Pinpointing the final menstrual period

April 11, 2013

A study appearing in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM) April 2013 issue details a model to help predict when a women will experience her final menstrual period (FMP).

 

A study appearing in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM) April 2013 issue details a model to help predict when a women will experience her final menstrual period (FMP).

Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) developed a formula using the changing levels of estradiol and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) to estimate when the final menstrual period would occur.

The researchers analyzed longitudinal data from 554 women taking part in the National Institutes of Health’s Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation to develop the model.

They modeled the probability of a woman having crossed specified landmarks: 2 years before, 1 year before, and at the time of the FMP. They also modeled the probability of being in narrower intervals: 2 years to 1 year before FMP, 2 years before FMP, and at the time of FMP, or 1 year before FMP, and at the time of FMP. They then determined the candidate markers that best predicted having crossed each landmark; created formulas for the probability of having crossed each landmark; and calculated sensitivity and specificity.

“We need a better way to answer women’s questions about when to expect the final menstrual period,” said lead author Gail Greendale, MD, in an Endocrine Society press 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.”

More than 60 percent of women who are classified as early perimenopausal become postmenopausal without any additional clinical bleeding signal, according to the Endocrine Society.