Blood Test For Menopause
Periods after menopause occur in women in rare cases because every woman's reproductive system is different. Normally, though, the monthly cycle stops completely after menopause. Medically, this time in a woman's life is simply defined as the absence of periods for twelve consecutive months. It is an aspect of the female life cycle that is still being studied. This transition tends to occur in the late forties or early fifties but can occur earlier or later for some women. It can be a difficult time for a woman so those experiencing it need to pray for God's comfort. "Thou shalt increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side" (Psalm 71:21).
Because menopause can come later or earlier, some women want a foolproof way to detect the condition. They look for a blood test for menopause or some hormonal measurements. Unfortunately, the studies for detection are still being explored and some tests are just not very accurate. This transition in the female reproductive system can be detected, however, by looking for the other signs. Even if postmenopausal women still have bleeding, they may have had other symptoms and thought it was over. Women should learn all about this transition because it is possible that periods after menopause could indicate some other problem.
There is a blood test for menopause, which detects follicle-stimulating hormone in the blood. This test is used to determine not only the menopausal period but problems with sexual development, menstruation and fertility. The results, the levels of FSH, can indicate changes, especially when compared to typical hormone levels and previously measured hormone levels. The other option is an at-home FSH test. This FSH test will detect follicle-stimulating hormones in the urine. Yet, whether in blood or urine, hormone levels are not always a strong indicator of the transition. Hormone levels fluctuate from day to day. Other tests can exclude other possible causes of menopausal symptoms, hopefully leaving the transition as the true cause. Women around the right age, who are not experiencing menopausal symptoms should have no reason to test for menopause. Most women know when they have reached the transition because the signs are so obvious. Those who are determined to take the test anyway need to follow the instructions closely and remember that some medications could affect the results.
Even though a blood test for menopause isn't always accurate, typical symptoms of the menopausal period are pretty good indicators. Women need to see a doctor for an evaluation if they notice signs of this transition in their reproductive system. The same symptoms can be associated with other conditions and even some health problems. At the onset, most women experience irregular periods and vaginal bleeding. Periods may become more frequent or scarce. This really varies from woman to woman. Hot flashes and night sweats are other common signs. These are sudden, sporadic feelings of warmth throughout the body. They can be uncomfortable to say the least. Because of so many hormonal changes, women in the transition also tend to experience mood swings. Some women become depressed for no obvious reason. Others find that they have trouble sleeping because of night sweats, leading to mood swings. A loss of estrogen can causes changes vaginally. Sex can be uncomfortable, even painful because of these changes. Dryness and itching are also common vaginal signs. Osteoporosis is also a symptom. This is the gradual deterioration of the bones. Although this tends to occur with age, this is often aggravated by the transition. The menopausal period is over when there are no periods after menopause.
A doctor needs to evaluate the signs a woman is experiencing if she suspects her body is transitioning, especially when there are periods after menopause. The doctor can then offer some treatment options for symptoms. Oral contraceptives tend to be the most effective option for irregular vaginal bleeding and hot flashes. They can also help prevent pregnancy which is possible in some women at the onset. If depression is caused by the transition, hormone therapy can be a possible treatment. Estrogen treatments can help with vaginal itching and other changes from the menopausal drop in estrogen. Estrogen therapy or treatments also help keep osteoporosis at bay. It is also recommended that women with osteoporosis implement a healthy diet and daily exercise to increase bone strength. Women can also be prescribed medications to stop bone loss. Talk to a doctor about all of the treatment options. The effectiveness of these treatments vary from woman to woman.
The truth is a woman doesn't really need to take a blood test if she is already showing other telltale signs of menopause. If she experiences menstruation afterwards, a test may do her little good. If she is having periods, but has experienced other menopausal signs before, she will need to consult her doctor. She may require hormone therapy to stop her periods all together. Either way, it is important to see a doctor. Take notes for a week about the experienced signs. Indicate how often these symptoms occur. The doctor can look over the notes and use them to determine what the issue is. Then treatment can be offered. The important thing is to get a medical opinion and not ignore the condition. Don't rely on an at-home test or even a blood test for menopause. A doctor will help to figure out exactly what is going on.
