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Ask Dr. Norm S. Your Own Question
Dr. Norm S.
Dr. Norm S., Board Certified OB/GYN
Category: OB GYN
Satisfied Customers: 11058
Experience:  Over 30 years of experience in OB/GYN practice, including teaching students. Fellow of American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
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I am 53 and was on birth control pills continuously for 17

Customer Question

I am 53 and was on birth control pills continuously for 17 years. After I stopped the pill at 52, I continued getting my period for the next year, sometimes heavy, sometimes lighter, but I got something every month or 6 weeks or so. My FSH was just tested at 53 which, according to my doctor, means I am post-menopausal. Could I still be getting periods with that FSH level?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: OB GYN
Expert:  Dr. Norm S. replied 4 months ago.

The FSH measurement is not a good indicator of menopause. Since FSH goes up when estrogen goes down, a high FSH just means that estrogen was low at the time the blood was drawn. Estrogen levels tend to fluctuate from low to high until the ovaries finally stop working (menopause).

As long as you're getting periods, your ovaries are still working, and you are not yet post-menopausal.

Once you've gone a year without periods, then you are post-menopausal.

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