-- Robert Preidt
TUESDAY, March 26 (HealthDay News) -- A new formula to predict a
woman's final menstrual period could help menopausal women fight
bone loss and reduce their heart disease risk, a new study
The formula is based on the changing levels of two hormones:
estradiol, which is found in the ovaries; and follicle-stimulating
hormone, which is present in the brain and gives instructions to
Estradiol levels fall and follicle-stimulating hormone levels
rise as women go through menopause, the University of California,
Los Angeles, researchers explained in a news release from the
Currently, doctors monitor women's menstrual bleeding patterns
to determine the menopause transition phase. However, this phase is
an imprecise indicator of when the final menstrual period will
occur, according to the authors of the study published in the April
issue of the
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
"We need a better way to answer women's questions about when to expect the final menstrual period," lead author Dr. Gail Greendale, of UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine, said in the news release.
"If further research bears out our approach, it could be the first step to developing web-based calculators and other tools women can use to estimate where they are in the menopause transition and how far away their final period is," she added.
The ability to predict a woman's final menstrual period could
prove important for their health, the researchers suggest. In the
year before the final menstrual period, women experience
accelerated bone loss and increased heart disease risk, the study
"For example, some researchers have proposed that an intervention begun one or two years before the final menstrual period would greatly decrease future fracture risk by preventing the very rapid bone loss that occurs in the few years before and few years after the final menses," Greendale said. "But before ideas such as this can be tested, we need to accurately predict where a woman is in her timeline to menopause."
The U.S. Office on Women's Health has more about
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