A menopause test from Kruidvat: reliable or not? Gynaecologist: “I’m not against it” | Nina

A menopause test from Kruidvat: reliable or not? Gynaecologist: “I’m not against it” | Nina
A menopause test from Kruidvat: reliable or not? Gynaecologist: “I’m not against it” | Nina
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Sooner or later, every woman ends up in menopause. Vaping, moodiness and sleep problems can be an indication. If you want a quick answer, just walk into Kruidvat. Nowadays you can buy self-tests there that measure whether you are in menopause. But are they reliable? “The combination of these two factors allows us to know with certainty whether a woman is in menopause.”

You can now buy menopause tests at various stores, such as bol.com or Kruidvat. At Kruidvat you pay there 7.99 euros for. The test would let you know within minutes whether you are in menopause. “You have been able to obtain such tests, which analyze urine, through pharmacies for some time now,” says gynecology professor Gilbert Donders.

“Such self-tests measure the level of a certain hormone, FHS, that stimulates the follicles. If the amount of FHS in the urine is high, the test will indicate that you are in menopause. Such a test can be an indication, but you can also have a false positive test.”

This is how menopause works: the hormone FHS is increased

“The ovaries are controlled by a gland in the brain called the pituitary gland. This causes a cycle with ovulation every month. The pituitary gland responds to hormone levels in the blood coming from the ovaries. Depending on dips and peaks in estrogen levels, the pituitary gland knows it is time to stimulate the ovaries.”

“At some point in every woman’s life, the ovaries become exhausted, sold out, so to speak. When the number of remaining eggs drops below four hundred, the ovary is no longer able to produce estrogen. In response to this drop in estrogen, the pituitary gland tries to wake up the ovary by producing FHS, a hormone that stimulates the follicles. If the ovary no longer has enough eggs, the production of that hormone continues to increase, without the ovary being able to respond.”

Photo for illustration. © Getty Images

But there could also be something else going on

“FHS is excreted through urine, so you can measure it with such a self-test. An increased amount will indicate that you are in menopause. But the level in the blood is not always proportional to that in the urine. We do not know how slowly or how quickly the kidneys excrete that hormone.”

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In the phase leading up to menopause, perimenopause, there are episodes that resemble menopause.

Gynecologist Gilbert Donders

“A second important note: in the phase leading up to menopause, perimenopause, there are large fluctuations in the production of FHS. There may be episodes that resemble menopause, but also episodes where everything is completely normal. The FHS level can be very high at a certain time when you take the test. But two months later the amount of FHS is still low again.”

“You may also have an increased FHS level in your urine because your ovaries are no longer functioning properly, for example because you have PCOS. Women then think they are in menopause, but it is actually a malfunction of the ovaries, something that is reversible.”

“So you can do a self-test that tests your urine for FHS. An increased amount will indicate that you are in menopause. But that is also not the case, and you are in perimenopause or you have PCOS, and you menstruate again a few months later. Or do you suddenly become unwanted pregnant.”

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A blood test is the only reliable indication to determine whether a woman is in menopause.

Gynecologist Gilbert Donders

This is the only foolproof indication of whether you are in menopause

“A blood test is the only reliable indication to determine whether a woman is in menopause. We then measure two things. Not just the quantity FHS, which is increased by the pituitary gland. But also the amount of the hormone estraniol, which drops because it can no longer be produced by the ovary. The combination of these two factors allows us to say with certainty that a woman is in menopause.”

“I am not against such self-tests, but I am against blind faith in them. I have seen women who thought they were in menopause, which I thought was a bit early. I sent them to Leuven and said: strange that there are already hormones that indicate menopause. But in Leuven they confirmed that it was menopause. A few months later that woman returned pregnant.”

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If you are 52 years old and suffer from vaping and moodiness, we can suspect that these are natural consequences of menopause.

Gynecologist Gilbert Donders

In short: handle such self-tests with caution. “But let’s be honest. If you are 52 years old, suffer from vaping and moodiness, and such a self-test is positive, then we can suspect that these are natural consequences of menopause. But sometimes women’s complaints are also a little less classic and unclear. To be sure that it is menopause, we always do a blood test. To rule out that there is nothing else going on that may require psychiatric treatment.”

Also read:

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What if you stop taking the pill? Expert on the consequences: “It takes a while before the ovaries do their thing again” (+)

More and more women are engaging in ‘social freezing’. How does it work and what does it cost? “It’s not a guarantee” (+)

Rapper Cardi B came up with a ‘cocktail’ with Ibuprofen to skip her period. How does it work? (+)

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The article is in Dutch

Tags: menopause test Kruidvat reliable Gynaecologist Nina

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