Diagnosis of Menopause
Natural menopause is diagnosed when a woman has not had a period for 12 months in a row. The doctor will ask about symptoms, health history, and menstrual periods. A physical exam will be done. This is enough to make the diagnosis.
A blood test to look for follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) may be done to confirm the diagnosis. FSH is made by the pituitary gland. It signals the ovaries to make estrogen. High levels of FSH point to menopause. More than one FSH test may need to be done.
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynacologists (ACOG). Practice Bulletin No. 141: management of menopausal symptoms. Obstet Gynecol. 2014 Jan;123(1):202-16, reaffirmed 2016, correction can be found in Obstet Gynecol 2016 Jan;127(1):166.
- Menopause 101: A primer for the perimenopausal. North American Menopause Society website. Available at: http://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopauseflashes/menopause-symptoms-and-treatments/menopause-101-a-primer-for-the-perimenopausal.
- Menopause. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/menopause.
- Menopause. Planned Parenthood website. Available at: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/health-and-wellness/menopause.
- Menopause basics. Office on Women's Health website. Available at: https://www.womenshealth.gov/menopause/menopause-basics.
- Elizabeth Margaret Prusak, MD
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