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I'm 41, I'm gorgeous... am I menopausal?

(28 Posts)
FloralBunting Tue 19-Jun-18 13:56:25


Well, the first one is true, and the question is genuine.

I'm persistently waking up at night drenched in sweat. My periods are operating on a timetable like Southern Rail; 17 days, 32 days, I never know when it will arrive, how short or long it will be and if it will be a few spots or a soaker.

I suppose I should make an appointment to see the GP in a few months time, but I don't really know what happens then. Do they do any tests to confirm things, or is it just a case of "Yes, sounds like menopause, on your way love."...

ParisUSM Tue 19-Jun-18 14:55:15

As you're under 45 they'll want to do some blood tests - if you'd been older they'd go on symptoms alone. They'll see what your FSH levels are and then test again 4 - 6 weeks later. Might be worth researching HRT before you go?

FloralBunting Tue 19-Jun-18 15:10:53

Cheers! I'm a bit confused about HRT, I have a strong family history of breast cancer and I'd heard that was a contraindication. All stuff to chat to the GP about I suppose.

ParisUSM Tue 19-Jun-18 15:18:37

Totally understandable, especially as you might be in perimenopause for a good few years yet. It's 5 years since my periods went haywire and I'm still not quite there so you might not even end up in early menopause.

This website might be a good place to start though, just to get the information to make your own mind up.

FloralBunting Tue 19-Jun-18 15:33:27

Thanks very much, appreciate your help!

ParisUSM Tue 19-Jun-18 15:34:51

No worries, it's a difficult time. Sage can help some women with night sweats, so worth giving that a go. Also worth keeping a diary of symptoms.

MrsBlondie Tue 19-Jun-18 15:35:32

Are you me?! I'm 41 and same/similar. Just had a period go on for 3 weeks (not full on).
Been wondering to go to GP or not. Also had breast cancer in family.

MrsDeltaB Tue 19-Jun-18 15:48:32

Hi there,

I'm just shy of 40 and convinced I'm heading this way. Severe excessive sweating which is becoming really embarrassing! Periods gone haywire, used to be very regular, now becoming further apart, and, like you, one is a monster and the next is like a pin prick.

I'm due a thyroid check anyway, can I ask for a hormone check along with?

I know that this type of this isn't exactly genetic but my mum started at 38 and was done by 41 so it could be an indicator for me too.

QueenoftheNights Tue 19-Jun-18 20:52:02

HRT is not a risk for breast cancer in women under 51 ( average meno age.) All it does is replace what ought to be there to protect your heart and bones. If you read the medical advice (and you should) this is the consensus.

It is considered a 'risk' only if you have had two first degree relatives (mum or sister) with BC before they were 40-45 (not in old age as BC is so common.)

QueenoftheNights Tue 19-Jun-18 20:53:46

I know that this type of this isn't exactly genetic but my mum started at 38 and was done by 41 so it could be an indicator for me too.

Early menopause is genetic. Not for everyone but on the whole we follow our mum's patterns.

I was early 50s and so was my mum and her mum.

Emerald13 Tue 19-Jun-18 20:54:32

It sounds like peri to me. Ask for hrt, you don’t need to suffer. Blood tests aren’t always accurate during peri.

MrsDeltaB Wed 20-Jun-18 13:12:27

Hi again ladies, op thanks for starting this thread, sorry to jump it!

Yup, good old peri has hit me. Doc was very supportive. Doesn't want to start HRT yet but has increased my dose of anti depressants to help deal with the symptoms better.

Full blood work still to be done as I also have a thyroid issue which is due for a check. She said no real hormonal test as such as they can change daily so not a true indicator.

She also said as a pp has that it is genetic. Cheers mum. 😂

QueenoftheNights Wed 20-Jun-18 14:00:41

Doesn't want to start HRT yet but has increased my dose of anti depressants to help deal with the symptoms better.

You do know that this is completely against all medical guidelines don't you? Why are you being given ADs for menopause? Have you asked why no HRT ? Why are ADs somehow better? (They aren't...just some drs are out of date.)

That consultants are desperately trying to educate GPs so they don't give out ADs for menopause? Why should you be given ADs when you are not depressed but suffering from menopause?

Please read up about early menopause, risk to bone and heart health and either change your GP or go back and challenge her.

