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Should I Go for Blood Tests During my Menstrual Cycle?

By: Pathkind Labs 21 Feb 2023 2703 Views
Blood Biomarkers Affected by Your Menstrual Cycle

Laboratory Test for Menstrual Cycle Overview

A menstrual cycle alters the level of sex hormones in the body of a female individual. According to research, it also influences blood biomarkers like lipids, iron, and those that belong to inflammation groups. The constant fluctuations of these blood biomarkers in a menstrual cycle can have several implications. To be on the safe side, and to ensure that all is well, women must go for blood tests when they go through periods. A comparison of the results of blood tests for two or more back-to-back cycles can provide insight into the health and well-being of a woman.

Women must opt for blood tests during their menstrual cycle even if they do not experience any serious problems. It is particularly recommended for those who are 35 years old or older than this age. Keeping track of blood test results during a menstrual cycle is one of the best ways for women to exercise control over their health.

What are Some Common Hormonal Changes in a Menstrual Cycle?

Though the menstrual cycle of women is broken down into two phases, namely luteal and follicular phases, it can be further broken down into two other phases. These two phases are menstrual and ovulation. Thus, overall, there are four phases of the menstrual cycle of a woman: menstrual phase, follicular phase, ovulation phase, and luteal phase.

The menstrual phase marks the first stage of a woman’s menstrual cycle. At this stage, she gets her period and experiences a drop in the levels of two hormones. The names of these hormones are progesterone and estrogen. It normally lasts between 3 and 7 days but this duration can differ for different women or female individuals.

The starting phase of periods also marks the start of the follicular phase. It begins on the first day of a woman’s period and lasts till the 16th day of her ovulation. In this phase, the pituitary gland liberates a hormone for the stimulation of the follicle. The name of the hormone is follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). At this phase, the ovaries release an egg or ovum.

Ovulation begins in the next stage which is called the luteal phase. It is characterized by a rise in the level of estrogen. This sudden increase in the level of estrogen leads to a corresponding spike in the level of the luteinizing hormone. This hormone is responsible for stimulating the release of a mature egg. If the body temperature rises slightly on the 14th day of the cycle, it indicates ovulation.

After ovulation, there is a pronounced rise in the level of progesterone hormone. The estrogen levels also rise slightly in the luteal phase. Thereafter, there is a drop in the level of both these hormones, and the cycle repeats. This cycle continues in the same manner until the time a woman is pregnant. In the luteal stage, which lasts between 11 and 17 days, women may experience some PMS symptoms. Some of them include the following:

  • Sleeping problems
  • Food cravings
  • Weight changes
  • Headache
  • Bloating

Why is a Regular Menstrual Cycle Important for a Woman?

Common Premenstrual symptoms Most Woman Face

A complete cycle of periods with both phases is called a regular menstrual cycle. When a woman goes through both these phases in the right cycle, her period is said to be regular. This is an indication of the proper functioning of her body. Any irregular pattern in the occurrence of both phases can make it difficult for a woman to be pregnant. Other than indicating a pregnancy-related problem, it may also indicate other problems in the body like heart disease, osteoporosis, depression, anemia, and even stroke.

How Menstrual Cycle Affects Blood Biomarkers

The menstrual cycle of a female individual also influences her blood biomarkers. It influences the following indicators:

  • Iron: On average, a woman loses about 0.4%-0.5% of the overall iron in her body in menstrual blood loss. A 16mg iron loss is normal for women in their menstrual period. However, some women may also lose as much as 36 mg of iron due to menorrhagia which indicates is a medical condition characterized by excessive menstruation. A menstrual cycle leads to a slight decline in the level of iron blood biomarkers which a blood test may highlight.
  • Lipids: Given how lipid levels fluctuate in a menstrual cycle, it can be tricky to get consistent results. Therefore, it is imperative to conduct blood tests for lipid levels consistently at the same phase of each cycle. Blood tests in the follicular phase may highlight a reduction in the levels of HDL cholesterol, triglyceride, and overall level of cholesterol.
  • Vitamin D: A blood test in a menstrual cycle may indicate a difference in vitamin D levels compared to the normal level for most women. Those with PMS may undergo a significant drop in the levels of vitamin D. Taking a supplement for it can help relieve the symptoms.
  • hsCRP: If a blood test indicates a fluctuation in the level of hsCRP in a menstrual cycle, there is no reason to panic straight away. A lot depends on the timing factor. It can generally happen if a female individual suffers from PMS. One of the best ways to relieve the symptoms is to focus on an anti-inflammatory diet.

What Are the Different Indicators of Sex Hormone Levels in Blood Tests?

Blood tests in a woman’s menstrual cycle are meant for evaluating different aspects of their reproductive health. Such indicators include luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS), and hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). While all these indicators have their importance, the SHBG and DHEAS are prominent indicators to evaluate the reproductive health of women.

Can Hormonal Contraceptives Influence the Results?

Yes, hormonal contraceptives influence the level of hormones in blood tests during a menstrual cycle. It happens even when a female individual stops taking them. However, it is best to consult a qualified healthcare provider before deciding on taking them.

Final Thoughts

Going for a blood test is a wise decision, regardless of whether you display the symptoms of any medical condition or not. The same rule applies to blood tests in the menstrual cycle for women. If you are a woman, it is strongly recommended that you go for a blood test during your periods to get an insight into your reproductive health and underlying problems. Even if you are healthy or do not have any medical problems, the results of a blood test will help you decide on the right course of action. Further, you will be able to avoid any medical problems and keep your reproductive health in the perfect state.

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