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Home Menopause Test Kits: Friend Or Foe?

Menopause is a common process that a woman undergoes with aging. But though common, a lot of the aspects of menopause remain a mystery to the whole medical community.

What is menopause?

Menopause is defined as the absence of menstruation for 12 months. This manifests usually in a woman's 50s, but there are natural or medical causes that can induce premature menopause. Symptoms include hot flashes, incontinence, sleeplessness and decreased sex drive.

Menopause is not often detected by a blood test, urine test or common laboratory tests.

How does the home kit menopause test work?

The home menopause kit test is a qualitative test that measures the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) level in the urine, but does not indicate clearly if you are in menopause or not.

While it is convenient to use the home kit, there is a potential trap that goes along with it: Blood FSH levels poorly correlate with menopausal symptoms, which means the urine test is not reliable.

FSH level has a chance of remaining in the premenopausal range even with heightened menopause symptoms. On the other hand, FSH levels may be in the menopausal range but there will be no hot flashes.

FSH levels also fluctuate during irregular menstrual periods before they stop permanently. A woman sometimes skips three months, then has menstrual periods again, and then skips several periods again.

How accurate is the home kit menopause test?

In terms of accurately detecting FSH levels, it can detect nine out of 10 times. But again, it does not clearly detect menopause.

What does a positive or negative result mean?

A positive test result indicates that there is a chance you are in the menopause stage, but take this result with a grain of salt. See your doctor to be sure.

A negative test result may still not assure 100% that you are not in menopause. So if you get a negative result but still experience symptoms of menopause, you could be in perimenopause stage. Observe your symptoms and consult your doctor.

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