Which lab test findings are characteristic of menopause?

Updated: Jun 06, 2018
  • Author: PonJola Coney, MD; Chief Editor: Richard Scott Lucidi, MD, FACOG  more...
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Answer

Answer

Laboratory markers of menopause include the following:

  • An increase in serum follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and decreases in estradiol and inhibin are the major endocrine changes that occur during the transition to menopause [1, 2]

  • FSH levels are higher than luteinizing hormone (LH) levels, and both rise to even higher values than those seen in the surge during the menstrual cycle

  • The FSH rise precedes the LH rise; FSH is the diagnostic marker for ovarian failure, while LH is not necessary to make the diagnosis

  • The large cyclical variation of estradiol and estrone observed during the menstrual years ceases, and fluctuation in levels is small and inconsequential, with the mean value being considerably lower

  • No specific changes in thyroid function related to menopause have been foun


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