This review of Hertility Health contains affiliate links.
Like most women, I didn’t really think about my hormones – those powerful chemical messengers – for much of my adult life.
On the contraceptive pill from 16, any hormones I did experience were largely synthetic and artificially maintained; there to help lessen my heavy periods, prevent pregnancy and clear up my spotty skin.
In short, my hormones had been tamed and subdued. I didn’t experience PMS, mood swings, increases (or decreases) in libido, or any physical symptoms relating to my cycle, for a whopping 17 years.
Until, that is, I came off the pill and had a baby.
Since then, I’ve finally begun to understand the incredible impact that hormones have not only on our physical health, but on womens’ mental health, too. From the incredible high experienced when pregnant, to the crashing low that comes a few days post birth, it’s safe to say that if the last 21 months have taught me anything, it’s that hormones are anything but tame.
They are, instead, the facilitators of a white-knuckle ride that I ride each and every month.
Since having my son, my hormones really have run the show; dictating everything from my mood to what I want for dinner. Although they have calmed down since those first few months postpartum, my cycle (now a regular 30 day sort of affair), is still tumultuous. My periods are heavy and PMS is a dark cloud that I dread every month.
Added to this, I’ve battled a number of ongoing symptoms since having a baby – exhaustion (perhaps to be expected), a faltering immune system, brain fog and dry skin, to mention but a few.
Ultimately, these past couple of years have not only taught me the power of hormones, but the need to actually understand them. I was suddenly filled with questions: were my hormones behaving normally? Or were they imbalanced? Were the symptoms I was experiencing considered normal? And what could I do to better manage my cycle and ‘lean into it’?
Indeed, having spent around 20 years ignoring my hormones – I suddenly was obsessed with them. I wanted to know everything about them, I wanted to harness them and I wanted to make sure they were all running smoothly.
So, and after a little bit of Googling, I thankfully came across the very people who could help me do this. The wonderful Hertility Health.
Who Are Hertility Health?
Before I begin this review of Hertility Health, let me give them a quick introduction.
When searching for a company that could not only assess my hormone levels, but also support me in remedying any issues, I came across Hertility Health.
Founded to help solve the exact issues that I, and so many women, experience, this female-run company are here to put women at the centre of the healthcare system; understanding that hormones need to be taken seriously.
This is something I struggled to get even my GP to understand.
After having my baby and experiencing every conceivable symptom going, I visited my GP – regularly. The response I got? This was nothing more than ‘postpartum depletion’. As such, no tests were offered, no examinations. There wasn’t even any attempt to explain what postpartum depletion could or might mean.
Instead, I was told to try and relax and not let myself get too anxious about things.
Of course, I am sure postpartum depletion is a thing; pregnancy is a superhuman effort. But I don’t believe it should be used as a blanket response to all womens’ problem: reducing us all to hollowed out husks, in need of a good night’s sleep.
It’s because of this unhelpful response from my GP that I began looking into testing my hormones privately. Thankfully, before going down the traditional private route – e.g. Nuffield Health or BMI – I came across Hertility Health.
Determined to revolutionise healthcare for women, Hertility Health is (in their own words) ‘bringing reproductive health out of the lab and and into the hands of every single woman worldwide’.
To do this, they allow easy access to a multitude of tests (completed at home via a simple blood test), concerning reproductive health and female hormones. These tests are all sent out within 72 hours, following the completion of your online health questionnaire and payment.
Once your kit has arrives and you’ve collected your sample and sent it back, you’ll then receive your results in just 10 days. These lab results are accompanied by a personalised report, written by a gynaecologist, explaining what they’ve found and how to interpret your results.
If your results do flag any issues, then you are advised to book a next-day private consultation with one of Hertility Health’s clinicians – to help talk you through next steps (e.g. referring you for scans, or further blood tests). Alternatively, you can just take these results back to your GP and pick up your journey there.
And the best bit? This service doesn’t cost the earth – or anywhere near the price you’d face if you tested privately. In fact, Hertility Health claim that by using them, you receive the same specialist care you’d receive at a private clinic, without the hassle or the price tag.
For these reasons, I personally think Hertility Health offer the best at-home fertility test on the market.
What Can You Use Hertility Health to Test For?
Reproductive & Hormonal Wellbeing – Testing Your Fertility at Home
One thing I wanted to mention in this review of Hertility Health was just how much you can learn via their tests. This might be something as basic as how your hormones are impacting your physical health, to pinpointing any specific reproductive issues, such as PCOS.
To do this, Hertility Health offer one overarching test: their At-Home Hormone and Fertility Test – allowing you to test your hormones at home.
Importantly, each test is personalised entirely to you, based on the online questionnaire you fill in before you send off your blood sample. For example, if you’re experiencing painful or irregular periods, then the team will likely test your menstrual cycle hormones, including hormones like the Luteinising hormone (LH) – looking for imbalances.
