This article was written by one of our contributors: medical doctor – Nicky Keay.
Applying artificial intelligence techniques to modelling female hormones enables every woman to access personalised hormone intelligence health report at her fingertips
- Are my female hormones fluctuating as expected?
- Are my wellbeing issues related to my female hormones? What should I do?
- Am I peri-menopausal? When should I start HRT?
- Am I making the best lifestyle behavioural choices around food, exercise and sleep for my hormones and optimal health?
- Are my female hormones fully restored after under fuelling/overexercising/being on hormonal contraception/stopping breast feeding?
- Is hormonal contraception a good option for me and what type would suit me best?
These are just some of the questions women frequently ask me. These are really important questions as hormones are key for all aspects of our mental, physical and social health. Hormones are the crucial link between our lifestyle behaviours and how our genetic code is expressed. So, if we can fingerprint our hormones, then each woman can empower herself with insights into her personalised hormone health in order to make informed decisions to optimise her health (1).
Female hormone networks
The challenge is that the most complex of all the hormone networks are those of the menstrual cycle. Plus, the timing of hormone fluctuations and the hormone levels are personal to each woman. How these personal hormone pattens impact wellbeing will also be individual. Each woman’s hormone network response to combinations of lifestyle factors will be individual to her.
As discussed at the recent Female Athlete Conference (2), blood testing is the “gold standard” for measuring female hormones and the only way of measuring all four of the key female hormones in involved in the menstrual cycle:
- follicle stimulating hormone (FSH)
- luteinising hormone (LH)
- and progesterone
However, the standard static, snapshot blood test taken on day 3 of the menstrual cycle gives limited insights into the personal hormone fluctuations of a woman. This is why dynamic hormone monitoring can provide a sensitive, personalised health metric.
Personalising female hormone health
Ideally what every woman needs to know is what is happening with her female hormones during the time in her cycle when these hormones are changing most rapidly: late follicular (build up to ovulation) and early to mid-luteal (after ovulation). However, because of the individual variations in timings of these hormone changes, to date it has not been possible to map hormones during this busy time of the menstrual cycle.
Fortunately, there is now a way to combine deep background medical and mathematical understanding with the individual characteristics and hormone test results from a woman. This involves the application of artificial intelligence (AI) techniques which is an approach being used to personalise medicine (3) and revolutionise healthcare (4).
Answering the questions about personal female hormone health
This new approach in assessing female hormone networks for individual women is proving a valuable clinical tool (5). This enables me to answer the questions that women are asking and move away from generic advice to personalised evidence-based advice. Having these personal hormone health insights empowers women to make informed decisions. For example;
- to make lifestyle behaviour changes in nutrition and exercise to support healthy female hormone networks
- for peri-menopausal women, to distinguish between the physiological decline in ovarian response or an imbalance in lifestyle behaviours that is causing change in female hormone network function. This helps inform women whether to start looking into hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
- for women looking for practical solutions to deal with issues during the menstrual cycle or wondering about fertility, having access to personalised hormone health is important.
How can you access your personal female hormone health report?
Artificial intelligence is proving an important clinical tool to support the optimisation of personalised female health. In practical terms, a woman can now create a personalised digital fingerprint of her menstrual cycle hormone network from just two finger prick capillary blood samples taken during a cycle. Female Hormone Mapping™ is a personalised hormone health report, available at your fingertips on a mobile app, that I have developed in partnership with Forth health tech company. Your personalised female hormone health report provides detailed personalised clinical medical explanation, commentary and evidence-based advice written by me. There is also the opportunity to book in with me for further in-depth discussion (6).
Women want to make the informed choices for mental and physical health. Gaining personalised insights into female hormone health enables to women to make informed, personal decisions that will help each individual attain her best quality of life.
This article was repurposed from articles written by Dr N Keay for British Journal of Sports Medicine and St John’s Colleague, Cambridge University
- Keay, N, Francis G. Fingerprinting Hormones St John’s College, Cambridge University 2021
- Female Athlete Conference 2021. Strategies for Health and Performance.
- “Machine learning for individualised medicine” Mihaela can de Schaar, Annual Report of the Chief Medical Officer. 2018, Chapter 10. Health 2040 – Better Health Within Reach. Accessed 2021.
- Van de Schaar M. Revolutionising Healthcare webinars for clinicians, Cambridge University 2021
- Keay N. Hormone Intelligence for Female Dancers, Athletes and Exercisers. British Journal of Sports Medicine 2021
- Keay N. Female Hormones