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Peri-Menopause Support Thread

(212 Posts)
OldEnglishSheepDog Fri 09-Mar-18 11:46:56

Hello – would anyone else be interested in an ongoing peri-menopause support thread? I would love to chat with other people going through this utterly miserable experience.

Here’s my story. I’m 38, I have one child. We had hoped for another but after two rounds of IVF we decided to be grateful for what we had. Last month, after a few symptoms started making themselves evident, I went to the doctor for a blood test which confirmed that I am now officially peri-menopausal.
I’m starting this thread because I have never felt quite so lonely and scared as I do right now. The physical symptoms of hot flushes and occasional but intense headaches are bad but there is a whole new world of anxiety, depression and existential angst which has opened up since around November. I suffer palpitations which send me into a panic. I fret about my relationship while simultaneously withdrawing from it. Yesterday, I cried at a Radio 4 programme about The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. I have quit alcohol completely. I am eating more healthily than I ever have before and exercising regularly and yet my middle has thickened and refuses to budge no matter what I do.

I find the menopause support web pages patronising. They seem to want to paint the whole experience as a new and exciting chapter as opposed to the slow death that it seems like at the moment. So I wanted to start a support thread that acknowledges the darkest aspects of this experience and allows us to wallow a bit before providing some practical suggestions.

If I end up just screaming into the abyss on my own, that’s fine. But if anyone else wants to join in, please do.

AuntyElle Fri 09-Mar-18 14:36:22

Yes. It came as a real shock to me. Looking back I realise it started when I was 41. I had a huge spike in anxiety (along with other symptoms) which I had no idea was part of peri. It felt a bit soon. 51 would have been fine.
Have you been on the Menopause Matters forum? No sugar-coating there.

OldEnglishSheepDog Sat 10-Mar-18 10:45:39

I am very grateful that I was able to make a link quickly between my moods and the menopause. I haven't tried the Menopause Matters Forum - I'll take a look, thanks. I'm wondering if mine might be over fairly quickly as my periods have suddenly become erratic after years of almost perfect regularity. Have you actually hit the menopause properly AuntyElle? How long were you in peri?

ParisUSM Sat 10-Mar-18 11:01:27

What a shame OldEnglishSheepDog, you sound a bit like me - desperate to know when it will all be over. I wonder if you've thought about keeping a diary - I find it really useful as when I have a symptom I know a) it's happened before and b) it'll go away. When I feel low I forget I ever felt good, and vice versa.

Peri seems to be very different for everyone - some women aren't affected by hormonal imbalance and don't have any symptoms until menopause itself while others are hit by every symptom on the list. I'm in my 5th year now and would say year 2 and 3 were the worst, but mine has been a very difficult time with fibroids, flooding, fainting the worst (could put another f in there ;) I'm now 50 and into the strange land of phantom periods so don't think I have that long to go.

I wonder if some of your feelings come from being so young? The Daisy Network might be a good place to go from support from women your age.

Just be aware that MM is a VERY pro HRT forum, and prepare to be pounced on and told you must take HRT. Now maybe that would be the best path for you, but that's something you and your GP (who is medically trained with access to your medical records) should make. Just a wee heads up.

Good luck and keep posting

TheStickSong Sat 10-Mar-18 16:33:49

Thanks ParisUSM - sorry to hear that you've been having such a hard time of it. Did you go down the HRT route? You sound like you're not keen on that sort of thing? I am ambivalent but it's only the last couple of years that I've stopped pumping hormones into my body so I'd quite like to stop now!

Must be nice to know that you're nearly out the other side of things.

PollyPerky Sat 10-Mar-18 18:22:45

Old very sorry to hear this. You are very young for peri. what did your results show? It's quite hard to diagnose peri from blood tests because hormone levels vary so much day to day. Did you have tests 2 months apart?

Emerald13 Sat 10-Mar-18 18:44:45

I can relate...I’m 42 and diagnosed a year ago. Actually our condition isn’t a normal meno, it’s a deficiency called primary ovarian failure. It happens often and sometimes there are genetics causes. We definitely need hrt until at least our normal age of menopause. It’s a devastating diagnosis...I’m single and childless. It’s not the end of world but it’s hard to cope with this situation at a such a young age. There are ladies with POF at their 20s. My early meno was a nightmare at first but it helps me so much afterwards. It helps me to reevaluate my whole life before it will be too late! smile

AuntyElle Sat 10-Mar-18 19:25:05

Not reached menopause, OP, as I believe that’s defined as a year without periods and I seem to have one every 6 months or so atm. I’m guessing I’m in my fifth of peri. Blood tests confirmed it 2 years ago.
I do understand that especially in your 40s HRT is important. But I have been so indecisive, and also other health problems have added to me putting off starting HRT.
I read a lot on the Menopause Matters forum until I was clearer about the whole thing. I found it so confusing at first.

AuntyElle Sat 10-Mar-18 19:28:30

* fifth year of peri.
I had crazy 8-week-long flooding and severe anxiety age 43-44, and GP didn’t even mention peri. Changed GPs and she picked it up immediately. 🤷🏻‍♀️

Mummytron Sun 11-Mar-18 02:37:31

Would love to chat just to convince myself that I'm not going crazy!
42, Peri for 3 years although blood tests are normal.
My worst symptoms are palpitations, fatigue and anxiety. I don't know myself anymore

ParisUSM Sun 11-Mar-18 08:45:45

Hi @TheStickSong

No, I haven't gone down the HRT line - I feel at my worst when oestrogen surges and I really didn't want to have to take tons to suppress my cycle, especially when it would likely increase the size of my large fibroids.

