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Would anyone like to join me in a Menopausal Support Group?

(51 Posts)
Dumbledoresgirl Fri 17-Jan-14 14:56:17

I am going through quite a tough time physically at the moment. Doctors haven't been much use, HRT does not appeal, but the support of a few other women going through the same thing would be lovely.

I am 49 and haven't actually gone through the menopause yet but have been having symptoms of change for quite a few years now. Recently the symptoms have increased and new ones have started, or I have become aware of them anyway. I try to reassure myself that things will get better one day but the journey to the other side (of the menopause I mean, not death!) seems long.

Is anyone else out there wanting to share how they feel, or have a moan or look for reassurance? Anything really. Actually, a RL friend of mine is going through the same and suggested we met up for a moan but all I could think of was I would rather meet for fun than a moan! But I know what she meant.

Jaffacakesallround Fri 17-Jan-14 17:52:22

Do you need to start a support group or can you not simply post your feelings here and ask for comments?

You might like to join Menopause Matters which is an entire website and forum devoted to the meno smile

Jellykat Fri 17-Jan-14 18:18:32

I'm in.. am a year older then you, and have been having symptoms for years, but it's hit me like a ton of bricks this Winter, am so peed off with it!

If ya wanna have a good rant about your symptoms, i'm here, especially as the only person i know in RL going through this, has gone down the HRT route.. and like you, i'm really not keen.

Dumbledoresgirl Fri 17-Jan-14 20:26:08

Thanks Jaffacake, I'll check that link out. My symptoms aren't the classic ones so it will be interesting to see if I can find anyone else who is going through the same as me. I suppose 'support group' sounds a bit formal. I was just looking to chat with others who aren't sailing serenely through the menopause.

Hi Jellykat! I feel your pain (literally, probably). It seems worse for me right now too but I had not thought that it being the winter might have anything to do with it. Though, funnily enough, last summer I went 4 months without any symptoms so maybe it can be affected by the season. confused

Is your friend getting on well with HRT?

Lauren83 Fri 17-Jan-14 20:38:08

I'm in, I'm 30! Recently diagnosed. Suffering too! X

Jellykat Fri 17-Jan-14 21:46:54

She is Dumblesdoresgirl, she started off with a certain 'dryness' and had a topical cream which sorted that aspect it for a while, but now she's progressed to tablet form, as she developed chronic insomnia.

I had hot flushes and night sweats in the Summer, and a bit of me thought it would be a bit handy in the Winter, but the bloody things have disappeared.. typical!

Are you managing to sleep OP?

BIWI Fri 17-Jan-14 21:49:36


I'm 54 and through the other side now. Thankfully for me, the worst symptoms were the hot flushes. I still get them occasionally but they're a lot fewer now, and don't wake me up as much during the night.

Two things that really made a difference:

- returning to low carbing (especially keeping alcohol/caffeine to a minimum - not always something I succeeded in blush)

- Boots Menolieve tablets. These were an absolute Godsend.

Good luck


Jellykat Fri 17-Jan-14 22:19:55

I've eyed up the Menolieve a few times, interesting that you think they're good..
Can i just ask, when you say you're out the other side, is that measured by at least 12 months since your last period? I gather that's the watershed officially, is it?

Dumbledoresgirl Sat 18-Jan-14 11:12:57

I am probably being naive, but I always wonder why vaginal dryness is such a problem. Don't people just use KY Jelly? confused I am probably missing the point somewhere. blush

My main symptoms (apart from the irregular periods, missing periods, and the fact that my periods, when they come, scarcely involve any blood - none of which I mind at all!) are dreadful headaches which can go on for days and are usually accompanied by terrible fatigue. Also, woolly-headedness, loss of memory, and recently, even I can't deny I have terrible moods. My dh has been saying I get PMT for a few years now which I have always denied vigorously, but even I can't miss my unbelievable snappiness. I am not sure it occurs before a period though (the cycle being so irregular) but sometimes I feel like I am sizzling with pent up anger. sad All totally unjustified.

