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does this sound like peri menopause? go says no.

(17 Posts)
TheStitchWitch Sun 08-May-16 00:29:11

I apologise now for tmi but here goes. I'm 42 and just after Christmas started to notice a huge increase in discharge, the kind that makes you think you've peed yourself (nice) blush.
It had the consistency of underdone egg white, no odour no discomfort, just really unpleasant. I had my routine smear and mentioned it to the nurse and she said it could be the early stages of meno or a bacterial infection and if my smear came back clear to book in with my gp.

It came back clear but since then my periods have also changed, I am usually very regular 28 days cycle, in the last 3 months I've been 26 days, period seems to start but I get the brown yucky stuff for 3-4 days before actual flow starts then I get 2 heavy days whereas I used to have 5 days of full flow.

I've seen my gp who wants to do swabs, and she says there is no way I'm menopausal. confused

I'm so confused and also completely freaked out, I'm 42 fgs, I hope the gp is right but everything I've read online makes me think I could be. Or am I getting worked up over nothing?

I'd really appreciate any opinions please.

lljkk Sun 08-May-16 00:37:47

I don't think our periods are supposed to stay the same throughout our fertile years. All kinds of reasons why things can adjust around during menstruation.

Is your period pattern giving you problems?

TheStitchWitch Sun 08-May-16 00:44:42

Not giving me problems as such, I'm just concerned as to why it's changed and my cycles shortened. Like I said, I'm probably getting worked up over nothing but after being as regular as clockwork for years this is just weird for me.

lljkk Sun 08-May-16 00:50:45

You've seen a doctor who didn't hear anything to concern them. Is that some reassurance?

TimeforaNNChange Sun 08-May-16 01:03:35

stich I'm 43, and could have written your post a year ago. Increase in discharge, then more frequent periods with a change in the type of bleeding. Had blood tests; no sign of anything. GP said not perimenopause.

A year on, I'm now having very distinct peri symptoms - mid cycle bleeding every month, and lots of symptoms of hormone imbalance (extra hair in odd places, Change in libido, anxiety etc). I've had transvaginal scan to rule out gynae cancers (all clear) but the GP has offered me no advice and I've been told to go back for a hormone coil if the bleeding becomes a nuisance.
I'm planning on making a private appt at a menopause clinic to find out what risks I face and what my options are.

SofiaAmes Sun 08-May-16 01:10:37

Peri-menopause can last 10-15 years. I started peri-menopause at 40 and now at 52 am only just thinking that menopause has hit. I'm on the pill which was the very effective treatment for peri-menopausal symptoms for me, so am not entirely sure if my periods have ended. At the time that the symptoms started, I went from one doctor to the next both in the UK and the USA and it took almost 2 years before I finally met (almost at the same time) with a hormonal expert in the USA and in the UK and they both said exactly the same thing: the symptoms are classic peri-menopause and going on a mono-phasic (same dosage all month long) low dose birth control pill should even out the estrogen and eliminate the symptoms. If you don't have any of the contra-indictions for taking birth control pills, I would just try it and see if it helps (while you are waiting for your gp to refer you to a hormone specialist).

TheStitchWitch Sun 08-May-16 08:27:05

TimeforaNNchange, Thank you you've reassured me that I'm not going crazy. I know my symptoms aren't drastic but I just feel different, my GP gave me no reassurance at all, in fact she made me feel silly for even asking. hmm

Sofiaames I think I'm going to go and see another GP as mine wasn't much help. I can't take hormonal contraceptives and have the copper coil for this reason, so whatever symptoms I'm having now, it looks like I'm stuck with them.

peppajay Sun 08-May-16 08:48:55

I am 42 and have exactly the same symptoms as you. My periods have been erratic for about 3 years sometimes I bleed every 2 weeks sometimes I don't bleed for 6 months. Sometimes they last for4 days sometimes 2 weeks., I have a fab GP though who requested blood tests to test for FSH levels with came back high and then a repeat test in 3 months which was also high. I have no other symptoms but she has advised me to think about HRT as I am young and not making as much oestrogen as I should to keep my bones and heart healthy but as I am still bleeding at the moment I am not sure what to do. Although she is a fantastic GP and she has patients queuing out the door to get an appointment with her she will only give me the facts and not tell me what to do re: HRT- I have no other menopausal symptoms what so ever but as it has been medically proven that I am peri menopausal.

TheStitchWitch Sun 08-May-16 09:01:29

Peppajay Thank you, how do you feel now you know for sure that it's peri, I don't even know that I am Peri menopausal, but I hate the thought that I might be. I wasn't prepared for the possibility of it at only 42. sad
I waited until I could get an appointment with a female GP thinking she'd be more understanding....she wasn't. I'm going to go back and see a male GP.

PollyPerky Sun 08-May-16 09:40:26

Your dr's right OP.

It's actually more normal to have irregular cycles. (by a few days each month.) Not all women are bang on 28 days or whatever all the time.

The flow sounds pretty normal too - again, it doesn't have to be the same.

