Doctors have warned that those who invest in menopause testing kits could be wasting their money. The tests, which can be purchased without a prescription at a cost of £10, claim to be able to diagnose the menopause from the comfort of your own home. However, they may not be as effective as you think.
Here, we look at menopause self-tests and why doctors are warning against using them for a diagnosis.
What is a menopause testing kit?
Do-at-home, menopause testing kits claim to provide a result in just a matter of minutes. They are a urine test designed to detect follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels. These hormones are known to aid in the management of the menstrual cycle.
These UK-approved menopause tests appeal to women as they can be carried out from the comfort of their home, without the need to see a doctor. The results are also provided a lot more quickly than if you were to go visit your GP.
They are designed to be taken twice over a couple of weeks to confirm the diagnosis. They have proven extremely popular in recent years, but they may not be as effective as you might think.
Why doctors warn against using them
While FSH levels can be an indicator of the menopause and perimenopause, they cannot diagnose the condition alone. Doctors are warning that the tests could be unreliable and unhelpful to patients. In particular, women over 45 who are experiencing symptoms such as hot flushes will find them to be a waste of time.
If patients do want to use the tests, it is important to seek advice. Whatever the result, it should be double checked to ensure an accurate diagnosis. Importantly, as FSH levels aren’t enough of an indicator to diagnose the menopause, additional checks should be conducted. As well as getting far more accurate testing, the best advice women can receive about managing their symptoms would be from an expert.
Menopause health checks
It can take a while to receive a diagnosis for the menopause when patients visit their GP. However, an accurate and fast diagnosis can be provided by women’s health specialists.
Annual check-ups with a specialist can help to diagnose the menopause and perimenopause as early as possible. They include a BMI and blood pressure check and a consultation with a gynaecologist. Additionally, blood tests, pelvic and abdominal exams, and a hormone profile can be done if needed.
If you are concerned you may be going through the menopause, book a consultation with one of our expert gynaecologists today. We provide a thorough menopause health check to help detect the condition as early as possible.