The headaches are the worst part though. I have read that HRT can cause headaches so that puts me off taking it, in addition to the usual fears about HRT.

I think I get hot flushes a bit - I do seem to come over rather hot and bothered sometimes for no reason - but that symptom isn't bad enough to bother me yet. Ditto sweats - do they have to be at night to count? I can find myself sweating excessively as if I have forgotten my anti-perspirant sometimes during the day. BIWI, did the hot flushes start abruptly for you or did they build slowly over time? I really don't know if mine are what I think they are or whether I am kidding myself and I have it all to come still.

I will look for Menolieve tablets in Boots as a starting point. Thanks for the tip. I am uncertain about low-carbing. I do try to stay off bread etc anyway, but then, when my head is bad (often!) I actually find that eating high carb foods can make it better confused

Jellykat Sat 18-Jan-14 14:01:03

Just popping in (am supposed to be working)

I imagine the KY jelly thing is great externally, but the cervix and walls need some protection too (especially as the walls tend to thin now too), so unless you're going to squirt a vast quantity up there, there's going to be discomfort, possible problems with cervical erosion etc.. That's my guess.

It sounds like you could try Evening Primrose for the PMT, i've heard it's really excellent for mood swings!..

I suddenly had hot flushes about 4 years ago for 6 months, then about 12 of them last summer with night sweats, they felt like my blood was boiling from the chest up (mainly face) does that sound familiar? Excessive sweating would make sense as our internal temperature controls are up the spout.. just a thought though, have you had your thyroid checked recently (simple blood test) as thyroid problems can emulate perimeno symptoms.

I looked up Menolieve, no good for me, as it's mainly Black Cohosh (sp?) herb, akin to oestrogen.. my levels are ok and as i have oestrogen fed Fibroids, i don't want the buggers to grow. My problem is struggling Progesterone..

Yes, fatigue, headaches, brain fog here too, but my biggest problem is palpitations, anxiety and really bad aching joints particularly in my feet and ankles (am hypermobile too). This is causing a huge problem as i walk everywhere, which i usually like to do fast (no car) and it's soo painful, because of this i struggle in getting from A to B, or exercise like i used to.

I also have Raynauds syndrome, affecting my fingers at this time of year (i sew, and work in a wholefood shop for a living) and now am also awaiting a genetic test for Marfans syndrome, which affects the connective tissue throughout your body. But hey, i can still have a laugh! and apart from limping like an old lady, noone can tell my body's falling apart wink

Apologies for long post! blush

fedupandfifty Sat 18-Jan-14 14:12:49

Christ I think I'm getting off quite lightly..I've had the insomnia, the moods, the tiredness. The flushes seem to come and go, but were solved in part by taking Menopace. I went to the doc who warned me off Hrt, so I've been trying to cope without it.

I cope better when I get lots of exercise and eat a better diet (more greens, fewer carbs).

My worst symptom at the moment is anxiety. It is weird, particularly at night wjen I wake up with palpitations and shaking. And very, very dark thoughts.

I do mindfulness and yoga, which helps immensely. It's nice to know you're not the only one going round the bend, so count me in to a support thread.

Dumbledoresgirl Sat 18-Jan-14 16:26:57

Hi Jellykat and fedupandfifty (the name says it all!)

Oh how could I have forgotten the palpitations? Yes, add those to my list.

And I am not so sure about the aching joints but I do periodically have a really bad knee - stiff and liable to lock together when going up or down steps.

It is hard to escape from the feeling that I am falling apart in all directions.

I suppose I should give the GP another shot but I have not have much help from them in the past. I do have a bit of record of going to the GP with minor complaints and I always feel that I am wasting their time or won't be taken seriously when I go. I imagine my patient notes paint a picture of a woman who worries about every little thing. Which I do, but far more than the GP knows about as I actually hold off forever from going to see them. EG I have had a headache, on and off, since Christmas Day which I have not been about even though I know I should.
Sorry, going on a bit here, not having a good day today.