But as the PP said, the very gradual changes leading to menopause start somewhere in the 40s and can go on right up to 56 - 57. Age of meno is from 45-55 and although 45 is now thought as quite early, it's not that unusual. So very tiny changes at 42 are normal too.

peppajay Sun 08-May-16 10:14:38

I was very shocked as I am young but my lovely GP said it can last 10 years and so many people our age with discharge and erratic periods don't actually seek medical advice until they get more obvious symptoms such as hot flushes or mood swings which may not come for 6 or 7 years. I am hoping I just trundle along as I am and don't get any other symptoms for a few years. I was first tested for thyroid and polycystic ovaries and when they came back negative she asked for the FSH test which lots of GP's don't like doing as it can give false results if tested at the wrong time in your cycle. Feels odd knowing I am peri at 42 when I have friends 10 years older with no symptoms yet. The other thing is my libido is totally non existent at the mo and we are having some relationship problems so not sure if my libido has gone coz DH pisses me off at the moment or we are having problems because I won't have sex. I would go to your GP and ask for a FSH test I know so many GP's don't don't do them though. Have you been tested for thyroid etc coz really if that comes back negative and you have actually gone to seek medical advice they should do all they can to help!! Hope you get somewhere soon. Let us know on this thread what the male GP says or does!☺

TimeforaNNChange Sun 08-May-16 12:00:01

I think the problem is that the very websites that GPs refer people to for infomation contain advice for women of "our age" to see our GP for these symptoms, and then when we do, we are dismissed without any real investigation.

All the reputable online medical advice (NHS Direct etc) advises seeing a GP if you are under 45 and experience noticeable changes to bleedin, because it is a symptom of gynae cancers/problems - yet when I did go, I wasn't examined, and was offered the Mirena coil without any real investigations. I had to push for a TV scan (which identified a fibroid).
It's really knocked my faith in the medical professions approach to women's health tbh - how many women go along with their GP only to have something serious diagnosed further down the line?

lljkk Sun 08-May-16 12:09:49

Changes can be perfectly healthy & nothing to worry about, too.
Change is not always a problem.

OP said in 3rd post that it's how she feels is the actual problem. She doesn't feel right. There may be help if she explains to GP that she doesn't feel well. Feeling unwell is her problem. Period change not the problem.

I know someone with high family cancer risk but has chosen HRT because for mental health reasons. It's a common reason to take HRT.

PollyPerky Sun 08-May-16 12:13:25

To be fair, FSH tests are for women whose periods have gone haywire before 45. That would mean missing cycles- either a run of 3 or 4, or having really erratic cycles such as 17 days, 40 days, 20 days, 34 days- that kind of thing, and usually along with typical meno symptoms too. It's not necessary to test women having slightly shorter cycles in their early 40s. And believe me, more discharge is not a peri symptom! The precise opposite is the case- you dry up!
I had long cycles in my 20s and 30s. A normal cycle was 32 days at least, sometimes 35. Every few years my cycles would get closer, so I went to 28 days, then maybe 26-27 in late 40s, but didn't have the menopause until I was almost 54.
There is definitely a need to be aware if you are having an early menopause- before 45- so you can be prescribed HRT- but small changes to your cycles in your 40s are really common. Flooding or bleeding outside your cycle needs investigating but I think the stats are that something like 50-60% of women have a fibroid- they aren't serious and usually nothing is done unless they are huge.

Dellarobia Sun 08-May-16 12:22:13

Hi OP, I'm 42 and recently my periods have changed. I haven't had the discharge you describe, but they have become much less predictable (in terms of timing, heaviness of flow, etc). I agree it's a bit unsettling to be experiencing these changes. However, I haven't experienced ill effects like pain or discomfort, so I've decided I'll just go with the flow (!) for the moment. Maybe I am peri-menopausal, but like lljkk says, if it's not bothering me then does it really matter?

TimeforaNNChange Sun 08-May-16 12:40:45

if it's not bothering me then does it really matter?

Even if the symptoms aren't a problem, surely there's an argument for understanding why you're having them and what the potential longer term consequences might be?
For instance, lower oestrogen levels (that can be the cause of more frequent bleeding) have been linked to bone deterioration and diseases.

I want to be able to make some informed decisions about my future health, rather than just treat current symptoms.

PollyPerky Sun 08-May-16 13:19:41

The guidelines about peri are in the new NICE guidelines which are going to be promoted once again by the BMS at their conference - and ought to be in the media for women and GPs to hear about. You can read the guidelines online- they came out last November.

In a nutshell, (quoting NICE) if you are under 45 and having erratic periods or absent periods and other peri meno symptoms (huge list which can be caused by peri meno but also by dozens of other things not meno) then your GP should do a blood test. If you are not having these but have slight changes to your cycle in your 40s then that's to be expected as meno can happen at 45.

The only reason to see your GP is if you want to use HRT which will give bone protection, if you are having an early meno (before 45) and/or so you can make lifestyle changes to help build up your bones.

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