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How Do Doctors Test For Menopause

Will I Still Enjoy Sex After Menopause

How to ‘diagnose’ menopause

You should still be able to enjoy sex after menopause. Sometimes, decreased sex drive is related to discomfort and painful intercourse. After treating the source of this pain , many women are able to enjoy intimacy again. Hormone therapy can also help many women. If you are having difficulties enjoying sex after menopause, talk to your healthcare provider.

What Are The Hormonal Changes During Menopause

The traditional changes we think of as “menopause” happen when the ovaries no longer produce high levels of hormones. The ovaries are the reproductive glands that store eggs and release them into the fallopian tubes. They also produce the female hormones estrogen and progesterone as well as testosterone. Together, estrogen and progesterone control menstruation. Estrogen also influences how the body uses calcium and maintains cholesterol levels in the blood.

As menopause nears, the ovaries no longer release eggs into the fallopian tubes, and youll have your last menstrual cycle.

How Do I Know If I Am Going Through Early Menopause

Symptoms of menopause usually begin in your early forties. Anything earlier than this is considered early menopause. Early menopause is not uncommon, and often occurs naturally, however it can also be caused by a variety of outside factors. Talking to your doctor and identifying what triggered premature menopause is the first step in dealing with the symptoms and consequences of premature menopause.

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What Happens At Your Gp Appointment

The GP should refer you to hospital or a special postmenopausal bleeding clinic. You should not have to wait more than 2 weeks to see a specialist.

What happens at your hospital or clinic appointment

A specialist, who may be a nurse, will offer you tests to help find out whatâs causing the bleeding and plan any necessary treatment.

The tests may include:

  • a small device being placed in your vagina to scan for any problems
  • an examination of your pelvis and vagina a speculum may be inserted into your vagina to hold it open, so the inside of the vagina and the cervix can be seen
  • a thin, telescope-like camera being passed up your vagina, through the cervix and into your womb to look for any problems and to take a tissue sample for testing under local or general anaesthetic
  • the specialist may press on your tummy and inside your vagina to check for lumps, tenderness or other abnormalities

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Is Spotting Between Periods Normal

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Is spotting normal during perimenopause? If you observe small amounts of blood on your underwear between cycles , its considered spotting.;

Aside from hormonal changes, perimenopause spotting is also the direct result of endometrial buildup. It happens either before your period starts or near the end of it. If youre spotting between periods, however, it might be an indication of hormonal imbalance and should be discussed with your doctor.;

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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.

Blood Tests Versus Other Indicators

Saliva testing which can measure the level of hormones circulating in the bloodstream is now available. Proponents of saliva testing claim it is much more specific and correctly identifies the level of hormones at the cellular level, in contrast to a blood serum test.

“There are a number of new tests becoming available privately,” says Unsworth. “These include hormone tests based on saliva and urine samples. At present, I do not feel there is enough evidence to support the accuracy and reliability of these tests. Given they often have a very high price tag, I would consult a doctor before considering them.”

Both Briggs and Unsworth are keen to point out that, as with all areas of medicine, blood tests can provide helpful information, but should not be used in isolation to make clinical decisions. Most tests provide doctors and patients with a ‘normal range’, but this can vary hugely in some cases, so should only be used in conjunction with an overall picture of symptoms and a full medical history.

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Diagnosis Of Of Perimenopause

Perimenopause is a natural part of life, and also represents a point of transition that can last several years. For these reasons, perimenopause is not typically diagnosed unless its symptoms cause significant discomfort or inconvenience.

If your doctor suspects that another condition, such as a thyroid issue or hormonal imbalance, may be causing your symptoms , he or she may recommend hormone testing. Hormone testing is done through a hormone panel to test your levels of estrogen and other sex-linked hormones. This kind of testing can often show whether you are nearing or in menopause.

What Are The Symptoms Of Menopause

Do I need a blood test to diagnose menopause?

You may be transitioning into menopause if you begin experiencing some or all of the following symptoms:

These symptoms can be a sign that the ovaries are producing less estrogen, or a sign of increased fluctuation in hormone levels. Not all women get all of these symptoms. However, women affected with new symptoms of racing heart, urinary changes, headaches, or other new medical problems should see a doctor to make sure there is no other cause for these symptoms.

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What Is Menopause What Is Perimenopause

Menopause is the point in a woman’s life when she has not had her period for 1 year.

For most women, menopause happens around age 50. But every woman’s body has its own time line. Some women stop having periods in their mid-40s. Others continue well into their 50s.

Perimenopause is the process of change that leads up to menopause. It can start as early as your late 30s or as late as your early 50s. How long perimenopause lasts varies, but it usually lasts from 2 to 8 years. You may have irregular periods or other symptoms during this time.

