If you get really ratty and want to stab your partner and children you are pre-menstural. If you are really ratty and feel the need to take up something new, like trainspotting you are perimenopausal. If you have a beard and your voice sounds good whilst saying "mine's a pint" you are menopausal.
Hi BFM, You can ask your GP for a FSH test. This is folicile stimulant hormone, it is the hormone that is released by your body to coax your ovaries into releasing an egg. The older you are the more of the hormone you need to get the ovaries to respond. So the lower the level of FSH the better as it means your ovaries only need a small amount of stimulation. They can also test for ovarian reserve to look at your eggs. There are other hormone indicators like Estrogen etc. It's worth going to your doctor and asking for these tests to know where you stand. Hope this helps.
My counsellor suggested I have my bloods checked for menopausal markers given my symptoms several months ago - crashing tiredness, lethargy, weight gain, 'hot spots' rather than flushes and a general feeling that life would be complete if I successfully murdered all my family...hmmm. Just as well really, it all checked out and I've been on HRT for a month now...feels a bit creepy, frankly, but not as creepy as incarceration on a quadruple murder charge because someone forgot to put the lid down on the loo. Too soon to tell quite how much of an effect these drugs are having - not cheap, either....(hmm)
Be aware that any hormone tests can be inaccurate- they only tell you what is going on at that very moment.
I had a whole battery of tests in January- I'm 53- which showed I was through the menopause- I had only missed 3 months of periods, but several had been very light for about a year, and had 3 weeks of light flushing.
I had had very few meno. symptoms down mainly I think to my lifestyle- diet and loads of exercise.
HOWEVER since my gynae told me it was all over, I have had 2 periods- one a mega one and one a light one- he says my body is not ready to give up yet!
So just be warned- these FSH tests etc only give you an insight on that particular day. They really need to be done several times over several months.