FSH Levels and Menopause
on Jan 26, 2013
by Dr. Prabha Sahgal, MD
An increased level of FSH indicates menopause, because ovulation causes a decrease in FSH levels. You can take an FSH test to determine your levels to see if you are entering menopause.
Menopause is an inevitable part of life for women. Symptoms of menopause can include the infamous hot flashes, fatigue, sleep disturbances and night sweats, but these don’t always occur. Going through menopause can be incredibly daunting for a lot of women. It is about facing up to the fact that you must now transition from a fertile woman to an infertile one. Into a woman whose sole biological responsibilities will from that point onwards be to never become pregnant again. Emotionally this can be a very charged situation. Individual circumstances will dictate how you deal, but sometimes the thought of these changes is scarier than the actual process. Menopause never strikes at an opportune moment; it tends to occur from your mid forties onwards, with the average onset occurring at age 51. When your periods have stopped for a whole year, you are officially classed as post-menopausal. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here
To confirm whether you are going through menopause or not, you can take a FSH test, either at home or via your health provider. An increased level of FSH indicates menopause. This confirmation can give you peace of mind, or/and allow you to make decisions about possible hormone replacement therapies.
FSH is high during menopause because the feedback system during the cycle is disturbed. Usually ovulation causes a decrease in FSH. However, because ovulation doesn’t happen during menopause, this hormone stays at a high level in the body.
Estridiol is the potent form of oestrogen that is dominant in a woman’s body pre-menopause. After menopause the less potent estrone is produced as a substitute. The menopausal transition period is the time it takes for your body to get used to the new hormones.
Menopause is a natural phase in a woman’s life, not a disease or a disorder than needs to be fixed. Regardless though, many women take prescription medication (HRT’s) in order to stave off the effects for as long as possible. Even if HRT sounds like an attractive offer, most women stop taking the drugs at some point. When they do, women have reported suffering from extreme symptoms. Advocates of natural menopause include writer and herbal practitioner Linda Crockett. She believes that naturally going through menopause allows the changes to happen slowly and over a longer period of time. It gives the body time to make adjustments to its new hormonal balance. The sudden decline in fertility hormones after stopping HRT leaves the body to adjust to changes more quickly. This can often be a more unpleasant experience.
An interesting fact is link between melatonin production and FSH. It is thought that historically the lack of light at a new moon would kick start melatonin production. And that this production initiates the release of hormones that end in FSH and LH being produced. This means that women were more likely to start their cycle around a new moon. With the prevalence of unnatural light nowadays this natural rhythm our bodies evolved has since diminished and the female relationship to the moon lost.
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Dr. Prabha Sahgal MD, is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology and subspecialty board certified in reproductive endocrinology and infertility. Dr. Sahgal holds a B.S. degree from MIT in molecular biology and currently serves on the ConceiveEasy board of directors.