Alternatively, if you’re experiencing fertility issues, then hormones linked to your egg reserves can be tested, e.g. Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH). Lastly, and something I wanted to look at, was my thyroid function – something that Hertility Health’s tests covered thanks to their analysis of TSH, T3 and T4 hormones.
Overall, this overarching test looks at eight key reproductive hormones; enabling their private clinicians to get a broad view of your entire reproductive health. Even better, you can test for these hormones at home – without having to even leave your front room.
Menopause – Testing for the Menopause at Home
Alongside its flagship hormone and fertility test, Hertility Health also offer a test to help identify where you may be at in terms of the menopause (this test is soon to launch, at time of writing – November 2022).
Their Menopause Monit-HER Test will provide users with an NHS approved blood test, which will be looked at and discussed with a Menopause doctor. Following this, a clinical care plan will be put together, to help support you through a journey that far too many women are expected to travel alone.
Furthermore, being able to test for the Menopause at home, is – surely – a game changer for millions of women.
More General Clinical Services
Alongside their more hormone specific tests, Hertility Health also offer a host of other clinical services. These include nutritional support (starting at 99 for 60 minutes), fertility counselling (£85 for 50 minutes) and access to private gynaecologists for fertility support (starting at £139 for 30 minutes).
Although these services may not perhaps be any cheaper than going private, they are more immediate. In fact, you can book a next day appointment, if need be.
How Much Does a Hertility Health Test Cost?
As this trailblazing company essentially offers a private medical service, you might be worrying about how much it’ll cost – something I wanted to include in this review of Hertility Health.
Although their more bespoke services mentioned above can be expensive – e.g. access to a private gynaecologist – on the whole their service is very reasonably priced; particularly when you consider the service you get in return.
For their leading At-Home Hormone and Fertility Test, you’ll pay a one-off payment of £149. This includes the initial online questionnaire, the blood test and the results – delivered as a personalised report, written by a doctor. As Hertility Health put it, you are essentially getting ‘3 private clinic appointments in 1’.
If you do decide to book a follow-up consultation with one of their doctors, you’ll then pay an additional £99 – however, this isn’t mandatory. You could equally take your results to your own GP.
Overall, Herility Health suggest you’ll make a whopping saving of £1,700 by using them, rather than taking the traditional private route.
Given the speed and ease of their service, I personally think their prices are real bargains.
How Easy Was it to Use Hertility Health?
Choosing a Test
Picking which test to use when using Hertility Health is incredibly easy.
As I mentioned above, the company has one overarching test – its At-Home Hormone and Fertility Test. Importantly, this test is able to check for a whole host of issues and imbalances, including fertility health and hormone imbalances.
As such, most people will go for this test – so deciding what test you need is really straightforward. What specific issues the lab will then look at, is decided by the online questionnaire you complete prior to submitting your blood sample (more on this below).
The Online Questionnaire
Before you purchase your kit, you’ll be asked to complete an online health survey, which will pinpoint which hormones will need to be tested.
The questionnaire takes just five minutes and is incredibly straightforward. Initially, you’ll be asked why you came to Hertility Health e.g. you have some symptoms, you are trying to conceive or, quite simply, you just want to get to know your body better.
From here, you’ll be asked a number of questions relating to your aims in taking the test. For me, these questions circled back to my symptoms, what my current cycle looked like and any changes I’d noticed.
All in all, it took me just a couple of minutes to complete the questionnaire and from it I was given a good idea of what they’d be testing for and looking at (mainly my thyroid related hormones).
Taking My Own Blood
I couldn’t write this review of Hertility Health and not mention the fact that you need to collect your own blood sample.
Now, I really don’t have an issue with blood and so collecting a sample wasn’t a problem. But, I do understand that if you’re a little squeamish, this part might deter you from using Hertility Health.
However, and just to reassure you, the entire process was pain free and (fairly) quick. Once you’ve purchased your test and completed your questionnaire, you’ll receive a little collection kit in the post – complete with everything you’ll need to collect your sample.
Inside the kit is a little pinprick needle – a little like what a Diabetic might use to test their blood sugars. Once you’ve warmed your hands up (to get the blood flowing), you just prick your finger (painless, I promise) and let gravity do its work; letting the blood collect in the little vile provided.
Now I’ll admit, my platelets did seem to be pretty effective in quickly patching up the small cut on my finger; so the blood didn’t flow for that long. I therefore had to prick 3 fingers in total in order to collect the required amount of blood (0.8ml). On the face of it, 0.8ml doesn’t sound like an awful lot, but when your blood is coming out in very small droplets, it did feel like a lifetime (something I wanted to mention in this review of Hertility Health).
