In menopause, the ovaries have ceased releasing eggs and producing much estrogen. As a response, the pituitary gland in the brain increases the secretion of Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) in an attempt to stimulate the ovaries.
FSH levels are thus typically quite high in women who are in menopause. A level of FSH over 40 to 50 IU/L is usually considered to be in the menopausal range. Some sources consider levels to be menopausal if they’re consistently over 30 to 40 IU/L.
However, it’s important to remember that these levels can fluctuate and may not alone be sufficient to diagnose menopause. Other factors, such as symptoms and cessation of menstrual periods for 12 consecutive months, are also used for a definitive diagnosis of menopause.
Additionally, other health conditions can cause high FSH levels, so this test isn’t exclusively diagnostic for menopause. For these reasons, it’s crucial to discuss these matters with a healthcare provider for accurate diagnosis and treatment.