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44 yrs and think I'm getting menopause already(31 Posts)
My period is usually 24 - 28 days long but this time I'm having a period after only 18 days and my previous period was slightly lighter than usual. No other symptoms but am I starting the menopause do you think?
Hi, I'm 44 and peri-menopausal for a year so yes its a consideration.
I found out with routine blood test. Periods can be affected by loads of different things so ask GP.
It does sounds like it.
My periods did this for 6 months, then at 43 I had my last one ever. No other problems really. I'm now 46 and it's done and dusted.
TBH this 51 being the average age seems bollocks. Every friend I have is done with the whole process (no period for 2 years) by late/mid 40's
I started with periomenopausal symptoms 37...very hard to get GP to engage. I wish I'd pushed harder.
Read up on it at menopause matters website. I found HRT really helped me, as did exercise and herbal pills. But really it was replacing the lost oestrogen that did it!
The blood tests can be a bit of a red herring as hormone levels fluctuate so wildly till your are actually through it.
Oh, and if you get an early menopause - that is you've been period free for a year - before I think it's 50 - you should probably talk to GP about whether you should take HRT as that can help prevent osteoperosis. Horrible thing.
Mine was done and dusted by 41 years old. My periods just stopped really and that was it
Thanks everyone for your replies. But I'm a bit taken aback. We're still trying for baby number 2 so I guess we need to re think the outcome there.
I've also been reading other posts about mood swings, new anxiety, and not being very bothered about stuff. It seems I may well be pre menopausal.
Should I go to the doctor? Or see what develops?
I went to the doctors to check it was nothing sinister, as I too thought, 'that can't be it. I'm only 43.'
But it was, and is. I didn't need HRT. I wasn't under 40 and everything was fine. The doctor said (well he kindly referred me to the hospital gynae people) who said it was a tiny bit early, but not massively so, or unusual and unless I had terrible sweats or something, no treatment needed.
I'm the same as you OP (although I can't have kids and I'm 41.
In the past three months I've gone from having a very 28 regular cycle to very light periods 3 weeks apart and just before my period comes on I have terrible night sweats and can't seem to regulate my period.
I'm hoping that my periods just stop - I'm not sure how I'll cope with the sadness of infertility followed by a horrendous menopause!
Check out the NICE guidelines on menopause and have a good look round this site:
Look after yourself and eat healthily and get some exercise. It is a good time in your life to motivate yourself to do a audit on your lifestyle and make changes that will take you through to this next stage in your life. Cutting down alcohol is a really good idea. Did you know that the risk of breast cancer is way higher from alcohol and obesity than it is from taking hrt?
It is a really good idea to educate yourself so that you can ask for what you need if you have problems. A lot of doctors have not covered menopause - it has been way down at the bottom of the list since the Millennium scares, so you do not always get the help you want.
Remember 'Quality of Life'
A charity dedicated to early menopause Daisy Network run by consultatns, they have a phone in / forum/ info.
Early meno is before 45. Premature is before 40.
Please see your GP or a consultant gynae if you have had an early meno.
Even if you have not have meno symptoms before or after, you are at a very high risk of developing osteoporosis before you are 50 -60, and there is a risk of heart disease and even Parkinsons (with premature meno).
Prem / early meno is a medical condition and is treated with HRT up to age 51-ish at least to prevent the above conditions.
You should demand a DEXA (bone density) scan if your periods stopped before 45 (some drs use 47 as the earliest acceptable age for normal meno age) . PLEASE take this seriously. 1:2 women develop osteoporosis and it's a very serious disabling disease in later life.
Those of you who have not been offered HRT Dan and Bumbling you really ought to see another dr /gynae because the info you were given is out of date and frankly wrong!
Polly I know you know what you are talking about. I have a question if I may? Iwas totally checked out and everything was normal, another opinion given by the experts at the hospital. I live in Spain and can buy HRT over he counter here. Is it too late now? I am 46 and periods stopped 2.5 years ago?
If you were to give your opinion on what I should take, what would it be?
I really can't get anywhere with the doctors. I am fine, all bloods are fine. They shrug and say I don't need it.
Thanks for any opinions you can give me on this.
From what I understand, you can start hrt within 10 years of meno safely, and that for most people under 60, the benefits outweigh any risks. Have a look at the menopause matters website to see about symptoms and treatments available.
It might be best to look around for another doctor with an interest in the menopause who can give you advice on what to start with. Maybe get a private consultation with a UK expert? Can a Spanish pharmacist advise you on who to see? It is best to go with the more natural ones - estriol and micronized progesterone, rather than the ones that begin with 'prem' which are modified hormones from horses (conjugated estrogens).
