
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