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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!

GoingGoingGoth Fri 13-Sep-13 23:51:20

Another one here grateful for this thread. I'm 43 but DM was in her 50's when she hit the menopause so I thought I had years to go, but reading these symptoms I'm now pretty sure I'm going through it.

PMT is a killer, I'm either weepy or such a bitch to DH.
Periods are erratic and I thought I was imagining the flooding. And so painful
I get so hot at night, in Scotland so it's not due to the weather

Am due my smear next week, so will ask about the blood test then

gnushoes Thu 12-Sep-13 09:28:11

Just found this thread -- oh joy.
Can I contribute awful sore vulva which is really affecting my quality of life. Even on ovestin I'm sitting on a U-shaped cushion to work, swimming causes awful problems and can only run if things are going well. 52, and this started with a bang earlier in the year. Still having (wonky) periods, and get very cold.

mankyscotslass Wed 11-Sep-13 15:49:54

Thank you - I need to book in for a smear so may as well do it then. I can't remember the last time I went to the doctor for myself!

mkmjimmy Wed 11-Sep-13 14:54:45

Hi Manky. If you are flooding and the tiredness is getting worse I'd say yes go and get checked out - it could save you years of 'putting up with it'. You might be low in iron because of the bleeding which can usually be quickly fixed - ask for a blood test. Ask about HRT - helped me with hot flushes, night sweats and all the other yummy stuff. It might suit you - it really helped me. Still not a barrel of laughs - get very down from hormones - but a lot of the other symptoms have been managed.

mankyscotslass Wed 11-Sep-13 13:44:15

I'm 43, and I think peri-menopausal.

I'm having hot flushes, usually in the evening or just before I fall asleep, I am really tired all the time and my periods are changing from every 29 days to anything between 21-35 days. They have always been heavy and painful, but the flooding is worse now.

I have poor short term memory and my sweat is smelly now, which it never really was before. Lovely. hmm

I'm debating whether to just wait it out or go and get checked at the doctors.

My mum said by 47 she had been through it all and come out the other side a new woman....only four more years to wait. confused

luccamum Wed 11-Sep-13 13:36:43

Hi, longtime lurker here, but I had to post on this thread.
Have always had long heavy periods, and in my 20's had some truly gruesome ones and since my early 30's my hormone levels have been up and down like yo-yo's. Wasn't really looking forward to the perimenopause, but hoped that maybe things would just sort of peter out and then stop.
No such luck. At first my periods did seem to get lighter and more spaced out, but for the last year they have been all over the place, two months, three months, six months, then 2 in 3 weeks!
And the flooding...........
No rhyme or reason, can happen on Day 1, day 3, day 10.
Today is day 2, haven't had a period for 3 months, came on yesterday just as I was going to work - thanks a bunch, not too bad, but today its awful, super tampons last 45 mins if I'm lucky and the washing machine has already been on twice. Not surprisingly I'm not at work, my boss is understanding, but I don't get any sick pay so I can't afford to do this very often.
Been to see the GP, had blood tests, been told I'm normal and that they will stop in time....
If men suffered from this they would have found a "cure" for sure!

KatyPutTheCuttleOn Wed 11-Sep-13 13:29:36

Annoyingly, mine has gone curly at the front but the rest has stayed straight. I now have to curl it all or straighten it all.

Impomea Wed 11-Sep-13 11:12:18

BBB -I have had dead straight hair all my life .It's been really short for about 20 years.Decided to grow it and can't believe it's now curly. It looks quite nice actually from the back!

BigBoobiedBertha Wed 11-Sep-13 09:15:41

Impomea - I don't have curly hair yet but I was wondering if that was coming. I had curly hair at birth, it was straight after my first hair cut and stayed that way until puberty and then was curly for 10 years before going straight again and remaining that way from my mid 20's. I reckon it goes curly with big hormone changes and know a couple of people who have gone curly later in life.

I await the next stage with interest.

BigBoobiedBertha Wed 11-Sep-13 09:09:16

Mardy - my feet got bigger when I was pregnant and haven't ever got smaller again. I think the extra weight spread them blush I really don't want to be getting any bigger so I hope it is just you. (Was a 7, now 7.5 to 8)

Could your shoe size increase be the result of a bit of extra fluid retention? Or could it be that after a summer of sandals you have started wearing shoes again and they feel tight because you aren't used to them or because they have shrunk a tiny bit through lack of use. I know I always find that with the first wearing of leather shoes after a long break.

TheConstantLurker Tue 10-Sep-13 22:56:50

Ordered biofem off amazon.
No to bigger feet.
Grey hair though with frizzy pube-like bits at the sides.
Chin hair. I would look like the cliched witch if I didn't pluck em.
No period now for 6 weeks.
Have had night sweats though they have stopped.

Impomea Tue 10-Sep-13 17:50:34

What about clumsiness and curly hair or is it just me?
I am 50 and have no other symptoms and definately no mood swings (lie)

MardyBra Tue 10-Sep-13 17:35:40

I have also lost the ability to place question marks in the correct place.

MardyBra Tue 10-Sep-13 17:35:16

Have anyone's feet got bigger in the menopause. My shoes have been feeling tight?

