Ask A Laboratory Scientist
This form enables patients to ask specific questions about lab tests. Your questions will be answered by a laboratory scientist as part of a voluntary service provided by one of our partners, American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science. Please allow 2-3 business days for an email response from one of the volunteers on the Consumer Information Response Team.
Consequences Of Premature Menopause
The consequences of premature menopause can be divided into short and long term consequences.
Short term consequences include vasomotor symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats, palpitations and headaches, weight gain, vaginal dryness and dyspareunia, urgency and stress incontinence with psychological problems including irritability, forgetfulness, insomnia and poor concentration.
The long term consequences of premature menopause include infertility, osteoporosis and an increased risk of premature death, cardiovascular diseases and stroke.
It is true that some authors have reported pregnancies in women with premature menopause, but the reality is that it is rare. With recent advancement in oocyte donation, women with premature menopause now have hoped to mother a child. Currently, oocyte donation is widely used and it is a successful option in management of infertility due to ovarian failure. The possible theoretical reasons for high pregnancy rates in ovum donation programmes are:
Absence of the state of hypoestrogenism,
Absence of other causes of infertility,
Lack of endometrial hyperstimulation,
Absence of episodes of premature lutenization,
Better control of the window of receptivity.
Mylab Box Perimenopause Test
The myLAB Box perimenopause screening test involves providing a blood and saliva sample to identify the FSH, estradiol, and progesterone levels.
According to the company website, individuals do not have to change their diet before taking this test. However, if they decide to stop taking medications before taking the test, they should contact a doctor to discuss whether it is safe for them to do so.
According to myLAB, labs are CLIA-certified, and a person can receive their results within 5 days.
If a persons results suggest they are in perimenopause, they can talk with a myLAB physician for free to discuss the result.
Pros and cons
myLAB Box test has a range of advantages:
- free consultations with doctors if the result is positive
- CLIA-certified labs
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Can I Get A Menopause Test
First, lets get clear on something: If youre wondering, how is menopause diagnosed?, that might be a slightly biased way to look at it. Diagnosis is for illness, and menopause is not an illness. It is a totally normal life phase. So rather than talking about diagnosing menopause, lets talk about confirming it.
Dealing With Early Menopause
What is early menopause?
As women age, their bodies produce less estrogen and progesterone, the main hormones involved in female reproduction. When these hormones reach a low enough level, a woman will permanently stop having a menstrual cycle.
Menopause officially begins 12 months after a womans last period. Most women begin menopause between the ages of 45 and 55, with an average age of 51 in the United States. But for some women, menopause comes early.
If youre between the ages of 35 and 45 and have missed your period for three months or more, you may be going through menopause earlier than normal. Read on to learn why this happens and what treatments are available.
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Supplemental Calcium And Vitamin D
Supplementary calcium and vitamin D can help prevent osteoporosis if you arent getting enough of these nutrients from your diet.
Women ages 19 to 50 should get 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day through food or supplements. Women over age 51 should get 1,200 milligrams per day.
A recommended daily amount of vitamin D is around . For adult women, most doctors recommend 600-800 IU through food or supplements.
How Is Premature Menopause Diagnosed
To diagnose premature menopause, your doctor will most likely perform a physical exam and draw blood to rule out other conditions, such as pregnancy and thyroid disease. They may also order a test to measure your estradiol levels. Low levels of estradiol, a form of estrogen, can indicate that your ovaries are starting to fail. When estradiol levels are below 30, it may signal that you are in menopause.
However, the most important test used to diagnose premature menopause is a blood test that measures follicle stimulating hormone . FSH causes your ovaries to produce estrogen. When your ovaries slow down their production of estrogen, your levels of FSH increase. When your FSH levels rise above 40 mIU/mL, it usually indicates that you are in menopause.
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Is There A Test For Early Menopause
Some women between 4045 may experience early menopause. This refers to the menopausal phase that occurs earlier than usual, which may occur for various reason, including if a person smokes, is undergoing chemotherapy, or has a health condition, such as HIV or a thyroid disorder.
People who have gone through menopause may notice that they have not had their period for a whole year.
Those who think that they may experience early menopause can consider contacting a doctor for advice. A person may be asked to take a blood test to measure their FSH levels and check if they may still be able to conceive.
Causes Of Early Menopause
Early menopause can happen if your ovaries stop making enough hormones, particularly oestrogen.
This is sometimes called premature ovarian failure or primary ovarian insufficiency.
