Diagnosing Perimenopause/Menopause

Your doctor will look at:

  • Your medical history. Menopuase tends to occur about the same time as your mother’s. Your age, history of menstrual periods and symptoms provide additional clues.
  • The results of your pelvic exam. Your vagina will be dryer and may show visual signs of thinning wall tissue.

Additionally, he or she may:

  • Order blood tests
    • To measure estrogen levels.
    • To determine follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) levels. This level dramatically rises as your ovaries begin to shut down.
  • Take a Pap-like smear of cells from your vaginal wall to analyze for drying and thinning.
  • Ask you to chart a few cycles as well as symptoms.

Be aware that symptoms of perimenopause may resemble other medical conditions so it’s important to describe all of your symptoms to your physician.

If your doctor suspects other conditions or if other concerns make the diagnosis difficult he or she may do additional testing, including but not limited to:

  • A pregnancy test
  • A thyroid level test
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