Q: I live in a very rural area, and there are no doctors near me who know
about bioidentical hormones. I found a hormone panel on the internet that I can
use at home. The on-line pharmacy will interpret results for me. Then all I have
to do is get a doctor to prescribe it. What do you think of that?
A: We usually don’t recommend this approach to start with. We have
often found the saliva tests used in at–home tests to be unreliable, highly
variable, and difficult to interpret.
We realize that using an at–home kit may be a lot easier than getting blood
drawn, but we much prefer blood tests, at least to start with. Some on-line pharmacies
are indeed experts in bioidentical hormones, but we feel that you may need the continuity
of care that only a focused patient–practitioner relationship with an experienced
healthcare provider can provide.
In an ideal world, all women would have access to healthcare providers well versed
in bioidentical hormone testing, interpretation of the results, and hormone therapy
custom-compounded to meet their individual needs. But if blood testing cannot be
carried out by your local practitioner, or your practitioner is unwilling or unable
to interpret the results, you may need to travel to the nearest city. Visit Women’s International Pharmacy for more information
on hormone testing labs and finding a practitioner who can assist you.
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