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I need to see the doc, don't I?

(26 Posts)
jerin Sun 29-Jun-14 08:54:14

I'm 41 and it seems I've been peri menopausal for 4 years or so now.
My periods became erratic, I had very bad mood swings (my poor family), mid cycle pain (scan was clear), emotional, loss of libido, tiredness, aches and pains. This year I've only had two, very heavy periods in January & February, last year only two, again hideously heavy, in February & March. I don't remember before that but I know they were few & far between.
I've had a couple of episodes, lasting a few months, of frequent hot flushes - maybe 30 times a day. Then they clear. Sadly no sign of libido still, I ache and get so tired everyday.
I'm ok with being menopausal now, (lonely at times as some of my friends are only now starting families and I don't know anyone else thats going thru this) but I really want to feel better in myself. Everyday I wake exhausted and I never seem to have any energy. My children are so young still (5&6) and I feel I'm letting them down as I'm like an old lady already! I've friends running marathons and I'm knackered from walking to the shop!
I have an ongoing foot problem that's under investigation, trapped nerve in arm/shoulder that's awaiting referral and sciatica. I'm beginning to wonder whether it's all connected and worrying myself slightly.....

Pootlingalong Sun 29-Jun-14 09:02:30

Yes I would think it's definitely worth discussing with your GP because it is affecting so many aspects if your life and making you feel rotten. Are you worried about something in particular?

jerin Sun 29-Jun-14 09:20:30

I'm not really worrying, I'm pretty certain the nerve pains are unconnected but they're all on same side so could be.
But speaking to a colleague earlier she told me how she saw her doctor because her period was 2 weeks late and had blood tests for everything done. My colleague is 47/48 I think.

ab987 Sun 29-Jun-14 10:27:17

I posted a similar reply here to someone else recently- you must see your dr and you must start HRT. Early menopause is a health risk for your bones and heart once you get into your 50s, because you will have had low oestrogen levels for much longer than women reaching meno at 51-52 which is the average age.

Early meno is classed as before 45-47.

There is lots of info on the Daisy Network website.

ab987 Sun 29-Jun-14 10:29:03
jerin Sun 29-Jun-14 14:01:24

Thank you ab987. I was scrolling through other threads but didn't want to hijack. I think it's early menopause but asked the doctor before bug was brushed off.
I will have a read of your links- thank you. And try to make an appointment usually a couple of week wait! Are blood tests the only way to confirm? But can these only be done at certain times during cycle? I don't have a cycle....

ab987 Sun 29-Jun-14 14:07:49

Blood tests- it depends. In peri they are notoriously unreliable because hormones fluctuate so much. They need to be taken once around day 3 then again after day 14. They might try testing though and see what your FSH is like.

TBH the best thing is to treat you as if it is prem meno and if you feel better on HRT then that's the proof!

HRT for prem meno is the same as replacing thyroxine or using insulin for diabetes- it's pretty much a necessity as prevention of medium-long term health issues.

jerin Sun 29-Jun-14 14:23:27

Can I ask 'feel better' in which way on hrt?
I ache and I'm tired each day, no libido, but the sweats and moods have gone now. The mood swings were definitely hormonal, the sweats last a few months then go ago. Usually come after my 2 periods that I seem to get 3-4 weeks apart, each year.

And it's definitely the medium-long term health issues I'm worried about now, as soon as I can I'll make an appointment.

ab987 Sun 29-Jun-14 17:05:07

You may well get rid of the aches and pains, find your libido, and stop feeling so tired.

It's not 'normal' to be so tired in your early 40s.

The fact that you are having sweats shows that you still have the highs and lows of peri - usually hot flushes and sweating appear when hormones are low but disappear in the run-up to a period when you may be ovulating and producing oestrogen.

jerin Thu 17-Jul-14 20:20:45

Well, I had my long awaited appointment today. Was a bit nervous of having to put up a battle to be understood but was amazed that his first reply to my 'I haven't had a period for 5 months' was 'ok blood tests, you could be in early menopause'. So, hopefully I'll get some answers soon.

perkin40 Thu 17-Jul-14 21:05:41

Iv'e been perimenopausal since i was age 34/35, i'm 39 now. Feeling many of the awful things you are feeling, sweats, irregular periods, mood swings, dry vagina and tired all the time. It's so hard isn't it when you have a young family, my children are 7 and 9.

