How accurate are Perimenopause Tests — Credihealth Blog


Perimenopause is a time in a woman’s life when her menstrual periods begin to change. They may become more frequent, lighter, or heavier. Some women also have symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings, and trouble sleeping. There is no one test that can diagnose perimenopause. But there are some tests that can help rule out other causes of your symptoms. This post will discuss the accuracy of perimenopause tests.

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Perimenopause is the time leading up to menopause, when a woman’s ovaries start producing less estrogen. It usually begins in a woman’s 40s, but can start in her 30s or even earlier. So, if you’re in your 40s or 50s and experiencing changes in your menstrual cycle, you might be wondering if you’re experiencing perimenopause. Perimenopause is the transition period before menopause, and it can last for several years. Symptoms of perimenopause can include irregular periods, sleep problems, hot flashes, weight gain, and mood swings. If you’re experiencing symptoms of perimenopause and wondering if it’s time to start planning for menopause, you might be considering a perimenopause test. Let’s take a look.

Why is the Perimenopause Test Done? 

The perimenopause test is done to: 

  • Confirm the diagnosis of perimenopause or menopause 
  • Evaluate the severity of symptoms 
  • Determine if there is an underlying cause for symptoms, such as an ovarian tumor 
  • Monitor response to treatment 

There are three main types of perimenopause tests: Blood tests, saliva tests, and ultrasounds. 

Blood Tests:

Blood tests measure the level of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) in your blood. FSH is a hormone that helps eggs mature in the ovaries. FSH levels rise as menopause approaches, so a high FSH level could indicate that you’re in perimenopause. As you approach menopause, your ovaries produce less estrogen, which causes your pituitary gland to release more FSH in an attempt to stimulate the ovaries. An estradiol test is often done along with an FSH test, as estrogen levels also fluctuate during perimenopause. So, a higher level of FSH in your blood can be an indicator that you’re entering perimenopause. 

However, there are some drawbacks to this type of test. For one thing, your FSH levels can fluctuate from day to day—or even from morning to afternoon—so a single blood test might not give an accurate picture of what’s going on with your hormones. In addition, FSH levels don’t rise steadily as you approach menopause; they tend to spike and then go back down again. So, even if your FSH levels are high, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in perimenopause. 

Saliva Tests:

Saliva tests measure the level of estradiol, another type of estrogen, in your saliva. Like FSH levels, estradiol levels fluctuate over time—but they tend to follow a more predictable pattern than FSH levels do. That makes saliva tests a bit more reliable than blood tests, but they’re still not perfect. 

Ultrasound

Ultrasound is another option for testing for perimenopause. During an ultrasound, a wand-like device called a transducer is placed on your abdomen or pelvis. The transducer emits sound waves that create an image of your uterus and ovaries on a computer screen. This image can show whether your ovaries are producing eggs and whether you have any endometrial thickening, which can occur during perimenopause. 

So, how accurate are these tests? FSH and estradiol tests are generally quite accurate, but they can be affected by factors like stress and medications. Ultrasound is also generally accurate, but it can be less so if you have a lot of abdominal fat or if your uterus is tilted backward. 

How is the Perimenopause Test Done? 

  • A perimenopause test is a simple blood test. A healthcare professional will take a sample of your blood by inserting a needle into a vein in your arm. The blood will be sent to a lab for analysis. 
  • Your results will be ready within a few days. Your healthcare provider will go over your results with you and explain what they mean. 

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So, if you think you might be approaching menopause and want to get a perimenopause test to find out for sure, there are a couple of different options available to you. Blood tests and saliva tests are both fairly common, but neither is completely accurate. The best way to confirm whether or not you’re in perimenopause is to see a doctor and have them track your symptoms and hormonal changes over time.

Disclaimer: The statements, opinions, and data in these publications are solely those of the individual authors and contributors, not Credihealth and the editor(s). 

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