Thankyou so much for your reply terry I looked into all this at the time. I simply will not get anywhere here.
The medical care is fantastic, don't get me wrong, but on this one thing it is a no go.
What would be the weakest product I could try then?
I had thought of mini pill. I don't smoke, perfect blood pressure and have had a mammogram recently and smear. All clear.
I feel fine but had read about what polly was worried about. Mainly from her, on here! Then on the menopause website!
Sorry for hijack OP
The mini pill would be no help as it is only progestogen - you need oestrogen, then progestogen to protect the uterus. There are sequential and no-bleed versions. I think you need to read up more about it to understand how it works. Give the people on the MM forum a go - there are people on there with more knowledge, and some in Spain too. They might know about more how the doctors work there too.
Thanks a million. At least I know it's not too late.
I'll look up the website again. I remember reading about the pregnant horse urine etc. I had got as far as being about to order something online. But I put it to the back of my mind as docs said it was all fine. It was 2 years ago.
I just want something low dose, tablet, easy to take to protect me in case. A bit like my vitamin pill I take now just in case I'm lacking in something.
I have an old lady friend with op and she can barely walk now
Thank you terry
Terrylene is right. You can safely use HRT within 10 years of the menopause for maximum benefits to the heart, but you can also use it at any time- even after 60, for the first time, but you'd start on a low dose then.
It's NICE guidelines that early meno should be treated with HRT.
Is there any way you could see a gynae privately in the UK? Do you come over here? (I can suggest someone if you do.)
I think it's a bit odd that in Spain women can buy HRT OTC as in the UK you have to have at least one consultation a year with your dr to ensure all is ok.
I would advise you have a DEXA scan as a baseline. Privately this is about £250 but they only need repeating every 3 years.
You need a full scan of your hips and back (not one where they just scan your heel.)
It's almost impossible to advise you to which HRT you should buy because they are very different types and doses. Most women start with 1mg oestrogen (plus progestogens ) then increase to 2mg if necessary. If your bones are thin already you would start on 2mgs dose.
As you are post meno you could have a type with continuous progestogens so you don't have a'period' on HRT but you could still use the type that follows a natural cycle and gives you a monthly bleed.
Have a read of MM site but really, you should try to see a dr for your first prescription. You need to sure you are ok to use HRT .
Also read the Daisy network site. If you go to the menu tab and select POI (what is it, diagnosis, etc) there is a link to a doc you can download which is all about treatments - think it's the 3rd or 4th option on the drop down menu under POI.
I don't think you can self-medicate, even though you can buy it OTC, unless you really know what you are doing. There are several things to take into account, and you can tie your mind in knots.
I despair of my practice nurse sometimes, but it is her responsibility and I know enough to know if she is doing the right thing. And it is someone to discuss things with to make sure that you are going down the right route.
Polly, thanks for your incredible advice, as always and also terry
No, really, after doing a week of research myself I would know more. As they know nothing! I would/could not come back to the UK for this sadly. I have a young child.
I had my head firmly buried in the sand with this one.
I'll do my research, look at all you've said and I will have to self medicate I think! I have recently had a full MRI, bloodtests galore (for something else) and, as I said, mammogram, blood pressure etc and I don't smoke and eat very healthily and exercise/am normal BMI. Therefore, I think I am now safe to go down this route.
Thank you again, so much polly and terry
There are hrt prescribing guidelines online, but I would get yourself a really good book, preferably one written by someone from the BMS about management of the menopause or similar, rather than a woo one. You really need to be sure of what things to look for when you need things checking up on.
Also, read about vaginal atrophy/ genitourinary syndrome of menopause which can become a problem later on.
Good luck - and see a meno specialist if you get the chance!
Thanks, I will do all you say. Invaluable advice terry
You can email Dr Currie at Menopause Matters for £25. she will reply to you. Her details are on the Home page. she may or may not suggest what to use but not sure how she would feel about you self medicating. It's a hard one- obviously you are not in the UK.
Many women like Femoston which is well tolerated, or something like Oestrogel, with Utrogestan 20mgs x 12 days a month or 100mgs daily, as the progesterone part of it.
I still think you ought to have a DEXA scan. They must offer them in Spain! If your bones are in good shape, you may decide not to use HRT - all depends on what the scan showed.
sorry- Utrogestan 200mgs! (That's 2 x 100mg capsules.)
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