Extended breastfeeding - and menopause anyone?(7 Posts)
Ok, I'm posting this here because if there's an answer to this I'm going to get to it on mumsnet. Certainly there's not much info out there for me.
I'm ONLY 40. I've a 4 year old and a 2 year old. I still bf the 2 year old, mostly at night, so pretty infrequently now, perhaps 3 or 4 short toddler feeds a day. My periods returned when he was 20 months, and at first were normal for me. I've always had a short (23/24) cycle, so before Christmas my cycles were 26, 23 then 26 days. Fine.
Since Christmas, they've been 40, 17, 19, and I'm still waiting for this one at 43 days...
I started using ov sticks to see when I was ovulating, and I'm seeing multiple LH surges. I can always see a test LH line on the sticks, even if the test isn't positive. I have had some trouble sleeping, which is cruelly ironic since my co-sleeping toddler is finally sleeping better and I ought to be getting a full night's sleep for the first time in nearly 5 years. A couple of other symptoms which may align with my thinking that this might be perimenopause, like feeling a bit hot at nights, and general anxiety and short-temper. I don't think the occasional bf is enough to cause the irregular periods, and the generally high LH.
If I'm right, it's very hard to get my head around. I may not be a 'young' mother, but I am still in the 'new' mum phase, with nappies and breastfeeding. I'm quite upset about this, I feel too young to be dealing with this.
I dare not go to the GP to discuss, as you can imagine the conversations about extended bf and hormones will monopolise the conversation.
Of course, there's very little info about perimenopause and bf out there.
Can anyone help? Anyone else been through this and can offer advice or information please?
You don't have to tell your GP you are breastfeeding. I don't know a lot about the subject but I can't see lactation affecting the tests they would do for menopause. Also, is there any chance you're pregnant?? xx
I'm not going through exactly the same as you verylittlecarrot but I am breastfeeding my dd (8.5months) and I had early menopause in my late teens (we had IVF to have dd).
So whilst not the same, I wanted to add that your GP will test your hormone levels by taking blood tests. Having spoken to my GP recently (as my menopausal symptoms have returned - hot flushes, not sleeping well, dryness down below, irritability ) he said he could only check my levels once I'd stopped bf'ing, and also was not able to prescribe anything either.
As I'm not intending to stop bf'ing any time soon, I'm trying to wade out the symptoms.
Unfortunately, I've been looking in to bf'ing and managing menopause symptoms naturally and not found much info so whilst I'm happy my body is doing what I want it to do (bf), I just have to cope with the symptoms
I know it's hard going to the GP, especially if s/he is judgmental on your bf'ing, but I think it is the way to go, even just to have a discussion about your concerns and feeling a bit down that it is potentially perimenopause
All the best
Thank you both for responding. I'm definitely not pg, I've tested.
I'm sorry you went through POF GodisaDJ; that must have been horrific. My problems pale in comparison, I realise. So glad to hear you have your dd, and congrats on bf. I'm not surprised your doctor said he wouldn't check hormone levels, but I do wonder if he might be wrong. It seems many GPs hear "breastfeeding" and freeze like a rabbit in the headlights - can't prescribe, can't test, can't diagnose...
My DH thinks I'm way off with my perimenopause theory, BTW!
I'm possibly going to buy a home FSH test kit, but since they are supposed to be used on day 3 of your cycle I need my bloomin cycle to turn up first.
I dont think I am in this situation, but it is something I worry about.
I am 41 and bfeeding my 8 month old, I dont intend to stop until she wants too.
Mom started the menopause whan I was around 13 so about 35, dsis is 2 years younger than me and has been having symptoms for a while, but has always had problems with that side of things.
I now have an implant and dont know if this will mask symptoms as it stops my periods or not.
Thanks carrot for your kind words. Its all good now dd is here, little miracle. And I've always said we've had it easy compared to most (knowing they'd be a 'journey' to have a child compared to finding out after trying for years). Have always tried to see the positive side too and the journey has made me a stronger and contented person.
Consultant has said I can't take anything until i stop bf'ing but GP is still as helpful as a chocolate teapot when I had initial conversation with him . I'm loving bf'ing too much to think about stopping so will see what the next 6 months looks like
Hopefully you'll get to the bottom of you're symptoms and it's something completely random and not menopause!
I know this is a zombie thread, but I'm posting on the off chance the op is still around!
I could have written your post, though my periods did settle into their old regular pattern after a year. I think I'm drawing out by journey to an end at 3.5 now, but I just wondered what happened in the end OP? I'm 39 and wondering if I'm perimenopausal or its the effect of the bf in me.
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