Menopause is defined as the final menstrual period. The term perimenopause literally means “around menopause”, but often refers to the time prior to the final menstrual period. This is a time when hormonal changes can cause various physical signs of menopause (e.g. night sweats and mood changes), but menstruation remains like, or near, normal. Postmenopause is the remainder of a women’s life after menopause.
DNA Access's Perimenopause Test measures the levels of three important hormones - estradiol, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and luteinizing hormone (LH). Your levels of these hormones are useful in conjunction with other factors (e.g. medical history and symptoms) to determine if you are approaching menopause.
- During perimenopause, estradiol levels gradually decrease, although often in an irregular fashion. Fluctuating estradiol levels contribute to many of the symptoms associated with perimenopause.
- FSH levels fluctuate during each menstrual cycle in women of reproductive age, gradually increasing with age, with a significant increase occurring during perimenopause.
- Basal LH levels increase during perimenopause, although not to the same extent as FSH elevations.