Originally published June 1, 2023. Updated June 19 with how much the telehealth visit cost after insurance.
At-home health testing kits are all the buzz right now. You don’t have to sit around in a lab waiting room, get an order from your doctor, or even leave your home!
I just tried the Everlywell Women’s Health Test, which tests hormone levels in women, and I thought I’d share my experience with you.
Before I dive into my experience with the Everlywell Women’s Health Test, I want to note that although they sent me this test for free, this review is not sponsored, and all opinions are my own.
Why am I taking the Everlywell Women’s Health Test?
I just had 3 kids in 5 years (yes, I’m still alive), and after the birth of my third child, I dealt with some mental health struggles.
I really just didn’t feel like myself.
When my PCP told me having kids can seriously throw your hormones out of whack, I wondered what my hormone levels looked like. Are they off? Could this be affecting my mental health or how my body functions in general?
I wanted more information about what was going on inside my body, and potentially get some tips on what I could do to improve it.
What’s the Everlywell Women’s Health Test?
Everlywell has several different at-home tests.
The Women’s Health Test tests for 10 hormones and 1 antibody (which tests the thyroid) that play a role in women’s overall well-being.
It tests for:
- Luteinizing Hormone
- Follicle-Stimulating Hormone
- Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone
- Free T3
- Free T4
- Free Testosterone
- Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies
I took my test at 12 months postpartum, but it would work just as well for someone going through menopause or any other stage of life. Their expected levels of hormones would just be different than mine.
I saw on Everlywell’s website that certain medications can affect the results, so if you take any, you may want to wait at least 6 weeks before testing. But other than that, any woman can take it.
As I said, I took mine mostly out of curiosity, but some common symptoms that may trigger you to take a hormone test are:
- Weight gain and a harder time losing weight
- Hair loss
- Depression or anxiety
- Irregular periods
- Fertility issues
- Persistent acne
- Hot flashes or excess sweating
- Chills or the inability to feel warm
- Feelings of brain fog
- Painful sex
- Low sex drive
If any of those resonate with you, you might want to grab a test!
What’s the Benefit of Doing A Hormone Test?
I think it’s important for women to always be in tune with what’s happening in our bodies.
Our menstrual cycles, mood, metabolism, libido, fertility, and sleep are all tied to our hormones. If they’re out of balance, I’d say it’s important for us to know!
The best part of the Everlywell test, specifically, is you can do it at home and you don’t drag yourself down to the doctor’s office multiple times.
As a busy mom of 3, I probably wouldn’t have taken the time to take this test if I had to go in for it.
You simply order the test online, take the samples at home, and send them back. Everlywell even gave me a prepaid shipping label, which made it super easy to run to the post office.
Unboxing the Everlywell Women’s Health Test
In the box are 2 gauze pads, 2 alcohol pads, 4 lancets, a lab form, 2 collection cards, 4 saliva tubes, 2 collection cards, a prepaid return shipping label, a biohazard bag, and the instructions.
So, pretty much everything you need to complete the test from start to finish. And the app also has instructions, as well as a video if that makes it easier.
My Experience Doing the Test at Home
Overall, I found the process to be pretty straightforward, but there were a few things that took a bit of effort.
The first thing I had to do once I received my box in the mail was register my kit online so that they could process the results in the lab.
Then, I had to collect the samples.
I’m currently not menstruating so I think this part was a lot easier for me than it would have been for someone with a cycle.
If you have a cycle, you have to space out the sample collections on specific days of your cycle, and you also have to store them properly in the biohazard bag while you’re waiting to collect the next samples, which sounds like a hassle.
But since I don’t have a period yet (I’ve been pregnant and breastfeeding for basically 5 years straight), I was able to collect all the samples in one day.
Filling the little tubes with saliva is surprisingly pretty hard. It took me like 20 minutes each time!
Your mouth gets so dry, and you’re instructed not to drink water when filling the tube. I basically started out strong and then realized I had nothing left… it was not pleasant!
