Could A New Blood Test Predict When Menopause Will Start
“New blood test can predict when women will hit the menopause two years in advance, scientists claim,” reports The Sun.
Researchers in the US tested the ability of a blood test for anti-mullerian hormone to predict when a woman would have her final period. AMH is released from a woman’s ovaries. When levels drop very low, it suggests her ovaries have almost run out of functional eggs and her periods will soon stop.
Older tests were not accurate enough to detect very low levels of AMH, so they could not be used to accurately predict when a woman’s periods would stop. The researchers tried a new type of AMH test to see if it was better.
Researchers tested 1,537 women aged 42 to 52 who had not gone through the menopause. They were tested until after their last period. The new AMH test was used, as well as the more commonly used follicle stimulating hormone test. Testing FSH levels has been used to roughly predict menopause, but as it varies a lot through the menstrual cycle the results have been harder to interpret.
The AMH test was more accurate than FSH and was most accurate for estimating if menopause would happen in the next 2 to 3 years in women aged 52 and older. Being able to predict menopause can be helpful. For example, it can help women with heavy periods decide if they should have surgery to treat them.
Find out more about the menopause.
Is It Safe To Have Tests During The Pandemic
Dr Aziz-Scott: Its understandable that there is some hesitation about being around others at this time, but we would like to reassure you that your safety is of the utmost importance to us. It is safe to have your blood tests during the pandemic and as per Government advice, it is recommended that you keep any appointments or procedures you have booked.
Symptoms Of The Menopause
Most women will experience menopausal symptoms. Some of these can be quite severe and have a significant impact on your everyday activities.
Common symptoms include:
- reduced sex drive
- problems with memory and concentration
Menopausal symptoms can begin months or even years before your periods stop and last around 4 years after your last period, although some women experience them for much longer.
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Can A Blood Test Tell Me Whether I Am In Menopause
There are several hormone levels that physicians may suggest ordering. For FSH). In general it is reassuring to have a test ordered because your doctor doing something and that makes us feel validated. However, if a test doesn’t give a clear answer then it is a waste of the time and energy of everyone to do it, it is a waste of money for the health care system, insurers or for you personally.
Let me describe each of these potentially measured
If your HCP suggests ordering a battery of urinary or salivary testing, CeMCOR suggests that you consider declining, based on the general lack of validation, high cost and the current confusion of methods.. It is preferable to use tools that don’t rely on hormones measured at a single point in time but rather on things your body can tell you. For example, clear, stretchy cervical mucus that stretches in a thread longer than 3 cm or one and a half inches and lasts longer than 3 days means high
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, it’s 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 you’re having a progesterone test to see if you’re ovulating properly, it will likely be measured on day 21 of your cycle, which is in the middle of the second half.
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Can Blood Tests Help To Manage Menopause And Hrt
There is increasing interest in whether blood testing can predict the onset of menopause, and whether it is useful in the management of hormone replacement therapy . We ask the experts if blood tests to assess hormones are worth considering.
Reviewed byDr Sarah Jarvis MBE
29-Sep-20·7 mins read
In the UK, the average age a woman will reach menopause is 51, though anywhere between 45 and 55 is still considered to be within the normal range. For some women, menopausal night sweats, painful joints, depression, and vaginal and bladder issues can be hugely debilitating. Hormone replacement therapy is one option to help manage these symptoms and alternatives to HRT are also available.
When To Ask A Doctor About The Perimenopause Blood Test
When To Ask a Doctor About the Perimenopause Blood Test. Women who enter into the perimenopause transitionary phase may experience symptoms which are similar to menopause. This can include hot flashes, tenderness in the breasts, more severe monthly cycles that include heavier bleeding, fatigue, trouble sleeping, mood swings,
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Information For Women Having Treatment Likely To Cause Menopausestatement 5
Certain medical or surgical treatments, such as cancer treatments and gynaecological surgery, can affect fertility and induce menopause.1,4 It is important that women who require treatment of this kind are provided with information about menopause and fertility before they have their treatment, as they may be younger than women experiencing natural menopause and therefore less likely to be aware of menopausal symptoms.
Left untreated, menopause symptoms can lead to long-term poor health outcomes and potential psychological trauma.6 Promoting awareness of menopausal symptoms increases the likelihood that women will access treatment and services as soon as they need them, and empowers women to make an informed choice about their ongoing hormonal status.
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.
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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.
Where Did The Story Come From
The researchers who carried out the study were from several US institutions including University of Michigan, Rush University, Massachusetts General Hospital, University of California, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New Jersey Medical School and University of Pittsburgh.
The study was funded by the US National Institutes of Health and published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism . It’s available on an open-access basis and is free to view online.
You can read the study on the JCEM website.
The UK media coverage said that the test could predict the menopause 2 years in advance, which could be misunderstood. While the test can predict the likelihood for women of different ages going through menopause in the next 1 to 3 years, it cannot say exactly when it will happen.
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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.
How Do I Know If Im In Perimenopause
If you are in your mid to late 40s, perhaps even your late 30s and you begin to exhibit what you think are perimenopause symptoms, definitely see your doctor for the appropriate lab tests. However, be mindful that you will need to have more lab tests taken over a period of time, also known as a panel of lab tests in order to get a more accurate picture of your hormone levels.
