The issue of measuring hormone levels in a woman’s blood is controversial. Why? Because a woman’s hormones fluctuate so much during the period of menopause and peri-menopause, that the results are often useless. If you go to a doctor for natural hormones, the doctor will use your symptoms to fix or adjust your dose. After using the hormones, if your symptoms do not improve or you are having any side effects, the doctor will adjust your dose accordingly. If you are using an over-the-counter product, you can do the same thing. You find the level that gives you the most relief from your symptoms.
Some doctors who give you a prescription for natural hormones and send you to a compounding pharmacy to fill the prescription will do a blood or saliva test. The basis for their thinking is that they can see what hormones your body is lacking and customize a formula for you. There is a problem with this. Women’s hormones can change dramatically even day to day and certainly month to month. Symptoms are the only real measurement of what is going on with your hormones.
I have not found any wide-spread support of measuring a woman’s hormone levels during menopause and peri-menopause. Even when I asked my own doctor to do a hormone panel, he deferred, preferring instead to inquire about my symptoms. He said, “It is too expensive for you and it will not really give me any definitive data.”
The reason so many women become militant about checking their hormone levels is that they feel so poorly and they want help. Every woman has had an experience where a doctor checked blood levels for something and made a diagnosis and possibly prescribed a medication after which they got better. We take that experience with us when we enter the often-difficult time of the change of life. However, it is not the same. You may end up spending from $100-$600 for blood tests and doctor visits and not know much more than what your hormones were doing that particular day.
To answer your question, you can simply begin using natural progesterone according to the directions for a menstruating or non-menstruating woman.