jerin Thu 17-Jul-14 22:02:48

It's really hard perkin isn't it. And it's not like something that you really want to talk about in rl as I find all my friends are years away from it. Have you had it diagnosed?

perkin40 Fri 18-Jul-14 07:02:13

None of my friends are going through it either and some of them seem kind of scared by it. I guess they think as it's happened to me so early it will to them too, so i can't talk to them about it.
I was diagnosed 2 years ago. At the time i was trying for a baby, had been for just a few months. My periods were irregular, after being a regular 28 day cycle since i was 16, so i went to doctor. They did all the routine blood tests which came back clear. I mentioned menopause to them but they said i was way too young for that in my mid 30s. As i was trying to get pregnant though they did hormone blood tests. These tests have to be taken on day 3 of a period. On this day my FSH level was in the 20s, a high level. FSH should be under 10 in someone of my age but it was over double that! This indicated i was starting to go through menopause. My ovaries were running out of eggs and my hormones oestrogen and progesterone were dropping, causing the awful symptoms of menopause.
Have you had your hormone bloods checked ?

perkin40 Fri 18-Jul-14 07:07:52

Please bear in mind though that in the early stages of menopause our hormones thrash about wildly. So your FSH might come back normal one month and abnormal the next. No one test is reliable enough to diagnose menopause, they should be repeated at least twice. As you have so many symptoms of menopause though and are felling so unwell, i would push for HRT, if this is something you would want. Iv'e been on HRT for a few months now and it has got rid of a few of the symptoms. hoping it's going to work better as time goes on. Keep me posted as to how your'e getting on. x

jerin Fri 18-Jul-14 20:48:23

Oh perkin that must've been devastating to learn when you were trying for a baby. Thankfully my family is complete although I still feel a bit cheated that that decision is now out of my hands.
I'm going next week for blood tests. Checking FSH, LH & thyroid. No idea where in my 'cycle' I might be as last period was February! But since I ovulated for period in jan, so early jan, the hot flushes have stopped.
At least I seem to have a doctor that's not dismissive. Hopefully I'll get some kind of answers.

LaQueenLovesSummer Sat 19-Jul-14 16:19:48

Can I just echo what other people have said, and that blood tests are notoriously unreliable in diagnosing peri/prem menopause.

I presnted my list of symptoms to my GP - the sudden mood swings, increased sweatiness, random insomnia, the fact I only really felt 'like me' for about 5 days per month when I could tell by my phsyical symptoms that I was ovulating. Plus, my Mum, auntie and cousin all experienced early menopause.

I was sent for blood tests. They all came back fine and 'normal' - but thankfully my GP knows this doesn't really mean diddly squat, so I have been referred to a specialist PMS/Menopause clinic - thank God.

jerin Sat 19-Jul-14 22:52:20

Thank you LaQueen, the doctor I saw certainly seemed to be straight on the case without my need to push, but he's not always at my surgery so might be difficult to see him again.
I feel vaguely like I may have a period building up. But I currently have no symptoms apart from the tiredness and lack of period. TBH my periods have been erratic for almost 5 years and only 2 this year and two at the beginning of last year. 2 years ago I was getting severe abdominal pains, lasting weeks but scan revealed nothing. I think they were ovulation pains.
The mood swings, the forgetfulness, were at their worst probably 3 or 4 years ago, I'm feeling like I may be nearer the end than at the beginning.

I don't know if that'll make it more or less likely to show something up? I believe I should have a high FSH reading? Over 20? Which will confirm but if I don't ovulate is this more, or less likely to be the case?

perkin40 Sun 20-Jul-14 15:53:24

Even after i was diagnosed with early menopause i was still having cycles in which i ovulated, blood tests picked ovulation up. My FSH was going up and down from month to month. I think on the cycles when i was producing so much FSH i was ovulating. One cycle my FSH was just 5.5, considered normal, another it was 11 and then it jumped up to 20, all in a few months. So some cycles my body wasn't managing to ovulate, thus sending out big amounts of FSH to try and stimulate my ovaries to send out an egg that cycle.
I now believe i don't ovulate at all as i must have now used up all my viable eggs. I dread to think how high my FSH is now!!
I was told by my doctor and consultant at infertility clinic that an FSH of 20 means the eraly stages of menopause, once FSH hits the 30s and 40s it generally indicates that you are heavily into the menopause and anything above is considered postmenopausal.
A lady on another website was just age 42 and was told recently she is postmenopausal as her FSH level was 76.6!

