What Are The Symptoms Of Menopause
Hormonal changes can cause physical and psychological symptoms before and during menopause. Symptoms may occur for a few weeks, a few months, several years, or not at all. The symptoms may come and go, or they may occur regularly.These physical signs and symptoms are common during menopause:
- irregular or no menstrual periods
- hot flashes
- changes in your sleep patterns
- vaginal dryness, sometimes causing discomfort or pain during sex
- grayish vaginal discharge with a bad odor
- more frequent need to urinate, or leakage of urine
- more frequent minor vaginal and urinary infections
- loss of desire to have sex
Menopause usually occurs at a time in your life when other dramatic changes take place. Some of these changes may include loss of parents, adjustment to children growing up and leaving home, becoming a grandparent, retirement, or career changes. These changes, in addition to the changes in your body, may result in psychological or emotional stress. Psychological symptoms of menopause may include:
Menopause Blood Test Results How To Read
After you took a blood sample for the perimenopause test, the results are ready within a few seconds or one minute only. Some doctors recommend repeating a test for perimenopause in one to two months, because the hormones may fluctuate a lot. The first screening may show the following results:
- Overranged thyroid hormones. They lead to irregular menstrual bleeding, extreme tiredness, changes in weight primary symptoms of climax. Thus, perimenopause test will help to figure out the presence of problems with thyroid
- Level of FSH. If it is abnormal, it is the strongest sign of the approximating perimenopausal stage. If a hormone test for menopause clearly shows the changes in level and you experience poor periods, most likely the process of maturing started
- Dropped estrogen. A perimenopause testindicates how much it is dropped and when is the nearest possibility of your hitting a perimenopause stage
- Increased luteinizing hormone. A true indicator of climax is the raised level of LH. A perimenopause test will confirm your condition if again there are also irregular periods and tiredness.
For the top results, it is highly recommended to address the results of the menopause test to the health care provider or gynecologist. They can offer the best guidance and prescribe the solutions to welcome womens health conditions decently.
Blood Test Helps Predict Menopause
Findings Could Help Women Make Decisions About Family Planning
June 28, 2010 — Researchers have developed a blood test they say can predict how long of a reproductive life a woman has before menopause.
The blood test measures levels of a hormone called anti-Mullerian Hormone , which is produced by the cells in womenâs ovaries and is a marker for ovarian function. The test could tell women as young as 20 when they would enter menopause. Sixty-three women reached menopause during the course of the study, and the test was able in most cases to predict the age within about four months of the womanâs actual age the maximum margin of error was between three and four years.
Study author Fahimeh Ramezani Tehrani, president of the Reproductive Endocrinology Department of the Endocrine Research Centre and a faculty member and associate professor of Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences in Tehran, Iran, reported her findings at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Rome.
The findings could have implications on how women approach family planning. Researchers said it is one of the first population-based studies to provide a statistical model for predicting age at menopause.
Recommended Reading: Sweet Potatoes And Menopause
What Are The Blood Tests For Menopause
1. Follicle-Stimulating Hormone
In women, FSH is associated with thedevelopment and reproduction of eggs. Doctors can measure this hormone via yoururine or a blood test. The pituitary gland at the brains base makes thishormone. FSH levels increase when you enter menopause due to ovarian functiondecreasing.
When this test is used to diagnosemenopause, it is typically performed once you have not had a period forapproximately one year. The absence of your period and a consistently elevatedFSH level can confirm the diagnosis.
2. Anti-Mullerian Hormone
Also referred to as AMH, in women, thishormone is produced by the ovaries. This hormone is critical for sex organdevelopment in a fetus. In women, this hormone plays a role in fertility.Doctors may order this test when they suspect female fertility issues,polycystic ovarian syndrome or menopause.
When levels of this hormone are low it canindicate menopause. However, if they are high, this can tell the doctor thatyour symptoms might be due to polycystic ovarian syndrome.
This blood test looks at your estrogenlevels to determine if they are decreasing since this can indicate menopause.In some cases, the doctor might recommend a 24-hour urine sample instead of ablood sample. Reduced levels can also indicate polycystic ovarian syndrome, acondition that can cause some of the same symptoms as early menopause.
4. Thyroid Function Testing
5. Additional Testing
Stages Of Your Cycle And Testing
In the ovary, the egg, or follicle growing stage which are from days 1-14, is called the follicular stage.
The second stage of the ovary, days 14-28, is called the luteal phase. These terms are important since testing of hormones, whether for infertility or hormone imbalance, need to be timed.
Days 19, 20 or 21
Usually, most testing is done in the luteal phase, around days 19, 20 or 21. This is the phase when PMS symptoms are at their peak, so I always tell patients you want to be tested on your bad days. If you have had an endometrial ablation or hysterectomy, but you still have your ovaries, its hard to know when you are in this phase of your cycle. These are day you find yourself reacting differently to something that day that normally would not have bothered you.
