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What Hormone Is Tested For Menopause

At What Age Should You Test Your Hormones

Perimenopause: should you test your hormones?

I recommend a hormone test to measure your baseline labs around age 35-40. If you need help balancing your hormones but you never did a baseline hormone panel in your 40s, a knowledgeable doctor can make an educated guess. Some women find that their doctor is unwilling to order a full hormone panel for them. If this is the case for you, negotiate for a partial list. Alternatively, you can seek a functional medicine doctor here. Id suggest reading my book THE HORMONE CURE and consider running your first test on your own, such as from one of the direct-to-consumer testing organizations mentioned in my book.

Testing Perimenopause And Menopause Hormone Levels: Is It Worth It

We see the numbers a lot: estradiol, estrogens, FSH. But what do they mean, and what can they actually tell a woman about where she is in the menopause transition?

Turns out, the team at Gennev found that using a menopause hormone levels chart may be less helpful than wed like.

While there are uses for having hormone levels tested, pinpointing your place on the perimenopause-to-menopause journey probably isnt one of them. Hormones just dont cooperate during this time , and hormone tests can only really offer a limited snapshot of where you are right now which is probably not where youll be tomorrow.

To understand all this better, we had a Q & A with our ob/gyn Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Rebecca Dunsmoor-Su, on to test or not to test.

When Should I Call My Doctor

If any of your postmenopause symptoms bother you or prevent you from living your daily life, contact your healthcare provider to discuss possible treatment. They can confirm you have completed menopause and are in postmenopause.

Some questions you might ask are:

  • Are these symptoms normal for people in postmenopause?
  • Is there treatment for my symptoms?
  • Is hormone therapy still an option?
  • What can I do to feel better?

If you experience any vaginal bleeding during postmenopause, contact your healthcare provider to rule out a serious medical condition.

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When Estrogen May Be Tested

You may need an estrogen test if you have symptoms of an estrogen-related condition or:

  • You’re having trouble getting pregnant
  • Your periods are irregular
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of sex drive

Certain medications are also known to increase estrogen levels. These include steroid hormones, phenothiazines, tetracycline antibiotics, and ampicillin.

How Do You Know You’re In Postmenopause

Prix de MYLAN AUTOTEST Menopause

Your healthcare provider will be able to tell you if you’re in postmenopause based on your symptoms and how long it’s been since your last menstrual period. In some cases, your healthcare provider will take a blood sample and check your hormone levels to confirm you’ve gone through menopause. Remember, you’re not considered to be through menopause until it’s been over one year since youve had a period.

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Skipping Periods During Perimenopause

Each woman is different when it comes to symptoms, including changes in menstruation. Often times, especially in the perimenopause period, the ovary can be secreting too much testosterone. In this zone of life, patients ovaries are either screaming or whispering hormones. Sometimes your ovary will struggle and hormone production will be low, or it will thrive and the hormones will look high. This is why some months your symptoms may seem severe and some months you are just fine.

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
  • biometrics
  • 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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Understanding How Hormones Should Work

Its a little bit like a symphony. Most of us have all the notes, they are just not playing in key. The ovaries produce three different estrogens estradiol, estrone, and estriol, progesterone, and about half of the bodys testosterone production. The other half of testosterone production is produced in the adrenal glands.

Each month during a womans menstrual cycle, the ovary has a list of things to do, and the endometrium, or lining of the uterus, has a list of things to do. In the role of the egg development and lining development, there are four different hormones . Note, your body requires a pretty big jump of progesterone in the luteal phase, and when the body doesnt produce that, it is pretty noticeable . Hence the symphony analogy, you probably have all the right hormones, but if you dont have the spikes of them during this cycle, then the notes are not playing in tune. Dont worry, it is fixable.

Symptoms Of The Menopause

Hormone Therapy Migraine Headaches & Menopause- Hormonal Clarity Diagnostics salivary hormone test

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:

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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Use Of Cryotherapy On Vaginal Infections

Cryotherapy is effective against certain types of vaginal infection. Taking genital warts as an example, cryotherapy has shown to remove 90 out of 100 cases of warts. Using cryotherapy on genital warts does not kill the virus that causes the warts, human papillomavirus , but it does remove the warts that grow on the skin.

Home Menopause Test Kits

Home menopause test kits measure the levels of follicle stimulating hormone in your urine. FSH is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland. Its levels increase each month to stimulate the ovarian follicles to release a mature egg. During menopause, your ovaries stop producing eggs and the levels of FSH rise.

