If you have an infection, a high white blood cell count will tell all. And if law enforcement authorities want to determine if you are legally drunk, blood-alcohol levels can also send you to jail.
So, surely if you’re beginning to exhibit classic symptoms of perimenopause such as erratic menstrual cycles, hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings and insomnia, lab tests will confirm it, right? Wrong.
In fact, a lab test alone is probably the least dependable barometer of the onset of perimenopause. Yet, physicians continue to use them to dismiss women who believe they are in perimenopause because the results say their blood work is “normal.”
So, what’s a girl to do?
What Do Lab Tests Look For in Perimenopause?
When your physician administers a blood test to determine if you are in perimenopause, he or she is looking for a hormone that is secreted by your pituitary gland called FSH.
FSH or follicle stimulating hormone, is a hormone that is secreted by your body in response to low estrogen levels.
When a woman is in perimenopause, it is assumed she will have low estrogen and progesterone levels and hence, there will a higher presence of FSH in her blood. While FSH levels are certainly an indicator of whether you are in perimenopause or not, it should not be presumed that you are or are not based primarily on high or low FSH levels.