The menopause has a significant impact on women’s mental and physical health. Our menopause test kit is a health check designed to give women an understanding of the key areas of their body which are impacted by the menopause. Having access to this data will help you take positive steps to boost your wellbeing and reduce the increased health risks caused by the change in hormones.
This menopause blood test analyses biomarkers which support good bone health, hormones including follicle stimulating hormone, luteinising hormone and oestrogen, together with testosterone, thyroid function and cortisol. The changes in hormone levels also impact your risk of developing heart disease and osteoporosis. Which is why our menopause test also includes magnesium, vitamin D and cholesterol.
Testing and tracking these biomarkers over time will help you understand where you are in the transition to menopause, or measure the impact of HRT. It will also help you make any necessary lifestyle changes to improve your heart and bone health.
In addition to the well-recognised physical symptoms associated with the menopause, the drop in hormones can cause changes in mood. Feelings of anxiety and low mood can be made worse by other menopausal symptoms like a lack of sleep.
It’s estimated that 61% of women who are at the perimenopause stage experience low mood or mild depression. Research shows that an increase in these feelings at this stage are associated with fluctuations in progesterone and oestrogen.
Other conditions such as an overactive thyroid become more likely as age increases and can trigger anxiety. That’s why our menopause health check measures your thyroid hormone levels, so you can see if your thyroid function may be contributing to mood swings and other symptoms.
There are steps you can take to help improve your mental health such as eating healthily, reducing alcohol and caffeine intake. Exercise is also a good mood booster and helps to relieve stress. Activities such as yoga and meditation are also beneficial for mental wellness.
Read our study of how menopause affects women in the workplace.
Oestrogen is an important protector of bone health during a woman’s reproductive life. The reduction in oestrogen during the menopause can therefore have a negative impact on bone health. So much so that osteoporosis is the most prevalent disease in postmenopausal women.
Oestrogen deficiency reduces the normal bone turnover and results in rapid bone loss in the first few years after menopause. Ultimately, it causes weakened bones and an increased risk of fractures.
Other risk factors for osteoporosis, include:
It’s important to ensure you are getting enough vitamin D and calcium through your diet and lifestyle. Consider taking vitamin D supplements, particularly during winter months. Weight bearing exercise is also essential in building and maintaining strong bones.
Declining oestrogen levels are also implicated in the increased risk of developing heart disease in post-menopausal women.
Experts believe that oestrogen has a protective effect on the lining of the artery walls by keeping them flexible. With increasing age and reducing oestrogen levels, the blood vessels can become stiff which is a risk factor for heart attacks and stroke.
The decline in oestrogen also causes the arteries to narrow and can lead to a build up of fatty plaques on the artery walls. The build-up of plaque restricts blood flow to organs including the heart and brain.
By analysing your good and bad cholesterol as well as triglyceride levels, you can assess your risk of heart disease as you transition through the menopause.
Your results will enable you to implement lifestyle changes to help reduce your risk, such as adopting a low-fat diet or increasing your physical activity.
Want to improve your health & wellbeing? Forth gives you insight into your body’s key biomarkers. By tracking essential markers overtime you can build a picture of your own unique self and discover how your body responds to the changes you make so you can reach your personal best.
The menopause is a time in a woman’s life when she stops having periods and reaches the end of her reproductive life. It is usually a gradual process as she transitions through three stages, perimenopause, menopause, and post-menopause.
The average age of menopause in the UK is 51. Some women experience some unpleasant symptoms as changes to hormone levels occur. For example, the sudden drop in oestrogen during menopause is to blame for symptoms including hot flushes and night sweats.
It is possible to fall pregnant during the menopause. Therefore, women are advised to use contraception for two years after they had their last period if their last period was before the age of 50 and for one year if their last period occurred after the age of 50.
Therefore, it is important to note that there is no biochemical test which can rule out the possibility of further ovulation, including our at home menopause check. Read More.
Hormone replacement therapy is considered the most effective treatment for the management of menopausal symptoms. It works by replacing the hormones whose levels decrease at the time of menopause. There are three main hormones used in HRT, oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone and it comes in a variety of preparations including tablets, implants, gel, and skin patches.
The main benefit of HRT is it helps to relieve most menopausal symptoms like low mood, hot flushes and night sweats and can also help to support bone health. Using HRT is a personal choice and should be discussed with your GP, so you understand the pros and cons.
Some women choose not to use it for personal or medical reasons while others choose to use herbal remedies like black cohosh or St John’s Wort. However, it is worth noting that black cohosh can help relieve hot flushes but doesn’t help with feelings of anxiety or low mood. St John’s Wort, on the other hand, helps with the vasomotor symptoms and can boost mood.
The symptoms of the menopause can vary widely, but the most common symptoms are:
Read our Guide To Menopause Symptoms.
Diet may not directly impact specific physical symptoms, although reducing caffeine, and alcohol may help reduce hot flushes, but following a healthy, balanced diet can help to reduce the risk of diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis.
Post-menopausal women are at a greater risk of cardiovascular disease which can cause heart attacks and strokes because of the drop in oestrogen levels. The low oestrogen levels can increase the amount of bad (LDL) cholesterol in the blood and may result in a build-up of fatty deposits on the walls of the arteries, limiting blood flow. For a healthy heart, it is important to:
Exercise is important before, during and after the menopause, particularly because it will benefit muscle mass as well as bone mass and strength. It is recommended that post-menopausal women should take part in two and a half hours of moderate aerobic activity per week. Strength exercises are also essential during this time of life.
Physical activity such as yoga helps improve sleep while breathing exercises may help to alleviate stress.
Would you prefer to test more biomarkers in the same sample of blood? All our tests are customisable and can be tested in just one sample of blood. Click the button below to add more biomarkers to this test.