Do you know that it is now possible to predict the time of menopause in women through tracking the final period? The new study says that it is now possible by some blood tests that would replace the natural menstrual periods as a standard. This research is published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.
The main marker involved in this regard is the anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH). By measuring the level of this hormone, it can be predicted when the final menstrual period will occur. This hormone acts as an indicator as it can estimate the number of remaining eggs in a woman. At the time of birth, women have a total amount of eggs for her lifetime and after puberty, the number of eggs decreases with age which ultimately leads her to menopause.
Nanette Santoro who is co-lead author of the paper at the University of Colorado Medical School in Aurora, Colo stated that the development of new ways for estimating the time of the final menstrual period has been a challenge in this field.
By using the bleeding patterns and available test we can predict the time of menopause. But it can only help us to find four years period. This is not useful in a clinical setup. If women were offered complete information through sensitive and innovative anti-Mullerian measurements, they can perform better in taking medical decisions.
AMH provides some additional information regarding the exact timing of the occurrence of menopause. This is useful for women who are planning to have surgery for managing fibroids. It also helps the woman if she thinks to stop taking the birth control pill. If the level of AMH is low in women, then this is an indicator of menopause.
This study is a prospective longitudinal cohort study and is part of the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN). The sample size chosen by the researchers in this study was 1537 blood samples of women having age between 42 to 63.
Long term changes in the health of women were observed by the researchers as they approached the transition time of menopause. Anti-Mullerian hormone level and follicle-stimulating hormone (another reproductive hormone) level had been checked in the blood samples of women.
The more sensitive test was used by the researcher for measuring the level of AMH in the blood samples of participants. This test is far better than the previously available tests. Through this process, it is feasible to predict the time of the final menstrual period in women within 12 to 24 months usually in their late 40s and 50s.
Joel S. Finkelstein who is a co-author from the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Mass, said that researchers thought AMH is the main indicator of timing of menopause in women and this could be detected by new test but this test is not so sensitive that it can detect the low level of AMH in the women that have just occurred before one or two years of menopause.
For more accurate results, it is required to follow women long enough as in cohort study like Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN) year after years until their menopause would occur. This will give you the necessary data for predicting the exact value of the Anti-Mullerian hormone in women at the time of menopause.