Saliva Testing Questions

How does saliva testing work?

ZRT's at home test kits include everything you need for collection and can be ordered online or by phone (some restrictions may apply). When your sample has been collected, return the filled tube(s) with the completed paperwork in the pre-addressed, pre-paid packaging and mailer bag provided with the kit. Once ZRT has received your sample, results will be returned to you and/or your health care provider in approximately 5 to 7 business days. Please view Collection Videos to learn more.

What saliva tests does ZRT offer?

We test the following seven hormones in saliva:

  • Estradiol (E2)
  • Estrone (E1)
  • Estriol (E3)
  • Progesterone (Pg)
  • Testosterone (T)
  • DHEA-S
  • Cortisol (C)

How accurate is saliva testing compared to blood and urine testing?

Saliva testing has been used in scientific testing for decades and has been shown to be highly accurate. It is the most reliable way to measure free, bioavailable hormone activity — those hormones actually doing their job at the cell level. Standard blood and urine tests do not measure bioavailable hormone levels. Numerous scientific studies have shown a strong correlation between the levels of steroid hormones in the blood stream and the bio-available levels of steroid hormones in saliva. Peter T. Ellison, Ph.D. of the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, has used this method of hormone testing in cross-cultural comparisons of hormone levels among women living in industrialized vs. non-industrialized countries. (Human Reproduction vol.8 no.12 pp.2248-2258, 1993; Human Reproduction Vol.17, No.12 pp. 3251–3253, 2002.) His research in the field is the subject of his 2001 publication, On Fertile Ground: A Natural History of Human Reproduction (Harvard University Press). In addition, saliva hormone testing more accurately reflects tissue uptake and response of hormones delivered through the skin in creams, gels, or patches than blood or urine tests.

Which saliva tests will give me a comprehensive picture of my hormone levels?

Our basic panel, Female/Male Saliva Profile I, includes estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA-S and cortisol. This will give you an overall sense of hormonal balance or imbalance as these five hormones work closely together.

Female/Male Saliva Profile II provides a more comprehensive idea of hormonal interactions. Of the four tubes included in this kit, two are used: one large tube for testing all the hormones of the basic panel (Female/Male Saliva Profile I discussed above), and a smaller tube for collecting a cortisol sample at bedtime as well. This panel is recommended for those with mild to moderate symptoms of fatigue, stress, sleep disturbance, allergies, and food cravings.

With severe symptoms, Female/Male Saliva Profile III, the most comprehensive of our saliva panels, is recommended. This test analyzes complete adrenal function by testing cortisol levels throughout the day. The Female/Male Saliva Profile III test kit contains four tubes, one large tube for testing all the hormones of the basic panel in the morning, and three small tubes for noon, evening, and bedtime collections of cortisol.

Should I test estriol and/or estrone?

Since estradiol is the more predominant and potent of the estrogens, this is the most commonly measured estrogen in testing. Estrone and estriol are typically only tested for those who are supplementing with them.