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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!

sparklingstars Tue 27-Aug-13 16:29:47

Yes, really warm, and sometimes like I have to get up and do something. Usually a cool shower if it's at night and I need to sleep.
I've also had them like you describe but not for some time.

MoreThanWords Tue 27-Aug-13 16:36:18

For me it's the aching - hips, legs, knees, ankles, feet, wrists; if I'm sitting for more than 10-15 minutes, I struggle to walk properly when I stand up.

I'm 'only' 46 - been on hrt for about 3 years but still trying to find the right dosage, along with having the Mirena fitted last year. sad

ElectricSoftParade Tue 27-Aug-13 16:36:56

My flushes sound simila to celestialbows although I descibed them as like a fie stating in my chest and they lasted about 10-15 mins appox.

On HT now and the change has been immeasuable.

I'm soy but my keyboad had a wine-elated incident at the weekend and the AHHH key is not woking, so I hope this is eadable.

thebody Tue 27-Aug-13 16:38:48

hi has anyone had a hysteroscopy? due one in sept for irregular bleeding, polyps and cysts. also bleeding after doing the sexuals.

meditrina Tue 27-Aug-13 16:44:05

OP: had you noticed there is a whole Menopause forum on MN?

In particular, you might be interested in joining the established Perimenopause advice and chat thread.

Or perhaps consider asking for this to be moved to the subject forum idc?

HalfSpamHalfBrisket Tue 27-Aug-13 16:49:14

When I was in my early 20s I remember a woman at work running past me shouting "I'm going home I'm flooding", and thinking - "how pathetic, how could a period be that bad?"

Last weekend, at a festival I had a choice between dealing with a flood in a portaloo or my tent. (Chose the tent, think it was the marginally better option, even though it looked like a scene from Dexter at one point).

Luckily my GP has done a fast referral (for the flooding, spotting, urge to kill people etc.) and I see a gynae this week.

HalfSpamHalfBrisket Tue 27-Aug-13 16:50:36

thanks for those links meditrina, will have a look over there.

BelaLugosisShed Tue 27-Aug-13 16:52:48

ADs (fluoxetine) have transformed my perimenopausal symptoms, I'm 47, been peri for at least 8 years, went to GP at the insistence of DH who thought I was having a breakdown - I was convinced I had underactive thyroid as I had every single symptom but no, my test results showed my FSH levels were very high.
Due to family history of breast cancer, GP advised against hrt and suggested ADs, after a week or so of taking them I felt like a different person, well, actually like me again. I've been on them for 5 months now and apart from sweating lots, no pmt/peri symptoms and no side effects to the medication.
My periods are becoming wider and wider apart, going 6/7 weeks - at their worst I was bleeding for 7 days out of 20.

celestialbows Tue 27-Aug-13 17:09:32

Meditrina: thanks for the tip, I will check out the board. I mainly post from my phone, quickly and usually in the loo, or walking home from work.

aibu is bookmarked and it's not easy to get around the website on the small screen with limited time!

I don't want to move the thread though, I specifically posted here because a few aibu posters had been chatting about it in an unrelated thread and I think that it has been a useful place for people to post who perhaps don't know about the other boards or like me have found generic menopause sites to be geared towards older women in established menopause rather than those of us skirting around the periphery of menopause!
At least now people can be directed to the appropriate forum.

celestialbows Tue 27-Aug-13 17:17:04

Halfspamhalfbrisket: I think you made a wise choice, tent trumps portaloo any day unless you are the first person to use it when it's pristine!

Electricsoftparade: your post is brilliant and gave me a much needed giggle! Glad that the hrt works for you

I am definitely more clumsy than usual, joint pain is worse and yy to the poster who wrote about doubling up on protection, I go for two tampons, two pads, two pairs of pants and I still flood through to the mattress! I am still embarrassed in front of dh, he is very kind about it but it must gross him out!

campocaro Tue 27-Aug-13 17:47:58

Electricsoftparade:´I love your keyboard explanation and have had many 'wine elated incidents' myself...

I am now thankfully well into menopause although my emotional thermostat is still wonky and I often find myself enraged at certain things my DH and teenage DD do...

Beastofburden Tue 27-Aug-13 18:17:21

Do people who have tried the mirena coil find it makes them put on weight?