If your physician will not provide that for you seek the opinion of a second or third physician if necessary. Remember, you are the best barometer for how you feel. If your instincts tell you that you might be in perimenopause, trust yourself.
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What Is The Difference Between Treatment You Can Get With And Without Blood Test Results
Dr Aziz-Scott: GPs follow the NICE guidelines which state that if a patient is over 45, blood tests are not mandatory and HRT can be initiated, depending on symptoms. It is only if a patient is under 45 that an FSH blood test is required. LH levels will also be checked, but estrogen will not be. This means that patients may be getting a one-size-fits-all treatment.
At the Marion Gluck Clinic, all patients are required to undergo blood tests to allow us to provide bespoke, personalised treatment tailored precisely to your bodys requirements.
Youll note that:
- We will complete a detailed hormone analysis and provide the correct hormones in the appropriate dosages for your individual needs. We know that estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and DHEA all interact, and that a balance of hormones is essential for optimum health and controlled symptoms. It is therefore the gold standard to have all hormones analysed before treatment.
- The free testosterone that we can measure in the private sector is not usually available on the NHS. We can check total testosterone and SHBG to work out the free androgen index, which tells us how much testosterone is bioavailable in the body.
- We monitor our patients hormone levels and adjust treatment accordingly. We are always monitoring the treatments efficiency and efficacy.
The Current Limitations Of Amh For Predicting Menopause
AMH has a lot of potential for helping doctors pinpoint exactly when a person could expect to go through menopause. But past research using less sensitive AMH tests to predict menopause has been mixed. A 2016 study of 155 women that looked at various tests of ovarian reserve found that although AMH levels were the best predictors of menopause by age, they werent highly accurate in individual cases and couldnt predict extremes . Another 2019 study that measured AMH levels in 2434 premenopausal women every five years for 20 years found that looking at the rate of AMH decline over time couldnt predict menopause or early menopause.
AMH measurements are also an imperfect indicator. It may be one value at one point, and six months later it could be higher, which you wouldnt expect, says Dr. Christianson. I have checked AMH levels to see if a woman is menopausal for various reasons, and even when at its lowest value, a woman can still have ovarian function.
Some doctors are also concerned that AMH tests can be misused in trying to help people plan for future children. AMH is one of a number of tools we use to understand what a womans ovaries can still do in the present, but AMH cannot tell you whether a woman can or will get pregnant, says Norbert Gleicher, MD, the medical director and chief scientist at the Center for Human Reproductionbecause there are so many other complex factors that can impact fertility.
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Reviewing Treatments For Menopausal Symptomsstatement 4
Most women find that their menopausal symptoms respond well to treatment however, some women find that their symptoms do not improve or they experience unpleasant side-effects. A review should take place 3 months after starting each treatment, and annually thereafter unless there are clinical indications for an earlier review .1,4 This review mechanism gives the opportunity for referral to a specialist if necessary.1
In the authors opinion, it is important to assess the following factors at review:
- tolerability and treatment compliance
- suitability of the regimen
- change in medical or sexual history
- change in venous thromboembolic risk.
At annual review the importance of keeping up to date with national screening programmes should also be discussed.1
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Are There Any Peri Menopause Symptoms You May Experience
66 Peri menopause / Menopause Symptoms you may experience which may help some ladies. 64. Tingling in Extremities not only feels weird and like your hands or feet are falling asleep, but if persistent can be a symptom of diabetes, B12, potassium or calcium deficiency, or a compromise in blood vessel flexibility.
What Causes The Menopause
The menopause is caused by a change in the balance of the body’s sex hormones, which occurs as you get older.
It happens when your ovaries stop producing as much of the hormone oestrogen and no longer release an egg each month.
Premature or early menopause can occur at any age, and in many cases there’s no clear cause.
Sometimes it’s caused by a treatment such as surgery to remove the ovaries , some breast cancer treatments, chemotherapy or radiotherapy, or it can be brought on by an underlying condition, such as Down’s syndrome or Addison’s disease.
Page last reviewed: 29 August 2018 Next review due: 29 August 2021
Diagnosing Perimenopause And Menopausestatement 1
The single greatest change in clinical practice is that clinicians now have the green light to make a positive diagnosis of menopause in healthy women aged over 45 years based on symptoms alone, without the use of laboratory tests diagnosis can be confirmed in women presenting with:1,4
- perimenopause based on vasomotor symptoms and irregular periods
- menopause in women who have not had a period for 12 months and are not using hormonal contraception
- menopause based on symptoms in women without a uterus.
The most commonly used laboratory test is follicle-stimulating hormone however, evidence suggests that FSH testing does not reliably aid a diagnosis of menopause in women aged over 45 years because levels of this endocrine marker fluctuate considerably in the years leading up to menopause.1
Approximately 70% of FSH tests are currently received by women over the age of 45 years, but with implementation of Quality Statement 1 it is expected that this will fall to around 15%.5 This recommendation also has the potential to bring significant cost savings to the NHS.5 At approximately £15 per test, an estimated national saving of £9.6 million is predicted by reducing unnecessary FSH testing.5
Audit is recommended to measure the proportion of women aged over 45 years for whom a diagnosis of perimenopause or menopause is made based on symptoms alone, without the use of laboratory tests.
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.