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Blood testing: To determine if a woman is in the perimenopause, a health care practitioner may check the follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) level through a blood test.
Bone testing: The standard for measuring bone loss, or osteoporosis, associated with menopause is the DEXA (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) scan. The test calculates bone mineral density and compares it to the average value for healthy young women. The World Health Organization defines osteoporosis as more than 2.5 standard deviations below this average value. A condition known as osteopenia indicates less severe bone loss (between 1 and 2.5 standard deviations below the average value).
Heart risk testing: Postmenopausal women may be at risk for heart disease. A doctor can measure cholesterol levels with a simple blood test. If cholesterol levels are high, the doctor can advise women about ways to decrease their risk of heart disease.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/9/2014
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