Menopause is a natural part of growing older. You don’t need treatment for it unless your symptoms bother you. But it’s a good idea to learn all you can about menopause. Knowing what to expect can help you stay as healthy as possible during this new phase of your life.

Can Menopause Affect Sleep

Some women may experience trouble sleeping through the night and insomnia during menopause. Insomnia is an inability to fall asleep or stay asleep at night. This can be a normal side effect of menopause itself, or it could be due to another symptom of menopause. Hot flashes are a common culprit of sleepless nights during menopause.

If hot flashes keep you awake at night, try:

  • Staying cool at night by wearing loose clothing.
  • Keeping your bedroom well-ventilated.

Avoiding certain foods and behaviors that trigger your hot flashes. If spicy food typically sets off a hot flash, avoid eating anything spicy before bed.

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Result Of The Easy Home Menopause Test Kit

A positive test, indicated by a line in both sections of the window, means that you are probably in a stage of menopause. Repeat the test with a new test stick after seven days to be sure. If you have a positive test you may want to see your doctor for advice on how to relieve your symptoms. A vague line or no line in the test window indicates that you have not yet reached menopause. It may, however, still be advisable to contact your doctor to determine what is causing your symptoms. If no lines appear in either section, or a line appears in the test section but not in the control section, then the test is invalid. Dispose of the used test stick and repeat the test.

Final Menstrual Period Blood Tests

Do You Really Need a Blood Test to Tell You You

Can blood tests tell you when your final period is going to happen?

In About Menopause: Diagnosis of Menopause Is There A Test To Diagnose Perimenopause or Menopause? the Jean Hailes for Womens Health explain:

Blood tests wont tell you when your final period is going to happen and wont help you manage your perimenopause, or what follows. During the perimenopause, hormone levels vary widely and can be low one day and within the normal range the next.3

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When To Do A Menopause Blood Test

The menopause is a completely natural part of ageing and many women self-diagnose themselves as their periods become irregular.

However, you might like to see a GP or specialist if:

  • your symptoms are bad
  • your periods become irregular early

Your periods being absent for a year combined with your age are the main clinical indicators of menopause so a blood test wont always be offered But in some cases, you will be offered one for example, if youre under the age of 45. You can also do a finger-prick blood test at home to check if you might be menopausal.

A blood test can also help rule out other conditions that cause menopause-like symptoms for example, an underactive thyroid or an overactive thyroid .

Keep in mind that not all blood tests are diagnostic. Some tests are used to build a picture of whats going on inside your body. Checking in on your female hormones at this point can help do that.

How Do I Know If Changes In My Periods Are Normal Perimenopausal Symptoms Or Something To Be Concerned About

Irregular periods are common and normal during perimenopause . But other conditions can cause abnormalities in menstrual bleeding. If any of the following situations apply to you, see a doctor to rule out other causes.

  • Your periods are changing to become very heavy, or accompanied by blood clots.
  • Your periods last several days longer than usual.
  • You spot or bleed after your period.
  • You experience spotting after sex.
  • Your periods occur closer together.

Potential causes of abnormal bleeding include hormonal imbalances, hormonal treatments, pregnancy, fibroids, blood-clotting problems or, rarely, cancer.

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Does It Matter How Far After Menopause You Are Say Six Months Post

Dr. Jessie: It doesnt. Post-menopausal bleeding can be an indicator for abnormal cells in the uterine lining at any point after menopause. While there are probably more benign conditions that can cause some vaginal bleeding the closer you are to menopause , if you have gone a full year without a period, you need to get in to see your doctor.

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What Is Hormone Therapy

Do I Need Hormone Testing?

During menopause, your body goes through major hormonal changes, decreasing the amount of hormones it makes particularly estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen and progesterone are produced by the ovaries. When your ovaries no longer make enough estrogen and progesterone, hormone therapy can be used as a supplement. Hormone therapy boosts your hormone levels and can help relieve some symptoms of menopause. Its also used as a preventative measure for osteoporosis.

There are two main types of hormone therapy:

  • Estrogen therapy : In this treatment, estrogen is taken alone. Its typically prescribed in a low dose and can be taken as a pill or patch. ET can also be given to you as a cream, vaginal ring, gel or spray. This type of treatment is used after a hysterectomy. Estrogen alone cant be used if a woman still has a uterus.
  • Estrogen Progesterone/Progestin Hormone Therapy : This treatment is also called combination therapy because it uses doses of estrogen and progesterone. Progesterone is available in its natural form, or also as a progestin . This type of hormone therapy is used if you still have your uterus.

Hormone therapy can relieve many of the symptoms of menopause, including:

  • Hot flashes and night sweats.
  • Vaginal dryness.

