As a woman, you are going to menstruate for the majority of your life. You may start as early as 10 and continue into your 50s. When your body starts shutting down menstruation, you are going into menopause. Menopause isn't something that happens overnight. It happens over years, and you may see effects of menopause for years before actual menopause sets in. Those symptoms are called peri-menopause. It can be difficult to tell when you exit peri-menopause and enter full menopause, especially as you may have had erratic periods for some time prior to the time they quit altogether. If it is so difficult to tell for sure, how can you know that you have moved into menopause? One way that you can tell is to ask your doctor to run some tests. Not only can your doctor tell you that you are definitively in menopause, they can give you options as to whether or not you should get hormone replacement therapy. If you choose to go with HRT, your doctor may rerun the tests periodically to see if you need to adjust the medications.
Follicle Stimulating Hormone Test
In your body, the FSH is produced in your pituitary gland, which is a small gland that is at the base of your brain. When the pituitary gland tells your body to create follicle stimulating hormones, it is triggering your ovaries to work. What happens is that the FSH tells the ovary to let an egg out and into the fallopian tube to go to the uterus. The ovary releases an egg by creating a small follicle that holds the egg. The follicle is similar to a cyst. Eventually, the follicle bursts open and the egg is free to go into the fallopian tube. One way that your doctor can tell that you are in menopause is through a follicle stimulating hormone blood test. Your doctor will draw a small amount of blood and send it to the lab to see what the level in your blood is. They may do the blood test more than once so they can track your FSH levels. If your FSH level is higher than 30 mIU/ml on a consistent basis, then you are most likely in menopause. For more information on follicle stimulating hormone, contact a medical center like the Missouri Center for Reproductive Medicine.
Another test that your doctor can do is a saliva test. This test looks for different hormones. In general, this test looks for the estrogen in your body. The estrogen level can also determine whether or not you are in menopause. These tests aren't as accurate as the FSH test, and they are generally more expensive. If your doctor suggests a saliva test first, they may ask for a blood test later, to confirm the results that they got from the saliva test.
Menopause can take a long time to happen. If you have had years of peri-menopause symptoms, you may not know exactly when you are in menopause. Your doctor can run those tests and tell you.Share
25 July 2016
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