Menopause – Diagnosis and treatment – Mayo Clinic

Diagnosis

Signs and symptoms of menopause are usually enough to tell most women that they've started the menopausal transition. If you have concerns about irregular periods or hot flashes, talk with your doctor. In some cases, further evaluation may be recommended.

Tests typically aren't needed to diagnose menopause. But under certain circumstances, your doctor may recommend blood tests to check your level of:

Over-the-counter home tests to check FSH levels in your urine are available. The tests could tell you whether you have elevated FSH levels and might be in perimenopause or menopause. But, since FSH levels rise and fall during the course of your menstrual cycle, home FSH tests can't really tell you whether or not you're definitely in a stage of menopause.

Menopause requires no medical treatment. Instead, treatments focus on relieving your signs and symptoms and preventing or managing chronic conditions that may occur with aging. Treatments may include:

Before deciding on any form of treatment, talk with your doctor about your options and the risks and benefits involved with each. Review your options yearly, as your needs and treatment options may change.

Explore Mayo Clinic studies testing new treatments, interventions and tests as a means to prevent, detect, treat or manage this disease.

Fortunately, many of the signs and symptoms associated with menopause are temporary. Take these steps to help reduce or prevent their effects:

Many approaches have been promoted as aids in managing the symptoms of menopause, but few of them have scientific evidence to back up the claims. Some complementary and alternative treatments that have been or are being studied include:

Plant estrogens (phytoestrogens). These estrogens occur naturally in certain foods. There are two main types of phytoestrogens isoflavones and lignans. Isoflavones are found in soybeans, lentils, chickpeas and other legumes. Lignans occur in flaxseed, whole grains, and some fruits and vegetables.

Whether the estrogens in these foods can relieve hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms remains to be proved, but most studies have found them ineffective. Isoflavones have some weak estrogen-like effects, so if you've had breast cancer, talk to your doctor before supplementing your diet with isoflavone pills.

The herb sage is thought to contain compounds with estrogen-like effects, and there's good evidence that it can effectively manage menopause symptoms. The herb and its oils should be avoided in people who are allergic, and in pregnant or breast-feeding women. Use carefully in people with high blood pressure or epilepsy.

You may have heard of or tried other dietary supplements, such as red clover, kava, dong quai, DHEA, evening primrose oil and wild yam (natural progesterone cream). Scientific evidence on effectiveness is lacking, and some of these products may be harmful.

Talk with your doctor before taking any herbal or dietary supplements for menopausal symptoms. The FDA does not regulate herbal products, and some can be dangerous or interact with other medications you take, putting your health at risk.

Your first appointment will likely be with your primary care provider or a gynecologist.

Before your appointment:

Some basic questions to ask include:

In addition, don't hesitate to ask questions at any time during your appointment.

Some questions your doctor might ask include:

Aug. 07, 2017

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Menopause - Diagnosis and treatment - Mayo Clinic

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