6 mins read
What Is Female Hormone Mapping?
Author: Sarah Bolt
April 20, 2021
Menstrual cycles are a reflection of female hormone health. However, they can affect how you feel in different ways, throughout different stages of your life.
Your experiences are very personal to you because, not only do female hormonal cycles vary between women, but the body can also respond in diverse ways. Up until now, this complexity has made it difficult for women to find the answers they need. Why? Because the current practice of single-day testing (usually on day 3 of your cycle) gives women little insight into how their personal hormones fluctuate through their entire menstrual cycle, or how this may be linked to their health and wellbeing.
Female Hormone Mapping
We have developed a ground-breaking female hormone mapping test, MyFORM™, designed to give you a greater understanding of your hormone cycles so you can feel at your best. You will gain insights into how your female hormones fluctuate over your entire menstrual cycle, and if this is as expected. To do this we apply a combination of blood analysis, artificial intelligence, and clinical expertise to provide you with this in-depth, personal hormone mapping detail, which is entirely unique to you.
We use the gold standard of hormone analysis, using finger prick blood samples collected on day 14 and day 21 of your cycle to measure the four key female hormones. These are Oestradiol (the main form of Oestrogen) Progesterone, Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Luteinising Hormone (LH). Blood sample analysis is the most accurate way to measure the body’s bioavailable hormones.
Specialist endocrinology expertise is then combined with machine learning techniques to ‘map’ out how each of your key hormones fluctuates over your entire menstrual cycle. Each graph shows how your personal curve compares to the expected average for your cycle length or if it is high or low. An explanation is given under each curve, collated by endocrinology specialist Dr Nicky Keay, together with information on the likelihood of ovulation, estimated LH surge and predicted cycle length.
In addition to providing the personal fluctuation curves for each hormone, we use your results to calculates how well your entire hormone network is functioning. We do this through the calculation of a FORM score (Forth Ovarian Response Metric).
This unique metric measures the complex interplay between the control hormones – FSH, LH – and the ovarian response hormones – Oestradiol and Progesterone. Hormones do not work in isolation but operate as a network, with the control hormones rising to trigger the ovaries to produce Oestradiol and Progesterone. The FORM score is a measure out of 100 of how well your ovarian network is responding, with scores >75 indicative of a healthy ovarian response. This metric is extremely beneficial to women as they go through different life stages and can be used together with symptoms to indicate the start of the perimenopause and the speed of transition towards menopause.
Linking Your Hormones with Your Wellbeing
Female hormones have far-reaching effects on many systems in the body including the female reproductive system, the nervous system (brain and nerves throughout the body), the musculoskeletal system (bone and muscle), the digestive system, the cardiovascular system (heart and blood vessels), the immune system and metabolism. In short, female hormones are integral to a woman’s health & wellbeing.
Just as your hormones fluctuate throughout your cycle, hormone levels can also be influenced by behaviours and there are steps you can take to influence your levels or reduce the impact of symptoms.
By telling us how you are feeling across five key wellbeing metrics, we offer personalised insights into the relationships between your hormones and how you feel and give tailored, practical, evidence-based advice, based on your unique results. The information you will receive is designed to give you a greater understanding of your body and help you improve your wellbeing and optimise your quality of life.
Your report is available to view on a mobile app, as soon as the second blood sample has been processed. This allows you to put strategies into practice immediately, even before your next cycle begins.
MyFORM™ offers ground-breaking and unparalleled insights into your personal menstrual cycles. By repeating the process over time our machine learning algorithm adapts to give you more personalised data unique to your cycle enabling you to detect your personal trends over time, such as a decline in ovarian responsiveness that occurs later in life, on the approach to menopause. It gives you the ability to establish personalised strategies so you can feel at your best whatever day in your cycle or whatever stage in your life.
Is MyFORM™ For Me?
MyFORM™ is designed for women who are experiencing natural menstrual cycles.
- Women who want to check their hormones are fluctuating as expected and are seeking a better understanding of their hormones in order to help improve their wellbeing
- Women approaching perimenopause, when monitoring ovarian responsiveness can be particularly beneficial
- Exercisers, athletes and dancers who want to perform to their personal best throughout their cycle and ensure their hormones are not been compromised by their training load and fuelling strategies.
- Women whose menstrual cycles have recently resumed following recovery from RED-S (relative energy deficiency in sport), discontinuation of hormonal contraception or in the postnatal period
- Women who want to identify or manage a condition or maybe thinking about trying to start a family.
MyFORM™ is not designed for women who are currently using hormonal contraceptives (such as the combined oral contraceptive/progesterone-only pill, implant, injection or Mirena coil forms), those taking HRT (hormone replacement therapy) or any other female hormonal medications or those who are not experiencing any periods.
How It Works
In order to understand your cycle, we measure all four key female hormones in the blood: Oestradiol, Progesterone, Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Luteinising Hormone (LH). Samples are analysed in a UK-based accredited laboratory. The use of blood serum samples is the gold standard applied in clinical medicine. Other methods, based on urine or saliva, cannot accurately measure all four hormones.
Our process is set up to make this straightforward to complete in the comfort of your own home. Initially, we will ask you to provide some basic information about yourself and your menstrual history. We will send you a kit, so that you can provide two simple finger prick blood samples, on or close to days 14 and 21 of your cycle. (The standard clinical practise is to measure female hormones on day 3, however, this confines insight to a single day’s snapshot which provides only limited information.) At the time that you collect each sample, we ask you to report on five key quality of life metrics that are recognised as being relevant to female hormones: Sleep, Mood, Freshness, Hunger Urges and Symptoms related to the menstrual cycle.
Results available on your phone
As soon as the second sample has been processed, your results are made available on your mobile app. These include the Forth Ovarian Responsiveness Metric (FORM score), which is based on all four hormone levels in each of the two samples, taking account of the expected ranges on the days they were taken.
A machine learning technique is used to generate a curve for each hormone, representing the most likely variation over the cycle that is consistent with your samples. This allows you to see whether your hormones were in the expected normal range for you or detect if a result was unusual. The estimated peak level of Progesterone is used to estimate the likelihood of ovulation. Each curve is explained in the context of your reported quality-of-life metrics, based on the expertise of specialist endocrinologist, Dr Nicky Keay. The report includes advice on helpful personal strategies that are evidence-based and designed to be practical and actionable.
For those wishing to discuss their results in detail, it is possible to arrange a virtual face-to-face appointment with Dr Nicky Keay.
Our unique and innovative MyFORM™ is the next step in female health intelligence. It gives women a greater understanding of their hormone health and how this is related to their overall wellbeing, not just their fertility. By using artificial intelligence to map out hormones across an entire menstrual cycle along with insights from our expert endocrinologist, women will have a unique and personalised insight into their hormones to help them feel their best throughout their life.
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This information has been medically reviewed by Dr Thom Phillips
Thom works in NHS general practice and has a decade of experience working in both male and female elite sport. He has a background in exercise physiology and has published research into fatigue biomarkers.
Dr Thom Phillips
Head of clinical services
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