Trying to grow your family can be overwhelming and stressful – especially when you get negative pregnancy tests month after month.
You know that getting pregnant often takes time and patience, even when your health is in perfect balance, and whether you’re doing acupuncture for fertility or not. But, it’s natural to worry about your reproductive health and wonder if everything “checks out.”
Thankfully, technology has made understanding your fertility status easy with at-home hormone test kits. Here we’ll dive into the basics of at-home fertility testing and share a few recommended kits to help you make smart and proactive decisions that grow your family.
Hormone Testing for Fertility
Hormone testing is often the first step to investigating potential fertility obstacles. It’s an easy way to get a big picture look at how healthy and balanced your system is and alert you to any potential red flags or big issues that need to be addressed.
Unfortunately, many people wait to test their hormones until they’ve already spent 6-12 months trying to conceive without luck. At-home kits make testing your fertility more accessible and affordable, which may help you catch fertility issues earlier.
When Should You Test Your Hormones?
Since hormone testing is fast and relatively affordable, there’s no harm in getting tested early on in your fertility journey.
If you’ve been trying to conceive for several months but haven’t been successful yet, it might be a good time to consider checking your hormone levels with an at-home kit or with a fertility specialist.
Once we know exactly what’s going on with your hormone balance, we’ll be able to give you some information on your next best steps and options. At Wellnest Denver, this usually involves using holistic medicine like acupuncture, herbs, and supplements to help you correct your balance and prepare your body for baby naturally.
What Fertility Hormones Should You Test?
At-home or over-the-counter fertility tests are simple, easy, and affordable ways to get a clearer picture of your fertility for both men and women.
Female Fertility Tests
At-home tests for women work by collecting a small blood sample and sending it to a lab for testing. The blood is tested for a range of sex hormones that affect fertility including:
- Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH): This hormone indicates how hard your body is working to produce a viable egg.
- Anti-mullerian hormone (AMH): This hormone gives a sense of ovarian health and how many eggs might remain in the ovaries.
- Estradiol (E2): The version of estrogen the body makes when not pregnant.
- Estrogen and luteinizing hormone (LH): These increase right before ovulation and are used in ovulation predictor kits to help you determine the best times for intercourse.
- Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH): When out of balance, this hormone indicates that thyroid dysfunction could be impacting your fertility.
Male Fertility Tests
Most fertility tests for men don’t involve hormone testing but instead test the health and quality of sperm. While at-home kits typically cover sperm count, tests at your doctor’s office will give more detailed results about the motility and morphology:
- Sperm count: How many viable sperm are in the sample.
- Motility: How well the sperm swim and move.
- Morphology: The percentage of sperm that have a normal shape and function.
When Should You Test Fertility Hormones?
Depending on what hormones you are testing, there are specific days of your menstrual cycle you’ll need to perform your test to get the most accurate results. Your doctor or at-home kit should advise you on when to test, but here’s a quick run-down of the optimal testing days for key hormones:
- FSH: Day 2 or 3 of your cycle.
- Estradiol: Day 2 or 3 of your cycle.
- LH: Day 2 or 3 of your cycle to determine imbalance, or mid-way to determine ovulation.
- Progesterone: Day 21 of your cycle.
- AMH: At any point in your cycle.
3 Affordable Fertility Hormone Tests You Can Take At Home
If you’re not quite ready to head to the fertility specialist for a hormone panel, you’re in luck. There are many hormone tests you can take right from the comfort of your own home. While these at-home tests may not be as detailed or decisive as a test from your doctor, they can still offer a wealth of information and point you in the right direction for improving your fertility and finally growing your family.
1. Modern Fertility Hormone Test; $159
Modern Fertility is one of the most trusted at-home fertility testing kits on the market. With a single prick of the finger, you’ll be able to test for seven key fertility hormones, including FSH, AMH, TSH, estradiol, free thyroxine, prolactin, and LH.
Once your results are in, you’ll get a detailed report and the option to schedule a call with a Modern Fertility nurse to review your results and what they mean.
2. LetsGetChecked Female Fertility; $129
LetsGetChecked is a slightly more focused hormone testing kit that evaluates key fertility markers like FSH, LH, estradiol, and prolactin. This at-home test will give you insight into whether or not you are ovulating normally or if there is a hormone imbalance impacting your fertility.
Like Modern Fertility’s test, LetsGetChecked reports are doctor-reviewed, and a nursing team is available if you need to discuss your results.
3. Everlywell Ovarian Reserve Test; $49
If you’re not quite ready to start planning your family, but you want to get an idea of your overall state of fertility, consider the Ovarian Reserve test from Everlywell. This kit tests your AMH levels to determine if you have an appropriate level of AMH (which correlates with egg quantity) for your age. These results can give you a basic idea of how well your reproductive system is functioning and if you should consider egg freezing.
While these aren’t hormone tests, the Dadi and Legacy sperm analysis and storage kits are a great way to test your partner’s sperm quality with ease, comfort, and privacy.
What to Do When You Get Your Results
Hopefully, your test results will come back with gold stars and a healthy hormone panel. But what if your tests came back less than fabulously fertile? What can you do to improve your chances of getting pregnant?
While hormone imbalances can put a wrench in your family planning, the good news is that you can improve them with Chinese medicine and a few healthy lifestyle changes.
Reach out to a fertility team.
If you are concerned about your results, getting a consultation from a fertility doctor or two never hurts. They may have you repeat your fertility test through their lab for a more accurate report.
Start fertility acupuncture.
Whether your hormones need balancing or you just want to have the healthiest pregnancy possible, acupuncture can help. Along with balancing your hormones, acupuncture also helps to improve the overall quality of your eggs, enhances the uterine lining, and keeps your stress and anxiety down throughout the process.
Fertility acupuncture is not just for women – it can significantly improve sperm count and quality to increase your overall chances of a successful, healthy pregnancy.
Reduce stress and prioritize rest.
Stress, fatigue, and sleep issues will sabotage even the best efforts at getting pregnant. To give your body the support it needs, take time to rest and relax.
Schedule time each day for both activities that help you relieve stress and time for “non-doing.” Even 20 minutes of sitting quietly can make a significant difference in your mental and physical health.
And don’t forget sleep! Healthy sleep is essential for hormone balance. Set a schedule and nighttime ritual that helps you fall into restful, restorative sleep each night.
Achieve a Healthy Hormone Balance with Wellnest Denver’s Fertility Acupuncturist
Striking a healthy hormone balance isn’t always easy, but it is possible with the power of holistic medicine.
At Wellnest Denver, we understand how challenging and confusing the fertility journey can be. That’s why we’ve dedicated our fertility acupuncture plans to helping you feel empowered every step of the way. We use gentle, effective therapies to improve your natural fertility all while supporting you – mind, body, and soul.
Ready to take charge of your fertility? Discover what your hormones are telling you with an at-home kit, then schedule a holistic fertility acupuncture treatment at our Denver acupuncture office. Book your consultation today!