To ask for Perimenopausal horror stories and ask if there's any respite?

(199 Posts)
celestialbows Tue 27-Aug-13 10:57:02

We touched on this subject in the hideous wedding story thread and I think that the responses and shared experiences warrant their own thread.

I believe that I started perimenopause 5 years ago aged 35. My periods became heavy and erratic. I was ttc and the only solution GPs could offer for the erratic bleeding was to put me on the pill.
Luckily I saw an amazing locum who referred me to the fertility clinic and I now have two beautiful children.

Since having the kids my cycle has got worse, periods are either really late or bunched together. I have embarrassing flooding, crazy mood swings, inappropriate crying at work and in public places as well as 'middle aged spread' dry hair and skin (dry everywhere...) and the list goes on.
Once again the. surgery has been unsupportive, my GP says that I'm too young for menopause and I'm only presenting with PMT and it is the same for all women!

I resorted to private hormone testing which showed that my oestrogen is persistently low. The GPs won't acknowledge the tests as they are notoriously unreliable and have offered me anti Depressants and the pill to counteract the mood swings and irregular cycle.

Has anyone else tried these methods and found them helpful or do you have any experience of other things which helped you?

Please wade in with your tales and help me to see I'm not alone!

marriedinwhiteisback Tue 27-Aug-13 22:11:57

53 - last period at 49. Peri started about 42 with the odd missed P and lengthening gaps, some flooding but not bad, harder to lose weight, cross easily, and then the flushes - oh God the three showers a night flushes and the soaked nighti and bedding. If DH so much as put his hand on me it would set one off; and the broken sleep.

Wwhispers - HRT - life saving. I have a combi of tabs and patches - starrted with higher doe tabs but my gynaecologist recommended the combi, v low dose approach. Because my family has early onset osteoporosis I shd stay on it for 20+ years or longer on a risk analysis basis and apparently the next generation HRT is likely to contain inhibitors which attach to cancer cells and +ve things which attach to non cncer cells.

HRT has been life transforming and I was at the end of my tether with the flushing. If you can afford it worth a referral to a gynae - far more knowledgeable than the ave GP. I also have cystic breast disease and providng it's monitored the HRT low dose scenario is still supposed o be beneficial with my history.

Menopause, flushes and teenagers is NOT a good combination. Sad it's still the last taboo.

FoxyHarlow123 Tue 27-Aug-13 22:15:41

I've resisted hrt so far and will continue to do so. Instead, I turned to alternative therapies and have had transformational results with a specialist reflexologist.

CoconutRing Tue 27-Aug-13 22:17:53

When I was peri menopausal, I took evening primrose oil, starflower oil, calcium, cranberry tablets, multivitamin, glucosamine and omega 3 fish oil. I cutdown my caffeine and alcohol. This combination helped with mood swings and blood loss IME.

I didn't bother with my GP as he is patronising and incompetent. His idea of curing heavy periods was to get pregnant. Not useful advice at 47! I didn't want to take HRT.

My periods have stopped now and I have never felt better. I take Sage for my occasional hot sweat. I have ditched my dark trousers and bought a new mattress!!

MacaYoniandCheese Tue 27-Aug-13 22:19:59

I've had all these symptoms from the age of 21 (PCOS and low estrogen) The only thing that has made me feel better is the pill and pregnancy (the latter obviously NOT a long-term solution grin )..I'm 36 now and I consider it to be my HRT (I also take a low dose of Citalopram and am vigilant, bordering on obsessive, about exercise). It works, I feel normal and I don't care about the risks. Whatever they are, they're worth it sad smile.

celestialbows Tue 27-Aug-13 22:25:51

Hey all thanks for all your replies and shared stories. I am on bed now, I just wanted to ask for those of you who posted about particular remedies such as evening primrose etc which brands are you using? I have seen things like Menopace but I don't know where to start with the shopping!
This thread has really inspired me to pen a letter to the surgery this week.

I will reply better tomorrow.

