Menopause test kits work like pregnancy tests – they will tell if a woman is entering menopause by checking the level of the hormones in the urine.
First, a little vernacular:
A woman is not actually deemed to be ‘in menopause’ until one year after her last menses – her last period. During that one year period, she is considered to be in perimenopause.
During peri-menopause, she might have another period which resets the menopause clock to another full year. This can be a huge bummer as it happened to me quite a few times.
A woman is considered to be in menopause only if she has gone a full year without a period.
Over-the-counter menopause test kits are usually used after a woman has missed a few periods in a row, provided, of course, she’s not pregnant. The menopause test kit works by detecting the level of a hormone called FSH either in urine or in saliva. FSH is a hormone that naturally increases in younger women as they ovulate. Normal readings of FSH are under 12 but, as ovulation occurs, FSH will increase in the reproductive active woman. After ovulation, the FSH level goes back to under 12.
But, in women who are entering menopause, the FSH level is somewhere around 25 and remains high. If the FSH level remains high, the woman is in menopause.