Menopause which can best be described as a period of transition varies from woman to woman. This natural phenomenon which is characterized by the permanent cessation of the primary functions of the ovaries occurs in women between the ages of 45 and 55. When a woman attains menopause, the monthly menstrual cycle ceases permanently and with it a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant comes to an end.
There are many overt and covert symptoms which indicate to a woman that she is reaching menopause. However, to positively determine whether a woman is reaching menopause or not she has to approach a doctor and undergo a series of lab tests. Through this article we will explore the various diagnostic tests which can help to determine if a woman has attained menopause or not.
Test To Confirm Menopause
Follicle Stimulating Hormone Tests Or FSH Tests
One of the most reliable tests which is available to women today to determine whether they have attained menopause or not is the FSH test or the follicle stimulating hormone test. There is a definite link between menopause and the levels of the follicle stimulating hormone. The follicle stimulating hormone test has been specifically developed to determine the levels of this hormone in the female body and to determine whether a woman is approaching menopause if there is a sudden, sharp rise in the levels of this hormone.
When women approach their monthly menstrual cycle there is a sudden, sharp spurt in the levels of the follicle stimulating hormone. Simultaneously, there is a sudden drop in the levels of the hormone estrogen. An increase in the levels of the follicle stimulating hormone stimulates the ovaries to release an egg through the fallopian tube. Once the ovum or egg is released from the fallopian tube into the ovaries, the FSH levels plunge while the blood estrogen levels rise significantly.
As a woman approaches her menopause the FSH levels remain significantly high. If the FSH levels are higher than 25mlU/ml it indicates that the woman has reached peri-menopause. If the FSH test reveals that the levels of the follicle stimulating hormone are higher than 50mlU/ml it indicates that the woman has attained menopause.
Progesterone And Estradiol Test
Progesterone and Estradiol (type of estrogen) are two female sex hormones. Both these hormones play an important role in initiating female reproductive functions. A sudden drop in the levels of these two sex hormones is indicative of the fact that a woman may be attaining menopause.
A simple blood test can determine the levels of these two hormones. If the blood estrogen levels are less than thirty it indicates that the woman has attained menopause.
Thyroid Stimulating Hormone Test
Thyroid problems can often cause symptoms which are very similar to those observed in peri-menopausal women. So, in order to rule out the fact that a woman is actually suffering from thyroid problems and not attaining menopause, most doctors recommend that women who are older than forty should take the TSH test.
Some doctors prescribe an ultra sound scan to determine whether eggs are being produced by the ovaries (especially if the woman is older than 45 years). However, the ultra sound scan test is not as successful as the above mentioned tests in determining whether a woman has reached menopause or not.