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Menopause

Diagnosing perimenopause with blood tests

06/18/2007

Question:

I went to my doctor because I was having hot flushes of my arms and head & neck areas and headaches. I felt I was also suffering a certain level of stress. My periods have intermittenly been regular but more commonly irregular. I have had a blood test for FSH and LH which are both in the upper levels of 15.1 and 14.5 respectively. How do I know these are not just showing that I am ovulating (although it`s now almost 3 months since my last period)? Does the test need to be repeated. Interestingly, I have had no flushes or headaches for about the past 3-4 weeks.

Thanks you in anticipation for your answer

Answer:

If your age is 40 or higher, you may be perimenopausal.  FSH levels are not very helpful because they can change dramatically from day to day.  New onset of irregular cycles and symptoms are the best way to diagnose perimenopause.  You sound as though you could be perimenopause.  Just check with your physician to be sure there is no other reason why you should have those symptoms.

For more information:

Go to the Menopause health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Margery   Gass, MD Margery Gass, MD
Formely, Professor, Clinical Obstetrics & Gynecology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati