How To Test For Menopause – As they enter the midlife transition, women can naturally expect to undergo a series of tests to keep up with their health in this new phase of life.
In reality, however, there are only a few menopausal tests that can be used to determine your menopausal status or, in some cases, to identify other possible causes of your ailments. However, knowing the evidence available will help them make informed decisions about their health.
How To Test For Menopause
Read on to learn more about menopause testing, including two types of blood tests and a vaginal pH test that can be helpful as you go through the different stages of menopause.
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There are three types of menopause blood tests that a woman’s health care provider might order, each of which checks the levels of different reproductive hormones.
In most cases, these blood tests are not done until a woman has not had a period for 12 consecutive months; that is, they are done when she enters menopause.
Estradiol is a form of the hormone estrogen whose levels can be measured to determine a woman’s menopausal status. Estradiol levels normally fluctuate during the menstrual cycle, ranging from 30 to 400 pg/ml. After the last period, however, they fall below 30 pg/mL.
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This low level of estrogen in postmenopausal women occurs when the ovaries run out of egg supply. These eggs are stored in follicles, which produce estrogen. As the ovarian reserve nears exhaustion in the mid-40s, estrogen levels begin to fluctuate and eventually drop dramatically, ending a woman’s fertility.
Another type of menopause blood test measures levels of FSH, the hormone that stimulates the aforementioned follicles to mature eggs and produce estrogen, hence the name. Depending on the point in the menstrual cycle, normal FSH levels range from 1.1 to 17.2 IU/ml. However, in postmenopausal women, its level increases to between 19 and 100 IU/ml.
FSH works hand in hand with other reproductive hormones, such as estrogen, progesterone, and luteinizing hormone (LH). Because it stimulates follicles to produce estrogen, the natural age-related depletion of these follicles causes estrogen levels to drop. At the same time, FSH rises because there is not enough estrogen to stop its production.
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A newer lab test for menopause, the PicoAMH Elisa (marketed as MenoCheck®) assesses anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) levels. Because AMH is produced in ovarian follicles that shrink over time, its level also declines with age. As such, levels in younger women will range between 3.0 ng/ml and 1.5 ng/ml, while in women over 45 it will be 0.5. ng/ml and below.
For women of reproductive age, the AMH blood test is used as a tool to evaluate infertility and menstrual disorders. When used to determine the status of menopausal women, the PicoAMH Elisa is recommended for analysis in conjunction with other clinical evaluations and laboratory results.
In addition to hormone testing for menopause, a woman may also undergo a vaginal pH test. This non-invasive diagnostic tool is an easy way to confirm your menopause status based on your vaginal environment. pH results between 4.5 and 7.5 are consistent with postmenopause.
Clearblue Launches First Ever At Home Menopause Test
Until a woman enters the midlife transition, estrogen plays an important role in maintaining a moderately acidic vaginal pH (below 4.5). This is the body’s way of preventing reproductive tract infections. With the onset of menopause, however, estrogen levels drop, causing the vaginal pH to become less acidic.
Other tests may be used if a woman experiences menopausal symptoms at a younger age, that is, before she reaches 40.
A variety of conditions can cause menopause-like symptoms, including thyroid disorders. As such, these tests are intended to diagnose other potential causes, or to confirm early menopause (menopause between the ages of 40 and 45) or premature menopause (one that occurs before the age of 40).
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When the long-awaited symptoms of menopause finally appear, women may feel the need to undergo tests to confirm entering the transition. However, the huge hormonal changes that occur in the years leading up to a woman’s last period alter the results of laboratory tests for menopause. As such, they are usually done after women have not had a menstrual period for a year and are about to enter postmenopause. At this stage, hormone levels stabilize and women can have several menopausal blood tests, including tests for estrogen, FSH, and anti-Müllerian hormones. They may also have their vaginal pH checked to confirm their menopausal status. In some cases, doctors may also confirm menopause based only on the symptoms experienced, the woman’s age, and the absence of menstruation, without performing menopause tests. The menopause test gives a quick, reliable and clear answer to the question “Am I in perimenopause?” in the privacy of your home.
