Diagnosis

Signs and symptoms of menopause are usually enough to tell most women that they've started the menopausal transition. If you have concerns about irregular periods or hot flashes, talk with your doctor. In some cases, further evaluation may be recommended.

Tests typically aren't needed to diagnose menopause. But under certain circumstances, your doctor may recommend blood tests to check your level of:

  • Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and estrogen (estradiol), because your FSH levels increase and estradiol levels decrease as menopause occurs
  • Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), because an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) can cause symptoms similar to those of menopause

Over-the-counter home tests to check FSH levels in your urine are available. The tests could tell you whether you have elevated FSH levels and might be in perimenopause or menopause. But, since FSH levels rise and fall during the course of your menstrual cycle, home FSH tests can't really tell you whether or not you're definitely in a stage of menopause.

References
  1. Menopause. National Institute on Aging. http://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/menopause. Accessed April 24, 2017.
  2. Casper RF, et al. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of menopause. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 24, 2017.
  3. Longo DL, et al., eds. Menopause and postmenopausal hormone therapy. In: Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 19th ed. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Education; 2015. http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com. Accessed April 24, 2017.
  4. Nelson LM, et al. Clinical manifestation and evaluation of spontaneous primary ovarian insufficiency (premature ovarian failure). https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 24, 2017.
  5. Menopausal symptoms and complementary health practices. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/menopause/menopausesymptoms. Accessed April 24, 2017.
  6. Heart disease facts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm. Accessed April 24, 2017.
  7. Santen RJ, et al. Menopausal hot flashes. https://www.uptodate.com. Accessed April 24, 2017.
  8. Martin KA, et al. Menopausal hormone therapy: Benefits and risks. https://www.uptodate.com. Accessed April 24, 2017.
  9. Yoga, Kegel exercises, pelvic floor physical therapy. The North American Menopause Society. https://www.menopause.org/for-women/sexual-health-menopause-online/effective-treatments-for-sexual-problems/yoga-kegel-exercises-pelvic-floor-physical-therapy. Accessed April 23, 2017.
  10. North American Menopause Society. The 2017 hormone therapy position statement of: The North American Menopause Society. Menopause. 2017;24:1.
  11. MenoNote: Vaginal dryness. The North American Menopause Society. http://www.menopause.org/publications/consumer-publications/-i-menonotes-i-. Accessed April 23, 2017.
  12. Welt CK, et al. Pathogenesis and causes of spontaneous primary ovarian insufficiency (premature ovarian failure). https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 23, 2017.
  13. Welt CK, et al. Ovarian development and failure (menopause) in normal women. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 23, 2017.
  14. Frequently asked questions. Women's health FAQ047. The Menopause Years. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. https://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/The-Menopause-Years. Accessed April 24, 2017.
  15. North American Menopause Society. Nonhormonal management of menopause-associated vasomotor symptoms: 2015 position statement of The North American Menopause Society. Menopause. 2015; 22:1155.
  16. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Committee on Practice Bulletins — Gynecology. ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 141: Management of Menopausal Symptoms. Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2014;123:202.
  17. Rosen HR, et al. Clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and evaluation of osteoporosis in post-menopausal women. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 24, 2017.
  18. Menopause. Natural Medicines. https://naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com. Accessed April 27, 2017.
  19. Dodin S, et al. Acupuncture for menopausal hot flushes. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD007410.pub2/abstract. Accessed April 23, 2017.
  20. Laughlin-Tommaso SK (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 9, 2017.
  21. Bachmann G, et al. Treatment of genitourinary syndrome of menopause (vulvovaginal atrophy). https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 10, 2017.
  22. Home use tests: Menopause. Food and Drug Administration. https://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/InVitroDiagnostics/HomeUseTests/ucm125824.htm. Accessed July 18, 2017.