Doctors generally do not recommend laboratory tests to confirm if a woman is perimenopausal (the transitional period of time prior to menopause ) or is post-menopausal (the time after menopause). We make our diagnosis based on a woman’s menstrual history and symptoms. In the perimenopause, lab tests can be misleading, as hormone levels are highly variable, and can change day to day. Except in any case when menopause can’t be determined by 12 months of absent bleeding, such as when a woman has had a hysterectomy or a uterine ablation—a surgical procedure used to control heavy bleeding, which often results in complete amenorrhea (lack of periods) even though the ovaries are still producing estrogen. Then a lab test to determine estrogen levels to confirm menopause may be helpful. ~ Dr. Lisa Larkin, MD, FACP, NCMP, IF
Dr. Lisa Larkin is a board-certified internist practicing internal medicine and women’s health since 1991. She is the Founder and CEO of Ms. Medicine, LLC, a national membership organization for women’s health clinicians and a concierge women’s health primary care network. She is also owner and President of Lisa Larkin, MD, and Associates, an independent, multispecialty practice offering direct primary care (DPC), concierge primary care and women’s health care in Cincinnati, Ohio. In addition, she serves as Director of Women’s Corporate Health for TriHealth, and she is the Founder and Executive Director of the Cincinnati Sexual Health Consortium, a non-profit designed to improve the sexual health and wellness of individuals in the Greater Cincinnati region through improved clinician collaboration and community outreach.