Our test provides a simple way to check for the presence of FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) in your urine, a hormone involved in egg development and the menstrual cycle. As the body produces less estrogen, the production of follicle-stimulating hormone increases.
The menopause test gives a reliable, fast and clear answer to the question “Am I in perimenopause?” in the privacy of your home.
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Early diagnosis: Menopause is usually scientifically diagnosed only one year after the cessation of menstruation. Many women experience significant symptoms during perimenopause.
The onset of perimenopause is caused by changes in hormone levels. As the body produces less estrogen, the production of focus-stimulating hormone (FSH) increases. FSH testing can help determine if a woman is in the perimenopausal phase.
If a woman knows she is in perimenopause, she can take the right steps to keep her body healthy and avoid the serious health risks associated with menopause, including osteoporosis, high blood pressure and cholesterol, and increased of the risk of heart disease.
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Our tests are available online, in pharmacies and health food stores in Ireland and the UK. COVID-19 has changed many things in medicine, including the way we think about do-it-yourself testing. Before the pandemic, health experts were not convinced that people would accept, let alone accept, the usefulness of home tests for SARS-CoV-2. Pregnancy tests have pretty much dominated the field of home testing, although some recent additions, for conditions such as HIV and Alzheimer’s disease, have hit pharmacy shelves, albeit with varying degrees of trust from the medical community.
Now Clearblue, the company that makes pregnancy and fertility self-test kits, has launched a do-it-yourself menopause test. The kit, available for $29.99 at major retail pharmacies, requires women to take a urine test every other day for a total of 10 days and detects fluctuating levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) . Over a 10-day period, the Menopausal Stage Indicator Test monitors changes in a woman’s FSH levels and, based on her overall age-calibrated levels of these hormones, the informs what stage of menopause you might be in: premenopause, early perimenopause, late. perimenopause, or postmenopause.menopause.
Among women’s reproductive conditions, fertility receives the lion’s share of attention, at least in the public domain. Most menopausal women are unaware that their changing bodies and the symptoms that accompany these changes, such as hot flashes, night sweats, and irregular menstrual cycles, are a sign of menopause. “They talk about us when we have to start menstruating, at 10 or 11 years old,” says Dr. Stephanie Faubion, director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Women’s Health and medical director of the Menopause Society, which is not affiliated with Clearblue. “I have patients who have no idea what’s going on when they’re perimenopausal or menopausal and have a wide range of symptoms, from hair loss to night sweats. It seems confusing and scary.”
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Clearblue hopes to clear up this confusion by giving women the ability to control their own body changes. “What we saw from our research is a real need for this product,” says Dr. Fiona Clancy, Senior Director of Research and Development at Clearblue. “Menopause is searched for 10 seconds more than fertility online, and two in three women feel underprepared for the menopause journey.”
Doctors like Faubion who treat women for midlife changes, however, aren’t convinced that this knowledge is necessary to navigate the menopause journey. Menopause is defined as the absence of menstruation for 12 consecutive cycles, and before reaching this stage, women may experience several periods of irregular bleeding in the perimenopause phase, some of which last for years. During these “laboratory levels of hormones like FSH fluctuate throughout the day,” says Faubion. “I don’t understand what the benefit [of the test] would be.” He rarely tests women for menopause because hormone levels can vary widely during an individual woman’s cycle, as well as between different women.
As FSH levels rise, so does another hormone, estrogen, which together stimulate the ovaries to release an egg each cycle during ovulation. As women approach menopause, estrogen levels begin to decline as the ovaries begin to shut down, and in response, the brain’s pituitary gland, which regulates FSH levels, tries to stimulate the ovaries to produce more FSH and, in turn, more estrogen. But these FSH levels are notoriously wide, not only between individual women during their cycles, but also between different women.
Menopause Hormones Profile
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