Women typically notice the signs and symptoms of menopause without a formal diagnosis from their health care provider. A change in menstrual patterns and the appearance of hot flashes are usually the first signs.
Although blood tests are not required, health care providers can run blood or urine tests to determine levels of the hormones estradiol, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and luteinizing hormone (LH).1,2 At menopause, the ovaries become less responsive to FSH and LH hormones, so the body makes more of these hormones to compensate. Estradiol and other hormones decrease around menopause as well. A health care provider can use the test results to tell if a woman is in menopause.
During and after menopause, a woman should get regular physical, pelvic, breast, colorectal, and skin exams to monitor her health.
- MedlinePlus. (2011). Menopause. Retrieved June 14, 2012, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000894.htm
- MedlinePlus. (2010). Aging changes in the female reproductive system. Retrieved June 14, 2012, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/004016.htm