The cause is often unknown, but can include:
- chromosome abnormalities, such as Turner syndrome
- autoimmune diseases, where the immune system starts attacking body tissues
- certain infections, such as tuberculosis, malaria and mumps in rare cases
Premature ovarian failure can sometimes run in families. This may be the case if a relative went through the menopause in their 20s or 30s.
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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:
What Menopause Test Is Required
There are not many varieties of the test for menopause. There is one most important menopause test called follicle-stimulating hormone or shortly FSH. This is the key test that will confirm or deny the menopause stage. Its a blood test for menopause and it determines the current levels of FSH. If they rise, it means your ovaries dont produce enough amounts of estrogen anymore. Accordingly, its the direct sign that your menopause has started.
It has been already said that certain conditions affect the precision of the menopause test results. The main problem is the hormonal balance of women. Its unstable and changeable if they still have periods. Most doctors recommend passing a hormone test for menopause on the third day of your periods to receive higher precision of results. Nonetheless, you may be asked to pass it again to be sure the results are correct and reflect the current levels of FSH.
At times, doctors appoint a pH menopause test to check the pH levels in your vagina. This may be an additional proof that youre in menopause. Its taken via a swab.
Besides, your doctor may make you pass thyroid-stimulating hormone or shortly TSH. It checks the activity of the thyroid. If its activity is low, this state may also cause menopause-like symptoms.
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Letsgetchecked Female Hormone Test
The LetsGetChecked female hormone test identifies FSH, LH, prolactin, and estradiol levels. The test requires a person to provide a blood sample with a finger prick.
The company recommends that people collect their sample on the third day of their menstrual cycle before 10.00 a.m., and they should not be taking hormonal birth control when they take the test. Once a person completes the testing process, they mail the sample to the lab for analysis.
According to the company, a person can view their results on their LetsGetChecked account within 5 days. Afterward, they can discuss their results with the LetsGetChecked nursing team, which is available 24/7.
Pros and cons
Some pros of LetsGetChecked include:
- accepts FSA and HSA cards
- subscription available for regular buyers
- a nursing team available all day for consultations
These are some frequently asked questions about menopause home tests:
What Is Premature & Early Menopause
‘Premature menopause’ is when the final menstrual period occurs before a woman is 40. ‘Early menopause’ is when the final menstrual period occurs between 40 and 45 years. Up to 8% of women have had their final period by the time they are 45. The number of women reaching menopause by this time may be increased in relation to treatment after cancer, or removal of the ovaries.
This may happen because:
- periods stop spontaneously due to primary ovarian insufficiency this affects up to 1% of women
- menopause is induced by a secondary cause such as:
- surgery when ovaries are removed surgically
- chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatment for cancer.
This video explains the causes of and treatments for premature and early menopause.
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How Is Early Menopause Is Diagnosed
No special tests are needed to determine the absence of menstrual periods, but sometimes women begin having symptoms of menopause and irregular periods. At that point, they may be tested to determine their ovarian function. For example, tests may be done to rule out pregnancy or other causes of missed menstruation, such as certain thyroid diseases. The level of follicle-stimulating hormone is often measured in the blood to determine whether a woman is nearing menopause and to ascertain the functional status of her ovaries. FSH stimulates the ovaries to produce estrogen, so levels of this hormone rise when estrogen levels drop. FSH levels that are higher than 40 mIU/ml are considered diagnostic of the menopause. Levels of ovarian hormones, such as estradiol, may be also measured, as low levels are suggestive of menopause.
What Are The Effects Of Early Or Premature Menopause
But some women with early or premature menopause may also have:
- Higher risk of serious health problems, such as heart disease and osteoporosis, since women will live longer without the health benefits of higher estrogen levels. Talk to your doctor or nurse about steps to lower your risk for these health problems.
- More severe menopause symptoms. Talk to your doctor or nurse about treatments to help with symptoms if they affect your daily life.
- Sadness or depression over the early loss of fertility or the change in their bodies. Talk to your doctor if you have symptoms of depression, including less energy or a lack of interest in things you once enjoyed that lasts longer than a few weeks. Your doctor or nurse can recommend specialists who can help you deal with your feelings. Your doctor or nurse can also discuss options, such as adoption or donor egg programs, if you want to have children.
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Table : Nice Quality Standard For Menopauselist Of Quality Statements4
Women with premature ovarian insufficiency are offered HRT or a combined hormonal contraceptive.
Women having treatment for menopausal symptoms have a review 3 months after starting each treatment and then at least annually.
Women who are likely to go through menopause as a result of medical or surgical treatment are given information about menopause and fertility before they have their treatment.
