These four panels provide measurements of six key hormones: progesterone, estradiol, estrone, estriol, testosterone, and DHEA. The extended panels also measure FSH and LH to address pituitary involvement. Complex patient data is reported in an easy-to-read, customized format.

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Postmenopause and Perimenopause Panels: Provider Overview

Advantages of Salivary Testing

Saliva hormone levels reflect the active tissue fraction, and they correlate more closely with clinical symptoms than serum hormone levels.

Significant Perimenopausal Hormone Changes

Just as gonadal hormone levels begin to cycle long before the initiation of menses, there are substantial shifts in hormone levels prior to the onset of menopause. Some of the most important changes are summarized below.

Neuroendocrine Hormone Changes

  • Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) levels increase progressively (threefold to sevenfold their prior average values).
  • Increases in FSH levels appear to correlate with an increased severity in hot flashes, a higher rate of bone loss, and poor sleep quality.
  • Increases in LH appear to correlate with decreased output of progesterone.

Ovarian Changes

  • There is a gradual decrease in the number of functional follicles.
  • The follicles are less responsive to regulation by FSH and LH.
  • Estradiol fluctuations are exaggerated.
  • Progesterone production gradually declines and eventually flattens out.
  • As ovarian function declines, the adrenal androgen contribution approaches 90% of the total.
  • Adipose tissue estrogen becomes a larger fraction of the total circulating estrogen.

What Hormones are Measured?

The Postmenopause Hormone Panel (PostM) provides measurements of six key hormones:

  1. Estrone (E1)
  2. Estradiol (E2)
  3. Estriol (E3)
  4. Progesterone
  5. Testosterone
  6. DHEA & DHEA-S

The Perimenopause Hormone Panel (PeriM) contains the same components as the PostM, but is sampled twice, approximately 14 days apart.

The inclusion of FSH and LH in the expanded Postmenopause Hormone Panel (ePostM) and expanded Perimenopause Hormone Panel (ePeriM), extends the interpretation to include pituitary involvement.

Clinical Applications of the Postmenopause (PostM) and Perimenopause (PeriM) Hormone Panels

The Postmenopause Hormone Panel and Perimenopause Hormone Panel provide a comprehensive view of hormone levels (and potential fluctuations), and may be used to identify deficits and imbalances in progesterone, estradiol, estrone, estriol, testosterone and DHEA levels. The PostM and ePostM Panels are most applicable for women who no longer have menstrual cycles (>1 year), whereas the PeriM and ePeriM Panels are indicated for women who still have menses with irregular or unpredictable cycles.

The Postmenopause and Perimenopause Hormone Panels are useful for women with any of the following concerns:

  • Menopausal symptoms
  • Weight gain
  • Memory loss or other cognitive issues
  • Osteoporosis or loss of bone mineral density
  • Increased risk of breast or uterine cancer
  • Possible exposure to unwanted exogenous hormones
  • Natural hormone treatment and complementary therapies (monitoring hormone levels)