Are there tests for perimenopause?

ABC News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jen Ashton answers your health questions and shares her daily prescription for wellness.
2:39 | 01/26/23

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Transcript for Are there tests for perimenopause?
- We're now with Dr. Jen. She's joining us back now with a medical topic. - Yeah, she's out in warm Los Angeles, not cold as ice out there. Dr. Jen, good to see you. So let's talk perimenopause, a lot of women going through this. Are there actual tests you can ask your doctor for if you think you're going through perimenopause? JENNIFER ASHTON: Well, there are. But let's back up for a second. First of all, perimenopause can actually start 10 years before a woman officially enters menopause, which we define as 12 months without a menstrual period. So yes, even potentially a 40-year-old or even a 38-year-old could start having some kinds of symptoms, which, listen, range head to toe. So oftentimes, women will come in and say, I want to be tested for perimenopause or menopause. And as I said, that's usually a diagnosis we make by looking backwards. So in terms of blood tests, you can ask for, checking your thyroid is hormones 101. So that's easy to do. And then there are two other blood tests that we use to kind of give us a measure of how the ovaries are acting. One is called inhibin. One is called FSH. And again, that with a good history of what's going on with that woman can give us some information. But this is not a diagnosis that we usually make until it's in our rearview mirror. So it can be a little tricky. - All right, it's time now for your prescription for wellness. - Yep, and comes from my colleagues in the world of mental health, some tips on how to deal not just with overall day-to-day stress, although this can help too, but traumatic stress. So number one, validate your experience. This is how we talk to ourselves by recognizing what we've been through. That's the first step in dealing with it. In terms of sleep, you guys, sleeping with a weighted blanket, I don't know if you've ever tried that, but it can give the sensation of actually being held. And that physical support can be helpful mentally as well. And then this, very cool, just having a positive thought for 12 seconds has been found in some studies to actually help reset the neurons in our brain and stimulate kind of that positive message and connectivity on a cellular neurologic level. So 12 seconds, just tell yourself, I'm going to be fine. Things are OK. I'm safe. That type of mental thought and dialogue is really therapeutic. - That's pretty cool, 12 seconds. - I love that. - Yeah, got to adapt that quickly. - And teach our kids as well. - There you go. - Well, thank you, Dr. Jen. - Thank you very much. - You bet. - And you can submit your own questions to us right here at ABCGMA3.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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