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Perimenopause is a stupid thing

(36 Posts)
lizzieoak Sun 01-Jan-17 19:49:26

Just the shits really. I'll be fine for a couple of months, then dizzy, nauseated, disassociated for days and days. Throw in the occasional migraine. Feel like I'm going to get a migraine on the days I don't. Anxiety like you would not believe.

I get so dizzy - dizzy right now. It's kind of alarming & I (weirdly) feel the need to tell strangers as I think I might keel over.

Not a fan of this business, not at all. Would like, please, to stay in bed for a couple of years till it passes - or at the very least be in an alternate universe where I could just not go to work on those days.

GrumpyDullard Sun 01-Jan-17 19:59:46

I started perimenopause at 40. Had night sweats, periods getting closer together (MUCH closer together) PMT-like symptoms ALL the fucking time and migraine auras, so I couldn't see properly for all the flashing lights and what-not. Those were the worst - really scary and, like you, I felt I needed to let strangers know, which made me feel weird and stupid and vulnerable.

I hated that. I started taking B Complex vitamins and within 3 months everything seemed to return to normal and the next month I was very surprised to be pregnant. Now I'm 43, with a 10 month old and waiting for the perimenopause to kick back into action. Not looking forward to it. I recommend pregnancy for the temporary relief of symptoms, though. Or B Complex vitamins. Or both.

lizzieoak Sun 01-Jan-17 20:51:42

I think I'll avoid the pregnancy as I have two almost adult kids and am almost 54. But maybe I can up my Bintake a bit. I take a B12 every day as I'm close to vegan and sometimes a B complex. I also take magnesium for the migraines and Coenzyme Q10.

I was having night sweats but now do a yam-based cream that my dr prescribed. That's cut out the sweats and the sore boobs. But the rest remains.

I'm so glad to hear the telling strangers is not just me! It makes me feel very silly indeed, but I think it just bubbles up out of you as a self-protective measure. Obviously we feel very "off" if we find ourselves warning strangers we're on our last legs.

No-one talks about it though. I feel like shite half the time, but no-one speaks of it. I feel like a super-hero going to work when I feel this sick and disassociated. Sometimes I'll make mistakes at work due to the fog and supervisors feel compelled to tell me - but what can I do to avoid that? Take a few years off work?! It's frustrating. I just want to feel healthy again.

PollyPerky Sun 01-Jan-17 22:04:51

Are there medical reasons why you aren't using HRT Lizzie? It's there to alleviate all the things you have.

What exactly has your dr prescribed out of interest?

lizzieoak Sun 01-Jan-17 23:25:05

I suppose I - perhaps misguidedly - feel perimenopause is a natural process and I should tough it out to an extent.

I've been prescribed progesterone and it's made up at a compounding chemists.

PollyPerky Mon 02-Jan-17 09:02:36

Are you in the UK Lizzie? If so, this must be private treatment because no NHS dr can prescribe compounded progesterone cream.

I don't want this to sound like a lecture but just some thing to think about, based on my own experience (of private care with a consultant gynae.)

What you are using is 'half HRT' anyway- so it''s not 'natural'. You're still using a hormone.

Secondly, there is serious doubt over whether transdermal progesterone works / can be absorbed to have any effect. If it worked, it would be available mainstream, whereas I take it in a capsule (Utrogestan.)
My dr says to work, cream would need to be used in vast amounts that would be unacceptable to use.

At 54 if you are not having periods you are likely to be post meno, not peri. So you'd not have progesterone in your system anyway - it's only produced as a result of ovulation.

The symptoms of menopause are due to loss of oestrogen and can continue forever- something like 15% of women never get rid of them.
Loss of oestrogen causes problems with bones, bladder, brain, heart, muscle mass etc.
These are the longer term, more serious issues caused by menopause.

GoodyGoodyGumdrops Mon 02-Jan-17 11:59:04

Just because meno is natural, doesn't mean you have to suffer. Did you have any PR during labour? Have you ever taken paracetamol to lower a fever? Do you brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste? Use central heating? Travel by plane?

I so totally recognise what you have described. But I use HRT patches and feel sane. They have utterly transformed my life. And if they shorten my life, then so be it. I'd rather have 20 more years of sanity and function than 30 more years of disfunctionality.

lizzieoak Mon 02-Jan-17 12:00:35

Polly, I'm in Canada.

I'm still having periods. I'm just not regular anymore. So still in perimenopause. Definitely still ovulating.

Since using the cream I haven't had night sweats or sore boobs, so it seems to be doing something.

Is cancer not a concern now w hrt? I haven't really kept up with the thinking on that.

PollyPerky Mon 02-Jan-17 12:04:10

The evidence is also that women on HRT have fewer illnesses and (I think- don't quote me) live longer and healthier lives) than women not on HRT.

The majority of HRT in the UK is plant based. It's body identical- so the same as we'd make ourselves. It's not synthetic hormones. It is what is says : replacement.

100 years ago most women didn't live past 45 so the menopause wasn't an issue. Now, most die from complications of broken hips (osteoporosis) or heart disease, risks of both reduced by HRT.

lizzieoak Mon 02-Jan-17 12:04:28

Cross-posted Goodie.

