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High FSH & Menopause

Catherine McDiarmid-Watt | Sunday, August 26, 2007 | 0 comments

My doctor says I am in menopause because my FSH level is high. I'm still having periods, sometimes very heavy ones, and I thought menopause was the point at which your periods stop.


Menopause is defined as the point in time when a woman has gone 12 consecutive months without a menstrual period. The average age in the US is 50-51. It used to be thought that a high FSH level was an indicator of menopause, and it is true that menopausal and postmenopausal women have high FSH levels.

However, we know from research studies that the FSH level begins to rise at age 30 and increases through the 30s and 40s. Because of this information, the FSH level is now considered to be an unreliable marker of menopause, yet many doctors continue to use this test. You may be in perimenopause, the years during the late 30s and 40s leading up to menopause. Changes in menstrual flow, including heavier periods, are common in women during the perimenopausal years.


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About Catherine: I am mom to three grown sons, two grandchildren and two rescue dogs. After years of raising my boys as a single mom, I remarried a wonderful man who had never had a child of his own. Unexpectedly, I found myself pregnant at 49!
Sadly we lost that precious baby at 8 weeks, and decided to try again. Five more losses, turned down for donor egg, foster care and adoption due to my age and losses - we have accepted that there will be no more babies in our house.

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