Why get a Menstruating Women Panel?
Our Menstruating Women Panel is a simple blood test designed to measure the iron levels of a woman’s body. These tests make sure the body is maintaining proper iron levels. Low iron can lead to conditions like iron deficiency anemia. Anemia is more common in women, which can be caused by menstruation, pregnancy, or other factors. Women’s iron needs may change throughout life as women experience heavy menstrual cycles, pregnancy, postpartum, and menopause.
Who Should get Menstruating Women Panel?
- Those who are menstruating and wanting to check iron levels to ensure the body is maintaining healthy levels and the body is absorbing iron as it should.
- Individuals wanting to monitor iron levels as part of preventative care against developing anemia.
- Those experiencing the below symptoms of iron levels that are too low:
- Shortness of breath
- Weakness or fatigue
- Arrhythmia (a problem with the rate or rhythm of your heartbeat)
- Those experiencing the below symptoms of iron levels that are too high:
- Weakness or fatigue
- Joint pain, commonly in the knees or hands
- Loss of interest in sex or erectile dysfunction (ED)
- Abdominal (belly) pain
- Change in skin color, which may look gray, metallic, or bronze
- You may also need this test if the results of other blood tests show that you have low hematocrit or hemoglobin levels.
What is Evaluated in this Panel?
Our Menstruating Women Panel is used to assess a woman’s general health. These panel includes:
- Iron, Total
- Total Iron Binding Capacity (TIBC)
- 1 mL serum collected in SST
- No special preparation needed
Turn Around Time
Approximately 1 week (3-7 Business Days)
Individual Test Information
Ferritin – Ferritin is a protein that stores iron inside your cells. You need iron to make healthy red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body.
Lower than normal ferritin levels may mean you have iron deficiency anemia, or another condition related to low iron levels. Iron deficiency anemia is a common type of anemia, in which your body doesn’t make enough red blood cells. Without treatment it can lead to heart problems, infections, slow growth and brain development in children, and other health issues.
Higher than normal ferritin levels may mean:
- Liver disease
- Alcohol use disorder
Abnormal ferritin levels does not always mean you have a medical condition that needs treatment. Certain medicines can decrease or increase your ferritin levels. If you have questions about your results, talk with your health care provider.
Iron – Measures iron levels, which is necessary for the production of healthy red blood cells.
Iron levels are too low, it may mean you have:
- Iron deficiency anemia, a common type of anemia.
- Another type of anemia
- Thalassemia, an inherited blood disorder that causes the body to make fewer than normal healthy red blood cells
If one or more iron test results show your iron levels are too high, it may mean you have:
- Hemochromatosis, a disorder that causes too much iron to build up in the body
- Lead poisoning
- Liver disease
Most conditions that cause too little or too much iron can be successfully treated with iron supplements, diet, medicines, and/or other therapies.
If your iron test results are not normal, it does not necessarily mean you have a medical condition needing treatment. Some medicines, including birth control pills and estrogen treatments, can affect iron levels. Iron levels may also be lower for women during their menstrual cycles.
TIBC – TIBC levels determine if there is too much or too little iron in the blood. TIBC is usually higher than normal when the body’s iron supplies are low.
Higher-than-normal TIBC may mean:
- Iron deficiency anemia
- Pregnancy (late)
Lower-than-normal TIBC may mean:
- Anemia due to red blood cells being destroyed too quickly (hemolytic anemia)
- Lower-than-normal level of protein in the blood (hypoproteinemia)
- Liver disease, such as cirrhosis
- Decrease in red blood cells from the intestines not properly absorbing vitamin B12 (pernicious anemia)
Ferritin blood test: Medlineplus medical test (2022) MedlinePlus. Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/lab-tests/ferritin-blood-test/ (Accessed: 06 October 2023).
Gersten, T. (2022) Total iron binding capacity: Medlineplus medical encyclopedia, MedlinePlus. Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003489.htm (Accessed: 06 October 2023).
Iron tests: Medlineplus medical test (2021) MedlinePlus. Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/lab-tests/iron-tests/ (Accessed: 06 October 2023).