Yes, fedupandfifty, I agree that exercise helps me too. Hard though at the moment with the awful weather. I know, I am making excuses. smile

dustwhatdust Sat 18-Jan-14 17:54:39

Please don't use KY Jelly, my GP said it was not good but I have always used Play by Durex which I found very helpful. I saw a gynecologist recently who advised using Sylk or Replens as the best as he didn't know Play
I have been on HRT for 3years now, my hot flushes were really bad and I would have done anything to stop them and HRT works for me.

Jaffacakesallround Sat 18-Jan-14 18:52:53

KY is simply a water based lubricant. It will do something superficially but won't restore the oestrogen needed to keep your vagina healthy.
Without oestrogen ( during peri and post meno) the vaginal walls shrink and can easily bleed - not even talking sex- they just become thin and fragile. They also lose tone and this can cause problems with the bladder- frequency, burning when peeing and prolapse. it can take as long as 3-6 months of vaginal HRT to restore the tissues to how they were.

It's perfectly safe to use it this way- old ladies in their 80s do! It's not absorbed into your system.

Headaches are usually caused by low progesterone - many women get them at the end of their cycle before a period starts.

Jaffacakesallround Sat 18-Jan-14 18:59:07

Dumble- when you have a flush you will know! I had them hourly all day from age 53-54 when my periods stopped. I also had insomnia. The flush started base of my neck and rose upwards and lasted for about 2 mins.

I think you should research HRT risks/ benefits via the website and look at the risk/benefit scales.

There are lots of myths about it and the latest guidelines are that for women under 60 it is safe and beneficial, if taken for 5 years and only slightly increased risks for some things if taken for over 5 years.

I've been using it for a few years and feel absolutely great on it- no weight gain, no headaches- nothing.

BIWI Sat 18-Jan-14 19:13:02

Too much of a risk for me - my mum died from advanced breast cancer, and she had been on HRT. So I'm not going to risk it.

Dumbledoresgirl - please go to the GP if you've had a headache for that long. It could be something entirely different from the menopause.

Dumbledoresgirl Sat 18-Jan-14 20:26:06

BIWI - yes, I think so. sad So worried about myself now after a really bad day. Monday morning, I guess I know what I will be doing.

Jaffacakesallround Sat 18-Jan-14 20:51:05

sorry to hear about your mum BIWI
In your shoes I'd be thinking like you.

I've done a lot of research about HRT and cancer, as well as talking to my gynae and the research seems to show that HRT may promote cancer but not cause it- in other words it's been there all along.

dustwhatdust Sat 18-Jan-14 23:35:35

Jaffa, KY not harmful but I was told by GP that that KY was really poor compared to other water based lubricants and it can end up making the vagina feel more dry. Since I suffered from painful sex due to v. artrophy I wanted to use the best available lubricant for this purpose . I am on HRT and vagifem regularly and KY was "NOT recommended "

newnamehere Sun 19-Jan-14 15:50:49

Hi there namechanged for this .. im past menopause still get the odd hot flush periods ceased about 2 years ago .

but I have completely lost my libido... (have a very happy marriage in all other aspects so its not that )

Anyone else?

I am just not prepared to take HRT.. as when I had progesterone implants I put on a huge amount of weight ..and I'm just not risking that again It seems ironic that now ive finally lost that weight ,and back to a size 10 (with 5:2 and low carb) and am looking pretty ok for my age .. , but 'it' just aint there for me any more.

DH is very understanding .. .. but I would like to get it all back so im not just 'going through the motions' when I remember we are supposed to be having a sexual relationship as well .. All the advice I can find online is for HRT or testosterone..(or Relate!)

Any thoughts? .. would the Menolieve help do you think? .

ChilliQueen Sun 19-Jan-14 16:03:16

I think I need to join you if I may... all advice/suggestions welcome!