Also, you have to set alarms during the day to make sure you’re getting your samples at the right times. The 4 of them have to be collected at least 2 hours apart, morning, noon, evening, and night.
It’s a commitment for sure, but once I got into a routine, it was fine.
Taking the blood sample wasn’t too bad, but I’m used to getting poked.
In my first pregnancy, I had to inject blood thinners into my stomach every day, so doing a little poke on my finger was no big deal for me. It also isn’t painful if you’re worried about that.
To fill the circles with blood, though, you really have to squeeze your finger. That took me about 5 minutes to accomplish, but overall, it was pretty painless.
Then, I just stuck the collection cards inside the biohazard bag that came in the box, filled out the lab form with all my information, threw everything back in the box, and shipped it off with the prepaid label they gave me.
Getting the Results
I shipped my samples on April 4th. They received it and started processing on April 7th.
I received an email that my results were ready on April 20th. So the whole process took a little over two weeks.
You can also check the progress on the app which will turn from “in progress” to “completed” once your results are ready.
I went to the app for the results report, which told me if my levels of each hormone were within the “normal” range.
The results page was super easy to read. It said there were 2 hormones that I would want to take a closer look at (FSH and LH), because they were lower than normal.
It then showed me a colored line for each hormone that was tested so I could see where my level fell on the scale – yellow being low, green being normal, and red being high.
It gave me a few general explanations of what could be causing the low levels but suggested I consult with my healthcare provider for more details.
It also gave me a few general lifestyle changes that could help keep my hormone levels in balance like optimizing my diet, getting enough iodine, and taking vitamins, but I feel like those had less to do with my specific results and were more like recommendations for everyone.
Trying Everlywell’s Telehealth Option
I could have gone to my PCP or GYN to discuss the results, but I decided to schedule the telehealth visit through Everlywell instead. After all, this is a review and I want to test out the whole experience!
Scheduling the call was super easy. I filled out a short intake form, added my insurance card, payment method, and was all set.
Insurance will not cover the cost of the test, but you can add it for the telehealth visit, or you can pay $59 cash for that visit instead.
I added my insurance, but I still haven’t gotten a bill or seen the claim in my insurance portal, and it’s been over a week since I had the visit. I’ll come back and update you on what my final bill was for the visit as soon as I know.
UPDATE: On June 13, the claim was finally received by my insurance. It was billed as a “New doctor office visit.” The claim was billed at $225, but after my plan discount and my insurance coverage, my total amount owed was $25. You can likely look at your insurance card and whatever the total is next to “Office” will likely be the copay you owe.
Unfortunately, the telehealth provider called me the day before my scheduled appointment to cancel, which was frustrating. They told me I needed to email Everlywell to set up an appointment with one of their providers, which is what I thought I had done through the app.
Fortunately, after emailing Everlywell, they called back to apologize for the confusion and mistake, and I was able to keep my original appointment after all.
The Everlywell Telehealth Visit
The call took about 15 minutes in total. The nurse practitioner was super nice, and she specifically dealt with people that took the women’s health test. It’s good to know that Everlywell matches you up with a physician based on their specialty, and she was clearly very knowledgeable.
She asked me a few questions about my health history and let me know that the two low hormones were due to my birth control and nothing to worry about. She said if I wasn’t taking birth control, the low hormones could be a signal of stress or a low-calorie diet.
With that in mind, the results aren’t something you should try to interpret yourself. The app wouldn’t have been able to tell me that my birth control was causing low hormones, because it doesn’t know my detailed history and what meds I’m on.
So, if any of your results come back abnormal, you should definitely schedule the telehealth visit or talk to your doctor.
Pros and Cons
So, in a nutshell, here’s what I liked about the Everlywell Women’s Health Test:
- Convenient: No need for multiple trips to the doctor’s office or lab.
- Easy: The instructions were straightforward, and the kit came with everything I needed – it even came with a prepaid shipping label.
