Health News: Timing the Final Menstrual Period

Researchers at UCLA have developed a formula using the levels of two hormones to estimate when the final menstrual period would occur. The calculation relies on changing levels of estradiol—a hormone present in the ovary—and follicle stimulating hormone, a hormone in the brain that gives instructions to the ovary. As women go through menopause, follicle stimulating hormone levels rise and estradiol levels dip.

Currently physicians monitor bleeding patterns to determine the menopause transition stage. But over 60 percent of women classified as early perimenopausal become postmenopausal without any additional clinical bleeding signal. The ability to predict final menstrual period is significant because in the year leading up to it women face accelerated bone loss and increased cardiovascular risk.