Home menopause tests detect the amount of FSH in your urine, but they cant definitively detect whether you are in perimenopause or menopause. Whatever the results of the test may be, you should consult your doctor if you have menopausal symptoms.

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Box : Menopause Symptoms

  • lack of interest in sex
  • headaches
  • joint and muscle stiffness.

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

What Medications Are Used To Treat Postmenopausal Symptoms

China Ce Approved Fsh (Follicle Stimulating Hormone ...

Hormone therapy could be an option, although healthcare providers often recommend using it for a short amount of time and in people under the age of 60. There are health risks associated with hormone therapy like blood clots and stroke. Some healthcare providers do not recommend using hormone therapy after menopause has ended or if you have certain medical conditions.

Some medications your healthcare provider may consider helping with postmenopausal symptoms are:

  • Antidepressants for mood swings or depression.
  • Vaginal creams for pain related to sexual intercourse and vaginal dryness.
  • Gabapentin to relieve hot flashes.

Oftentimes your provider will recommend lifestyle changes to help manage your symptoms.

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Why Do I Need An Fsh Levels Test

If you are a woman, you may need this test if:

  • You’ve been unable to get pregnant after 12 months of trying.
  • Your menstrual cycle is irregular.
  • Your periods have stopped. The test may be used to find out if you have gone through menopause or are in perimenopause

If you are a man, you may need this test if:

  • You’ve been unable to get your partner pregnant after 12 months of trying.
  • Your sex drive is decreased.

Both men and women may need testing if they have symptoms of a pituitary disorder. These include some of the symptoms listed above, as well as:

  • Weight loss

Your child may need an FSH test if he or she does not seem to be starting puberty at the right age .

Do People In Postmenopause Lose Interest In Sex

No, not all people lose interest in sex after menopause. Vaginal dryness and discomfort during sex can make sex less pleasurable. Using a vaginal lubricant can help with dryness. Some people are less interested in sex because of other symptoms like depression or feeling tired. If your feelings about sex have changed, ask your healthcare provider for help.

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Who Can Test All Of Our Hormones

Hormone testing can be done in a variety of settings, including at home or in a doctor or physicians office. Specific doctors that conduct hormone tests are called endocrinologists, who study hormone-related conditions. Other doctors will also be able to carry out hormone tests, along with companies that can send you the appropriate apparatus that you need to take a sample of your hormones and then will send it to a lab. The pros and cons of hormone testing at home VS a lab are discussed in more detail on our website, so make sure that you check it out if you want to know more!

Is It Ever Useful To Check Hormone Levels For Women In Perimenopause Or Menopause

At-Home Hormone Test for Menopause

Dr. Rebecca: In my experience, I almost never check them. If a woman has a uterus, than where she is in menopause or perimenopause is best determined by her cycles, or lack thereof.

If a woman has had a hysterectomy, we go by symptoms. We may check FSH if these are unclear, but again, because it can be so variable, it may not tell us much.

Fundamentally it feels important to know where you are “in menopause,” but really we need to know if you are symptomatic, and we will treat that. Menopause is a normal and natural transition for women that requires no medication if a woman is not having problematic symptoms. If your symptoms are problematic, then we should treat you, no matter where you are in that transition.

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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

Selected Sources & Further Reading

Farhi, J., Homburg, R., Ferber, A. Non-response to ovarian stimulation A clinical sign of impending onset of ovarian failure pre-empting the rise in basal follicle stimulating hormone levels.Human Reproduction 1997 12 241-243.

Okeke et al. Premature Menopause.Ann Med Health Sci2013.

Gold, E. The Timing of the Age at Which Natural Menopause Occurs.Obstet Gynecol Clin North Am. 2011.

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Hormone Testing: What To Check And Why

Questions about hormone testing are common among my patients and on social media. Women want to know which hormones they need to check and why. They also want to know what hormones and other biomarkers can be tested at home. In this video and accompanying article, I cover the biomarkers that I check for myself and my patients approximately once per quarter. Note that not all biomarkers I discuss below have been validated for blood spot testing versus the gold standard of a blood draw for serum testing, which is what I use for treatment decisions. Still, one can infer trends and screen for problems to investigate further. My highest recommendation is to perform serum testing for all treatment decisions, though that may be difficult during quarantine and lockdown. I created this video to show the blood spot test that I am performing in lockdown, even with the caveat that it is not considered the gold standard for all tests mentioned in this article.

Types Of Menopause Tests

Estrogen Tests

As women age, the ovaries become less responsive to follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone , two hormones important for ovulation and regulating menstrual periods. In response, the ovaries stop producing estrogen and progesterone, causing estrogen levels in the body to decrease and FSH levels to increase.

