The onset of menopause is a progressive phenomenon, and of variable duration. This menopausal transition can make it difficult to diagnose menopause.
“The diagnosis is above all clinical, with in particular 1 year without periodexplains Dr. Anna Gosset, medical gynecologist. It is not recommended to carry out biological assays to make the diagnosis of menopause except in certain specific cases (hysterectomy in particular), when the diagnosis of menopause conditions the management (implementation of hormonal treatment of menopause or post-breast cancer treatment). Indeed throughout the period of perimenopause there are major hormonal variations which can lead to a false diagnosis of menopause when the woman may have her period again“.
► Certain dosages may therefore be requested, such as that of estrogen, the level of which decreases at menopause or that of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), produced by the pituitary gland and which stimulates the growth and development of ovarian follicles.
► “We can offer a thyroid function test, continues the doctor, because thyroid disorders are common in postmenopausal women. This test can help detect a possible disorder.
► In addition, a metabolic assessment can be prescribed with a fasting blood glucose level and a dosage of lipid abnormalities. “Indeed there may be changes in lipid metabolism at the time of menopause and women may develop significant dyslipidemia to be screened for to limit cardiovascular risk.“. In the same way fasting blood glucose test helps detect early diabetes.
► Finally, a dosage of vitamin D may be offered as postmenopausal women are often at risk of vitamin D deficiency, which can contribute to osteoporosis. “It is not routinely recommended (and moreover not reimbursed by social security), but rather to be reserved for women at risk of deficiency or at risk of bone (osteoporosis already diagnosed)”.
Thanks to Dr Anna Gosset, Medical Gynecologist (hospital practitioner) at the menopause center at Paule de Viguier hospital, CHU Purpan-Toulouse.
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