Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Hormone Spit Test

I haven't been to any doctors for my headaches in a while (except for my therapist) but over the summer I went to a new gyno for a hormone consultation. I have headaches all the time, but during my period, they're constant, often migraine-level, and drugs don't seem to touch them. The gyno suggested I take a Female Hormone Panel saliva test. I've had my hormones tested by a former neurologist, but it was soon after I stopped hormonal birth control and it was a single blood test (results were normal from what I remember). For this test, I have to fill 11 tubes with spit on particular days throughout my cycle. It's supposed to work better because it's taken before, during and after ovulation, and saliva carries a certain kind of hormones, or something like that. The cost will be $200, but I haven't been taking regular meds or having frequent copays, so that's my justification!

In addition to the test, I've been charting my cycles by taking my temperature every morning, using instructions from Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler. From what I can tell, my luteal phase is too short which means I have low progesterone levels. The former neurologist I mentioned above suspected I had that problem and had me visit a compounding pharmacy to get bioidentical progesterone, but then I saw a new neurologist and she told me stop taking them.

I have 10 more spit tubes to fill, freeze and mail, and then the company will send my gyno the results and we'll review them together. Side note, it's tough filling a tube - maybe 3/4 inch, with spit, not including the foam. The directions say you can chew sugar-free gum a few minutes beforehand, but I've cut fake sugars for good so that's not an option. I tried visualizing myself biting into a juicy strawberry, but that barely made my mouth water. Next time I'm going to look at pictures of food or maybe smell stuff in my fridge and see if that helps!