4 important blood tests every woman should know about
If this last year-and-a-half has taught us anything, it’s that it’s time to take control of our health. This doesn’t just mean the here and now, but also looking to the future. And if yours involves having children, it’s vital you’re prepared in both body and mind.
Ins and outs aside (no pun intended), one of the most important aspects for a woman trying to conceive is monitoring her hormones. These tiny chemical messengers play a huge part in fertility, and simply testing hormone levels can determine the best time to conceive, as well as detecting an under-lying condition that may affect fertility, such as thyroid function or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
As many as one in 10 women has PCOS, but more than half don’t realise they have. While pregnancy can be successful in those women who receive treatment for PCOS, it’s best to know as early as possible to stay in control.
For new mums, your body has been through so much growing your little one and those extra demands can result in vitamin and nutrient deficiency. No wonder your energy levels are low, right? (It’s not just the sleepless nights!)
So why wouldn’t you want to know what’s going on inside you? Maybe you’re worried about seeing a GP, or can’t fit an appointment into your busy day, but this is where experts like Thriva come in. You can find all the answers in the comfort of your own home.
Thriva’s array of home blood tests are discreet, convenient and super-easy to use. You can access your results online in 48 hours (or 10 days for the post-birth test, as omegas take longer to analyse), with a personalised report – completely free of medical jargon – from a qualified GP. It couldn’t be easier.
Whether you opt to test for PCOS, your hormone levels, fertility or an update on your post-birth health, you’ll receive a testing kit clearly showing you how to retrieve blood from a pinprick on your ring finger or pinkie. Thriva has a handy step-by-step video online you can follow too. Once you’ve popped the sample in the post, you’re done. You’ll get an email when the sample has been received at the lab, and another when your results are ready. It’s amazing what such a tiny amount of blood can tell you about your health.
Dr Sumera Angus, a medical doctor (NHS) and Head of Clinical Operations at Thriva, says: “Finger prick blood tests use capillary blood rather than venous blood. Finger prick capillary samples are already commonly used in paediatric and neonatal medicine and are a known effective means of sampling blood, requiring smaller volumes than venous samples.
Still apprehensive about doing it yourself? Don’t be. “Being afraid of blood, blood tests and needles is very common. More often than not it is the anxiety around the whole procedure that provokes this, rather than the actual sensation of having the test,” says Dr Angus. “But if you are still worried, talk to us for more tailored advice around your concern. Also, do not do the test alone – when we get nervous about something, we are more likely to panic. If the sight of blood is the main concern, then we would advise booking with our phlebotomy service. This way you can have medical assistance during the procedure and the whole process is carried out for you.”
If you’re not sure what test to start with, take Thriva’s online quiz to learn about your long-term health or how to improve your energy levels. You can then determine which test is right for you.
READER OFFER: Get 20% off any one of these four tests
Whatever stage you’re at in life, stay in control of your health
● Women’s hormones test: aimed at any women in general who simply want a better
understanding of their hormone levels and could help detect the cause of several factors including a low sex drive, low mood, hot flushes and weight changes. It also measures the luteinising hormone levels which play a key role in reproduction. Normal price, £79
● PCOS test: for those previously diagnosed with PCOS or who suspect they might have PCOS
because of symptoms: irregular periods, acne, difficulty getting pregnant, excess body hair. With this test, you can monitor hormone levels as well as hbA1C level (blood glucose) and cholesterol. Insulin resistance and higher cholesterol can both be associated with PCOS. Normal price, £92
● Fertility insights test: for anyone who is actively trying to conceive, or simply want to reassure themselves for the future. It assesses a range of hormones and nutrients that are vital for fertility, and can also indicate if you have a condition that might affect your chances of conceiving naturally, such as a thyroid issue. Normal price, £99
● Post-birth test: measures a range of nutrient levels to help support a new mother’s health
and energy levels after pregnancy. A new mum may also want to check if she has enough key
nutrients to support breastfeeding – if she lacks energy and suspects a deficiency, this test can
give her more insight into her health. Advice is then available to improve results. Normal price, £95
Visit Thriva for more information, prices, expert advice and customers’ success stories and see for yourself how quick and easy learning about your health can be.