Why Do I Need An Estrogen Test
You may need an estradiol test or an estrone test if you:
- Are having trouble getting pregnant
- Are a woman of childbearing age who is not having periods or having abnormal periods
- Are a girl with early or delayed puberty
- Have symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes and/or night sweats
- Have vaginal bleeding after menopause
- Are a boy with delayed puberty
- Are a man showing female characteristics, such as the growth of breasts
If you are pregnant, your health care provider may order an estriol test between the 15th and 20th week of pregnancy as part of a prenatal test called a triple screen test. It can find out if your baby is at risk for a genetic birth defect such as Down syndrome. Not all pregnant women need to get an estriol test, but it is recommended for women who have a higher risk of having a baby with a birth defect. You may be at a higher risk if you:
- Have a family history of birth defects
- Are age 35 or older
- Have a viral infection during pregnancy
Bioavailable Testosterone With Oestrogen
Most of the testosterone attaches to two proteins: albumin and sex hormone binding globulin . Some testosterone is free, which means it is not attached to proteins. Free testosterone and albumin-bound testosterone are also referred to as bioavailable testosterone. This is the testosterone that is actually available for use.
The free testosterone can help give more information when total testosterone is low. Increased levels of testosterone can indicate polycystic ovary syndrome . This condition can cause:
- Blood sugar problems
- Extra hair growth, especially on the face
Testosterone levels are usually measured prior to commencing HRT treatment and the levels are checked during treatment to ensure that each woman receives the correct dose.
Oestrogen replacement is safe and effective in the treatment of menopausal symptoms and preventing osteoporosis but the combination of oestrogen and testosterone is better, particularly in those women who have had a premature menopause or have had their ovaries removed. It should also be considered in women who continue to experience symptoms of loss libido, depression, mood swings headaches and tiredness despite taking oestrogen.
Prior to any blood test request, your doctor will need to know about any medicines, herbs, vitamins, and supplements you are taking.
You May Like: Sweet Potato Hormone Therapy
Testing For Menopause & Early Menopause
Is it possible to test for and diagnose if you are in menopause?
The answer is yes.
The changes in your hormones cause several changes to other hormones in your body which can be picked up with routine blood tests.
What you need to realize is that all of the systems in your body are connected in some way.
If you drop your estrogen, for instance, then that will alter other hormones that are normally produced by your brain to stimulate the release of estrogen.
These hormones and prohormones can be picked up and used to help draw a picture of what is happening in your body.
So which blood tests do you need to diagnose menopause?
I’ve included a list below that every woman who is going through menopause should ask their doctor for:
It’s also helpful to understand what happens to these values during menopause so that you can understand where you are at in your transition.
I’ve included some of the general ranges to look for with these lab tests below:
Hormone Test For Menopause: What Does It Show
Menopause is a natural process in ladies, there are both no ways to avoid it and no options to prevent it. Usually, a woman starts experiencing the first symptoms at 40, when she gets closer to the first stage, perimenopause. Nevertheless, some may be diagnosed with it even in early 35. To detect a forthcoming of climax, a doctor can order for a lady a perimenopause test. It will focus on checking estrogen and follicle-stimulating hormones . The first hormone decreases, while the latter tends to increase.
FHS stimulates the maturation of eggs as well as affects the production of estradiol. However, whenever you reach a climax, estradiol, a hormone produced by ovaries and that is responsible for ovulation, drops in levels. The perimenopause test will show the hormone levels and give a full picture of the current womens health condition to the doctor.
Besides, it is a common practice to order a blood test for menopause to detect disorders of pituitary, check thyroid-stimulating and luteinizing hormones, and even anti-Mullerian hormone that will show a gynecologist when a patient is about to hit menopause.
Also Check: Dr Yael Swica
When Should You Get A Hormone Blood Test
If you have symptoms of a possible hormonal imbalance, you might need to get a hormone blood test. According to the Society for Endocrinology, its usually best to have your blood drawn for a hormone test in the first half of your menstrual cycle, because levels are more distinct at that time. However, if youre having a progesterone test to see if youre ovulating properly, it will likely be measured on day 21 of your cycle, which is in the middle of the second half.
Why Are Lab Tests Alone Not Reliable In Detecting Perimenopause
Think of lab tests and blood work like a camera. They provide a snapshot of your physiological health at a given point and time. Depending on when the lab tests are taken, you could have several different results. For example, lets say youve been cycling normally and you begin to enter a rough patch of life and are under a lot of stress.
Youre not eating right, sleeping right and perhaps even drinking a little too much alcohol to help you relax. As a result, you may not cycle normally. You could even skip a couple of periods. If you had blood work tested during that time your FSH levels would be high as your body tried to stimulate ovulation. The high FSH levels could indicate perimenopause.
Then, lets say that period of stress passes and you begin to relax, eat and sleep better, and your cycles return to normal again. However, your estrogen and progesterone could still be out of balance. You may even experience hot flashes and night sweats. In this scenario, you could be exhibiting classic symptoms of perimenopause and have normal FSH levels because you are cycling normally.