However, it really wasn’t a bother and if I’d made more of an effort to warm up my hands beforehand, it probably would have been a faster and less prickly (if you’ll excuse the pun) process.
Sending the Test Off
This is probably the easiest part of the entire process: simply package your blood sample up and pop it in the return envelope provided (make sure you send it via a priority postbox or straight from your post office, to ensure the sample arrives before it degrades).
Getting My Results
I got my results back from Hertility Health within 72 hours (although, they did go to my junk folder – so be sure to check that).
I couldn’t believe how quickly I received them; especially considering I sometimes wait 4 weeks for NHS blood test results. It was such a quick and efficient service – and one I was hugely impressed by.
My results had been looked at and assessed by a private gynaecologist, who then wrote an accompanying letter and report, to help me make better sense of them.
On the whole, everything seemed normal and within range, which was a huge relief. The report explained what they had been looking for and reassured me that there were no immediate red flags.
Importantly, my thyroid function looked good and – although I didn’t necessarily set out to learn about this – I found that my fertility was as expected for a 35 year old. This was one aspect of the test I thought was great (and fantastic value for money). Alongside looking at specific hormones that might be causing me issues, I also got a broad overview of my reproductive health more genuinely.
I found that my egg reserves were ‘average’ for my age and I didn’t show any signs of hormonal imbalances that could point towards issues such as PCOS. It looked like I was ovulating and (if I wanted) to have another baby and conceive – everything was in place to make it happen.
Being able to test your fertility at home really was as easy as Hertility Health promised, it seemed.
Although there were no evident issues in my results, the report did suggest that if my heavy periods continued, I should arrange a pelvic ultrasound, just to rule out fibroids/polyps or adenomyosi. Additionally, the doctor urged me to have my iron levels tested, to double check for anaemia, as this could be why I was experiencing tiredness and dry skin.
I organised this blood test with my GP immediately and low and behold – I was aneamic. This wasn’t something my doctor had been willing to test for beforehand, but armed with my Hertility Health report, I was able to persuade her to arrange it. I’m therefore so glad I did take the Hertility Health test as although it didn’t undercover any glaring issues, the gynaecologist was able to point me towards other avenues to explore, to get my symptoms resolved.
I’m glad to say that since then, and having since been on a high dose of iron, my symptoms are much, much better.
Overall Review of Hertility Health
What I Was Impressed By
Overall, I was (genuinely) impressed by Hertility Health and the support they offer.
Providing a service I’m yet to find elsewhere, Hertility Health made me feel seen, understood and cared for. They understand just how impactful hormones can be on not only a woman’s physical wellbeing, but on their mental health, too. They understand the urgency with which we want these symptoms looked at and the precision with which we want our most nuanced of hormones analysed.
Being able to go to them, when feeling isolated and disregarded by the NHS, is therefore (in my opinion) worth its weight in gold.
Aside from this, the practicalities of their service are fantastic. Quick, easy and fast, I had the answers I was looking for within 5 days and was confidently told what my next steps should be. As a result, I started an iron supplement within just 10 days and was feeling so much better within a few weeks (Hertility Health’s report also gave me the much-needed ammunition I needed to get my GP to finally act).
Now a few months down the line, I am feeling much improved and have a better understanding of my own hormones and reproductive health. As a result I feel more confident, empowered and educated when it comes to demanding help or support for this element of my wellbeing, and know where to turn to if I’m not receiving the service I deserve.
As I wanted to ensure this review of Hertility Health is as objective as possible, I was mindful to add just a few points that some might perceive to be drawbacks of this service.
While my report from the gynaecologist was succinct and helpful, it was nonetheless short. In summary, it said that everything looked normal and they therefore couldn’t explain my symptoms (aside from recommending a pelvic scan and blood tests to rule out anaemia).
Although these instructions were nonetheless helpful (as I did have anameia), it’s important to note that if everything looks within range, there’s not much else the report can say. Hertility Health is therefore not the magic bullet in instantly finding the cause of your symptoms, but it can help to rule out some causes, or at least set you on the right path towards rectifying any issues.
You might therefore find that you have to pay more to Hertility Health to undertake a deeper dive into your reproductive health, or simply return to the NHS and wait to be seen there.
Some might also dislike having to take their own blood – particularly if it makes you feel a little queasy. This might therefore deter you from using this service.
However, these two points do a pretty weak job in trying find fault in Hertility Health. Built for women, by women – with an inherent understanding of the sincerity with which we want to be treated when discussing our hormones – this service will (I hope) revolutionise the way in which women take care of their reproductive health, and one I could not recommend enough.
My review of Hertility Health is therefore ultimately a glowing one – and I genuinely think they offer the best at-home fertility test on the market.