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Detecting Menopause Through Testing

By Kathryn Whittaker

Menopause comes from two Greek words that mean "month and "to end, and the current medical definition of menopause means exactly the same: the absence of menstruation for twelve months. Menopause can occur between late thirties and late 50s, and not a single woman can avoid this period. Considering that menopause hits a woman in her most active life stage, it is not surprising that women want to prepare to menopause and avoid discomfort using a wide variety of convenient menopause tests.

Although menopause is a natural part of growing older, many women find menopause symptoms start interfering with their daily lives. Menopause symptoms include missed or heavy menstrual periods, hot sweating and flashes, mood changes, nervousness, insomnia and a general feeling of being "down". Due to hormonal changes a woman may add some weight or her hair may thin. Then, after the stopping of menstrual periods for a full twelve months, a woman enters menopause, and after twelve months a woman is post-menopausal. And while many women may experience mild discomfort, others may have moderate to severe health problems and may want to ease their symptoms.

Menopause symptoms can be relieved, if not avoided, by timely preparation. Menopause tests help women detect menopause in its early stage. Using menopause tests may be reasonable even for women in their 30s to determine when their ovarian function changes which may mean the slow shift into the perimenopause.

Such symptoms are irregular menstrual periods, hot flashes, insomnia, nervousness, decreased sexual desire, or night sweats may signal the approach of perimenopause or menopause, but they can also manifest a number of other disorders and conditions. For accurate results, menopause test employs a hormonal analysis.

The menopause test measures the presence of a hormone known as follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). This hormone is produced by woman's pituitary gland. Follicle stimulating hormone levels increase temporarily each month to stimulate ovaries to produce eggs. When a woman enters menopause and ovaries stop working, her follicle stimulating hormone levels increase.

Applying urine to the wick of a menopause test kit activates menopause tests. If a woman's hormonal level is higher than normal, it may signal that she is approaching menopause. However, this test will not show not if a woman definitely is in menopause or even in perimenopause. Menopause test may be influenced by oral or patch contraceptives, hormone replacement therapy, or estrogen supplements that a woman has been taking before the test.

There are a number of traditional menopause tests that should be done in doctor's office. Typically these tests require a sample of blood that is sent to an outside lab for examination. Results are normally available three to five days later. If the menopause test results show that the hormonal levels are increased above the norm, it is standard medical protocol to perform a second menopause test.

Today, menopause symptoms can be relieved using traditional or herbal therapy methods. If you are concerned about the symptoms of menopause talk to your doctor about a menopause test.

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