A menopause test that doctors can perform checks the level of follicle stimulating hormones circulating in a woman's blood stream. There is a long list of menopause symptoms that a woman may suffer from. The most common complaints are hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, mood swings and headaches. The exact cause of these and other symptoms is unknown. Not all women experience them and some women experience others.
Another menopause test that a doctor may perform involves taking a sample of the cells of the vaginal wall. This is a simple and painless procedure. An individual woman's list of menopause symptoms may include vaginal dryness and painful intercourse. During menopause the vaginal walls thin and vaginal cells do not contain as much estrogen as they once did. This menopause test will help your doctor determine an appropriate treatment.
Over the years researchers have evaluated a long list of menopause symptoms to try and determine which ones are related to decreased estrogen production, which are simply related to aging and which are related to life events that may coincide with menopause. The following symptoms are sometimes associated with menopause: dizziness, lack of energy, diarrhea, constipation, depression, backaches, upset stomach, headaches, migraines, cold sweats, body aches, stiff joints, shortness of breath at rest and upon exertion, nervous tension, urine control problems, bladder infection problems, discomfort passing urine, rapid heart beat, hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, vaginal discharge, dry eyes, nose mouth and skin, weight gain, breast soreness or tenderness, tingling in the hands or feet, sore throat, trouble sleeping, chest pain on exertion, loss of appetite, swelling of body parts and difficulty concentrating.
About 50% of all women experience hot flashes and night sweats at some point during the menopausal transition. Only about 10% experience them during the years leading up to menopause. The percentage increases as menopause approaches and in women who have them, they often continue for three years following menopause, if they are not treated. Treatment options include hormone replacement therapy, stress management techniques, acupuncture, herbal remedies and dietary supplements.
Natural estrogen produced by the body is known to affect the elasticity, thickness and moisture in of the skin. Thus, vaginal dryness and dry skin are probably symptoms of low estrogen levels. Estrogen creams and a ring that is inserted into the vagina and releases small amounts of estrogen on a regular basis are treatment options for vaginal dryness. Researchers are working on a cream that contains red clover isoflavones to relieve dry skin, improve skin thickness and elasticity.
Breast soreness and tenderness decreases as menopause approaches and is not experienced by most women during or following menopause. Treatment options include anti-inflammatories and analgesics. Supplements containing berries from the Chaste tree have shown some effectiveness and are non-estrogenic.
Headaches and migraines may be associated with fluctuating hormonal levels. Women who experience migraines during puberty often see them return during menopause. Some migraine remedies contain relatively large amounts of caffeine, which triggers hot flashes in many women. There are natural pain relievers that may be effective for headache and migraine relief.
Trouble sleeping is often caused by night sweats. It can also be a symptom of depression. Chest pain and shortness of breath should be evaluated by a physician. Heart palpitations or rapid heart beat is often associated with hot flashes and is not usually dangerous, but women who have a long list of menopause symptoms should have a complete physical to rule out other health problems. Doctors do not always perform a menopause test, unless a woman requests it.
To learn more about menopause symptoms and natural products that provide relief, please visit the Menopause and PMS Guide.