How Can I Tell Whether I’m In Perimenopause?

In the majority of cases, a blood test won't help. Ask yourself these questions instead.
Several women across tiles, representing the spectrum of people who experience menopause (Illustrations: Nicole Rifkin)

It’s the million-dollar question with no straightforward answer. “Unless your doctor suspects primary ovarian insufficiency or premature menopause, there’s no point in doing a blood test,” says Dr. Shafeena Premji, a Calgary-based doctor who holds a menopause practitioner certification from The Menopause Society. “It won’t tell you anything except your hormone levels at that moment in time.”

Instead, she suggests consulting the questions from the MQ6 menopause evaluation tool, developed by a Canadian physician. If you answer yes to any of the following questions, discuss with your doctor:

  • Are you experiencing any changes in your periods?
  • Are you having any hot flashes? 
  • Are you experiencing dryness, pain or other sexual concerns?
  • Are you experiencing any bladder issues or incontinence?
  • Are you experiencing sleep difficulties?
  • Are you experiencing new or increased anxiety, irritability, depression or low mood? 


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