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Perimenapause- please help, I'm clueless

(25 Posts)
SSYMONDS Sat 13-May-17 23:52:09

I'm 41. My mum menopaused early, but she passed away a couple of years ago so I can't ask her about it.

I had a couple of years where I bleed almost constantly and was very anxious and short tempered. I started taking a v low dose of Prozac and I am coping much better emotionally.

But now I have v irregular periods - a bit of spotting then nothing for 4 months, then again for 2 months etc.

Also hAve headaches, bloating, gas and uncharacteristic weight gain around my middle. Also occasional night sweats and my skin has become much looser/ more saggy.

I'm pretty sure it's perimenapause, and maybe I should look at HRT but the GP says it's hard to say and I should wait it out.

Has anyone got experience of this? I would really like to know if there is a way of diagnosing and doing something to improve my situation.

Thank you for your help.

Trying2bgd Sun 14-May-17 00:02:52


I think I am in a similar situation. I have always been pretty regular and my periods have followed the same pattern but in the last year they are changing and frankly unpredictable. And like you seem more bloated, headaches etc. Others I have spoken say yes its perimenapause but to be honest I don't really know what that means in practical terms. Should I be getting medical help or just carry on? Lets see what others say!

tumpymummy Sun 14-May-17 00:26:43

I'm the same! Age 48. Have always had regular periods but over the past 18 months they have become really erratic and not very often. Have also started getting more headaches (thankfully go with neurofen) but sometimes I wake up with one. Also started getting nightsweats (was wondering if I was wearing the wrong pyjamas for the time of year!) And the worst thing is my tummy - where has that come from!? I exercise 3 times a week but it's just growing! I have never had to wAtch what I eat but now I am really not happy with my weight. My diet hasn't changed but my tummy definitely has. I'm not sure if we need to do anything or not? Except eat less cake ( which is hard!)

GoodyGoodyGumdrops Sun 14-May-17 00:39:18

I'm fairly sure that 'just ride it out' is an outdated attitude, and that NICE guidelines now say that women with peri symptoms should be offered HRT. The benefits far outweigh the risks, for most women.

You should have checks to make sure it can't be anything else causing your symptoms (I had various blood tests and an US of ovaries and uterus.)

HRT is a complete game-changer IMO. It has been amazing for me.

SSYMONDS Sun 14-May-17 10:29:02

Thank you GOODY. I think HRT may be a good solution for me too as I am so young. (the thickening waist is really getting to me, I've always taken care over my appearance and it's horrible not to fit in my regular clothes).
Do I have to 'prove' I'm in perimenapause- how is that done?

Squeegle Sun 14-May-17 10:32:04

You need to request some blood tests are done. Say that your mum had early menopause.

SSYMONDS Sun 14-May-17 14:40:02

Thanks. Does it matter when the blood tests are done? Someone said they had to be done at a certain point in a cycle, but the truth is my periods are so random and spaced out now I have no idea when that would be...

GoodyGoodyGumdrops Sun 14-May-17 19:42:39

IIRC the blood tests for Peri are very unreliable. Your levels of FSH can fluctuate wildly, as one month your pituitary struggles to get your ovaries to respond, and the next they tick over fine. But the tests should check whether there may be other causes for your symptoms, such as anaemia or an underactive thyroid.

If you present the classic symptoms of peri you do not generally need to prove it is peri.

SSYMONDS Mon 15-May-17 13:08:01

That is extremely helpful. Thank you. Am going to the dr this week to ask to try HRT. Is there a particular type I should ask for?

TheMerryWidow1 Mon 15-May-17 13:11:58

Hi, you need a blood test, I had the same issue at 43, now 48 and 20 months without a period. But they won't put me on HRT as I'm too young!!! On a very low dose of anti depressants to help me sleep and help with the headaches. Flushes I just put up with.

GoodyGoodyGumdrops Mon 15-May-17 15:35:25

TheMerry, that's nonsense and you need to insist! There is no such thing as too young for HRT. Quite the opposite - the earlier your menopause, the more important it is that you go on HRT. The earlier your menopause, the more years of bone-thinning you will have to live with, so you are at more risk of osteoporosis. You need the HRT to protect your bones.

