Menopause Or Pregnancy?

Some women often get to the point of being uncertain whether menopause or pregnancy is the cause of their period problems.

The reason is because there is a central symptom common to menopause and
pregnancy, that is, absent menses. But should this be a difficult
question to resolve?

Why The Difficulty?

During the last years of perimenopause in which a woman approaches
the complete cessation of menses, menses become irregular and may occur
after 2 to 4 or sometimes even 6 months. Remember that you are not in
menopause until you do not have menses for 12 consecutive months.

Also,
during these periods of irregular menses, you are still fertile and
liable to pregnancy. If appropriate measures are not taken, you may have
a late pregnancy. Some women therefore get into this perimenopausal
period and after having missed a period, they get somewhat mixed up if
the absent menses is part of the perimenopausal process or due to
pregnancy.

Dealing With The Problem

This question is hardly ever a difficult one to deal with. The first
and most important step to settle this question is to do a urine
pregnancy test, not a menopause test! If you are uncertain whether
menopause or pregnancy is involved, just start with a pregnancy test.
There are very accurate and sensitive early pregnancy tests
now available for women. It is that simple. If the pregnancy test
turns out negative, wait for about 5 to 7 more days and repeat it. If
you are too disturbed and anxious to wait for those lengthy 5 to 7 days,
please visit your doctor for a more sensitive blood test for early
pregnancy.

The reason why this should be the first step is because
playing around your symptoms or age or last sexual intercourse etc do
nothing other than leave you still in a suspense. The only way to settle
if you are pregnant or not is to do a urine home pregnancy test.
Another crude method is just wait for the passage of time. Pregnancy
will surely show up in the next few weeks!

You may read about the very early pregnancy signs if relevant.

What About A Menopause Test?

There is a US FDA-approved home menopause test that could be used by
women. Normally, the diagnosis of menopause does not require any
testing. Just watch and wait. However, some women usually want to get a
lab test in situations like this to clarify some doubts. Most of these
tests detect Follicule Stimulating Hormone(FSH) which is high is
perimenopause. Almost every woman in perimenopause will have a high FSH
level. You will surely have a positive test if you are already in
perimenopause and this will not help in resolving your question.

In Closing

Beware that the onset of perimenopause is not the onset of
infertility. If you were normally fertile during your reproductive
years, consider yourself fertile until menopause actually occurs, that
is, no menses for 12 consecutive months. You may need to use your
contraceptive methods especially during those year of irregular
perimenopause cycles.

Should the possibility of pregnancy arise,
just get a urine pregnancy test and settle the question. If the first
one is negative, repeat it in 5 to 7 days. If it is negative, you can be
certain you are not pregnant. Go ahead and take pregnancy precautions
then.


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