- Straightforward: The results report is easy to read with a visual line indicating what levels are considered normal.
- Gives you answers: if you are having any symptoms like unexplained mood swings, low libido, or fatigue, it’s really nice to get some answers! I love learning more about my body, and tests like these make it easy.
And here are the things that weren’t the best:
- Collecting samples was a hassle: filling the tubes wasn’t the easiest, and if you have a menstrual cycle, timing everything right and properly storing the samples would be even more of a hassle.
- Price: The only reason this falls on the cons list is insurance will not cover the cost of the test, so you have to pay $249 out of pocket. But if you consider what these tests would cost at a doctor’s office (without good insurance), they are actually really cheap! Depending on your insurance situation, this point may move over to the pros list.
Is the Everlywell Test Worth It?
I think this hormone test is a great option for a mom who is curious about her overall well-being.
It might not be the solution for someone who is having some major health issues, because you’ll still need a doctor to diagnose you or provide a personalized treatment plan to fix those issues.
But it’s certainly a good place to start.
Is the Everlywell hormone test legit?
Yes, the Everlywell hormone test is legit. All the testing is done in CLIA-certified labs, which is exactly where your family healthcare provider would send their tests to be analyzed. Your results are reviewed by a board-certified physician, so you know the results are accurate.
Keep in mind, though, that you doctor is ultimately the best person to interpret the results and give personal health advice if something comes back a bit off.
When should I take Everlywell women’s test?
To take the Everlywell women’s test, you’ll need to time it based on your menstrual cycle, if you have one.
The first collection will be blood only, and you’ll have to fill all the circles on the 1st collection card on day 3 or 4 of your menstrual cycle (day 1 being the first day of your period).
The second collection will be blood and saliva, and you’ll have to fill all 4 saliva samples 2-6 hours apart, and all the circles in the 2nd collection card with blood spots on the same day. The day will depend on your cycle:
- Short cycle (<21 days): Collect 7 days before your next expected period.
- Regular cycle: (21-35 days): Collect on day 19-21 of your menstrual cycle.
- Long cycle (36-40 days): Collect on day 21 or 7 days after ovulation.
If you don’t menstruate or have less than 3 cycles per year, you can collect all the samples on any day that you are not bleeding.
How does the Everlywell hormone test work?
First, you have to register your kit so the lab can process your results. Then, collect saliva and blood samples at the specified times during your menstrual cycle. To collect your blood sample, just prick your finger and drop a few drops of blood on the collection card. To collect the saliva samples, just spit into the saliva tubes they give you in the kit.
Once you collect the samples, you send them back with the prepaid shipping label. They’ll analyze your samples in a CLIA-certified lab and your results will be ready to view a few days later on their secure online portal. You can also schedule a telehealth appointment to go over the results.
Why is Everlywell not allowed in NY?
New York has some pretty strict regulations when it comes to testing, which is why none of the Everlywell tests, except the COVID-19 test, are available in New York.
Does Everlywell test for estrogen?
The Everlywell Women’s Health Test tests for 10 hormones and 1 antibody including Estradiol which is the main form of estrogen in women. It also tests for DHEAS which is a precursor to estrogen, and free testosterone which is converted to estrogen in the body.
Does Everlywell test for PCOS?
The Everlywell Women’s Health Test measures several hormones including luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). Lower levels of FSH and higher levels of LH can be a sign of PCOS or polycystic ovary syndrome, so testing these hormones is a good place to start.
Your healthcare provider will ultimately be the one to diagnose PCOS using hormone tests, a pelvic ultrasound, and something called Rotterdam Criteria.
How do you test for hormonal imbalance?
Testing for hormonal imbalances typically involves a medical evaluation and specific lab tests using blood and saliva samples.
Everlywell makes it easy with their at-home Women’s Health Test. You just order the kit, collect the samples, and send them back with the prepaid shipping label they provide.