BelaLugosisShed Tue 27-Aug-13 18:55:52

Talking of "flooding" episodes, I had a horrific period whilst on holiday in June, hadn't had one since Feb and had taken supplies just in case, cue me sitting on a towel on a bus trip to Ephesus in Turkey, I'd taken a dozen super+ tampons and half a dozen liners with me and used them all in the 8 hours before we got back on the bus for the 2 and a half hour ride back to the hotel. I'd taken spare knickers and changed them at some roadside cafe north of Bodrum, that was within a couple of hours of starting off.

celestialbows Tue 27-Aug-13 19:36:45

Oh belalugosisShed that's an awful story. Have your periods been erratic for long?
I posted previously on the wedding thread about my worst flooding experience to date: I went with the bride to her dress fitting and bled over the seamstress' cream chaise longue! How absolutely mortified was I?!

loveinthemist Tue 27-Aug-13 19:55:36

Well I'm 44 and am definitely peri-menopausal. First signs started about 3 years ago when the skin on my face started breaking out in spots every month. I've been lucky enough to escape acne all my life until now so it's been a bit of a shock. Then my hair started thinning at the front about 2 years ago - have been tested for thyroid disorder but results came back as inconclusive. In the past year my periods have started getting really erratic - up until then they were like clockwork - arriving every 28 days and lasting about 4 days. My last one arrived 6 days early and lasted 10 blooming days. Last but not least my libido has plummeted and I'm convinced this is hormone related... All a bit depressing really and I just wonder how long this is going to drag on for??

bunchoffives Tue 27-Aug-13 19:57:39

I see your bridal fitting and raise you an awards ceremony celestial

My periods have been erratic for a couple of years now (49). Last winter they were almost constant, culminating in flooding at said awards ceremony. I could feel things weren't right but the lights were down while a speech/video was on so I couldn't get up to go to the ladies. Fortunately when the lights came up I was found I was sitting on a scarlet velvet-type seat. Even so there was a small pool that I had to casually throw my napkin over as I ran screaming and crying to the loo. very very blush

Ah the joys of ageing <sigh>

gordyslovesheep Tue 27-Aug-13 20:08:01

sorry I didn't come back!

Red Clover, Black Cohosh and evening primrose I an thinking about x

solvendie Tue 27-Aug-13 20:18:43

I feel like this. Went to the GP and was similarly fobbed off. Told I should get coil fitted even though I explained what a nightmare I am with contraceptives.

Anyway, I read somewhere about taking magnesium and evening primrose oil. I take 1000mg of each every day. It has worked brilliantly for me. My skin is clear, I have fewer and less dramatic night sweats, my periods are less painful and debilitating and most importantly my mood has lifted. I feel more 'me' than I have in years and better able to cope with life. I would recommend trying them.

babybarrister Tue 27-Aug-13 20:40:30

I do think hat this is a great thread and in the right place too as it has signposted the menopause boards for all of us who hoped thought we were not yet ready to dip our toes in that pond ...

I am also getting very heavy periods at 44, bad PMT, bad skin and a shortening cycle - oh joy!

babybarrister Tue 27-Aug-13 20:41:56

Re flooding nightmares, I so feel for you all - luckily I am always wearing black as a barrister !

sparklingstars Tue 27-Aug-13 21:02:14

I didn't gain weight with Mirena.
The only consolation I have for my very heavy periods is that they are only 3 days long. I recently had to deal with it starting when on the plane going on holiday, that was Not Good.

PaulSmenis Tue 27-Aug-13 21:06:09

I'm so glad to see this thread. I'm pretty sure that I'm going through the perimenopause, but the GP said I'm too young.

Abra1d Tue 27-Aug-13 21:09:18

Does anyone else do the going to bed with a (dark) hand towel trick, so that they can quickly shove it between their legs on rising in the morning? Oh the glamour.

MrsAMerrick Tue 27-Aug-13 21:55:39

I am 46, periods have been horrendous for 4 years - I had a coil fitted 3 years ago, which made no difference, now take noresthrone which also doesn't make a difference except that it regulates when my periods happen. PLus Tranexamic acid which i think makes a (very) slight difference. Periods last 10 - 14 days, flooding usually happens on 3 or 4 days but NOT the first 3 or 4 necessarily, can happen as late as Day 10. I take spare clothes to work, make sure i ahve super-thick Sanitary Towels with me at all times, and sleep with a douled-over bath towel under my bedsheet for 2 weeks each month. It's grim and I just want the menopause to arrive and no more periods. Can't wait. Meanwhile, I soldier on.....

mkmjimmy Tue 27-Aug-13 22:06:56

Hi Mrs m. have you tried ibuprofen?. In reasonably high doses it can stop or slow the bleeding.talk to your gp about it perhaps? I had one flood that tranexamic acid and ibuprofen halted after a day. Also gp explained that anaemia can make bleeding worse so checked and had v low iron. I can take hrt and I haven't had another flood since starting it and heavy duty iron. apologies if you've already been down this route.

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