• Diagnosis of Menopause

    Natural menopause is usually diagnosed when a woman has not had a menstrual period for 12 consecutive months. Some clinicians will diagnose after six months without menses. Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms, family and medical history, and perform a physical exam. You may have blood tests, a pelvic exam, and a Pap smear.
    Most women in their late 40s and early 50s will have menopausal symptoms. Your doctor will consider testing for other possible causes of these symptoms.
    In most cases, hormone tests are not needed. However, your healthcare provider may give you a follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) test, which measures the level of follicle-stimulating hormone in your blood. This is done to confirm that you are in menopause. Women most likely to have this test are those who have had a hysterectomy with preservation of ovaries. Without the cessation of menses as a guide, the FSH level may be used to diagnose menopause.
    FSH is produced by your pituitary gland and stimulates your ovaries to produce estrogen. As your estrogen levels decline, your pituitary gland produces more FSH, which enters your blood in an attempt to stimulate more estrogen. When blood levels of FSH consistently rise to certain levels (usually >40), it is likely that you have reached menopause. More than one FSH test may be needed to confirm menopause. You should not be taking birth control pills when you have an FSH test because birth control pills contain hormones that will affect the test results.

    References

    The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: http://www.acog.org/publications/patient%5Feducation.bp047.cfm . Accessed November 2009.

    Fritz, M. A. and Speroff, L. Clinical Gynecologic Endocrinology and Infertility . 8th ed. Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins; 2011: 673-858.

    National Institute on Aging website. Available at: http://www.nia.nih.gov/ . Accessed February 14, 2006.

    National Women's Health Information Center website. Available at: http://www.womenshealth.gov/ . Accessed February 14, 2006.

    North American Menopause Society website. Available at: http://www.menopause.org/ . Accessed February 14, 2006.

    Revision Information

  • Join WellZones today.

    Make a Change For LifeLearn more

    Wellmont LiveWell is creating a new tradition of wellness in the mountains by providing individuals with tools and encouragement to live healthier lifestyles.

  • HeartSHAPE Spotlight

    At risk for a heart attack? Learn more

    Fight heart disease early and prevent heart attacks with HeartSHAPE® - a painless, non-invasive test that takes pictures of your heart to scan for early-stage coronary disease.

  • Calories and Energy Needs

    Calorie NeedsLearn more

    How many calories do you need to eat each day to maintain your weight and fuel your physical activity? Enter a few of your stats into this calculator to find out.

  • Ideal Body Weight

    Ideal Body WeightLearn more

    Using body mass index as a reference, this calculator determines your ideal body weight range. All you need to do is enter your height.

  • Body Mass Index

    Body Mass IndexLearn more

    This tool considers your height and weight to assess your weight status.


  • Can we help answer your questions?

    Wellmont Nurse Connection is your resource for valuable health information any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Speak to a Nurse any time, day or night, at (423) 723-6877 or toll-free at 1-877-230-NURSE.