Question of the Month

Q:  How reliable, if at all are at home hormone saliva tests? I have no insurance and was thinking that this would be a good way to test my hormones. Also, if they are reliable would a doctor take the results and possibly proceed with treatment?
Thank you for a great website!

A: Hormone saliva tests in principle can be reliable but offer no advantage over blood tests except avoiding a stick. They are most useful in research projects when many specimens are needed at different time points.

My experience with saliva tests is that the results often do not fit the clinical situation so I question whether some of the labs which do them have adequate quality control. Also, because saliva measurements are used less often, interpretation of the results is uncertain. For this reason, I do not recommend saliva tests at this time.

Hope this is helpful.

Geoffrey Redmond, MD

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