Menopause

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Menopause Guide

Alison Beaver

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ask: how do I get my hormones checked? What do I ask my doctor? Do I need to go to a doctor to have them checked?

By Anonymous

How do I know if my hormones are out of balance? Is the test expensive? I have gained weight and just had my 50th birthday and can't seem to shed the recent pounds.

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Diane Porter

Anon, thank you for your question, and welcome to Empowher!

I want to pat you on the back for thinking about getting your hormones checked. Many women deal with the symptoms and issues of perimenopause and/or menopause for years before they take a proactive step with their hormones.

Getting your hormones checked is an easy and painless thing. It just requires blood to be drawn at your doctor's office. Do you have an ob/gyn who you've seen in the past? Do you have insurance? If so, it should just be a copayment. If not, you will want to call your doctor's office ahead of time and ask them what the total cost would be. Sometimes they will work with you if they tell them you don't have insurance.

As I'm sure you know, it's really hard to get prices for lab tests and procedures ahead of time. But here's one lab that does a variety of tests and actually lists their prices online. It will give you an idea of what you might be looking at. It looks like most multiple-function tests run between $90 and $200:

http://www.blood-check.com/tests.htm

Are you in perimenopause, do you know? Stubborn weight gain is definitely one of the symptoms, but there are many others -- irregular periods, hot flashes, moodiness and fatigue, to name a few. Here's a good primer on symptoms of perimenopause:

http://womenshealth.about.com/od/menopaus1/a/perimenopausesy.htm

Where do you live? Do you need help finding a doctor or a lab that will help you get your hormone levels tested without insurance?

March 25, 2009 - 10:31am
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