What An FSH Blood Test Can Tell You About Menopause

What An FSH Blood Test Can Tell You About Menopause

FSH, or follicle-stimulating hormone, regulates ovulation and supports estrogen production. It is released by the pituitary gland and is a necessary hormone for puberty to start. Puberty is the beginning of sexual maturity and the reproductive years. After years of a monthly cycle of ovulation and menstruation, this process can begin to taper off and the transitional stage of perimenopause begins. When it has been 12 months since your last period, you are considered to have reached menopause. Perimenopause and menopause are natural cycles in our reproductive journey. The transition through these cycles can last anywhere from 7-14 years. Confirmation of perimenopause and menopause cannot be determined by any single test, but an FSH blood test can provide important information to help you manage these processes.

How An FSH Blood Test Can Confirm Menopause

As we move towards menopause, the number of follicles (eggs) in the ovaries reduces. These follicles are responsible for estrogen production and, as the number of follicles declines, so does estrogen production. Lowered levels of estrogen will signal your body to produce more FSH to stimulate the follicles, but the reduced number of follicles cannot use the excess follicle-stimulating hormone, so the FSH level in your body rises. This increased level of FSH in your blood can signal the beginning of perimenopause and menopause.

FSH levels can rise and fall, particularly as you transition through perimenopause. Your doctor may recommend monthly testing until you have consistent, elevated test results and have not had a menstrual period for one year or longer.

How Can An FSH Blood Test Help Me Understand Menopause?
Menopause marks the end of fertility and is a natural part of aging. The typical age range for menopause is between 45-55 years. The experience can be different for everyone. Some people transition smoothly away from ovulation and menstruation and the corresponding hormonal changes do not cause noticeable symptoms or discomfort. But some people experience severe symptoms that can dramatically impact daily living. Symptoms of perimenopause and menopause include:

  • Changes in the frequency of your period and lighter or heavier flow.
  • Weight gain and changes in the fat and muscle composition of your body.
  • Night sweats and hot flashes.
  • Forgetfulness and mood swings.
  • Changes to your libido.
  • Vaginal dryness.
  • Trouble sleeping.
  • Thinning hair.

These symptoms can be worrisome and impact your ability to enjoy life, but they are not exclusive to perimenopause and menopause. Many other health conditions such as PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), ovarian cysts and tumors, infections, eating disorders, certain cancers, and even pregnancy can cause some of the same symptoms. FSH blood tests can provide insight into the cause of your symptoms and help you make the most informed decisions regarding your treatment and care.

Take Control Of Your Health With FSH Blood Testing through Ichor Health

If you are experiencing some of the symptoms associated with perimenopause and menopause and are seeking insight to help you understand your own reproductive health and to make the most informed decisions regarding treatment for yourself, an FSH blood test can provide the information you need. Elevated FSH levels can indicate that menopause is likely or eliminate that cause so your doctor can explore other health conditions that may be present. Take control of your health and well-being with FSH blood testing through Ichor Health private lab services. Click here to book your FSH blood test. You can also contact our lab services team at 1-844-424-6728 or connect with us using our online contact form.

Ichor Health has private in-clinic FSH testing in Calgary, AB, Edmonton, AB, Fort McMurray, AB, Red Deer, AB, Medicine Hat, AB, and Toronto, ON. We also offer mobile specimen collection services in Calgary, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Medicine Hat, Red Deer, and Toronto through our mobile lab testing.

FAQ

If purchased on its own, this test costs $100.00 + tax. When multiple tests are purchased by the same person during the same appointment, Ichor realizes some operational efficiencies and can provide discounts. For multiple tests, our policy is that the most expensive test will be charged in full, with any subsequent tests receiving a 25% discount.

We recommend drinking a large glass of water at least 45 minutes before your appointment, and wearing warm clothing or a sweater to help prepare your veins. If you get dizzy at the sight of blood, you may want to have someone drive you home from your blood collection.

When someone has not had a menstrual period for one year or longer and the hormone level indicated by consistent FSH blood testing is elevated to 30 mIU/mL or higher, it is a strong indication that menopause has been reached. The normal post-menopausal FSH level range detected by FSH blood testing is 25.8-134.8 IU/L.

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