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Should I do anything?

(2 Posts)
Doctordodger Sun 04-Jan-15 11:58:55

Can you wise women advise?

I'm now 56, haven't had a period for a year, and the one before that was 6 months earlier: so 2 periods in the last 18 months. No other physical symptoms of menopause.

I have had a couple of years of high stress & workload -- I've been lacking in my usual (boundless) energy & get up & go: I couldn't really be bothered to get going on new projects & have been mentally tired. But I work at a fairly high level job, with a 60 hour working week, & high expectations. And I was head-hunted to move to the other end of the country with a quite complicated set of domestic circumstances.

I stupidly stopped daily fairly strenuous exercise (running & gym work outs) for a couple of years as I thought I was too busy (stupid, stupid) but have resumed exercise & am getting my energy back.

So I assume I have now passed through the menopause? I look back & I wonder whether the emotional/mental slough I was in was the main symptom? The trough was evident to me, but according to friends and colleagues I didn't seem any different (most people comment on my energy & productivity in my job & the way I'm always doing things).

I tend to be a doctor dodger & currently single (long-time widowed). I haven't really had physical symptoms, as far as I can tell:for example, no vaginal dryness, but as I'm not currently sexually active (not a choice just bloody unfortunate circumstance, I think unfortunately I'll probably never have sex in my life again, I hate that thought but there you go). Should I see my doctor specifically about the menopause? Or should I just thank my lucky stars that I've passed through with apparently little trouble? Is there anything I need to have checked, over & above standard mammograms/smears?

TIA for any wisdom or experiences? And I know that I"ve been very very lucky & some people might just hate me. That's why I'm reluctant to use up NHS time.

pinkfrocks Sun 04-Jan-15 15:17:12

I don't think you need to see your dr. The menopause is only an issue to take to the dr if you have symptoms that are seriously undermining your quality of life for more than a few months, or if you have an early menopause that increases the risks of heart disease and osteoporosis.

There are some things to keep in mind though.

Vagianl dryness may start at any time - it's a long term condition and women in their 80s often have to start/ resume using local HRT (vaginally) to help with soreness and bladder symptoms.

There is some research commented on by the International Menopause Society recently which states that HRT taken within 10 years of the menopause ( in your case started before you are 65) appears to have a very beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system - a lower risk of heart attack and stroke and it does seem to protect against colorectal cancer too.

Similarly if you are at risk from osteoporosis - maybe you are very thin/slim, have certain risk factors of any kind, or have a family history, then a bone scan (DEXA) is worth considering to get a baseline of your bone density now.

I think the most important consideration for you is to look after your heart because a stressful job and working long hours in your mid-late 50s is going to put you now at the same risk of heart disease as men (oestrogen is protective) so you should keep up the exercise and think about your work-life balance.

You can still start HRT now if you have any problems that arise, but some GPs get a bit sniffy about starting it over 60, but many consultants are more open minded.

Bit off topic- but would you consider internet dating or similar if you want to meet anyone ?

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