Very sad that there is so often a one size fits all approach to menopause, it's HRT or get on with it for menopause, hysterectomy or get on with it for fibroids.

PollyPerky Sun 11-Mar-18 09:14:40

OP HRT for POF (which you seem to have) is standard treatment. It's to prevent osteoporosis ( remember all those old ladies with hunched backs?) and heart disease. Every dr will recommend you take it- though the final choice is yours.

38 is 10+ years early and your body needs estrogen for at least another 10 years. It's not the same as the `Pill- it's a natural estrogen.

I hope you get on okay.

The other thing is that some peri symptoms never go for some women- my mum has flushes in her 80s and 90s.

Some women find they go in a few years, others don't.

Many women suffer from loss of estrogen symptoms forever. It's just becoming more obvious now that we understand the effects of it 20 -30 years after a final period.

Read about POF and make your choice.

tobee Mon 12-Mar-18 13:21:44

Anyone else had a hysterectomy? I had one a couple of years ago but leaving ovaries and cervix in tact. So Im mostly just guessing at what's going on, if anything much.

I know I could go to see my gp but, as I don't have many symptoms (sometimes hot at night?), it's nice to not go to the gp after having gone a lot in my 40s.

But it's a bit odd with no obvious cycle or anything.

Fianceechickie Mon 12-Mar-18 23:02:29

Yes love to join! Also recommend googling 66 peri menopause symptoms. There's a great thread on it with non patronising support. I'm 40 this year and had symptoms for about two years. GP not having any of it despite me having most of the 66 on that list. I'll start from the top. Vertigo, flushed cheeks, nose etc, mild acne, numbish feelings, night sweats, cold flashes, shoulder pain, ectopic beats, anxiety and panic, worse pms, aches and pains, varying cycles, spotting for 5 day's before period, flooding, forgetting everything, odd sensations on skin, less sex drive.

CuriousMama Tue 13-Mar-18 11:14:42

I'll join you.

I'm 50 this year and starting to miss periods. Last one was beginning of January. I keep feeling as if one's going to come though.

I'm trying black cohosh again. I felt a bit crap last time I tried it but seem ok this time? I'll give it a few weeks than see the gp if it doesn't help.

I get the palpitations and warm feeling. Some sweats. Weight is definitely harder to shift.

I've started going to the gym regularly and am eating healthier.

Thanks for starting the thread OP.

Hotdoggy Tue 13-Mar-18 11:16:57

Just posted on the menopause topic and then after just found this thread. Great idea to have a Perimenopause one, as the whole menopause topic is so big. Having a specific one would be so much more easier to access and navigate through. It's so nice to hear suggestions and advice. Don't feel so alone with the changes my body is undergoing now.
Can anyone recommend a Perimenopause diet book and also a book on Perimenopause?

SleepFreeZone Tue 13-Mar-18 11:21:16

Just to stick my oar in here to recommend that us peri and menopausal ladies eat 5 prunes a day to protect and even improve our bone density. Easy thing to do, relatively cheap and shown to work by NASA would you believe!

CuriousMama Tue 13-Mar-18 11:25:32

Hotdoggy just eat healthily. Less fat and plenty of good lean protein. Soy is supposed to help. Omega oils and vit E. Exercise is great. Lifts your mood too.

I'm trying tai chi Thursday morning after a Night shift. Should be interesting grin

CuriousMama Tue 13-Mar-18 11:26:11

SFZ that's interesting.

SleepFreeZone Tue 13-Mar-18 11:37:04

CuriousMama it’s mind blowing isn’t it!? It can improve bone density by up to 11% in one year. It was on a program called Super Foods and I have been trying to spread the word to everyone.

PollyPerky Tue 13-Mar-18 11:52:04

Diet:

Cut out sugar as much as possible. the daily limit for adults is 30 grams which is 5-6 teaspoons. This is the UPPER limit for health ( regardless of meno) so if you can get it down to 1-2 teaspoons that's great!

Get 5 to 7+ fruit and veg a day incl green leafy veg

Cut out refined carbs - anything white- beige ( white rice, pasta, potatoes , white flour)

Eat loads of Omega 3- oily fish, almonds and walnuts, green leafy veg

Eat pulses- lentils.

Ditch the booze, reduce caffeine, and fizzy drinks.

PollyPerky Tue 13-Mar-18 11:53:18

The prunes thing works but you need to balance it with the laxative effect smile

SleepFreeZone Tue 13-Mar-18 12:02:08

I know they are trying to formulate a medicine just using the active ingredient but so far the recommendation is just to eat the bloody things 😬

Witchofthenorth Tue 13-Mar-18 12:07:37

Oooo I'll join, am 40 and think I've been Peri for a year. I feel permanently exhausted, could sleep 20 hours a day, night sweats, clumsy, headaches, body odour changes, pelvic pain, back pain, joint pain.....I could go on confused

Making an appointment to get some bloods done, this is awful

CuriousMama Tue 13-Mar-18 12:13:35

I've just had some prunes with yoghurt. Love them anyway.

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