After over 4 years of watching my periods go from a pretty precise 26/28 day cycle, they have slowly gone all over the place. Last few cycles particularly bad... day 45 - Day 14 - Day 54 - Day 17 - Currently waiting, but over 70 days and no sign of.
My symptoms:
Miserable (not depressed - just a general low feeling)
Anxious (never ever been before)
Pounding heart occasionally
(and I'm not upset or worried about periods finishing - opposite really!)
Lazy (can't be bothered to do any cleaning or much of anything at all)
Hair all dry and whatever put on it still looks dry and frizzy
Don't really care about anything at all that much to be honest.
Bad pains in knee (unsure if related..)
Probably more, but can't think. Oh... yes, also very forgetful.
No sweats yet.

Have had a few blood tests over the last few years to check hormone levels. All return as normal. (Though Doctors have said would need to be tested daily for a while to actually check proper hormone levels - and that's not something NHS does). The first doctor I saw when I was 41 refused to believe it could be peri-menopause due to my age.
I don't mind periods finishing, I just don't like the pain. The short cycles are proving agony when period arrives - me doubled up on the floor often, sweating, but frozen cold (just how my periods were when first started - age 11). The longer cycles appear, so far, to be much less painful. No major blood loss on any cycle though - all really quite/very light and very short-lived.

Am taking daily (not prescribed by doctors) but by me:
2 x 1300mg Evening Primrose Oil (for previous severe boob ache)
1 x 1500mg Glucosamine Sulphate (for knee)
1 x Vitabiotics Menopace Original (hormonal balance)

How long does this last... and will it get worse? I realise everyone is different... and I do remember my mum sweating away madly - is that what I've got to come?

Ragwort Sun 19-Jan-14 16:17:23

Please don't think I am trying to sound smug but can I just mention that not everyone experiences problems with the menopause - I have had absolutely no problems (only one hot flush), periods slowed down and then stopped within two years) - and I don't miss them. No mood swings or anxiety etc. (apart from the normal ups and downs of being mid 50s grin)

Reading Chilli's comments, I am probably lazy but then I've always been lazy so I don't think I can blame the menopause.

Huge sympathies to those who are suffering though, it must be horrible.

fedupandfifty Sun 19-Jan-14 16:58:12

Lucky you, Ragwort! I think you're right though. Not everyone gets problems. Also, some of the symptoms are difficult to isolate and may actually be more to do with other things ie just getting older. I something think I'm just lazy amd looking for something to blame it on!

I've been to the doc amd wasn't taken seriously. I often think I'm imagining things, and blaming the meno.

Jaffacakesallround Sun 19-Jan-14 17:07:05

I can to an extent agree with Ragwort.
I don't want to sound smug- so please don't think that.

I was quite irritable in my late 40s- early 50s but that was partly down to teens living at home! I think I had worse PMT re. moods but that was hard to separate from life at home- had my kids mid 30s so was over 50 when they were still doing A levels etc.

My only symptoms around age 53 were hot flushes every hour and insomnia- waking a lot, being hot ( but not full sweats by any means) in bed .

I had no period problems- they just got lighter and fizzled out over a year from 52.

I did re-train and re-invent myself at 50 and was determined never to think I was over the hill.

I do make a huge effort to eat well and exercise. My gynae decided HRT was a good option because I'd already ditched the sugar, alcohol, caffeine etc for other reasons (IBS related) . I feel good on HRT and will stay on it as long as I can. I know it's not for everyone , and I'm also a great advocate in trying other things like yoga, acupuncture and other diets- Ayurvedic etc- if it helps.

fedupandfifty Sun 19-Jan-14 17:17:08

jaffa I agree about the lifestyle changes. Agree also with not thinking you're over the hill. I felt at my worst at around 48-50; I felt tired, unfit and unattractive, mainly because I felt that's how I should feel! I've got over that, though, mainly. I'm trying to reinvent myself too, at 54, and finding it difficult because I've realised that I AM older and trying to make allowances without giving up altogether.

I've got no libido, either; not for years.

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