Lazysuzanne Tue 10-Sep-13 16:08:57

yes, I've bought it in boots
I dont know if some sort of prescription estrogen cream would also be a thing to go for but I think biofem is very good for fortifying your delicate area's grin

TheConstantLurker Tue 10-Sep-13 12:20:38

Aha. Is it available in Boots?

Lazysuzanne Tue 10-Sep-13 10:36:38

I have found biofem very useful for sex induced soreness, not sure if it would be the complete solution for you but it is very soothing to the area

TheConstantLurker Tue 10-Sep-13 10:29:07

Hi, I just started a new relationship after years of no sex and am having a nightmare time with any sexual activity causing soreness, swelling and thrush symptoms. I'm 50.
What is the best way to get it sorted, doctor, pharmacist or just some cream or gel from Boots?

Nanny0gg Sat 07-Sep-13 00:20:53

Try that.

celestialbows Fri 06-Sep-13 08:30:48

I have received an email reply from the practice Manager to my letter yesterday. She said that the GPs involved have been sent a copy of my email and will be given a chance to reply in line with their complaint procedure.

I thanked her for this and asked how long it might take for a referral!

I have saved another complaint about inappropriate behaviour /comments from my GP as I wanted my hormones letter to be as concise as possible but if I receive an unhelpful reply I will wheel out this secondary complaint!

celestialbows Fri 06-Sep-13 08:30:11

emmelinelucas I read your thread on the other boards. Your boss has been horrible and you should flag this up with hr / personnel or a union to ensure that people know what you are going through in case anything else happens with your boss.

emmelinelucas Thu 05-Sep-13 17:12:08

It wont work . Ignore it. sorry blush

emmelinelucas Thu 05-Sep-13 17:11:17

I will try to link

emmelinelucas Thu 05-Sep-13 16:42:37

I just wanted to let my friends on here know that I have posted in employment issues about a problem at work since i started with the flushes (the only outward sign I have)
I cant link, im sorry
But I am so cross and yes- emotional.

celestialbows Thu 05-Sep-13 14:04:56

please see my letter to the practice manager, it took me ages, i probably should have had it checked on here first but had a quiet couple of hours so wanted to crack on, it is undoubtedly long and I've left out lots of incidentals but wasnt sure how much to chop and how much to leave in:

To whom it may concern

In 2007 I started to experience menstrual irregularity. I was with a different practice (***) where one of the GPs I saw suggested Clomid to help me to ovulate and to become pregnant.

When I became pregnant in 2009 I was diagnosed with symphisis pubis disorder (now commonly known as pelvic girdle pain.)

The pain improved temporarily after I gave birth in 2010 but returned once my periods started again four months later.
My hip/back/pelvic pain increases around the time of ovulation up until after my period starts. I also experience increased anxiety and emotional disturbance around this time.
My GP has advised that my cyclical problems are the same for all women and refused to enter into discussion regarding my periods or my physical condition. He offered tests for thyroid, and possibly anemia and diabetes but wouldn’t discuss testing my reproductive hormones.
I asked for a copy of the initial test results to show a nutritional therapist but he refused stating that he doesn’t ‘deal with third hand information”. These results would have saved me a considerable sum of money.
I also told him that when I have experienced anxiety in the past Beta-blockers have helped me to manage the debilitating symptoms. I also advised how I have horrible experiences of anti depressants and would prefer to try the beta-blockers first which he refused.

I saw another GP who at least agreed to refer me for a scan as ovulation is painful. The scan showed no abnormality for which I am grateful but this does not demonstrate why I have had exceptional problems with my hormones throughout my life, surely this raises the possibility of an underlying gynecological or hormonal condition.

Due to lack of progress with GPs I paid privately for hormone tests, which show that my oestrogen levels are low, the suggestion is to return to the GP with the test results and seek appropriate support..
It seems unfair that I have paid my taxes for so many years that I have to resort to private testing.
After a couple of very late periods I spoke to another GP in your practice who said that I was that I'm too young for menopause and I’m only presenting with PMT and that the tests I paid for are notoriously unreliable. He offered me ‘the pill’ without knowing which hormones are imbalanced or deficient. I have had very negative experiences with the pill as well which I tried to explain. I don’t want to take medication which exacerbates my symptoms

I have all the symptoms of perimenopause: hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings, my periods are heavy and erratic, menstrual flooding and am much more anxious than usual. The pain in my hips, back and pelvis is excruciating on a daily basis despite following a regime of regular medication as advised by the physiotherapist.
I am concerned that there is an increased risk of osteoporosis with ‘early’ menopause although research suggests that I am at a normal age to experience this.

There doesn’t appear to be a women's health specialist at the surgery; the GPs have offered me anti depressants and the pill to counteract the mood swings and irregular cycle without actually investigating the cause of the problems. 

Every time I try to assert myself with the GPs I end up in tears of frustration, which only compounds the anti depressant prescription!
I have a patients right to request a women’s’ health/gynaecologist referral from my GP surgery and am concerned that this might be disregarded due to funding but you should not deny me access to appropriate specialists in the area based on my history.

There are other issues too numerous to list in this letter. As a family with young children we chose to change surgery due to the convenient location when we moved house but I am very unhappy with the overall service from your practice.

Kind regards


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