Comprehensive Female Lab Panel Appointments in
Comprehensive Female Panel
What tests are included in a comprehensive female panel?
Specific tests included in a comprehensive female panel may vary depending on the brand of test you receive, but common forms of testing include:
Complete blood count (CBC): A complete blood count (CBC) is a common blood test that evaluates your overall health by measuring several components of your blood, including red blood cells, white blood cells, hemoglobin, and platelets. This can help doctors diagnose infections, autoimmune disorders, anemia, and other health conditions.
Lipid Panel: A lipid panel is a group of tests that measures cholesterol and other fats in your blood. These results can then be used to help assess your risk of heart disease or stroke. Your doctor may recommend a lipid panel if you have a family history of heart disease or stroke - or if you have any conditions that may increase your risk of heart diseases, such as high blood pressure, obesity, high total cholesterol, and more.
Thyroid Panel: Thyroid panel tests are used to determine the levels of T3 and T4 hormones in your blood. Low amounts of these hormones indicate an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism), where excessive levels of T3 and T4 indicate an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism).
Thyroid-stimulating hormone test: A thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) test is a blood test used to measure levels of TSH in the blood. This helps doctors determine how well the thyroid gland is working. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that lies below your Adam’s apple in the front of the neck. The gland is responsible for the production of the triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) hormones, which regulate your body’s metabolism. TSH is produced by the pituitary gland in the brain and acts as a stimulant for the thyroid gland. If thyroid hormone levels are too low, TSH will be produced by the pituitary gland to provoke hormone production from the thyroid gland. If thyroid hormone levels are high, your pituitary gland should produce less TSH.
Comprehensive Metabolic Panel: A comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP) measures 14 different substances in your blood to give your doctor important information about your body's chemical balance and metabolism.
CMPs measure the levels of:
- Blood urea nitrogen
- Carbon dioxide
- Total bilirubin
- Total protein
- Liver enzymes (alanine aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, and aspartate aminotransferase)
A test of these levels can help doctors check several body systems such as:
- Liver and kidney function
- Blood sugar levels
- Blood protein levels
- Acidity in the blood
- Electrolyte balance
Progesterone: Progesterone is a steroid hormone that is released from the ovaries to help regulate estrogen, the menstrual cycle, and the early stages of pregnancy. An imbalance of progesterone and estrogen can lead to weight gain, fibroids, increased cancer risks, ovarian cysts, and bone loss (osteoporosis).
Estradiol: Estradiol helps regulate the menstrual cycle, as well as maintain the health of the female reproductive system.
Hemoglobin A1c Lab Test: Also called A1c, HbA1c, or glycated hemoglobin, this test measures the average amount of blood sugar (also called glucose) attached to your hemoglobin over the past three months. Hemoglobin is a protein in your red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout your body. An HbA1c test is generally used by doctors to check for diabetes or prediabetes in adults.
Total testosterone: This test measures the levels of testosterone in the blood. Testosterone helps regulate body fat, muscle mass, bone mass, red blood cell count, sperm count, and libido. Excessive levels of testosterone can lead to an increase in cholesterol, hardened blood cells, and increased body hair. Low levels of testosterone can affect reproductive health, fertility, and other natural functions (such as strength, energy, and fat storage).
DHEA-S: DHEA is produced in the adrenal glands to promote the production of testosterone and estrogen. DHEA levels decrease with age but are commonly supplemented during hormone replacement therapy to counteract the symptoms of low testosterone or low estrogen (depending on whether you are a man or woman).
Vitamin D Test: A vitamin D 25-hydroxy test is a simple blood test used by doctors to measure vitamin D levels in the blood. According to the National Institutes of Health, roughly 41% of American adults have vitamin D deficiency. This can lead to bone and muscle pain, increased risk of infection, and fatigue. Additionally, vitamin D plays a crucial role in protecting the body from conditions such as:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
- Bone loss
Your doctor may recommend a vitamin D 25-hydroxy test if you are at risk of vitamin D deficiency.
People at risk of a vitamin D deficiency include:
- Older adults
- Individuals with dark skin
- Individuals who do not receive much sun exposure
- Individuals managing obesity
- Individuals with osteoporosis, celiac disease, and Crohn’s disease
- Individuals who have had gastric bypass surgery
Why do I need a comprehensive female panel?
Comprehensive female panels are used to check levels of hormones and certain substances in your blood. These tests can help diagnose low hormone levels in older women, as well as health conditions like thyroid problems, high cholesterol, and prediabetes (if glucose is tested).
These panels can also help individuals monitor their hormone levels while undergoing hormone replacement therapy. Excessive levels of sex hormones can produce adverse effects. Checking these levels can help you and your doctor keep these hormones balanced.
Imbalance hormone levels can lead to symptoms such as:
- Heavy or irregular periods
- Weight gain
- Osteoporosis (weak or brittle bones)
- Hot flashes
- Breast tenderness
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Uterine bleeding
- Excessive body/ facial hair growth
- Deepening of the voice
- Thinning hair or hair loss
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor about a comprehensive female hormone panel. The earlier you can detect hormone imbalances, the earlier you can begin hormone replacement therapy. This may prevent symptoms from worsening.
What happens during a comprehensive female panel?
Most blood tests are performed at a primary care office, often as a part of a routine check-up. Talk to your doctor if you would like to perform a female lab panel at home. There are several brands that provide these tests for home use, so ask your doctor for a recommendation of a test that’s right for you.
If you are undergoing a lab panel in a primary care clinic, your blood will be drawn for testing. During your appointment, your arm will be wrapped in a band to push blood into the veins of the arm. This makes it easier to insert the needle that will be drawing blood from that area. You may feel a slight pinch as the needle is inserted into your arm, but this sensation should pass within a few seconds. The needle draws blood from a vein in your arm, depositing it into a vial or test tube. Some individuals or tests may require multiple tubes to be filled.
After the needed about of blood has been drawn, the needle will be taken out of your arm and the puncture site will be cleaned and bandaged. The blood will then be sent to a lab for testing and analysis.
You will get your results for most tests in 1-3 business days. A comprehensive female panel may take longer, due to the amount of testing needed. Depending on the results of your blood test, your health care provider may request follow-up testing to provide a definitive diagnosis of any health conditions or diseases they may detect.