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Blood Tests

Podcast Episode 2 transcript.


Listen on: Apple, Spotify, Website


Welcome to Radio Menopause. I'm your host, and in today's episode, we will explore the subject of blood tests during menopause.


Menopause is a natural phase in a woman's life when her menstrual cycles end. During this time, hormonal changes occur, leading to various symptoms.


In the UK, the diagnosis of menopause in women over 45 years old is based on clinical symptoms and the absence of a menstrual period for 12 months. If you bleed or even slightly spot, you need to start counting again, as you are technically still ovulating and can still fall pregnant. My suggestion is to keep a diary of your symptoms and bleeding.


One of the main hormones affected during menopause is estrogen. Estrogen levels are very low AFTER menopause. However, during perimenopause, oestrogen levels swing up and down, so blood tests are not suitable at this stage.


Women younger than 45 having perimenopausal symptoms are offered a blood test to measure a hormone called FSH (follicle‑stimulating hormone). FSH is found in higher levels in menopause. In younger women, it may indicate premature ovarian insufficiency (or early menopause), which should be treated by HRT. Early menopause is diagnosed when a woman has two blood tests six weeks apart showing abnormal hormone levels.

Blood tests are not accurate in women taking some hormone-based contraceptives.


So, to test or not to test? That’s the question. 

Over the age of 45, most women do not need hormone tests. 


If you feel you have having menopausal symptoms, I would recommend that you speak to your doctors to book some other routine blood tests.


The first test is called a TSH test that checks Thyroid Function. Thyroid hormones play a significant role in regulating metabolism and energy levels. Changes in thyroid hormone levels can contribute to symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, mood changes and hot flushes. Thyroid symptoms are very commonly mistaken for menopause symptoms. Blood tests can assess thyroid function and help identify any imbalances that may require treatment. 


A lipid profile test can assess your cholesterol levels, which tend to increase during menopause. High cholesterol levels can increase the risk of heart disease, so monitoring them through blood tests is crucial for early intervention and preventive lifestyle changes.


We also suggest measuring Calcium, which indicates bone health. Vit D, as a deficiency, is known to give people aches and pains, and Vit B & iron levels, as a deficiency, can make people feel fatigued - supplements in the form of tablets or sprays to bump up your levels if needed.


So the list would be:

Thyroid

Cholesterol

Lipids

Calcium

Iron

Vitamin D

Vitamin B


Blood tests are valuable tools for understanding your health during menopause. They can provide insights into potential health risks and guide treatment decisions. If you are experiencing symptoms or have concerns about your hormonal health during menopause, don't hesitate to discuss the possibility of blood tests with your healthcare provider.


Thank you for joining us on this episode of Radio Menopause. We hope you found this discussion informative. Stay tuned for more episodes on women's health and well-being. Until next time, take care and stay healthy.



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