blood tests for perimenopause
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.
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.
Your GP will usually order FSH and LH and this will be sufficient to confirm whether you are perimenopausal. Privately a more complete Menopause Profile with the tests listed above can be organised.
what can I do if I’m perimenopausal?
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.
HRT has become safer in recent years as we’ve learned more about it. Specialist NHS and private clinics exist if you have complex medical problems to weigh up.
Acupuncture has a long history of use in relieving hot flushes and alleviating stress symptoms.
Nutritional therapy can combine traditional medicine energetics, such as which foods are heating or cooling, with current medical studies.