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    7 months and counting ..
    An_246914 posted:
    My last period was the first week in January 2013. These 216 days since my last period (not that I am counting lol) have been interesting.

    Feb, March and April I had bad hot flashes, day and night, they have seemed to settle down to 1 or 2 a day. Some days I feel moody, but really not too bad.

    I have no bloating, no cravings, no cramping as I did when I had regular periods.

    I have been missing periods since October 2010, long and short cycles during all that time. This is the longest I've gone. I do notice this time I have very little cervical mucus. Not completely dry, but very very little.

    I found menopause testing kits at the drug store, only $1 each, claiming to be 99% accurate. I bought one, it was negative. I've now taked 3, they are all negative.

    I will be 54 in 2 months, have all the signs of perimenopause, how can these tests be negative ?
    Mary Jane Minkin, MD responded:
    Dear An_246914,
    You clearly sound perimenopausal. I'm not sure what to make of these kits; I have my doubts that any kit for $1 is going to tell you a lot. The test that they should be doing is to check FSH, or follicle stimulating hormone-and in menopause, it is elevated. Two possibilities: as you are not fully menopausal, you might be going to get a period shortly, and your FSH might well not be elevated. Also, the kits could be useless. You certainly ask your health care provider to order a blood FSH level, which would most likely be elevated; I do not recommend these to my patients, because I ask "What info is this test going to give you? Even if it's elevated, it doesn't mean you are done having periods." (now if I have someone who is 35 and doing no periods and hot flashes, I do indeed want to test her to see what is going on). Now, there are some reputable tests available, which I believe cost about $25. One of these is by the makers of the First Response home pregnancy test kit (and full disclosure: I have consulted for them in the past) and the kit is officially described as measuring ovarian reserve -and in perimenopause, your ovarian reserve is significantly diminished-so I bet that test would show you that your FSH is elevated, if you want to know about it.
    Hope that's helpful,
    Good luck,
    Mary Jane
    detoxx replied to Mary Jane Minkin, MD's response:
    Thank you for your quick reply. The at home tests I took are New Choice Menopause test Kit. They test FSH and claim to show a positive at 25 and higher.

    I am also charting my basal temperatures, so I know that the last time I ovulated was on December 26, 2012. with a normal length period that started on January 8, 2013.

    Both my gp and gyn are very much in the mindset of let nature take it's course.. my symptoms are mild, and they tell me at my age, I am right on time. Testing isn't necessary. That said, I do have a very high deductible and testing would be out of pocket.

    If I make it to the one year mark this time, can I consider myself in menopause not fertile ?

    [a onclick="LoginCreatePost(this,'menopause-exchange','3'); return false;" id=exchange-post-enabled_A1 class=template-reply-post style="CURSOR: pointer; COLOR: #006699">
    Mary Jane Minkin, MD replied to detoxx's response:
    Dear Detoxx,
    Yes, with one year of no periods at this time you can say you are indeed menopausal, and not fertile. I would agree with your health providers that you do not need blood tests-
    Good luck,
    Mary Jane

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