All women will face the challenge of menopause sooner or later. Commonly, it comes somewhere between 45 and 55 years. However, some women may be in early menopause that starts at 40 years and some have it after 55 years. At any rate, it’ll surely come and every woman must be ready to face unpleasant health changes. The wisest women always ask beforehand – How do you confirm menopause? Is there a test for menopause? There is one reliable menopause test, which can confirm that you are on the menopause state. Nevertheless, there are certain conditions that must be taken into account. This informative article will explain what menopause test you need and how to read it. Besides, it informs about other vital points.
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. It’s a blood test for menopause and it determines the current levels of FSH. If they rise, it means your ovaries don’t produce enough amounts of estrogen anymore. Accordingly, it’s 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. It’s 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 (1-2 times more) 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 you’re in menopause. It’s taken via a swab.
Another variety of menopause test checks estradiol or estrogen levels. When your ovaries fail, the production of estradiol sink. The normal value ranges 25-75 pg/ml. However, when the levels are 30 or lower and FSH levels are high, it may prove that menopause has started. Moreover, even if the levels are over 50 pg/ml, you still have periods but feel menopausal symptoms, you may be in menopause. Sometimes, it may be hard to read on your own and so, you should obligatorily consult an expert in this field.
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.
When to Take a Menopause Test?
Of course, you’re not obliged to pass the menopause test as soon as you turn 45. As it has been mentioned before, it may begin even much later. That’s why you should give heed to certain symptoms that may tell that the stage has started. Moreover, if you face certain symptoms for a long period of time and are under 45 years, it may indicate that you have early menopause. Here are the following typical symptoms:
- Thinning of the hair;
- Skin dryness;
- Dry vagina;
- Low levels of libido;
- Decreased sex drive;
- Hot flashes;
- Night sweats;
- Often mood alterations;
- Irregular periods;
- Uncommon weight gain (especially in the waist area).
If you feel most of these symptoms, you should definitely take the menopause test. Afterward, you should only clarify the issue of “menopause blood test results how to read”. This can be done without a doctor. You may buy menopause test kits to check your state. Such kits provide tests using your urine. However, you cannot trust them if the blood test didn’t show confirmation. You can read the results in the following way:
- High levels of FSH. This is the best proof your stage has started or is quite near. The irregularity of your periods is the main marker of high FSH levels.
- Decreased estrogen. The levels below 30 pg/ml mean that the estrogen production is insufficient (the indicators vary from lab to lab).
- Enhanced levels of thyroid hormones. If they are too high, they may induce weight changes, bleeding, and uncommon tiredness.
- High amounts of luteinizing hormone (LH). Another sure proof that menopause has come is a huge increase in LH levels.
In most cases, it’s quite easy to read and interpret the results of a menopause test on your own. Nonetheless, we recommend seeing your doctor. He/she is an expert and will notice if your symptomology was caused by something else, meaning that menopause has not come yet.
How to Prepare for the Test
Before you take a menopause test, you may undertake certain steps. They will help to save precious time. They are:
- Remember all the uncommon feelings you’ve felt.
- How long did they last?
- Were they severe?
- What was their frequency?
- Note the last time you had a period.
- Report on any irregularities over the past few months.
- Enlist all the pills you’ve been taking.
After you make this list, you’ll quickly answer the standard questions of your doctor. Don’t be shy to discuss them even if some symptoms are very delicate. He/she is a professional and can help you. Additionally, you may have to take a lipid profile test, as well as tests for liver and kidney function.
Treatment of Symptoms
Once your menopause test confirms that you’re in the stage, you should consult a doctor to reduce the symptoms you already have and prevent the occurrence of the other ones.
- Hormone therapy;
- Vaginal estrogen;
- Antidepressant treatment in low doses;
- Gabapentin treatment (for women who are contradicted to hormone therapy);
- Clonidine treatment;
- Preparations to cure osteoporosis.
- Cooldown to avoid hot flashes;
- Avoid bad habits;
- Refuse caffeine;
- Sleep well (7-9 hours per night);
- Exercise regularly;
- Consume healthy food.
Memorize the facts we have shared in this article. They will help to understand whether you need a test or not. Be attentive and contact your medical supervisor to overcome unpleasant symptoms.
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