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Perimenopause? Spotting before and after periods

(12 Posts)
ilovethesummer Mon 07-Jun-10 13:24:57

Hi, I posted this under general health earlier:

I'm 43 and have had heavy periods causing anaemia for the past few years. My mother starting having heavy periods in her early 40s and went through the menopause at around 46/48, so I assume I will follow a similar pattern. I've been to the Doctors about the heavy periods and she thinks it's my age. I had a smear a year ago, all fine, and an abdominal ultrasound and transvaginal ultrasound 6 months ago, both fine. My GP also had a look at my cervix and said it looked fine.

My periods have always been very regular and normal, although has become shorter in the past few years, since I've had children, every 23/24 days instead of every 28.

6 months ago I had 4 days of spotting before a period and 4 days of spotting after it finished. So from start to finish was 2 weeks. I checked with my GP and she said it was fluctuating hormones and not to worry about it. She said that spotting for a few days before or after a period is quite normal (although I've never had it in 30 years of periods). Since then I've had a couple of normal (heavy) periods with just a few days of spotting before.

However this month I had an afternoon of spotting mid-cycle and then with my last period had 4 days of spotting before and after, so 2 weeks altogether.

Sorry this is long!!! Do you think these symptoms could be the perimenopause?


ilovethesummer Mon 07-Jun-10 17:20:34


purplepeony Mon 07-Jun-10 20:58:17

Very perimenopause and try not to worry.

Usually due to low progesterone.

I am post meno. I had some mid cycle spotting late 40s, many years before my periods stopped and was told it was probably hormonal.

I am puzzled how you think you have post period spotting as surely it is just a period petering out? Same with pre-period spotting- is it just a period that is slow to come to full flow? Anyway- all to do with low hormoes.

I had a friend who spotted constantly all month and she was given progesterone tablets by GP to sort it out.

ilovethesummer Mon 07-Jun-10 21:16:00

Thanks for your reply purplepeony. It's interesting and reassuring to hear other experiences.

The reason why I think I have pre and post period spotting is:

Normally - for 30 years I have had periods where when my period is due I have no more than 12 hours of spotting and then a proper period which lasts between 2 to 4 days followed by 1 or 2 days of petering out.

Over past 6 months - 4 days of spotting before a period is due followed by 2 to 4 days of proper period, followed by 1 or 2 days petering out, followed by 4 days of spotting, some of which is fresh blood, as if my period is going to start again.

I'm hoping it's just hormonal.

purplepeony Mon 07-Jun-10 21:34:18

If you have had all the investigations you mention then I am sure you are okay. I have had all that poking and prodding too as I have a small ovarian cyst which they are watching, adn they can see a lot with the scans etc you have had.

If you had a uterine polyp or anything wrong with your uterine lining it would have been found by now.

If it gets very bad, ask your dr for progestrone to regulate the bleeding.

purplepeony Mon 07-Jun-10 21:35:34

oh -p.s- I used to get fresh bleeding a day or two after my period stopped- ie after 4 days of bleeding with a lighter flow daily, it would stop- then 2 days later start again for 2 days!

ilovethesummer Tue 08-Jun-10 09:48:08

Thanks again purplepeony, it's very reassuring. I don't feel so worried now but will keep an eye on it.

kelway Tue 08-Jun-10 17:41:52

i am 45 and i too used to have very regular af's, non descript af's. thinking about it at a guess that last couple of years, certainly the last year they have been getting quite unpredictable ie one cycle recently was 19 days and one cycle was 34. one month i might have light brown from spotting up to when af comes with mild cramping (used to think it was a pregnancy but unlikely) and some months it doesn't happen, sometimes i too get af's that seem to stop after normal 3/4 days bleeding then to come back a day later only light spotting and a different kind of red as opposed to dark af red. i went to gyni about 1 1/2 years ago re this, i had scans and he thought it was fine ie couldn't see any fibroids/polyps, ovaries looked fine and cervix seemed fine (he operated on my cervix nearly 2 years ago with CIN1 so he knows my cervix well!). i haven't had scans since then and i worry too that what if something had since 'appeared' but am hoping it is just normal 'female agining'. i can handle the discomfort and hormones as long as it is meno' related, i will go to dr if af's get worse. unsettling isn't it. i feel i have to wear a pant liner incase i suddenly bleed; i also dread going to the loo in a way incase i look down and there is blood, you just don't know if it is af (related) or something else. i used to when alot younger for years get mid cycle 'show' and at the time had it investigated but turned out to be nothing, i since found out some women do get this (at the time i didn't know of anyone), i don't really get it now as i doubt i ovulate, i always used to get ovulation pain, agony some months, but was handy when i was ttc my dd 8 years ago!! x isn't it good when it turns out by disclosing something about ourselves we discover that someone else is having the same thing!

ilovethesummer Thu 10-Jun-10 13:35:55

Thanks kelway, it's reassuring to read your experience. I've also had the odd irregular period over the past couple of years, one cycle was 14 days and another 35 days, but it hasn't happened again. It didn't worry me as being over 40 you know that your body is inevitably going to go through some changes. Now I always carry liners in my handbag, you just never know! The spotting is more worrying as you know it could be a whole host of things. I spoke with my GP again and she doesn't seem too concerned but said to keep an eye on it. I had a scare last year with a breast lump that was found and had to have 3 biopsies and there was possible talk of a mastectomy as it was thought I had a rare type of breast disease. After a couple of months and a second opinion was told that I was ok although need 6 monthly checks. The whole thing was all a bit scary and I realise the importance of getting things checked out. Hopefully this is just hormonal.

girlywhirly Thu 10-Jun-10 16:37:31

I remember well the irregular periods, anything from 19 days to 12 weeks apart! That went on for a few years, and now at 52 have had nothing since December last year. The two previous were 6 months apart as well. I daren't assume this is my last, and like kelway always take supplies with me everywhere. I can highly recommend the Natracare and Nature Women ranges of pads and panty liners, lovely and soft natural materials and no horrid plasticky top sheet which I find really irritating. Natracare also do tampons, but haven't used them as I was afraid they wouldn't cope with flooding. Waitrose stock them.

A tip I got from a holiday review site if you're going on a cruise; take all your sanitary supplies with you. The onboard shop may not be open when you need them, they only open limited hours and carry limited stock! Also, some of the ports you stop at are not near towns, so no chance of going ashore.

ilovethesummer Fri 11-Jun-10 11:46:27

Thanks girlywhirly, I wish I'd posted on here before as I've spent 6 months worrying about the spotting. I was aware that irregular and heavier periods were due to the perimenopause but not the spotting. Am feeling much better. Some good tips too! I'll check out the Natracare and Nature Women ranges. Anything to feel more comfortable!

lissy1 Fri 08-Oct-10 19:52:08

Just need some advice here to stop me worrying myself silly. Im 47 and in August for the first time I had mid cycle bleeding. I cant even call it bleeding as it only happens when I get up in the morning. When I go to the loo and wipe myself there is a smear of brownish, light red mucusy mess on the loo paper. Once this has happened I have nothing else all day until the next morning and the same again, This seems to be about day 14 of a cycle and lasts for about 4 days and then nothing until my normal period, This has happened exactly the same for the last 3 cycles. Today I went to the GP in tears and she has ordered blood tests and an up to date smear so I'm now terrified Ive got cancer, Has anyone any ideas?? Im so stressed out about it all

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