Font Size
A
A
A

Menopause (cont.)

How is menopause diagnosed?

Blood testing: To determine if a woman is in the perimenopause, a health-care professional 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).

  • The DEXA scan is usually performed before a doctor prescribes medications for osteoporosis to rebuild bone mineral density. The test is a special X-ray film taken of the hip and of the lower bones in the spine. The scan is repeated in one and a half to two years to measure response to treatment.
  • Simple bone screening can also be done in ultrasound machines that measure the bone density of the heel. This is merely a screening device. If low bone density is detected, follow-up with a complete DEXA scan may be required.

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 1/8/2016

Must Read Articles Related to Menopause

Breast Lumps and Pain
Breast Lumps and Pain Breast changes are common. From the time a girl begins to develop breasts and begins menstruating and throughout life, women may experience various kinds of bre...learn more >>
Female Sexual Problems
Female Sexual Problems Long considered a taboo subject, women's sexuality is now openly discussed and portrayed on television, in magazines, and on the internet. Symptoms of female se...learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Menopause:

Menopause - Symptoms

What symptoms have you experienced with menopause?

Menopause - Experience

Please describe your experience with menopause.

Menopause - Experience

Please share your experience with perimenopause, menopause, or postmenopause.

Menopause - Symptoms

What symptoms did/do you have with perimenopause, menopause, or postmenopause?

Menopause - Lifestyle Changes

What lifestyle changes have you made during perimenopause, menopause, or postmenopause that have helped ease the symptoms?

Menopause - Hormone Therapy

What hormone therapy combination therapies have you taken during perimenopause, menopause, or post menopause?



Medical Dictionary