Let’s talk about how to ask your doctor for hormone tests
You want your doctor to help you with your cycle, but you’re not sure how to ask your doctor for hormone tests? A lot of women have trouble communicating with their doctor because they’re not sure what to ask! Sometimes you go in with expectations that they’re going to check your hormones, yet you can leave feeling rather deflated that you’ve only been offered the pill or even gaslighted out of the medical office.
Effective communication is key. So I’m going to share with you my top tips on how to ask your doctor for hormone blood tests. First I want to address that I can never promise that your doctor will actually run all the required tests. But these tips will give you a better chance!
My Top 5 Tips for asking your doctors for hormone tests:
🌸 Leading up to your appointment I suggest you make a list of all your concerns and symptoms like your irregular cycle and symptoms such as breakthrough bleeding.
🌸 Write down any past medical history that your doctor will need to take into account
🌸 Ask your close relatives about any conditions that run in the family and make a note*
🌸 Educate yourself, as best as you can, about your condition (if known), so you can advocate for yourself
🌸 Don’t let your doctor gaslight you, and seek a second opinion if you feel like you’re being discounted
Here are some examples of what you can say:
Irregular cycle: I’ve been missing my period for the last 4 months which isn’t normal for me. Can you run a blood test for my hormones including lutenizing hormone (LH), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), oestrogen, calculated free testosterone, sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), and prolactin.
How to advocate for yourself with an irregular cycle: I’m not wanting to go on the pill as I know that doesn’t help to fix my cycle, and it’s not a true period like I want. Can you please test my hormones so I know the cause of my irregular cycle.
PCOS: I have several symptoms of PCOS such as acne, irregular cycles, thinning hair, and unwanted hair growth for the past 12 months. I’d like to get my hormones and identify what’s causing my PCOS. Can you test my hormones including: lutenizing hormone (LH), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), oestrogen, calculated free testosterone, sex hormone binding globulin, prolactin, and fasting insulin. I know that testosterone and insulin are normally the biggest contributing factors to PCOS symptoms, and I want to check my levels.
How to advocate for yourself with PCOS: I’d like to find the cause of my PCOS symptoms and I know that PCOS cannot be diagnosed from an ovary ultrasound alone. Will you test my hormones for me?
*Family history can include certain conditions like Hashimoto’s, high cholesterol, coeliac disease, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, hormone conditions like PCOS, endometriosis, missing cycle, and infertility.
Sharing this information with your doctor means they have more justification to run associated tests according to Medicare’s rules.
Things you need to know about Medicare
– Doctors are accountable for every single test they order through Medicare. If they order too many tests they need to do into ‘pathology rehab’. Medicare will often send doctors letters saying they are ordering too many tests.
– Certain tests are highly unlikely to be covered under Medicare. As an example of this is getting a full thyroid panel, including TSH, T4, T4, rT3, and thyroid antibodies. All of these run together are very important for identifying thyroid dysfunction. As a fertility naturopath it’s important to understand if the thyroid is a cause or contributing factor of various signs and symptoms. These include heavy and irregular cycles, endometriosis, PCOS, infertility, miscarriage, weight gain or weight loss, hair loss, and low energy.
It’s a fine line between knowing that your doctor can’t run every test (in accordance with Medicare rules) and not getting gaslighted (like your doctor says there’s no point in testing your hormones).
Hopefully these tips have helped so you can communicate more effectively with your doctor!
Need more help?
If you need help with your blood tests once you get your results, I suggest booking in for a Naturopathic Appointment where I can help you get your cycle back.