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Is it stress or is it menopause ?(15 Posts)
I'm 38 and apparently healthy, had several blood tests for routine stuff like thyroid, aneamia and diabetes, all came back clear. I do suffer with anxiety, have done since my mid 20s. It started after i had mild post natal depression after th=e birth of my first child. I have been trying to conceive for the past 18 months with no success. As the weeks and months have passed i have become very down, stressed and anxious because of it. I have a lot of panic attacks and palpitations. A year ago i had a blood test which indicated that i was starting the menopause. I was 37 and thought that's way too young! Since then iv'e had more blood tests. My hormone levels now seem normal. My doctor now is in doubt as to wheather i am actually in menopause, very confusing!!! I have been having irregular periods for the past 2 years and the bleeding is lighter and shorter than it was previously. I always feel irritable and tired and i am having what i think are hot flushes at nightime. I really do not want to be menopausal yet, i thought i had years before i started with all that. My husband is 12 years younger than me and has no children of his own so i am desperate to have a baby for him. I'm scared that one day he may leave me for a younger, fertile woman. This thought is on my mind every day and i can't relax. I wonder if many of my symptoms are down to stress and anxiety as i read they can be very similar to menopausal symptoms. Also my hair has been a lot drier the last few years and breaks easily and falls out. Or could my symptoms really be down to the menopause. Any ideas or suggestions much appreciated?
The blood tests are like an MOT - they tell you what's happening that day, and you need a series showing a trend to be sure what's going on.
So if your tests are now showing normal hormone levels, there is no reason to think it is menopause.
You mention that you are keen to have DC - have you been TTC? Because if so, is it time to seek a referral for fertility issues?
Erilou- I'm really sorry you are so stressed- you are posting about this a lot on the meno forum as well. I know it's a real bummer, but no one here can give you a diagnosis.
You need a referral if you have not had one already to a fertility gynae.
Have you had this?
I know you mentioned you were going to start Clomid- is this under your GP or a fertility gynae?
There is one thing for sure- anxiety about TTC is counter productive. I wonder if it might help you to look at this from another angle and post on the relationships board because what seems to be behind all of this is your fear about your relationship ending because your DH is younger.
What did you discuss - or not- when you married? Has he expressed a huge desire to have children of his own? Does he love you for who you are- and not just someone who can give him a child? Was it part of 'the deal' that you would have a child together?
No woman knows she can conceive- it's chance for us all. If a marriage ends because of infertility is raises questions about how much the man loved his wife. I do understand where you are coming from but worrying about it so much is not helping.
The Clomid was prescribed to me by a consultant at an NHS infertility clinic. He didn't seem to think i am menopausal yet my doctor thinks differently. Before i met my husband i never thought i wanted anymore children, i was contented with the 3 i have. We got married in March 2012 and right after that i became really broody as i imagined kids were the next step. Plus people kept on asking when we were going to have children. My husband is fantastic with my kids and great also with our friends children, everyone says he should be a dad. I feel i'm under so much pressure, although my hubby says he isn't bothered about having his own children. He says he loves me and my children too and always will. He actually said we can't afford another child, which to be honest we can't, plus our house really isn't big enough for another child. He says he is happy with the family he has got. He says he now feels contented for the first time in his life as he had a bad upbringing. Mother has alcohol related issues, doesn't see her and father lives miles away and has another family. He says he is just happy to now sit back and enjoy his life at last. There is this nagging thought in my head all the time that because he is just 26 he may change his mind in 5 or 10 years time. Guess i shouldn't have married someone so young! Think i just have to stop being such an arse and a drama queen and get on with life. If i'm meant to have another child i will and if not it just wasn't meant to be. I, of all people should know that having kids doesn't make people stay together anyway.
Everything you have said here points to it being you who is desperate for a child not your DH. And who cares what people say or think?
If you cannot afford another child then I think you have to think with your head and not your heart, on this one. You might even find that your DH feels resentful if you became pregnant because he seems to be saying pretty clearly that he doesn't want another child ( even if it is his own.) He may also feel too young to be a father- he's only 26, has had a bad home life and now feels contented. He's telling you things but you aren't listening. Why?
I think your marriage is more likely to go tits up if you get PG when he says he doesn't want a baby and you can't afford one, rather than if he gets broody in 10 years time when it's too late for you.
