When do women know they are in menopause?
Women are in menopause if they have had no menstrual periods (menses) for 12 months and have no other medical reason for their menses to stop. If women know they are not in menopause but are missing periods, they should consult their health care provider.
Are hormone levels or other blood tests helpful in detecting menopause?
Because hormone levels may fluctuate greatly in an individual woman, even from one day to the next, they are not a reliable indicator for diagnosing menopause. Even if levels are low one day, they may be high the next day in the same woman. There is no single blood test that reliably predicts when a woman is going through menopause, or menopausal transition. Therefore, there is currently no proven role for blood testing regarding menopause except for tests to exclude medical causes of erratic menstrual periods other than menopause. Menopause is diagnosed based on the lack of menstrual periods for 12 months. The average age women in the U.S. stop having their periods is 51.