If you are in your mid-thirties through early fifties, it is very likely that you have heard the phrase "FSH perimenopause".
Someone who does not know anything about the meaning of these two words may come to the conclusion that it is something complicated.
The truth is, however, that it's just the common term some women use when referring to what comes closest to a perimenopause test. As you may or may not know, perimenopause is the transition period that a woman goes through between her regular menstrual cycles and the complete cessation of her menstrual cycles.
During this transition, a woman's sex hormones, estrogen and progesterone, undergo unpredictable fluctuations, causing uncomfortable events more commonly referred to as perimenopause symptoms. There is no specific medical or test that a woman can have to confirm whether or not she is perimenopausal.
Doctors usually ask women to do a series of tests, which should indicate a trend or all point in the same direction (so to speak.)
From the series of tests and observations of symptoms, doctors can conclude whether a woman is in the perimenopause stage. Among these tests is the FSH test. FSH stands for Follicle Stimulating Hormone.
It is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland. In a normal menstrual cycle, it increases each month, triggering the production of eggs by a woman's ovaries. If a woman is suspected to be in perimenopause, FSH tests may be done to see what the levels of FSH are in her body.
High levels of FSH can indicate perimenopause. While this needs to be confirmed by other perimenopause testing as part of the standard procedure, most trends show that high FSH levels mean a woman has reached perimenopause.
So when women say "FSH perimenpopause", they are referring to either the test or the test results. Women can use the term so fluently and casually because, like a pregnancy test, an FSH test can be done at home.
Either place urine on a small section of the test stick or dip a part of the test stick into a disposable urine cup. After a few minutes, one or two bands should appear in the test stick's result area. Sometimes the whole stick changes color.
Your test box should tell you which color will indicate high FSH levels. Typically, women are tested for FSH in perimenopause once they begin to experience some perimenopausal symptoms, such as missing periods or hot flashes.
Once they get a positive or elevated result, women should see a doctor for further testing. A doctor will usually take a positive FSH result, review the medical history, and consider other factors related to lifestyle and heredity.
Remember, however, that even if an FSH test is "negative," it does not mean that a woman does not have perimenopause. If a woman continues to have perimenopause-like symptoms, she should see a doctor.
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