How Is Menopause Diagnosed?

How Is Menopause Diagnosed?

Are you in your 40s and unsure if the symptoms you are experiencing are menopausal or of some other medical condition? Visit your doctor for menopause diagnosis.

A simple way to diagnose menopause is to count the number of periods you have missed. In the case of menopause, you do not get your periods for 12 consecutive months. That is a clear indication of menopause. Yet, to rule out any other health concern, visit your doctor. 

Let us know how menopause is diagnosed, what are its symptoms and how it can be treated.

How Is Menopause Diagnosed?

We know that a year without menstrual bleeding is confirmed as menopause. Yet, during menopause and the years before it, you may experience a range of symptoms that may not be easy to understand. So, get all the questions answered by a qualified doctor and take the necessary care and medication to relieve the symptoms. 

Some of the menopausal symptoms you may experience are:

  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Sudden chills
  • Sudden mood changes
  • Irritation 
  • Insomnia
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Depression 
  • Anxiety
  • Dry skin, hair, mouth and eyes 
  • Thinning or loss of hair 
  • Fatigue
  • Slow metabolism
  • Weight gain 
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Urinary Tract Infections
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Discomfort during intercourse
  • Bone loss
  • Stiff joints 
  • Weak muscles
  • Loss of fullness of breasts
  • Forgetfulness or mental fogginess
  • Headaches 

Diagnosis of Menopause

The diagnosis of the primary stage of menopause is a little tricky. If you suspect that you are in the perimenopause stage, get a complete medical examination done by a qualified doctor. Depending on your medical history, menstruation history and the symptoms you are currently experiencing, your doctor confirms if you are in the perimenopause stage.  

In the perimenopausal stage, you may notice a change in your menstrual cycle, beginning of hot flashes, thinning of hair, breast tenderness and other symptoms. For menopause diagnosis , your doctor may suggest the following tests:

  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) test – a blood test is done to check the FSH levels and oestrogen levels. If your FSH blood levels consistently higher and you had not had your menstrual cycle for 12 months, it is accepted as menopause. However, a single FSH test does not clearly indicate menopause or perimenopause stage because of the fluctuating hormonal levels. Also, this test is not valid in case you are on hormone therapy. 
  • Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) test – a blood test is done to check your TSH levels and rule out hypothyroidism. In the case of hypothyroidism (thyroid gland produces fewer hormones), you may experience the same symptoms as you do in menopause. 
  • Lipid profile test – according to a study conducted by the US National Institutes of Health, menopause can result in reduced HDL and increased total cholesterol, LDL, VDL and triglycerides. Thereby increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease in menopausal women. Therefore, lipid profile tests are done. 

Also, your doctor may recommend other tests depending upon your case. 

What to Do before Visiting a Doctor?

Before visiting your gynaecologist, track and note any/ all the symptoms you are experiencing, their severity and how often they occur. Note down the date of your last period, any irregularities you noticed, the bleeding pattern (heavy or light) and other noticeable signs. 

You also need to discuss your current and previous health conditions, medications, supplements and allergies to rule out other medical situations. 

Though there is no definitive test that can establish menopausal or perimenopausal stages, you may still be recommended to undergo hormonal tests, blood tests and other tests.

You may be asked to get the following tests done to rule out primary ovarian insufficiency, thyroid problem and other conditions.

Inference:

Age is not the sole indicator of menopause and its stages. You may hit menopause as early as in your late 30s and as late as in your late 50s. Also, the symptoms may be similar to other health conditions. So, it is advised to track your symptoms and discuss them openly with your doctor. Your doctor will evaluate you and accordingly, suggest hormone therapy, non-hormonal supplements, vaginal lubricants or any other treatment to relieve the condition. 

If you are not comfortable with hormone therapy, you can ask for dietary health supplements, such as Femarelle to effectively reduce the menopausal symptoms. These supplements are made with natural ingredients and do not have any side effects. So, visit your doctor now for menopause diagnosis.