Katie Murray is a 52-year-old active sportswoman who is focused on looking after herself with good nutrition and balancing her sport demands with demands from her family life.
Katie had been experiencing symptoms indicative of the perimenopause, she explains ‘over recent months, my periods have been having a detrimental effect on my sports and training. Together with low moods, night sweats and daily hot flushes, I wanted to gain a further understanding of where I was in terms of the menopause.’
Katie decided to start using Female Hormone Mapping to give her a better understanding of her hormonal fluctuations and if they were characteristic of the perimenopause. In short, Katie wanted more certainty of whether the symptoms she was experiencing were down to the perimenopause
Needing To Make The Right Choices
Katie had been prescribed a low dose of an anti-depressant to manage her low mood and anxiety which she had been on for a couple of years.
However, with the onset of other symptoms, Katie didn’t want to increase her dose before understanding whether her hormones were the underlying cause.
“I have been taking a low-level dose of Sertraline for low mood and anxiety for a couple of years. I did not want to simply up the dosage as many of my hormonal symptoms are pertinent to the initial prescribing of the anti-depressants.”
As Forth’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Nicky Keay explains, ‘It’s not unusual for women in perimenopause to experience symptoms such as low mood and anxiety. NICE guidelines state that in this situation HRT is the treatment of choice.’
Due to Covid-19 and the current situation of telephone consultations and difficulty getting a GP appointment, Katie wanted to find another way to take control of her health.
“I wanted to be ready and armed with all the data, to make an informed choice about my own health and body.”
How Female Hormone Mapping Has Helped Katie
As Katie was still having a regular, natural menstrual cycle she was able to use Forth’s ground-breaking Female Hormone Mapping product.
Female Hormone Mapping uses artificial intelligence, combined with blood analysis and clinical expertise to map all 4 female hormones – FSH, LH, Oestrogen and Progesterone – across an entire menstrual cycle.
As a woman gets older her oestrogen levels slowly decline and her control hormones FSH and LH rise to try and trigger a response from the ovaries. Female Hormone Mapping can show this complex interplay between the ovarian hormones and the control hormones, which – along with symptoms – helps confirm perimenopause.
Female Hormone Mapping is helping Katie identify her unique hormonal fluctuations and individual hormone levels across her menstrual cycle. As well as providing her with her own personalised ovarian responsiveness score known as the FORM score (Forth’s Ovarian Response Metric).
The FORM score is a score out of 100, with a healthy woman of reproductive age having a score of 75 or above. As women get older and their ovaries become less responsive this score will drop. A low score means the ovaries are less responsive. This provides further evidence of perimenopause and can also indicate how far off a woman is from menopause.
This in-depth reporting of all 4 key female hormones and how they correlate to symptoms has helped Katie get the confirmation she needed that her symptoms were related to the perimenopause.
“The data provided from the test was thorough, specific and yet easy to understand. I now know exactly at what levels my hormones are over my cycle and that I would be more than eligible for HRT to relieve my symptoms.”
The other benefit of Female Hormone Mapping is that it takes away the uncertainty leading to indecision for many women; the insights provided makes them feel in control and empowered to make the right decisions for them.
“The results have taken the guess work out of ‘should I sit it out and wait longer?’ and ‘I don’t want to make an unnecessary fuss; do I really need help?’”, explains Katie, “The full report, backed up by an amazing discussion with Dr Nicky Keay* is empowering. I can now go to the GP with exactly the right information to get the correct prescription for me, no more guess work!”
Female Hormone Mapping has been a lifeline for Katie, giving her the information she needed to make the right decision for her.
Read more about Female Hormone Mapping in our blog ‘What Is Female Hormone Mapping’ >>
*Note: An appointment is an additional cost to the test, but Female Hormone Mapping customers are entitled to a discount with endocrinology expert Dr Nicky Keay to discuss their report in more detail.