Menopause SignsMenopause signs usually begin between the ages of 40 and 55 and are different for every woman, including but not limited to hot flashes, night sweats, cold chills, insomnia, mood swings, depression, dry skin, hair loss, heart palpitations, and may include irregular cycles. Other menopause symptoms may include anxiety, nervousness, headaches, difficulty concentrating, and fatigue. Some positive lifestyle changes can provide some benefits in coping with symptoms. Eating a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables is recommended along with daily exercise. Hormone replacement therapy may be prescribed by a physician or there are alternative choices available for the woman who wants to try a natural approach. Herbal remedies such as black cohosh or soy, ginseng, and phytoestrogens are available on the Internet by doing some research.
A low-fat diet usually includes healthy food choices that limit saturated fats found in animal products and processed foods. Limiting high-sodium and high-sugar foods should be considered along with choosing some high-fiber choices and complex carbohydrates. Low-fat dairy products provide calcium and vitamin D, both being good choices during menopause, since osteoporosis is a health risk associated with aging and changes in hormone levels. Reducing caffeine, alcohol, and spicy foods can also help with hot flashes, insomnia, anxiety, headaches, and digestive problems. Taking a good vitamin and mineral supplement is also helpful in combating menopause signs and will provide some further health benefits by helping to guarantee good nutrition. Consulting a nutritionist might be helpful to someone who is confused about diet changes.
Exercising daily may help to increase bone mass, relieve stress and anxiety, and help with depression and other menopause symptoms. A regular exercise program can also lower risks of heart disease and cancer that may be increased at the onset of menopause. The recommended amount of exercise is usually 30 minutes at least 4 days per week but daily is much better, if possible. The best way to begin a routine program is by finding an activity that is enjoyable. Walking is a good place to start but if there are other health considerations consult a physician before beginning any exercise program. It is best to start out slow, when beginning a new exercise routine, and gradually build up endurance before increasing, to avoid injury and exhaustion. Moderation but consistency is what is important with any type of new program and when possible acquiring a personal trainer or joining a fitness club might be a good idea to provide some additional support.
Hormone replacement therapy or anti-depressants may help with menopause signs but taking them should be discussed with a physician since there are some controversial issues associated with taking them. Recent studies indicate some serious health risks can surface when taking HRT. A couple of these issues include increased risks of developing breast cancer and heart disease. Some studies show favorable results in using it long-term regarding the decreased risk of the development of osteoporosis. Hormone replacement therapy helps to replenish estrogen and progesterone hormone levels that decrease during menopause and usually help to alleviate menopause symptoms.
Some medical treatments can bring about early menopause in some women, causing hormones to fluctuate and decrease and increase certain health risks. Radiation and chemotherapy include a couple of medical treatments that can affect hormones. Other conditions might include thyroid problems and undergoing a hysterectomy, especially if both ovaries have been removed. See a physician if there has been significant medical treatments performed, no matter what age, especially when there are other menopause signs present. Tests can be administered to check hormone levels while considering other health related issues.
Depression can be a major concern at any time but could be brought about by menopause symptoms in some women. It might be beneficial to consider therapy during this time along with treatment that might include an anti-depressant. Getting immediate treatment is vital if depressive thoughts include death or suicide. Check into joining a church support group, a bible study or prayer group, and start reading God's word everyday. Many churches and nonprofit organizations have some helpful classes and usually have a Christian counselor on staff that may provide some insight to a problem with depression. "For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope" (Romans 15:4).
Alternative therapy may be beneficial in helping one to cope with menopause signs and symptoms. Acupuncture and relaxation techniques are natural therapies that could provide some relief to sufferers. Herbal remedies can be found online but before using them talk to a doctor and make sure they are safe to take. Interactions and interference with prescription meds is possible with taking certain herbs. Severe reactions have been documented so be sure and check on these remedies before taking them.