To confirm the menopause, the gynecologist indicates the performance of some blood tests, such as the dosage of FSH, LH, prolactin. If menopause is confirmed, the doctor may recommend that a bone densitometry be performed to assess the woman’s bone health and risk of osteoporosis.
The confirmation of menopause is made not only from the test results, but also through the evaluation of the signs and symptoms presented, such as hot flashes, mood swings and absence of menstruation. Check out more signs and symptoms indicative of menopause.
Menopause is a natural situation that happens due to the decrease in the production of female hormones, which usually happens between the ages of 45 and 55, and which is mainly characterized by the absence of menstruation.
To confirm that the lack of menstruation is, in fact, indicative of menopause, the gynecologist may recommend carrying out blood tests, the main ones being:
FSH, or follicle-stimulating hormone, is a hormone whose function in women is to promote the maturation of eggs during childbearing age and, therefore, is considered a hormone related to fertility. FSH values vary depending on the period of the menstrual cycle and the age of the woman.
This is one of the main tests requested by the gynecologist to determine the menopause, because during this period high levels of the hormone are verified, indicating that there is a decrease in ovarian function. See more about the FSH exam.
Like FSH, LH, also called luteinizing hormone, is a hormone responsible in women for ovulation and progesterone production, also related to reproductive capacity. LH concentrations vary according to the phase of the menstrual cycle, with higher values being verified during the ovulatory period.
Normally, very high LH values are indicative of menopause, especially if there is also an increase in FSH.
Cortisol is a hormone naturally produced by the body to help the body control stress and reduce inflammation. However, when this hormone is in higher concentrations in the blood, it can bring about some health problems, including changes in the menstrual cycle due to the deregulation of female hormones, causing a woman to go periods without menstruating.
Therefore, in order to investigate the changes in the menstrual cycle presented by the woman, the doctor may request the measurement of cortisol to verify if it is a sign of menopause or is in fact a consequence of hormonal changes caused by high levels of cortisol. Learn more about high cortisol.
Prolactin is a hormone responsible for stimulating the mammary glands to produce milk during pregnancy and breastfeeding, as well as being important for regulating other female hormones, interfering with ovulation and menstruation.
The increase in blood prolactin levels outside of pregnancy can lead to the appearance of some signs and symptoms, such as difficulty getting pregnant, irregular menstruation or absence of menstruation and menopausal symptoms, therefore, it is indicated by the gynecologist to confirm menopause.
Check out all about the prolactin test.
hCG is a hormone produced during pregnancy and its function is to maintain it, preventing the sloughing of the endometrium, which is what happens during menstruation. In the investigation of menopause, the doctor may indicate the measurement of hCG in the blood or urine to see if the absence of menstruation is due to pregnancy or hormonal changes that are indicative of menopause.
Menopause drug test
It is possible to take a quick pharmacy test to detect menopause and which aims to detect the amount of the FSH hormone in the urine, and the test should be carried out as follows:
- Place the urine in a clean, dry bottle;
- Insert the test strip into the vial for about 3 seconds;
- Wait 5 minutes and evaluate the result.
Urine can be collected at any time of day and a positive result is given when 2 lines appear on the test, one of which is darker in color than the control line. In case of a positive result, the woman may be in menopause or pre-menopause, and she should consult a gynecologist for confirmation and treatment to be initiated if necessary. Most of the time, this is done with hormone replacement. Understand how menopause is treated.