Irregular periods, mood swings, sleep problems, hot flushes and taking longer than expected to conceive can all lead women to wonder is they are perimenopausal. All these symptoms have other causes so the simplest way to find out is to have a blood test.
blood tests for perimenopause
Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) which becomes increasingly and persistently elevated as menopause approaches, but may also be increased in hormonal imbalance.
Luteinising hormone (LH) which gradually increases as menopause approaches and remains raised after menopause.
Oestradiol 17-beta this is the most common oestrogen in the body and levels diminish at menopause.
Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) thyroid problems can mimic perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms so it is a good idea to exclude thyroid disease, also some women develop thyroid problems at menopause.
Free thyroxine (Free T4) to exclude thyroid problems as these can often occur at menopause and symptoms may be missed as the fatigue, weight gain, low mood etc. may be attributed to menopause.
This combination of tests can be booked for you via The Doctors Laboratory in London and is termed a Menopause Profile. If you see your GP then they will order FSH and LH and this will usually be sufficient to confirm whether you are perimenopausal.
what can I do if I’m perimenopausal?
The choices here are very individual, and often depend on both the severity of the symptoms, family medical history, and the changes evident on blood tests.
Acupuncture has a long history of use in regulating the menstrual cycle, relieving hot flushes, assisting fertility, and alleviating stress symptoms. Using a combination of acupuncture and nutrition the body’s hormones and energies can be balanced. Perimenopausal changes, hormone imbalance, infertility, menopausal symptoms, stress management, and mood changes can be addressed this way. If you are trying to conceive and IVF is indicated, or if you are choosing donor egg IVF then acupuncture and nutrition can provide effective support while you go through the IVF cycle. If you are suffering from hot flushes then acupuncture and diet are a good treatment combination.