New Blood Test For Women Over 40 Predicts Timing Of Final Period

mbg Editorial Assistant By Abby Moore
mbg Editorial Assistant
Abby Moore is an Editorial Assistant at mindbodygreen. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from The University of Texas at Austin and has previously written for Tribeza magazine.

Image by Studio Firma / Stocksy

When you're going through perimenopause, it might feel like those hot flashes and restless nights will last forever, but new research published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found a way to predict their final days.

The study found measuring anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) levels in a blood test can indicate when a woman will enter menopause.

The reproductive hormone is created in the ovaries and helps indicate fertility. As women in their late 40s and early 50s begin to produce fewer eggs, AMH levels also lower.

A longitudinal study, which analyzed the health of more than 1,000 women before, during, and after menopause, allowed the researchers to evaluate changes in AMH over several years and better understand its role in predicting final periods. 

"Researchers have long thought AMH would be a superior marker of the time to menopause," said co-author Joel S. Finkelstein, M.D., "but tests haven't been sensitive enough to detect the...low levels that occur in the year or two leading up to menopause."

Until now, doctors used menstrual bleeding patterns to determine when menopause might occur, but those tests could only narrow it down within a four-year period. With AMH testing, women over 40 can predict their final periods 12 to 24 months in advance.

This information can help women who are deciding whether to cease birth control or have surgery for uterine fibroids make more thoughtful medical decisions. 

"Establishing a way to measure time to the final menstrual period has long been the holy grail of menopause research," said other author Nanette Santoro, M.D. And they've finally accomplished it.

If you're experiencing symptoms anywhere along the menopausal transition, try balancing your hormones with the Mediterranean diet or energizing your body with an essential oil blend.

Ready to learn how to fight inflammation and address autoimmune disease through the power of food? Join our 5-Day Inflammation Video Summit with mindbodygreen’s top doctors.

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