I think you need to have ' a talk' with him because if you do end up PG how is he going to feel- and where will you put another child- you've already said the house is too small.........
Have u spoke to gp about ur anxiety? That can have huge impact on ur fertility. U might b able to get some cbt if u feel it's effecting ur life enough and if u sort the anxiety the having a baby/not having a baby thing IMO would likely sort itself out. I take it ur dh would b happy of u got pg but isn't feeling desperate for u to b? Have I read ur post wrong? I know it's easier said than done but maybe u could ntnp for a bit and just enjoy being the lovely family u r now. Good luck whatever u decide x
My doctor suggested anti-depressants. I have took them in the past, i had post natal depression with my first child and suffered anxiety on and off over the years and have took the tablets for a few months. They always help with the anxiety and panic but at the moment i am reluctant to take them as i am trying to conceive so i don't want anything that might hamper my chances even more. I had a course of CBT through the summer and while i found it helpful in managing my anxiety better it didn't get to the root cause. The reason i am so anxious at the moment is because i want to get pregnant so badly and it's just not happening! With my other 3 children i fell pregnant quickly and easily so i am shocked and surprised at how long it's taking this time around. My husband says he isn't bothered if we have a child together or not. Recently though i overheard a telephone conversation to a friend of his saying that he would like a baby but it's just not happening for us. This sent me into a right old panic! I feel a bit of a failure to be honest. It's horrible as i have ayoung husband and i feel old and dried-up because i can't produce a child. I'm convinced that i am in menopause and that just makes me feel worse. I'm only 38 and have only known my husband a couple of years so this is just awful. I definately think my anxiety has got worse because of early menopause. My husband keeps noticeing that i am getting a lot of hot flushes at night. He actually wakes me up to tell me! The flushes have got much worse the last couple of weeks at night, i sweat sometimes. I'm so embarrased to be going through this. I now sleep right on the edge of the bed so he can't feel me overheating. I know i can't ever have another baby and it's so heartbreaking.
Can you accept that it's probably your anxiety that is making it impossible to conceive?
You have already said that you can't afford another child. Your mental health doesn't sound great either - could you cope with another child and the financial strain?
Instead of worrying about not being able to have a 4th child, count yourself lucky to have 3 healthy children and a 2nd chance at marriage . many women are desperate to have one child and can't. And many women aren't lucky enough to find a good man to be a father to a child they want to have.
I'm sorry- I understand how hard it must be but at the same time you need to keep a sense of perspective and count your blessings.
I really think u need to sort ur anxiety ask for some councilling or another course of cbt u need to discuss wot makes u anxious and how it makes u react. Honestly I think if u could unwind everything else will slot in to place. U r a lucky lady like pp said u have 3 healthy dc and a dh that obv loves u he's putting u first by not putting pressure on u for a baby and I think u should b kind to urself x
Thanks girls. You are both talking a lot of sense. I do need to take stock of my life and realise just how lucky i am. I know deep down that it would be madness to have another child, the cons far outweigh the pros. I just know i would never cope. I hate the school run for a start so how on earth i would be able to do that with 3 kids AND a screaming baby god only knows! I just wouldn't have the energy. I was a single mum for 2 years before i met my husband. Myself and the kids dad were never married. My daughter's dad only ever wanted 1 or 2 kids, although i had other ideas and pushed for 3. He was furious when i got pregnant the last time. I think it was mainly the reason he left as he couldn't cope with 3 children. I would be completely selfish to try and force another man into having a child. I should learn from my mistakes! Don't want to end up a single mum of 4 as i'm sure that is what would happen. Just need to forget this whole silly baby fantasy and get on with living my life and enjoying my lovely family.