jerin Sun 20-Jul-14 16:33:30

Thanks for that info perkin. I'm going to ask the nurse when I go to have my bloods taken whether to book an appointment for the results. The doctor told me to call so I'm guessing if they think they need to see me they'll ask me to go in but if they come back normal where do I go from there? I often find getting past the receptionists are the worst bit!
So perkin are you saying you still had periods but you don't think you ovulated?
I had a scan 2.5 years ago and the radiographer said I looked very fertile- but I'd just had a run of very painful ovulations. Around that time I was taking starflower capsules and my periods regulated. Stopped taking them and periods stopped. Late last year I had 2 or 3 months of constant hot flushes, very heavy periods jan then 3 weeks later in feb and since then, nothing. I only get a period if I ovulate. And it would seem, several months of hot flushes leading up to it. So hopefully the blood tests will show something.

perkin40 Sun 20-Jul-14 19:13:50

You can have periods but don't always ovulate apparently, they are called annovulatory cycles. It's strange that you were told you looked very fertile when you had a scan two and a half years ago. I had a scan last November and was told i had very few follicles in my ovaries and my ovaries were quite small, indicating menopause.
I must try these Starflower capsules as i'd like to see my periods get regulated. I think i'm in denial about being in menopause and still hoping to get pregnant somehow. I think i may try stopping the HRT. I was having periods until just before i started it 4 months ago, although they were irregular and very light. Perhaps you should try the Starflowere again.
I guess if your results come back normal and you don't feel any better then you should definately ask for bloods to be repeated. As i said, hormone levels do flucuate from month to month.
Are you stressed out about anything ? Stress can stop ovulation and cause periods to stop ?
My periods began to go haywire when i split from my children's father, five years ago. It was a horribly stressful time. Then the last 2 years iv'e become more and more stressed about not getting pregnant. I think i stopped myself from ovulating through extreme stress.

jerin Sun 20-Jul-14 22:30:57

Uhmmm maybe I'm remembering wrongly or I mistook what she said. I'd had a few months of almost constant pain and severe ovulation pain and they suspected a cyst or something.
We have had a bit of a stressful time, oh doesn't do stress or worry which makes my stress levels go up even more, but it's not been that bad. And started after my periods stopped really.

I did struggle with the situation for a while and do feel quite isolated by it but I'm now quite ok about it. I like not having periods but do worry that it'll put in a sudden appearance when I'm not prepared.

fidelma Tue 22-Jul-14 22:20:05

I'm going through peri now age 40. It all kicked in after I had my gallbladder removed last year. I have 4 children 5,9,12 and 14.
My FHS results are normal but my Dr is now treating my symptoms. I had the coil fitted 8 weeks ago, we are waiting 2 months to see how my symptoms change but I have agreed with my Dr that if they are not better I will add some estrogen for a while.
I get tierd easily. Along with almost every other symptom sad it's hard. Thinking of everyone.

mrslfc Tue 22-Jul-14 23:19:02

I'm 39 and had bloods taken today checking for perimenopause. I had fertility treatment to have my eldest and was told I had high FSH levels and so they fast tracked us to the top of the IVF waiting list, this was 7 years ago and now I'm experiencing all the symptoms. By GP wouldn't prescribe me anything and told me to go the natural route. St Johns wort, evening primrose oil etc but there is so much out there I've no idea where to even start! I'm so tired, moody and fed up, my poor boys are 6, 4 and 20 months old.

Pinkfrocks Wed 23-Jul-14 07:46:43

you need to change your GP and ask to see a gynae who knows about prem menopause. This treatment you have had is a disgrace because if you are entering meno early you ought to be prescribed HRT.

jerin Mon 28-Jul-14 21:40:39

Mrslfc have you had your blood results back yet? I agree with pinkfrocks you need to see a more understanding and helpful doctor. I first saw a doctor a few years ago and she was pretty dismissive. The doctor I saw recently was much more clued up about it which was a relief. I'm still waiting for my results- they should've been back Friday but I called for them today to be told they're still with the doctor- call tomorrow. I'm guessing that may mean they've shown something up?
For the past 3 days I've had terrible breast tenderness, I'm extremely tired even more so than usual, and I had a slight bit of spotting a few days ago. I really hope I don't get a period as I have a few days away next weekend and I flood so badly I won't be able to leave my room!

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