The menopause is when a woman stops having periods and is no longer able to get pregnant naturally.
Periods usually start to become less frequent over a few months or years before they stop altogether. Sometimes they can stop suddenly.
Your menopause is likely to have begun if you haven’t had a period in over six months. It’s clinically confirmed after 12 full months without a period.
The menopause is a natural part of ageing that usually occurs between 45 and 55 years of age, as a woman’s oestrogen levels decline. In the UK, the average age for a woman to reach the menopause is 51.
It’s worth talking to a GP if you have menopausal symptoms that are troubling you or if you’re experiencing symptoms of the menopause before 45 years of age.
The first sign of the menopause is usually a change in the normal pattern of your periods. You may start having either unusually light or heavy periods. The frequency of your periods may also be affected. You may have them every 2 or 3 weeks, or you may not have them for months at a time.
Menopause symptoms include:
Order a Female Hormones (Menopause) Home Test Kit. Our Female Hormone home blood test kit allows you to measure essential female sex hormones.
The test screens for the presence of three female hormones:
It is recommended for all women over 35 to assess their risk from the menopause. If you have started the menopause, we also recommend monitoring your bone health as lowered oestrogen levels put you at an increased risk of developing osteoporosis (weak bones).
Get the convenience of home testing with the reassurance of professional clinical analysis. Your results are delivered quickly and securely online.
1. Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH).
Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is a crucial sex hormone associated with fertility. It should be measured by both partners when there is difficulty in getting pregnant.
In women, FSH is involved in egg development and should be tested if you have irregular or no menstrual periods. FSH is responsible for the growth and maturation of follicles, which are the source of oestrogen and progesterone which every woman needs to have a normal menstrual cycle. A normal FSH level indicates that a woman has a suspected normal number of eggs for her age.
In men FSH plays a role in sperm production so should be checked if you have a lowered sperm count, low muscle mass or decreased sex drive.
2. Luteinising Hormone (LH).
Luteinising hormone (LH) is a hormone present in the blood which helps regulate the reproductive system, especially that of women (their ovaries) and in men (their testes). LH is responsible for ovulation. A normal LH level in the second half of the menstrual cycle is reassuring that there are no major hormonal imbalances interfering with normal ovary function.
LH helps regulate the menstrual cycle and help determine fertility when pregnancy is planned or are used to gauge the onset of the menopause.
3. Oestrogen E2 (Oestradiol).
Oestrogens are steroid sex hormones responsible for female reproductive organ function and secondary sex characteristics.
Together with progesterone oestrogens regulate the menstrual cycle & help maintain a healthy pregnancy.
There are three main forms of oestrogen and this test measures oestradiol (E2) as a good marker for overall ovarian function.
After menopause, levels of estradiol decline significantly. Estradiol is also responsible for the health and normal function of other sexual organs, such as the breast, vagina, and uterus.
If menopause is confirmed, make an appointment with your doctor to discuss treatment options. You may not need any treatment if your symptoms aren’t severe.
But your doctor may recommend certain medications and hormone therapies to deal with symptoms that can affect your quality of life. They may also recommend hormone treatments if you are younger when you reach menopause.
Menopause can increase your risk of other conditions, especially those associated with ageing, e.g. osteoporosis. Continue to see your doctor for preventive care, including regular check-ups and physical exams, to make sure that you’re aware of any conditions and to ensure your best possible health as you get older.
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