Maybe it’s because I’ve just turned 30, but lately I’ve been more health-conscious than ever. Other than going to the GP when something was wrong, I didn’t think too much about my health in my twenties. In my eyes, I was far too busy climbing the career ladder and having the ultimate alcohol-fuelled London social life.
The pandemic changed all that, of course, and with it came symptoms of hair loss, unwanted weight gain, dizziness and extremely heavy periods. As well as being more stressed than ever, which took a toll on my body, turns out I was iron deficient and hadn’t realised until I was very ill.
Prevention is key for me now, and I’m at a time where taking a health-conscious approach to my life in my 30s and 40s can save it in the long term. I’m also at a time where, like so many other millennial women, I’m wondering if I want, and can have, children.
That’s where Randox Health‘s female health tests play a revolutionary role, highlighting possible health concerns in the early stages, providing a snapshot of the current state of our health and how we can work towards improving it. And for me, they couldn’t have come at a better time.
Their tests are designed for women of all ages and can give you key insights into your health – whether you’re trying to get pregnant, approaching menopause, or are simply curious about how your hormones could be affecting your fertility, mood, weight and energy levels.
Here’s my experience with a Randox Health female health test, my results, and why I believe every woman should consider it…
The Testing Experience
I chose the Fertility Health test, measuring reproductive hormone levels and ovarian reserve as well as delivering a complete picture of my overall well-being – ideal for anyone trying to conceive, thinking about having a baby in the near future, or like me, are simply curious about their overall health. The booking process was smooth and simple, and with 9 locations across London (and 6 more across the UK), it’s convenient to pop in around a busy schedule. I booked an appointment at the Great Portland Street clinic at 9:30am on a Friday morning, on the third day of my menstrual cycle as recommended.
I arrived a few minutes before to a beautiful, squeaky clean reception area that made me feel instantly at ease. I met with Kaori, the friendly health professional who would be carrying out my test, and she led me into the testing room to get started. The appointment lasted 20 minutes in total, and something I didn’t expect was just how thorough it would be. I was asked a lengthy list of questions about my medical history, lifestyle, digestive health, menstrual cycle and family history, before being measured and weighed. My body composition was analysed and blood pressure was taken, and then it was onto the blood test itself. While I don’t particularly love getting my blood taken, often getting quite dizzy, Kaori made me as comfortable as possible, and assured me there was hot chocolate in the waiting room should I need a little boost of sugar afterwards.
Blood sample taken, I was told the results should be with me within two working days.
My Test Results
The results arrived faster than expected, and were nothing short of comprehensive. Sent by email as well as post, they included not just a snapshot of my current health, but also a personalised nutrition and exercise guide so I can take immediate action towards any improvements.
It started with my “health status” broken down into three key areas. My results indicated that my health is 77% in range (results that require little or no intervention), 2% in between (results that could benefit from a little attention), and 21% out of range (abnormalities that require action or further investigation).
Next were the results themselves, taking a closer look at my general wellbeing and hormone levels, broken down into personal health measurements, iron status, heart health, diabetes health, nutritional health, pituary and adrenal health, thyroid health, female hormonal health and AMH (ovarian reserve). It’s all extremely comprehensive, explaining the importance of each health marker, but for me there were some key takeaways.
The results were truly eye-opening, and have inspired me to take action towards protecting my health.
My full blood count, iron, nutrition and thyroid are all in good nick – something I was relieved to see with a family history of hypothyroidism and having experienced iron deficiency previously. I also got some much needed answers with my cortisol levels, standing at a very low 76 (the optimal range is (138–690). Given this test was taken in the morning, when cortisol levels are at their highest, it certainly explains why I’ve felt so sluggish recently. Abnormal cortisol levels are also a major cause of anxiety – something I’ve struggled with my whole life, some days worse than others – so this pinpointed an area of concern for me and will require some further investigation.
Other out of range results were to do with my heart and metabolic health. My body mass composition shows I am overweight (though muscular, my body fat percentage is on the high side) but this didn’t come as a surprise to me – I don’t particularly enjoy exercise and haven’t been getting the same “accidental exercise” that I used to when commuting every day. I knew that I needed to exercise more, and I knew that while my meals are healthy, my snacking often isn’t – but it was truly eye-opening to see my less-than-ideal cholesterol levels on paper, coupled with my BMI, metabolic age (10 years older), and slightly high blood pressure.
While these results are only slightly on the high side, and while I feel healthy with no issues I’m aware of, seeing this hard data has inspired me to take action quickly – before I become symptomatic and before these results start to impact my day-to-day life. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in women, and I’m grateful to have seen a snapshot of what’s going on inside my body now, before it becomes a real problem in the future.
As for diabetes? Because of my love for wine and chocolate, I expected these results to be problematic, or at least indicate a potential problem in the future. But to my surprise, my blood glucose, HbA1c and insulin levels were excellent. Top marks. And my only advice was to maintain them.
Lastly, it’s my hormones and fertility health – the results I was most curious about given their huge influence over a woman’s overall health. Thankfully, everything looks good, aside from a slightly elevated prolactin level that was likely caused by stress from getting my blood taken. The rest – oestrodiol, FSH, LH, progesterone, testosterone and more – are all where they need to be at this point of my cycle. Additionally, my AMH level (the number of eggs I have left) is as expected for a woman of my age – not particularly high, but not particularly low either.
For any abnormal results, they offer the option of an appointment with a consultant, or you can simply bring your results to your own GP to discuss. However, with an overall picture of my health right in front of me, as well as a plan of action, it’s ultimately given me peace of mind and has inspired me to protect my health for the future. Knowledge is power, after all.
Randox are offering 10% off all in clinic testing to The Handbook readers.
Created in partnership with Randox Health.
This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. All views and opinions expressed are the writer’s own.