GoodyGoodyGumdrops Mon 15-May-17 15:38:21

SSY I'm not a medic, but from personal experience I prefer patches. I've tried gel and did not get on with it. With oral HRT you have periods. No thanks, meno has one positive! So I've got Mirena plus patches.

SSYMONDS Mon 15-May-17 21:49:07

I had no idea I would have periods with the oral - definitely keen to swerve that.
Is there anything in the bio identical vs synthetic etc?

Also, the extra weight around the middle - will it go if I start HRT?!

Thanks again

GoodyGoodyGumdrops Mon 15-May-17 22:18:00

Sorry, but I really don't know.

Actually I wasn't quite accurate about periods. It's the Mirena coil that prevents the periods. If you still have your uterus, you cannot take oestrogen-only HRT. You have to take progesterone as well, which causes the periods. But a Mirena provides the progesterone, without causing periods. So presumably you could have a Mirena with oral oestrogen. But IIRC trans-dermal is healthier than oral (though I don't remember why).

Bunnyfuller Mon 15-May-17 23:43:30

I went into perimenopause at age 40. I'm on HRT, doc says I need it having started it so early. It hasn't completely banished the symptoms but they're a lot more manageable. I had no clue for a long time what was going on and by the time I went to the doctors I thought I must be seriously ill, the night sweats, fatigue and general malaise were so severe.

The HRT doesn't help the tummy go tho! I'm on Elleste Duet, yes, I get periods but they're mostly way more easy to cope with than before HRT. Weirdly I quite like having a regular period! Years of an undiagnosed thyroid problem and infertility made for very irregular periods and that always reminded me of our struggle to become parents. Now I feel fertile lol, ironic because my ovaries are definitely in their dotage!

SSYMONDS Tue 16-May-17 12:51:07

Thanks for this - I have a lot to learn...
I am really hoping there is something that will help with the symptoms and also reverse some of this premature aging and weight gain... if anyone has a good experience of that I'd definitely be glad to hear!

GoodyGoodyGumdrops Tue 16-May-17 13:21:14

I have nothing but good experience of HRT - it has transformed my life. I would not give it up now. Not even if it doubled my chance of developing a cancer. I'd rather my dc have 10 more years of a sane, calm, rational mum, than 20 years of a disfunctional, screaming wreck.

HRT has enabled me to take action about other things, such as dieting.

Bunnyfuller Tue 16-May-17 16:31:59

Goody has nailed it. When I started it I felt more normal than I had for years.

SSYMONDS Tue 16-May-17 20:46:23

That's what I needed to hear! I am already on a low dose of Prozac for pmt, now getting fatter round the middle, not sleeping well etc.
Hope the dr will say yes on Thursday.
Does it matter what sort I get prescribed?

Bunnyfuller Tue 16-May-17 21:07:33

I think it's like any hormone, there might be a bit of trial and error to find what suits you. I started on lowest dose but after a year it was upped. You don't need a blood test - they're completely unreliable in peri because it's your hormones fluctuating so much that causes the symptoms! My GP prescribed on symptoms, it starting early and how it was affecting my quality of life (probably prevented a few murders!)

CookieLady Tue 16-May-17 21:13:04

Hear, hear, Goody. Totally agree with you. I'm on Elleste duet. Hasn't stopped weight gain but panic attacks, moody swings are gone. Sleeping a wee bit better.

Musicaltheatremum Tue 16-May-17 21:37:16

The website "menopause matters" is very good.

Okkitokkiunga Tue 16-May-17 21:45:21

Can you have HRT if you aren't allowed to go on the pill? I'm 42 and have quite a few symptoms so been thinking about going to docs. I was taken off the pill 12 years ago because of migraine.

SSYMONDS Wed 17-May-17 06:48:27

Thanks again, this is all so helpful. I'll look at menopause matters website now

SSYMONDS Fri 19-May-17 06:22:35

I went to the dr. She wants to do blood tests anyway. She says if my fsh is low she'll insist on HRT because of my age/ increased health risk.

She says if it doesn't show up, it's up to me. She said night sweats, insomnia and brain fog will all go away with HRT, but it could increase weight and pmt. so up to me.

I'll do the test first, and really focus on losing a stone so I'm starting in a good place I think...

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