Columbia University

Technology Ventures

Diagnostic kit for detecting and predicting the onset of menopause

Technology #728

Menopause, marked by the cessation of ovulation and disruption of the female neurohormonal axis, affects all women and can be associated with significant medical symptoms such as insomnia, depression, osteoporosis, etc. Doctors typically diagnose menopause using readily observable clinical criteria such as physical symptoms and a patient’s age range. However, under circumstances where a patient is suffering from symptoms consistent with both menopause and another condition, doctors commonly order a number of invasive blood tests in order to assess whether or not menopause is the true cause. This technology is a non-invasive urine test for menopause that may significantly lower the complexity and cost of sample collection and processing. It not only detects the presence or absence of menopause, but can also predict its onset.

Non-invasive urine test for simplified hormone-based menopause diagnosis

This technology uses monoclonal antibodies to measure the level of a specific hormone fragment (hLHβcf) in a series of daily morning urine samples. The measurements establish a patient’s hLHβcf cycling pattern, which doctors or technicians can then compare to reference data in order to determine whether she is either pre- or post-menopausal. Additionally, in the case of a peri-menopausal patient, doctors can use the ascertained hLHβcf cycling pattern to predict when she will hit menopause. The key advantage of this technology is its simple, non-invasive nature, which may increase patient compliance and reduce cost.

Lead Inventor:

Steven Birken, M.D.


  • Laboratory diagnosis of menopause
  • Estimation of menopause onset for perimenopausal women


  • Uses a new diagnostic marker for menopause
  • Uses urine samples for easy collection
  • Does not require an invasive blood draw
  • Predicts time to menopause onset in perimenopausal women
  • Could increase compliance and reduce cost

Patent Information:

Patent Issued (US 7,229,781)

Tech Ventures Reference: IR 728

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