FSH=follicle stimulating hormone HRT=hormone replacement therapy
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Menopause. Quality Standard 143. NICE, 2017. Available from: www.nice.org.uk/qs143
NICE has not checked the use of its content in this article to confirm that it accurately reflects the NICE publication from which it is taken
Management Of Premature Menopause
The most important approach in management of premature menopause is to identify the cause and institute treatment based on the cause. It is now possible to restore follicular maturation, ovulation and menstruation with treatment of identified cause of premature menopause.
With ovulation induction or oocyte donation in IVF programmes, it is possible to achieve pregnancy. Women with primed endometrium using oestrogen, can be followed with progestogen challenge test to demonstrate the possibility of induction of menstruation.
It is good practice to recommend oestrogen replacement therapy for women with premature menopause. Women with hypo oestrogenaemia may require hormone replacement therapy to avoid osteoporosis. There is some evidence that restoring normal oestrogen levels will reduce the later development of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and possibly dementia. Thus, short term use of HRT is considered an option by many. Treatment for each woman is considered virtually: Mandatory. It is possible to treat autoimmune disease with corticosteroid therapy if antibodies to sex hormones are present in the blood.
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The Role Of Menopause Tests
Menopause testing is used to determine if a patients symptoms are part of menopause or related to another condition. Symptoms related to menopause include:
- Irregular menstrual periods
- Vaginal dryness, irritation, or discharge
- Mood swings
- Trouble concentrating
In evaluating the cause of these symptoms, a doctor may ask about a patients age, symptoms, and family history. In around 75% of women, symptoms of perimenopause begin during the expected age range and doctors can diagnose menopause without laboratory testing. Menopause is confirmed after a woman has had no menstrual period for 12 months.
However, menopause testing is often ordered when the cause of symptoms is not clear. For example, menopause testing may be used for women who have had a hysterectomy, women who begin to have symptoms of menopause several years before age 50, or when a woman experiences abnormal symptoms suggestive of menopause.
Risks Of Premature & Early Menopause
The risks of developing osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease are higher for women with premature or early menopause than for women reaching menopause at the expected age. For this reason, it is important that you seek advice and treatment from your doctor.
According to community studies, women who go through premature or early menopause without hormone treatment have a reduced life expectancy by about two years.
The advice below is based on current expert opinion, as there are no studies on women with premature or early menopause that establish which prevention strategies are effective.
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> Click Here To View The Transcript
There was a hint of it when I went to see my GP, when I was getting the hot flushes and my periods werent returning. He did lots of tests, a blood test, to work out what was going on, and he said to me that my FSH was unusually high, but early menopause wasnt mentioned in that conversation. He said, Id like you to go and see a specialist and see if we can work out whats going on with your hormones and make sure your bodys getting back down to normal after the loss of the pregnancy. And at the time, I was super stressed, and he felt that maybe my FSH had risen because of the stress. He said, You know, the body does weird things when youre under that much stress.
So my GP recommended that I go to a specialist and I went back to the hospital that had supported us through our pregnancy. I went to the womens clinic there. There they took some more bloods and this time they were testing for all of my T-1, T-2, T-3, T-4, T-5s, all my thyroid stuff, just to do a bit more of a comprehensive blood test.
The Ovaries Stop Working
Early menopause can happen naturally if a woman’s ovaries stop making normal levels of certain hormones, particularly the hormone oestrogen.
This is sometimes called premature ovarian failure, or primary ovarian insufficiency.
The cause of premature ovarian failure is often unknown, but in some women it may be caused by:
- chromosome abnormalities such as in women with Turner syndrome
- an autoimmune disease where the immune system starts attacking body tissues
- certain infections, such as tuberculosis, malaria and mumps but this is very rare
Premature ovarian failure can sometimes run in families. This might be the case if any of your relatives went through the menopause at a very young age .
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Treatment For Early Or Premature Menopause
There is no treatment available to make the ovaries start working again.
Rarely, the ovaries may spontaneously start working again, for reasons unknown. According to some studies, about one in 10 women who are diagnosed with premature ovarian insufficiency get pregnant, for reasons that are not yet clear.
Women with early menopause have a long period of postmenopausal life, which means they are at increased risk of health problems such as early onset of osteoporosis and heart disease. For this reason, it is recommended that they take some form of hormone therapy until they reach the typical age of menopause . This may be the combined oestrogen and progestogen oral contraceptive pill, or menopausal hormone therapy .
Either option treats menopausal symptoms and reduces the risk of early onset of osteoporosis and heart disease.