Those are good points. Normally I'm all for pills, I don't know why I think I have to tough this out. The dizziness & anxiety are not fun (makes stressful life events so much harder).

Can you do hrt in peri though, or do you have to wait for menopause?

Ferrisday Mon 02-Jan-17 12:06:51

It's making life unbearable
But my gp won't do anything 😰

PollyPerky Mon 02-Jan-17 12:08:26

There is no evidence at all that topical progesterone cream alleviates flushes. All progesterone raises the body temperature, so it's not logical. You might be getting relief simply because your hormone levels are higher at the moment - naturally- if you are having periods. Symptoms come and go during peri.

It's now thought that HRT promotes the growth of an existing cancer cell(s), not causes it in the first place. And the risk is tiny- far less than driving in your car!

PollyPerky Mon 02-Jan-17 12:28:09

What do you mean ferris?

Have you asked your GP for HRT? Have they refused, point blank? If so, have they said you have medical contra-indications for HRT?

If not, they can't refuse. It's your choice to use it. Change your GP is they are behaving like this.

Ferrisday Mon 02-Jan-17 12:48:04

He just keeps ordering blood tests. He's looking for menopause, not peri.
But from what I've read blood tests are unreliable anyway
I'm 47
I think I'm going to have to find another doctor

GoodyGoodyGumdrops Mon 02-Jan-17 14:56:48

Definitely find another dr,Ferris. I had one tell me I was depressed. Mood swings, OK, but since when did depression give you hot flushes? hmm

I started peri-meno at about 41, went to the GP at 42, 6months of tests and trialing a different treatment, then started HRT just before 43. Probably passed menopause by now (50).

GP explained that, for early meno, HRT was essential to reduce osteoporosis - I will have 10 years more bone loss otherwise. But for a regular menopause HRT was about how you are coping. If it makes your life easier, then take it. If you don't feel you need it, then there's no reason you have to take it (unless you have osteoporosis or a family history of it, or some other relevant conditions).

PollyPerky Mon 02-Jan-17 16:07:59

It's really bad Ferris that a GP can't keep up to date sad

The NICE guidelines are now over a year old. If lay people (ie you and me) can read them and digest the info then why aren't drs?

The guidelines say for women over 45, do NOT do blood tests ( waste of NHS money above anything) and treat symptoms.

The British Menopause Society runs courses all year round for GPs as well as an annual conference. The idea is to update GPs.

You either need to be more assertive and wave the guidelines in his face, and ask politely for HRT or try to register with another GP.

lizzieoak Mon 02-Jan-17 17:46:26

My gp is great, but when he was off I saw another dr at the practice and she told me I had to "just deal with it". She's around my age.

Nellyphants Mon 02-Jan-17 22:20:42

My gp said last time I saw him that he wants 'to get me off that stuff'. I'm taking hrt just over a year following a hysterectomy. I'm 48.

I smiled & nodded but he's not going to 'get me off that stuff' anytime soon!!

scaryteacher Mon 09-Jan-17 22:09:03

I am in Belgium, and here they make you tough it out. I did ask for something for the hot flushes, night sweats, insomnia etc, but was told to just get on with it.

lizzieoak Mon 09-Jan-17 22:27:31

The thug I struggle the most with is working while having symptoms. I'll be fine for a few months, then boom - anxiety, migraines, dizziness.

How is sick time in Belgium? It's not great in Canada - different workplaces have different annual amounts but it's frowned on to use more than a fraction of it

lizzieoak Mon 09-Jan-17 22:28:05

Hah! Thing I struggle with, not thug!

ChampagneTastes Wed 11-Jan-17 12:25:18

I think I might be peri too. I'm 37 but have had definite hot flashes in the last couple of months and am suffering anxiety and dread like nothing I've experienced before. I am in a constant state of terror that I, or my DH or DS are going to die. My periods are regular but have started spotting in between and the main period is much lighter than normal.

I hate it too. I feel like I'm just constantly moaning. Trying to get a GP appointment but they are like gold dust and I suspect I'm going to be told to tough it out too.

AlwaysHopeful Wed 11-Jan-17 12:43:19

I thought I was depressed. Maybe it is peri though.... I don't get the sweats, but the anxiety, dread, dizziness, swirly shapes going past my eyes (the migraines previously mentioned)... all match up. Dr did blood test 12 months ago. It said all was fine but I've been far from fine...

lizzieoak Wed 11-Jan-17 15:41:14

Sounds like both of you are having a hard time.

I've been told that unless you do blood tests a few times a day over the course of weeks, it's useless as hormones can fluctuate so wildly in perimenopause. Don't know if that's true?

Just so fed up w worrying about everything and the rock-bottom confidence. For me, being single makes it worse as it "confirms" that I'm not what anyone wants in a partner. I'm sure it wouldn't hit so hard if my brain wasn't all funny w the hormones.

paganmolloy Thu 12-Jan-17 15:34:32

I find it very sad and frustrating that something which will affect half the world population is treated so flippantly and so little research is done into it.

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