FSH test for menopause
a worthless, single shot in the dark blood test?
...absent some reasonable pathological indications,  it serves only as an office profit center. Can anyone tell me the best time of my cycle (I am still having periods, albeit 40+/- day cycles) to have FSH & LH blood tests done? Or is a urine FSH test more accurate? 

 This topic seems to be coming up a lot lately. Hope you don't mind walking it through a bit more with a few questions since it is getting discussed so much. First question is why are you going to be taking this test? What did your doctor tell you he/she would do with the findings? Is this covered by your insurance or are you paying out-of-pocket for it? How much is this test going to cost? Is it a 24 hour urine test or just a blood test? What do you want to know from taking this test?

 There is a post on titled "FSH Test" that explains that only a 24 hour urine test is accurate. You would need several blood tests throughout the day to measure this level for any marginal accuracy, and the lab protocol according to this source says a blood test is used only to back-up the 24 hour urine test. The FSH blood test, according to this source is NOT a stand alone test. They put this in a highlighted "Clinical Alert" note.   If you are not getting a 24 hour urine test, you therefore are not getting a reliable FSH test. And even if you do get a 24 hour urine test, there is not much to measure these values against to gain any meaningful information that in the case of menopause can not also be understood by an evaluation of common signs and symptoms. 

It appears that as a "menopause" test, it is of no value, and as a single shot in the dark blood test, it is utterly worthless, so you or your insurance company should, IMHO, demand your money back. But no one is here to "practice medicine" and this decision and these questions must be dealt with directly with your own doctor who knows and understands your own health history. I only raise these as issues here in general to maybe trigger further discussion with your MD. Advice from strangers on the internet is as good as from "a stranger sitting next to you on the bus." (Laura)

 This test is indicated, from the lab manual, for use when one is presenting with other symptoms that may indicate a frank pathology. Menopause in itself has not yet reached the diagnosis of a frank pathology, in need of confirmation by 24 hour urine tests, IMHO. And beyond that for menopause confirmation, it appears to of no value at all. Quite frankly it sounds to me and in my opinion only, that absent some reasonable pathological indications, that it serves only as an office profit center.

 Please discuss this more thoroughly with your doctor and print out the lab manual post and see what he/she is intending to look for with only a FSH blood test. Anecdote reports to have shown wildly contradictory findings when this FSH blood test has been used. You can find a copy of the post with lab manual instructions  for the FSH test at Deja News 

And since this topic is fresh, be sure to report back what your doctor says as we will then all learn more about the validity and usefulness of this particular test, that is seeming to take on  some vaulted stature for menopause.


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