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How can you tell if your symptoms are menopause related?

One way is to use a FSH home test. During perimenopause, changes take place in the balance of hormones regulating your menstrual cycle. This slow change in ovary function happens between 2 to 10 years before your final menstrual cycle. As a woman grows older and passes out of the childbearing stage, her ovaries gradually make less of the hormone estrogen, while another hormone FSH increases.

FSH normally stimulates the growth of an egg. The brain directs the body to increase production of FSH so an egg can mature. Once this part of the monthly cycle is complete, FSH production is stopped and it returns to normal. As the body ages, it produces less estrogen and more FSH. In other words, low estrogen levels are associated with high FSH levels – an indicator of perimenopause.

Eventually these hormone changes cause your menstrual periods to completely stop. After 12 months of no periods, a woman is considered to be post-menopausal, and at this point, her FSH levels are as much as 10 times higher than before.

Women taking birth control pills won’t get an accurate result because the hormones in the pill keep their FSH levels low. To get an accurate reading, these women need to discontinue the pill for at least 10 days to two weeks before taking the test.

What is the point of knowing if your FSH levels have increased? How is that going to help me?

Some doctors suggest that taking this test is a waste of time because perimenopause can last for years and the FSH levels will fluctuate during that time. But many women who have just entered this stage feel that the biggest benefit lies in knowing that you aren’t really going crazy. A positive test result reassures them because it provides an explanation for the strange symptoms they might have.

That is how Lois felt just after turning 47, I started experiencing amazing mood swings, crying for no apparent reason, irritability, and just a general feeling of anxiety about things that normally didn’t bother me at all. Because my mom had emotional issues, I thought maybe I was going down the same path which is a fear I had harbored internally but never before spoke about.

It was a huge relief to know that my symptoms were common during perimenopause, and I was then able to seek out alternative treatments that helped me better live with the symptoms. Knowing relieved a lot of the angst about this stage for me.

By taking a Menopause FSH Home you can find out for sure if your symptoms are menopause related. Most women realize that the first stage of positive change is awareness — you can’t help yourself if you don’t know what the reality is.