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Perimenopause vs menopause

(13 Posts)
NYnachos Fri 14-Feb-20 17:01:45

Stupid question alert - how can you tell the difference between menopause & perimenopause?

I'm going to see my GP with a load of symptoms - changing, heavy periods, extreme fatigue, hit all the time, muscle pain, and many more. I'm guessing they'll do a blood test - what will they be looking for?

BillieEilish Fri 14-Feb-20 17:42:53

Generally speaking, menopause is a year of no periods if over 50, 2 years if in your 40's.

A blood test after 40 is not a recognised measure of menopause. Loads of info on here and on 'menopause matters' website.

How old are you?

NYnachos Fri 14-Feb-20 19:42:49

Thanks that's helpful. I'm 45.

BillieEilish Fri 14-Feb-20 20:41:03

Personally, I'd insist on HRT.


NYnachos Fri 14-Feb-20 23:52:04

Can I get HRT if I'm perimenopausal not menopausal?

HangingOffYourCloud Sat 15-Feb-20 00:38:27

Semantics but I went for a talk this week on the menopause. Peri-menopause is all the symptoms you experience that means your hormone levels are dropping. When your periods stop for 12 months you enter menopause for one day - then you become post-menopausal. The one day window is the day after your periods have stopped for 12 months. Menopause isn't the thing - peri and post is. Does that help at all? Check out for more information.
Blood tests aren't much help because your hormones are all over the shop at the moment and will change constantly. Yes you can and should get HRT if you are experiencing these symptoms. It's wrong to think that they are for menopause, they are for peri to get you to the other side.

BillieEilish Sat 15-Feb-20 00:42:16

Yes, yes. As I said on another thread today, print off NICE guidelines. Do not accept antidepressants, tell them your symptoms, focussing on physical.

Print that list of guidelines off though and insist. Doctors are woefully ignorant and it is SO depressing and IMO your symptoms will get worse and worse and you need to protect your bones and heart.

Antidepressants won't do this hmm you are not depressed.

Spend a few hours reading up on it OP and go no nonsense and armed with info.

They may spout breast cancer risks, but unless you are at risk, having already had it/in the family... there is no need for concern under 51, none at all. Even then … not.

Much less than the pill for goodness sake!

Seriously, do a bit of reading OP there is a poster on here, far more knowledgeable than me, have a read through the posts. Good luck.

Spartonian Sat 15-Feb-20 00:42:25

I'm peri menopausal and younger than you, I have been on HRT for almost a year now.

I told my GP all my symptoms and had them written down just incase I forgot any as my brain had turned to mush.

Within about a week of using the HRT all my symptoms had gone away.

NYnachos Sat 15-Feb-20 00:58:54

Thank you all so much! I hadn't fully realised the timeline of events, so that's really helpful.

I was given some antidepressants 7-8 months ago (although tbf I was feeling depressed) but I came off them last month as I was feeling worse all the time. I only feel slightly better now (but definitely not depressed), so hopefully they won't suggest that again.

BillieEilish Sat 15-Feb-20 01:09:37

That's bloody typical OP

You didn't need antidepressants, you needed HRT. Yes, you do feel depressed but it is not at all the same thing.

My doctor gave me them, I didn't take them, I asked advice on here, researched, researched, and as am in Spain, self prescribed and got it all OTC. Thank God, as I am a different woman. Poor DD, I barely wanted to leave the house, 2 years post meno.

It went like this... 43 last period ever. Fine.

45 menopause. Still fine TBH. Lots of gastric problems though. Anxiety. OMG the anxiety.

46 a year of HRT, OK, I'm fine, don't need it.

Now...49 please God quick give me HRT now.

It's not depression OP, it really isn't.
My DSis is 48 and one of those people who thinks she will never ever go through the menopause, ever. She clearly is perimenopausal.

Went to the doctors and has 'anxiety' 'stress' and is on a strong does of antidepressants. Makes me mad.

NYnachos Sat 15-Feb-20 01:34:01

Thanks again - I really appreciate it. I've booked an appointment with my gp so will go armed 🙂

BillieEilish Sat 15-Feb-20 01:37:52

Great smile go armed and insistent!

JinglingHellsBells Sat 15-Feb-20 06:59:22

Just to add to all the excellent advice above @NYnachos, if you follow the media coverage of menopause (as I do , as it's part of my work) there is a massive campaign going on by menopause specialists to educate GPs .

Specialists are aghast at how GPs are reaching for ADs which a) don't work for women with meno symptoms and b) may cause harm.

The NICE guidelines- now 5 years old- told GPs NOT to prescribe ADs but too many GPs either haven't read them or choose to ignore (as they don't know enough about HRT or don't 'believe' in it.)

It's not an exaggeration to say that there is a national outcry by specialists about this.

The symptoms of depression are similar to those some women have when they hit peri. But are caused by loss of estrogen- so estrogen is the treatment.


there are two main types of HRT

1 For women whose periods have not stopped
2 For women who have not had a period for a year.

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