The NICE guidelines say test women under 45 (FSH, LH. estrogen on days 2-5 of a cycle, over 2 cycles.)
It's a guide anyway. For women over 45 the advice is treat symptoms anyway.
4.5 Consider HRT to alleviate low mood that arises as a result of the menopause.

1.4.6 Consider CBT to alleviate low mood or anxiety that arise as a result of the menopause.
1.4.7 Ensure that menopausal women and healthcare professionals involved in their care understand that there is no clear evidence for SSRIs or SNRIs to ease low mood in menopausal women who have not been diagnosed with depression (see the NICE guideline on depression in adults).

You need to stand up to her and not accept out of date and incorrect treatment.

MrsDeltaB Wed 20-Jun-18 14:34:58

Wow. Ok. Thank you, will read up. She has increased my existing anti d's to help with the mood swings, I have suffered depression for donkeys years.

I admit, I didn't question the HRT but assumed that as it's early days (months!) and that I could be in this phase for a bloody long time, that I try lifestyle changes and amendments first in a bid to manage the symptoms, leaving treatment out for as long as possible.

Was slightly miffed not to have anything for the blood boiling within me which is the only way I can describe the hot flashes.

toastedbeagle Wed 20-Jun-18 16:08:31

Antidepressants eg SSRI may not be seen as beneficial by the guidelines but anecdotally (from Gynae consultants) they do work for some people and if you can't take hormones then they're an option...

OlennasWimple Wed 20-Jun-18 16:12:21

Another one here considering whether my irratic cycle (and moods) might be peri menopausal...

QueenoftheNights Wed 20-Jun-18 16:14:24

Exactly- 'if you can't take HRT'. But the advice for someone with early / premature menopause (under 45 and under 40) is HRT.

ADs won't protect bones or the heart or brain. (Women who have very early meno are at risk of Parkinson's disease - and Parkinson's is a high risk for dementia) . Low estrogen in your 40s can increase your risk of osteoporosis . If you have an early menopause you ought to ask for a bone scan at 50 and 3 yearly after that.

clairethewitch70 Wed 20-Jun-18 16:19:20

I am 47 and periods are getting closer together by one day each month, now 21 days, they used to be 30 days. Will they keep getting closer together until it is just one continuous period?

Emerald13 Wed 20-Jun-18 23:01:25

Mine were getting closer and lighter and after that they became late. I was starting to miss periods and I had severe symptoms and I started hrt.

Shortbreadbiscuit Thu 21-Jun-18 18:51:37

HI OK I am 40 and have the same symptoms as you (night sweats, erratic periods, also loss of libido). Went to the GP today and she was very supportive and has booked a blood test. But said it might not give reliable results and she would be prepared to prescribe HRT anyway, based on my symptoms. I'm really glad I went.

Shortbreadbiscuit Thu 21-Jun-18 18:52:59

*OP not OK

Puffinhead Thu 21-Jun-18 18:59:39

I’m 44 and have also noticed a change in periods. They went from 28 days to 24 days. But I also noticed significant hair loss (on head as well as pubic area!). Went to gp and had blood tests to check hormone levels but they came back ok. Periods now gone back to 28 days. Very odd.

Puffinhead Thu 21-Jun-18 19:02:56

Oh, and given my age (under 45) the gp suggested the blood test so I think it’s worth asking for.

FloralBunting Thu 21-Jun-18 19:41:54

Blimey. I am so uneducated on all this. I've spent years being hyper aware of the health issues of the pregnant woman, I was a bit ostrichy about the health issues of women after the sodding periods end. Meh.

Bellaciao Sun 24-Jun-18 22:50:42

Period cycles getting shorter is a classic sign of what is known as the "late Reproductive Stage" which is the last stage before peri-menopause. As the ovaries are still working and you are still ovulating then it is not yet peri-menopause although hormones begin to go wonky at this point.

Some women find pms symptoms worsen as hormones begin to surge and fall more dramatically. HRT can work at this stage but not always - ie to regulate the cycle and prevent the hormone crashes. Women under 50 might like to try the newer combined contraceptive pills which are gentler and more suited to women in this position - Qlaira and Zoely both contain estradiol - the same oestrogen that our ovaries produce and that is in most modern HRT.

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