So while lab tests can be an excellent tool to help your physician determine if you are entering perimenopause, because of the variations that can occur at different times, they should not be used exclusively.
Also Check: Is Dizziness A Symptom Of Perimenopause
Read Also: Perimenopause Light Headed
Are Hormone Levels Or Other Blood Tests Helpful In Detecting Menopause
Because hormone levels may fluctuate greatly in an individual woman, even from one day to the next, they are not a reliable indicator for diagnosing menopause. Even if levels are low one day, they may be high the next day in the same woman. There is no single blood test that reliably predicts when a woman is going through menopause, or menopausal transition. Therefore, there is currently no proven role for blood testing regarding menopause except for tests to exclude medical causes of erratic menstrual periods other than menopause. Menopause is diagnosed based on the lack of menstrual periods for 12 months. The average age women in the U.S. stop having their periods is 51.
Why Are These Tests Requested And What Do The Results Actually Tell You
The hormones, oestradiol and progesterone, are made by the ovaries in a cyclical fashion that help to maintain a normal menstrual cycle. When a woman reaches menopause, cyclical hormone production from the ovaries stops, leading to a cessation in monthly menstrual periods and of egg production.
The menopausal change is slow and usually takes two to five years to complete. During this so-called peri-menopausal phase , hormone levels can fluctuate from high to low and from one month to the next.
Some months a woman may have a period but then go for several months without a period. It is important to note that during this time, a woman may still be able to get pregnant. Menopause is said to have taken place when a woman has not had a period for 12 months.
Menopause happens naturally as a woman ages. However, menopause can also occur for other reasons, including the removal of the ovaries for cancer or other medical reasons like endometriosis.
The diagnosis of menopause is usually made on clinical grounds, i.e. symptoms and history. The following biochemical investigations may be performed on blood when menopause is suspected but the diagnosis is not clear:
- Follicle-stimulating hormone , to learn whether she is approaching or has gone through menopause
- Oestradiol, to measure ovarian production of oestrogen and to further assist in determining menopausal state
- Thyroid function testing to assess the function of the thyroidgland
- Assessment of liver and kidney function
Don’t Miss: What Causes Hot Flashes Besides Menopause
When To See A Doctor
Have a chat with your doctor if youre concerned about your symptoms, or unsure if they are linked to menopause if you would like to know if youre experiencing the perimenopause or menopause or if youre considering doing an FSH home test.
Its also worth seeing a doctor if youre under 45 and think you might be experiencing menopausal symptoms.
I Know I Can Identify The Signs Of Menopause Without A Blood Test But What If I Absolutely Want To Take It
If you absolutely want to take the test, we would recommend to consult with your gynecologist or generalist to be sure that instruction of what we look for is correct.
Firstly, if conducting the blood test make sure to check the levels of follicle-stimulating hormone and estrogen1.
During menopause, your FSH levels increase and your estrogen levels decrease. However, hormonal assays are often difficult to interpret because they are subject to significant fluctuations.
Your doctor may order an additional blood test to check your thyroid-stimulating hormone , as thyroid dysfunction can cause symptoms that are similar to menopause.
However, the menopause symptoms will be quite significant so you will probably know despite the test if you are in menopause and above tests can confirm it easily.
Don’t Miss: How To Increase Breast Size After Menopause
What Is A Menopause Test Kit
The menopause blood test kit is a home blood test kit. You will need to provide a small blood sample taken through a finger prick. The sample will be sent to one of our partner labs and analysed.
The menopause blood test kit measures the level of a hormone in your blood called follicle stimulating hormone . FSH is one of a few hormones that are involved in regulating the menstrual cycle.
FSH levels will change when you go through the menopause because you wont be having periods anymore. So, measuring the FSH level can be a useful way to tell whether youre going through the menopause.
When To See A Gp
It’s worth talking to a GP if you have menopausal symptoms that are troubling you or if you’re experiencing symptoms of the menopause before 45 years of age.
They can usually confirm whether you’re menopausal based on your symptoms, but a blood test to measure your hormone levels may be carried out if you’re under 45.
You May Like: Menopause And Dizzy Spells
Women On Birth Control
If you are on the birth control pill, all of your hormones in the ovary are suppressed so there is NO egg production and no thick, fluffy lining built up to accept a fertilized egg .
Balancing hormones for women on the birth control pill can be done, but it is trickier. Often times, the birth control pill is the cause of some of the problems which is quite an eye opening statement to some patients. A lot of women have been on the birth control pill for a majority of their lives, so they never suspect their birth control pill could be the problem. But, maybe it is. Why? Well, the pill is not changing, but you are. When we are older, the pill could drop our hormone production down so much that it is more of the problem than the solution. Most women who are done having their children might be better off finding a non-hormonal method of birth control . Then when you are hormone free, and the birth control pill is out of your system, test your hormones and see how many problems being off the pill fixed or caused, and go from there.