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Signs: How To Identify Perimenopause

Of course, women may not require a perimenopause quiz to understand that the early phase of this life stage has begun. Certain health changes and conditions may explain everything. Therefore, you should be attentive to your body signals and remember the following essentials:

Using a perimenopause quiz, you may recognize most or even all signs mentioned on our list. Therefore, this quiz may be additional evidence that the signs you feel surely mean that early menopause has begun. Nonetheless, you should obligatorily go to your doctor to confirm or refute this crucial assumption.

You should know about the risk factors, which may cause early menopause. Among them are active smoking, family history, cancer treatments, and a hysterectomy. Each factor may start the phase faster. For example, smoking women are more likely to have perimenopause than the ones who dont smoke. Under these conditions, their climax may come about 1-2 years earlier.

How To Test For Menopause

The reduction in the levels of hormones that results from menopause often leads to a common misconception around testing. You might think that doctors can do a quick test of your hormone levels to find out if youre going through menopause or not. However, womens hormone levels are falling and rising constantly. Because of this, physicians may order multiple hormonal blood tests for menopause at different times during your cycle to get an overall assessment of your hormonal balance.

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What Are The Symptoms

Common symptoms include:

  • Irregular periods. Some women have light periods. Others have heavy bleeding. Your menstrual cycle may be longer or shorter, or you may skip periods.
  • Headaches.
  • Vaginal dryness.

Some women have only a few mild symptoms. Others have severe symptoms that disrupt their sleep and daily lives.

Symptoms tend to last or get worse the first year or more after menopause. Over time, hormones even out at low levels, and many symptoms improve or go away.

Should You See A Doctor For Menopause

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The range of symptoms, depending on severity, might compel a woman to see a doctor to rule out disease or other ailments. Other patients may hardly notice them.

Some women transition beautifully into menopause, Bell says. When a period stops, women feel OK and they dont need a doctor to diagnose menopause.

But women may struggle with symptoms because they interfere with their daily lives. Thats when they should consult a gynecologist.

Bell cautions that women younger than 40 who experience symptoms seemingly related to menopause should make a doctors appointment to rule out any other condition, including primary ovarian insufficiency, which occurs when the ovaries stop producing enough reproductive hormones.

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Can I Get Pregnant During Menopause

The possibility of pregnancy disappears once you are postmenopausal, you have been without your period for an entire year . However, you can actually get pregnant during the menopause transition . If you dont want to become pregnant, you should continue to use some form of birth control until you have gone fully through menopause. Ask your healthcare provider before you stop using contraception.

For some women, getting pregnant can be difficult once theyre in their late 30s and 40s because of a decline in fertility. However, if becoming pregnant is the goal, there are fertility-enhancing treatments and techniques that can help you get pregnant. Make sure to speak to your healthcare provider about these options.

Can Menopause Cause Facial Hair Growth

Yes, increased facial hair growth can be a change related to menopause. The hormonal change your body goes through during menopause can result in several physical changes to your body, including more facial hair than you may have had in the past. If facial hair becomes a problem for you, waxing or using other hair removers may be options. Talk to your healthcare provider about your options to make sure you dont pick a product that could harm your skin.

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How To Seek Help

“It’s a good idea to see if there’s a GP at your practice who specialises in menopause and HRT,” advises Briggs. “And if you feel you need extra support ask to be referred to your local menopause clinic or a specialist consultant.”

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence provides guidelines on when blood tests are necessary in menopause.

“I would not recommend accessing any blood tests without consulting a doctor,” adds Unsworth. “However, not all doctors may be confident in interpreting these types of hormone results, so I would recommend seeking out a doctor with an interest in menopause to ensure you are given the correct answers and treatment.”

Top Menopause Questions For Your Next Doctor Visit

How to Prepare for Menopause | Doctors on TV
  • Is treating women experiencing menopause part of your practice? If not, can you recommend a specialist?

  • How can I tell if what Im experiencing is caused by menopause or some other condition?

  • Can you confirm what stage of menopause Im in ?

  • I am in . What can I expect next?

  • How can I tell when Ive transitioned from premenopause to perimenopause OR perimenopause to postmenopause?

  • How long should I keep using birth control?

  • How long will my symptoms last?

  • What treatment options are available for my menopause symptoms?

  • Is menopausal hormone therapy right for me?

  • What prescription options are available?

  • Whats the difference between bioidentical and non-bioidentical hormone therapy?

  • How will menopause affect my sex life?

  • I dont seem to be in the mood. Why is my libido so low?

  • Sex is painful for me. What can I do?

  • How does menopause affect my mental health?

  • Im feeling . What can I do?

  • I am postmenopausal and have experienced some bleeding. Is that normal?

  • I am postmenopausal, do I still need an annual pelvic exam and pap smear?

  • How does menopause affect other diseases or conditions I have?

  • Does menopause increase my risk for other conditions? What tests or screenings should I have now, and how often?

  • Should I take a D3 supplement for bone health?

  • To learn more about menopause, including personalized insights, sign up for Lisa Health. We hope youll join us on the journey!

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