CoconutRing Tue 27-Aug-13 22:30:28

I use Sevenseas evening primrose/starflower oil combined. Boots own brand for the other tablets. (3 for 2) - bargain!

nowwearefour Tue 27-Aug-13 22:31:52

Myfriendflicka thanks so so much- I reckon I have von willebrands and my dd too. I have has tests re my bleeding after my wisdom teeth were extracted but they never got it and I get loads of nosebleeds and bruise easily. Plus heavy periods. Thanks!

daisychain01 Tue 27-Aug-13 22:39:01

I noticed you mention that you have low oestrogen level. This is something to keep an eye on to lower the risk of osteoporosis which is associated with low oestrogen. If I were you, get a second opinion as it may be worth going on HRT patches to keep up your oestrogen level which in turn ensure you keep strong bones, for the next few years.

It will also keep the symptoms of menopausal flushes etc at bay.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 27-Aug-13 22:39:14

I had a full year of really heavy periods and had been really light up until then. They lasted the full 7 days and were fortnightly.
I decided to give it a year and then go to the doctors as I didn't want drugs or a hysterical rectomy grin
They just stopped after a year, so I went to GP who told me I'd gone through the menopause. I also had a few night sweats, and hot flushes but they were bearable for that year.
I was completely finished at 40. My gp told me I was menopausal after tests done the week before I conceived dd.
Many people can get caught on the change as I did, so please don't worry if you are ttc and you think it may have started.

kikidee Tue 27-Aug-13 22:45:46

This is a great thread OP, thanks for starting it. I feel sometimes like I'm going mad - I'm so not myself. I've spoken to my GP twice to suggest perimenopause and both times he has insisted I'm too young (I've just turned 41).

I was having periods every 23/24 days accompanied by at least a week of utter rage so GP prescribed Norethisterone which has spaced my periods out to around 28/29 days and helped a bit with the rage. I get the flooding, although nothing like as bad as some of you, I really feel for you. It's so horrible and stressful. My periods can last 10 days some month but most of all it's the rage. My poor kids and DH do not deserve this. I have been thinking of asking for anti-depressants to deal with that but I can't decide if that's the right thing to do. I like the magnesium and evening primrose oil tip which I will try.

Is there anything to be gained by going back again to my GP? What else could he do? I wonder whether the Family Planning Clinic might be better.

marriedinwhiteisback Wed 28-Aug-13 07:15:23

I cann't believe some of your GP's. I went at 49 and just said "I haven't had a period for six months and I can't cope any more with the flushing induced lack of sleep. She agreed life was too short. Two years later I saw my gynaecologist for my three year check up and he recommended switching to the combined patch/tablet long term approach and set out his opinion and recommendations in a letter to the GP, copied to me and the next time I went to the doctor I took it with me and she changed the prescription.

SubliminalMassaging Wed 28-Aug-13 07:35:54

I am 47. Since I turned 40 roughly, I have had, in varying degrees abut all getting worse:

thinning hair especially around the temples
very achey joints especially in my fingers
terrible fluid retention and bloating, with
puffy, painful fingers and ankles/feet.
On a 'normal' day my rings are quite loose and spin around to the point where I worry about losing them, but on a 'puffy' day they won't come off at all!
I really struggled to control my weight and all weight gain seems to go on around my midriff now, which never used to be the case.
Night sweats - can wake up literally dripping from my legs
very painful ovulation and pelvic pain
am now developing erratic/sporadic periods, one minute flooding, next minute sparse and spotty, but can drag on for two weeks.
very sensitive to loud noise and bright lights
awful mood swings, very short tempered.

mkmjimmy Wed 28-Aug-13 11:36:09
katydiditagain Wed 28-Aug-13 11:41:29

Oh yes aching joints, not sure if that is because I am overweight though. It's mostly ankles and fingers - obviously nothing to do with my weight with my fingers! I get flooding for a couple of days and then normality for one day and then spotting again mid-cycle; that happens every cycle.
I have had three years of heavy periods now.

myfriendflicka Wed 28-Aug-13 12:19:46

Nowwearefour - Can you go back to your GP and insist on being referred and you and your dd to be investigated for von willebrands? I ended up being diagnosed because i went to a private gynae about my bleeding due to many years of my concerns being ignored and he said: 'it could be von willebrands", which i had never heard of.

