Although perimenopause is the most noticeable stage of the menopause process, most women fail to realize what perimenopause really is. Perimenopause, as its name suggests, is the time in women's lives directly before menopause. Women enter this phase when their body starts to produce less hormones.
Symptoms such as hot flashes, loss of libido, and mood swings appear, causing women to feel uncertain about their own bodies while they progress towards the end of their reproductive lives. Perimenopause symptoms are a result of the drastic decrease in hormones that women experience at this time.
Types of Perimenopause Tests
It can be difficult to keep a positive attitude when you have entered the perimenopause phase. After hearing about menopause for a number of years, it is easy to be uncertain about what you are experiencing. There are two methods available for testing perimenopause. There is an at-home saliva test, which allows a woman to test her hormone levels by herself. The second testing option involves visit to your doctor for a more definitive series of medical tests, and will most likely include blood tests.
It can be done by buying a kit that measures your follicle stimulating hormones. Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) is produced by your pituitary gland, and its levels increase temporarily each month to stimulate your ovaries to produce eggs. When you enter perimenopause and your ovaries are no longer working at its fullest, your FSH levels tend to increase. This test measures those levels and is said to have a 90% rate of accuracy.
To confirm the diagnosis of perimenopause, it is best to visit your doctor, since they will be able to provide the right answers and treatment options for your symptoms.
A doctor will first evaluate your medical history and the following information: age, symptoms, and menstrual periods.
If the doctor, for any reason, is still unsure about the diagnosis, he or she may ask you to complete one or more of the following tests:
FSH. Measuring FSH levels again, and noticing an unexpected increase in them, can often confirm perimenopause.
Estrogen test. It measures the hormone levels, how much estrogen production has dropped, and how much estrogen is not being absorbed after experiencing perimenopause symptoms.
Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) test. It may be completed to rule out a thyroid problem as the cause of the symptoms. Irregular menstrual periods, hot flashes, and fatigue are all common side effects of thyroid problems.
When to Test
Each woman experiences perimenopause symptoms differently, so it is important to understand what your body is going through. By completing a series of tests, you and your doctor will be able to more accurately assess what is going on. It is important to be well informed about your current condition.
Whether you complete a home test or visit your doctor for the comprehensive series of medical tests, and whether the results of these tests are positive or negative, you should make an appointment to see your doctor. If the test turned out positive, then you will be able to discuss menopausal treatments with them. If the test was negative but you are undeniably experiencing symptoms, your doctor will be able to help you figure out exactly what is going on. It may be that you are experiencing symptoms of another condition.
Testing for perimenopause can be very helpful, but if you want to learn more, click on the following link about treatments for perimenopause.