U don't need to forget about it and it's not silly if after u have sorted ur anxiety u and ur dh decide together to ttc then that fine but I really would advise u to do something to improve ur anxiety levels as someone that suffers with bad anxiety/ocd it will b 100 times worse when u chuck pregnancy hormones on top Hun. There's lots of ways of coping if u and ur dh decide u do want a baby together slings r fab for one ;) I'm not talking u in to either decision here just pointing out options as only u know what is right for u. My advice from wot u have said is go c ur gp about ur anxiety u need to nip it in the bud either way before it starts getting u down. Once u r starting to feel less anxious sit down with dh and discuss if u both would like to actively ttc if u still feel u want a baby and not bcos u feel obligated to provide ur dh with one. Until then u can ntnp and enjoy ur family book a holiday I always find this helps it could just b a weekend in a caravan doesn't need to b expensive or fancy but the time u will spend looking for where to go where to stay what to do while ur there will give u another focus and it will help u enjoy ur current family life .... I recommend the sea side please go to ur gp ASAP and get some help I am sure once u have improved ur anxiety levels everything else will slot in and ul b able to enjoy ur life more than u r now x x
Just done a quick google for u anxiety uk website has some good info on there about behavioural symptoms and physical also treatment seems hypnotherapy is on the list not sure if it's an option for u as ud have to go private but might b good to get to the root cause. Also should have mentioned u do not need to go straight to medication if u don't want to u can get better with help but it will b harder without medication not saying it's right for everyone but I don't take anything and have never done tho I fully appreciate I would have felt better a heck of a lot quicker if I'd not been so stubborn. Also do u do any exercise? This can really help as it releases the happy hormone in ur brain so if u can work a form of exercise in to ur weekly routine that might make a small improvement. For me it's yoga and swimming and I really notice how much better it makes me feel if I don't do it for a week!! And how's ur diet? R u eating well? Do not skip meals u need to eat regular healthy meals if I eat bad for a day or 2 my anxiety is much worse than when I eat properly. Also caffeine and alcohol if u tend to indulge in these I'd suggest cutting back (unless a special occasion not saying u have to b miserable and deny urself treats) I don't have caffeine or alcohol at all but for other reasons I cut them out totally yrs ago and when I told my dr about my anxiety I was told if I consumed them on a regular basis to cut back as they intensify anxiety and depression.
U mentioned that ur cbt didn't work as u didn't get the cause would reading up on anxiety disorders help at all do u think? I know it helped me accept what I was doing and why (my ocd) and also that I wasn't crazy if u google anxiety disorders there's a few pages with details on the different types so u know what ur dealing with. Also would it help to keep a diary of when u feel anxious include time date where u were who u were with what made u feel anxious ur symptoms how u dealt with it etc. also make sure u get sum time just to chill out once a week just half an hr soak in a bath will make a world of difference I do find I have to take a trashy magazine and some chocolate in to help me relax but it works for me and if u can really try and think back to when u started feeling anxious and how it's spiralled for u so when u go back for ur therapy uv got it all written down and can work through it.
Sorry hope all this is making sense
Sorry more from me once I start thinking of ideas they just randomly pop in to my head lol
Could u and ur dh have a regular date night? U don't need to spend a fortune but arrange a sitter maybe once a month and know that that's ur night u can go out for a meal cinema or stay in and watch a DVD and have a pizza and cuddle on sofa or pamper each other nice bath together massage with nice smelling oils candles what ever floats ur boat. I think something like this will help u go just enjoy ur life how it is now but also keep ur connection with ur dh and might help with ur fear of him leaving u which u also need to tell ur dr/therapist about they can help u with that.
Also a family night once a wk or once a month might help we used to do this when I was growing up as my dad worked away all wk so Saturday night was always chippie t (sometimes Chinese or Indian if dad was feeling flush lol) followed by a board game like monopoly or scrabble (this can b whatever u all enjoy) with a big tin of chocolates on the table. U could do a family movie night also if it would fit in with ur lifestyle. Just a suggestion to help u enjoy ur now while u wait for sum therapy
You need to deal with what you have- not what you want in a perfect world ( perfect in your head not necessarily the reality.)
If you are menopausal or think you are, then you need to deal with that- stop asking strangers on a forum to diagnose you - and go and see your dr and ask for a referral to a gynae because if it's a prem meno then you will need hormonal treatment to age 50.
You're obsessing- whereas what you need to do is take control and manage whatever's going on.
Thank you girls for your advice and kind words. I went to see my doctor today about my anxiety and hot flashes. I asked about HRT but he wants me to give the Clomid a go first and see how i get on with that. I'm sure everything will work out in the end, i just need to relax more and maybe eat better and get more exercise. xx
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