When testing for menopause is warranted, doctors may order an FSH test to detect elevated levels of FSH in the blood. Measuring FSH can help determine if a woman is perimenopausal or has already gone through menopause.

Because FSH levels naturally fluctuate each month to stimulate ovulation, results of FSH testing should be interpreted with caution and may be misleading. Rather than interpreting a single FSH test result, consistently elevated levels over time are used to confirm menopause.

Additional tests that may be ordered to help a doctor diagnose menopause include:

TESTS TO EVALUATE MENOPAUSE STATUS
Test Name
Blood, urine, or saliva sampleLevel of estradiol in the blood to diagnose menstrual problems
Blood sampleA hormone that can predict the start of menopause or determine the reason for early menopause

Other conditions can cause irregular menstruation or can stop it completely. In some cases, doctors will perform testing to determine whether something other than menopause is affecting menstruation:

TESTS TO RULE OUT OTHER CONDITIONS
Test Name
Pregnancy status

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How Do I Manage Symptoms Of Postmenopause On My Own

Certain lifestyle or at-home changes can help you manage symptoms of postmenopause. Some of these include:

  • Using a water-based vaginal lubricant during sex to make it more pleasurable. Lubricating the vagina helps with dryness and pain.
  • Regular exercise, meditation and other relaxing activities can help with depression and other side effects of postmenopause.
  • Eating a diet rich in phytoestrogens such as whole-grain cereals, flaxseed, chickpeas and legumes. Reducing caffeine and alcohol intake has also been shown to help.

Oxidative Stress In Menopause

Oxidative stress is a recognized risk factor for chronic disease including atherosclerosis, CVD, vasomotor disorders, and neurological disease. Menopause has been associated with an increase in oxidative stress, possibly due to loss of the antioxidant effects of estrogen. A case-controlled study of 50 postmenopausal and 48 premenopausal women demonstrated a significantly lower serum total antioxidant capacity, and significantly higher level of the oxidative stress marker malondialdehyde, in the postmenopausal group.

Increases in glycation end-products and other oxidative stress biomarkers are observed with menopause and associated with increased risk of subclinical atherosclerosis:

  • Significantly higher AGEs were observed in women with higher testosterone of 53-60 ng/dL versus lower testosterone of 23-52 ng/dL .
  • Increased free androgen index , was also associated with increased AGEs The correlation remained highly significant even after adjustment for HOMA-IR, fasting glucose and insulin, age, and BMI.
  • Asymmetric dimethylarginine , which inhibits nitric oxide synthase, increased with BMI in postmenopausal women.
  • Ischemia modified albumin was elevated in obese postmenopausal women.
  • Oxidative stress itself contributes to CVD, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, and hypertension.
  • Oxidative stress appears to contribute to postmenopausal osteoporosis . A systemic review and meta-analysis revealed that those with PO had:

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    What Is The Menopausal Transition

    The menopausal transition is the period that links a womans reproductive years and menopause. A woman is said to be in menopause if she has had no menstrual periods for 1 year. Once in menopause, the ovaries essentially stop making hormones and women lose their ability to become pregnant. The average age for menopause is 51 years.

    During the menopause transition, women often have changing menstrual cycles, vaginal dryness, hot flashes or flushes , and problems with sleep. Some of these symptoms happen all the time while others come and go. Symptoms can be mild to unbearable and can interfere with daily activities and sleep. Perimenopause is different for each woman but usually lasts about 5 years.

    Tests To Determine Menopausal Status

    Hormone Testing Is It The Missing Link For You?

    In the midst and even in the aftermath of treatment for breast cancer, it can be difficult to tell whether youve gone into menopause for good. For instance, maybe your periods stopped during chemotherapy but still havent returned a few months after finishing treatment. The younger you are, the better the odds are that they will return.

    Knowing for sure whether or not youre permanently in menopause is likely to matter most to you if you still want to have biological children. However, you may simply be curious about where you stand.

    Your doctor may use the following blood tests to help you gauge this:

    These blood tests are not the final answer to whether or not you are in menopause, however. Even if you have postmenopausal levels of FSH and estradiol, these levels can change over time. The longer you go without a menstrual period, and the longer that repeat testing suggests you are menopausal, the more likely it is that you are in this stage of life for good.

    You may encounter other menopause tests that you can do at home, on your own, using urine or saliva. However, these tests arent considered reliable. If youre interested in testing, be sure to discuss it with your doctor.

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