Hormonal Assay

Definition - What does Hormonal Assay mean?

A hormonal assay involves testing of male and female sex hormones in the blood such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone as well as hormones produced by other glands such as the thyroid, parathyroid, and pituitary glands.

FertilitySmarts explains Hormonal Assay

A hormonal assay may be needed to assess the ovarian and thyroid status in females, and analyze the semen in males or for confirming a suspected endocrine (hormonal) issue. Some of the important hormones measured in males and females are as follows:

If a failure of gonads (testes) is suspected in males, the doctor will measure FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone), LH (luteinizing hormone), and testosterone. These hormones are also used to confirm a low sperm count and abnormal semen findings. Low testosterone level interferes with its own inhibitory effect on FSH and LH, resulting in high FSH and LH levels. Likewise, high prolactin levels that also contribute to the lack of sperm in men are included in the hormonal assay for identifying the reason behind a low sperm count and infertility in males.

If females have irregular cycles with nipple discharge, prolactin levels are measured. In women suspected of having PCOS, doctors order androgens, including testosterone, DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone), and DHEA-Sulfate (DHEAS) as well as SHBG (sex hormone-binding globulin). In PCOS, androgens are expected to be high whereas SHBG is expected to be on the lower side. FSH, estradiol, AMH, and Inhibin B levels are measured on day 3 of the menstrual cycle to assess the ovarian reserve and the pool of eggs available for fertility in a woman's cycle.

Thyroid hormones, including thyroxine (T4), triiodothyronine (T3), and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) are measured if a person shows any signs and symptoms of a thyroid problem.

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