All women eventually experience menopause. On average, the onset occurs between age 40 and 60. Clinical confirmation of menopause is established after you do not have a period for 12 full months. While not all women undergo testing, menopause blood tests can help to provide an accurate diagnosis for your symptoms.
What are the Blood Tests for Menopause?
1. Follicle-Stimulating Hormone
In women, FSH is associated with the development and reproduction of eggs. Doctors can measure this hormone via your urine or a blood test. The pituitary gland at the brain’s base makes this hormone. FSH levels increase when you enter menopause due to ovarian function decreasing.
When this test is used to diagnose menopause, it is typically performed once you have not had a period for approximately one year. The absence of your period and a consistently elevated FSH level can confirm the diagnosis.
2. Anti-Mullerian Hormone
Also referred to as AMH, in women, this hormone is produced by the ovaries. This hormone is critical for sex organ development in a fetus. In women, this hormone plays a role in fertility. Doctors may order this test when they suspect female fertility issues, polycystic ovarian syndrome (which may mimic early menopause) or menopause.
When levels of this hormone are low it can indicate menopause. However, if they are high, this can tell the doctor that your symptoms might be due to polycystic ovarian syndrome.
This blood test looks at your estrogen levels to determine if they are decreasing since this can indicate menopause. In some cases, the doctor might recommend a 24-hour urine sample instead of a blood sample. Reduced levels can also indicate polycystic ovarian syndrome, a condition that can cause some of the same symptoms as early menopause.
4. Thyroid Function Testing
As you get older, your thyroid function can start to slow, making it a common condition among middle-aged women. Some symptoms of menopause and low thyroid function also overlap, so this test can be performed to determine which issue is causing your symptoms. This test looks at your thyroid stimulating hormone and free T4 levels.
If you have a pre-existing underactive thyroid when menopause starts, it is possible for your menopause symptoms to be more severe. Because of this, testing your thyroid levels can help you to determine if medication adjustments for your thyroid are needed to improve your overall well-being.
It is also possible for the reduction in estrogen during menopause to affect your thyroid function. Women who have low thyroid function and the reduced levels of estrogen that occur during menopause might also have an increased risk of osteoporosis.
5. Additional Testing
In addition to looking at hormone levels that can indicate menopause, there are certain other tests to explore your overall health as you enter menopause, including:
- Lipid profile: This test looks at your cholesterol and triglyceride levels since bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels can rise in menopausal women.
- Comprehensive metabolic panel: This is especially important if you are going to use hormone replacement therapy. It looks at your kidney and liver function.
- Complete blood count: This explores your white and red blood cell numbers.
- Blood pressure check: After menopause, blood pressure generally starts to increase.
If you think that you are in menopause, your doctor can order menopause blood tests. These can provide important information about your hormone levels and your overall health.