I go to the haemophilia centre at St Thomas's in London and so does my dd, who also has it. It does really help with managing bleeding and improving quality of life, and making sure bleeds (like the one you had with your wisdom teeth) don't happen.

Hope you get some support from your GP and nearest haemophilia centre. You can also go on the Haemophilia Society website for advice, they have a women's section which deals with von willebrands.

celestialbows Wed 28-Aug-13 14:17:52

Thanks for all replies it is so good to share as I know nobody irl who is at this stage, everyone I talk to says I'm too young for menopause!
Lots of people have mentioned Norethisterone, I haven't heard of it, what is it and what does it do? Are there side effects?
When people talk about thinning hair do you mean it just grows thinner or does it fall out? I'm losing a lot of hair but I have a lot so it's not really noticeable!
Abra1d I will try the dark towel trick. It's such a messy walk to the bathroom!

MardyBra Wed 28-Aug-13 16:06:05

Can I join?

I had to make an emergency trip to the loo during school uniform buying today as i was flooding. Am taking Tranexamic acid which helps, but it was a close call today.

Also have bad night sweats, not sleeping properly and moods all over the place.

I had the plane experience once too - flooded when we were strapped in for landing. Was wearing dark trousers and had spares to switch into when I could finally get out the seat.

MardyBra Wed 28-Aug-13 16:07:29

I also do the towel thing.

Btw Lillets do some mega-sized tampons now, which might just plug up the Mersey tunnel.

OhMerGerd Wed 28-Aug-13 17:15:47

Mersey tunnel flooding can eject those mega lillets faster than a speeding bullet and then on top of the flood you have a giant blood soaked pellet to try and 'contain' before it splats unceremoniously onto the pavement. Yup.
And that was with three nighttime pads overlayed to make a kind of sumo wrestler type wadge between the legs. It was the sudden act of standing up getting off the train and gravity must have forced it out with a rush.

Had the hot flushes for months and really didn't connect it until one day in the middle of a very important meeting one came over me. Face, chest and neck bright red, light sweat breaking out on forehead and upper lip, sweat trickling down slowly down my back. I'm about to make my very pertinent point when into my head pops the phrase " you're having a hot flush, you must be menopausal, omg yes that's explains the last few months". All this with a look of wonder on my face and the brain freezes while I mentally adjust. Meanwhile meeting room full of men stare, raise quizzical brows and titter amongst themselves. Never got asked to contribute to that project again.

KatyDidItAgain Wed 28-Aug-13 17:23:41

OhMer I feel your pain. At work we have unisex toilets (don't ask) and it's a nightmare having been in their ages and then coming out with a bag of clothes only to find a male colleague waiting to go in.

KatyDidItAgain Wed 28-Aug-13 17:23:51

there...sorry!

SoleSource Wed 28-Aug-13 18:20:05

I have had a period ongoing for four weeks now. I'm going to see if I can get a GP apointment tomorrow or Friday. I have just stained my friends white chair in her office. I'm mortified and sick of it.

amothersplaceisinthewrong Wed 28-Aug-13 18:25:48

Wow, having read these tales of horror, I think I must be very lucky. I am 53 and have had erratic periods for four years, (gaps of 6 months, then started again), 1 "flood" four months ago, but very little else. Managed to lose my middle aged spread last year although it did take longer than in my 20s! but I still have my full head of extra thick hair. As yet no hot flushes. Am I going to pay the price for this easy "peri menopause in later years?

SoleSource Wed 28-Aug-13 18:34:15

No, amother I doubt it. Gyno problems run in our family. I'm gutted about today. So sorry to read all of these stories., I can sympahise or empathise.

MrsAMerrick Wed 28-Aug-13 18:35:23

OhMer you are spot on about the lillets. Mind you, wouldn't be without them. I found a "super" one at the back of the cupboard the other day and couldn't believe how small it was. Or that they used to be a great size for what I thought were my "heavy" periods 10 years ago. Little did I know the joys to come. Have never flooded anywhere embarrassing without managing to get to the loo first, but it is only a mater of time. A couple of weeks ago I ended up in the loos at the supermarket 3 times during the weekly shop, will stick to delivery service in future!!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now