Menopause

Menopause Blood Test Results: How to Read Them & What They Mean

Team Peanut
Team Peanut15 days ago5 min read

Everything you need to know about menopause blood test results: how to read them and what to expect before and after menopause.

Menopause Blood Test Results: How to Read Them

Something they never teach in school is how to read menopause blood test results.











Don’t worry.

We’re here to help.

Working out whether you’re in menopause or not can feel like a bit of a guessing game.

Add in questions about perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause — where one starts and the other ends — and yep, it gets even more confusing.

Aside from tracking your menopausal symptoms, hormonal blood tests are one of the most common ways of discovering where you are in your menopause journey.

Here’s exactly what they are and how they work.

In this article: 📝

  • Can you tell menopause from a blood test?
  • How do I read my menopause lab results?
  • What should your FSH level be during menopause?
  • How do you read estrogen test results?
  • What do menopause blood tests check for?
  • Menopause blood test results — the bottom line

Can you tell menopause from a blood test?

On the whole, yes.

With the right background information about your symptoms, a doctor can use hormonal blood tests to assess whether you’re likely in menopause or not.

Menopause is twelve months after your last period.

The time leading up to it when you may start experiencing symptoms is called perimenopause.

And the time after it?

Postmenopause.

When you hit menopause, you’d expect to find low levels of the sex hormone estradiol, a form of estrogen.

With this, the levels of the hormones that have been helping with the functioning of your ovaries — FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) and LH (Luteinizing Hormone) — will likely be raised.

Here’s why this happens:

During perimenopause and menopause, the ovaries gradually stop working as estrogen production slows.

The brain then kicks into gear and sends out extra FSH and LH to stimulate them.

But these hormones can fluctuate massively on a daily basis, so tracking them over time is key.

If a menopause blood test confirms low estradiol levels and raised FSH levels, the test is usually repeated roughly six weeks later.

How do I read my menopause lab results?

First thing to know is that there’s no single “correct” level when it comes to reading menopause blood test results.

On your results, you’ll probably see a reference range (sometimes also known as normal values) which are just the average ranges found in healthy individuals.

While most people sit within this range, lots won’t — and that’s OK!

Even if your results are outside the reference range (for instance, with very high FSH or LH), this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve started menopause.

Equally, even if you’ve still got high levels of estradiol, you might experience menopause symptoms.

If this is the case, further tests may be needed.

To help you through, here are a few common abbreviations you might see and what they mean:

  • IU/L: International units per liter
  • mIU/mL: Milli-international units per milliliter
  • mmol/L: Millimoles per liter
  • ng/dL: Nanograms per decilitre
  • ng/mL: Nanograms per milliliter
  • nmol/L: Nanomoles per liter
  • pg (picogram): One-trillionth of a gram
  • pg/mL: Picograms per milliliter

What should your FSH level be during menopause?

FSH is released by the pituitary gland, stimulating the ovaries to produce eggs.

It’s also found in men, helping the production of sperm.

As discussed, when women go through menopause, FSH often increases.

Blood test results showing FSH levels over 30 mIU/mL often indicate menopause.

Here are the typical reference ranges:

  • Pre-Menopause: 4.7 - 21.5 mIU/mL
  • Post-Menopause: 25.8 - 134.8 mIU/mL

Remember that an FSH test on it’s own is not a conclusive test for menopause.

How do you read estrogen test results?

Estrogen test results look at estradiol.

This is a form of estrogen found in both women and men.

It plays a key role in sexual functions, helping with organ development, parts of pregnancy, body weight, and metabolism.

As you go through menopause, estradiol levels decrease.

Typical reference ranges are:

  • Pre-Menopause: 30 - 400 pg/mL
  • Post-Menopause: 0 - 30 pg/mL

What do menopause blood tests check for?

FSH and estradiol are the two most common things menopause blood tests look at.

But you might also see results for progesterone, testosterone, and the luteinizing hormone (LH).

Here’s what to expect for each:

Luteinizing Hormone (LH)

LH helps regulate the ovaries in women and testicles in men. It controls the menstrual cycle and triggers the release of an egg. It rises during menopause, with a typical post-menopausal range of 14.2 to 52.3 IU/L.

Testosterone

In women, testosterone is produced in small amounts by the ovaries.

It plays a key role in our sex drive, fertility, and menstrual cycle.

Testosterone often drops during menopause, with “normal” amounts ranging from 15 to 70 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL) of blood.

Progesterone

Progesterone helps prepare the uterus for pregnancy and plays a key role in breastfeeding.

It can rise as high as 15.90 to 63.60 nmol/L in the luteal phase of our cycles (that’s just the time between ovulation and before your period starts), and decreases during menopause.

Levels less than 3.18 nmol/L are common post-menopause.

Menopause blood test results — the bottom line

While menopause blood test results can be a helpful tool, they’re not conclusive.

There are many pieces of this puzzle, and everyone’s picture looks different.

The best thing to do is navigate this journey with your doctor.

And if you need support along the way, we’ve got you.

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