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Need some advice about the menopause for my mum please

(18 Posts)
DevilwearsPrada Wed 11-Jun-08 19:17:38

My mum is 51 and I think she's going through the menopause. She is bleeding every 2 weeks for 7 days at a time, is very tired because of all the bleeding, she has no energy and is very moody. The thing is up until about 2 years ago she was having the contraceptive injection (depo..) regulary. She was told by a local family planning clinic that she was too old to have it and should come off it immediately. But they gave her no other alternative for contraception said she was to old for the pill and should just use condoms. (yeah right). She won't go to the bloody doctor though as shes convinced they won't do anything. Does anyone have any advice? Will the doctor do anything? Is their some form of contraception she can use? One of the reasons she was on the injection is because it stops your periods and she had such heavy periods.

DevilwearsPrada Wed 11-Jun-08 19:17:57

Oh and thanks in advance. smile

girlnextdoor Thu 12-Jun-08 08:09:01

any chance your mum can ask here herself?

You sound as if you have a great open relationship- I can't imagine having those type of conversations with my daughter who is 19, and I am older than your mum smile.

Unless your mum WANTS to be helped, there is not a lot you can do, is there?

There is loads she can do to help herself- diet, exercise herbal supplements etc- BUT the only thing that will regulate heavy bleeding is either the Mirena coil, (IUD) or HRT. She could be anaemic from bleeding som uch so she needs a blood test to check that.

I am so far having a very easy menopause- am 53 and still having occasional periods, but I have a wonderful gynae who works with me, and would give me HRT if I felt I needed it- however, I have made a lot of lifestyle changes and that seems to help.

I think it's great you want to help, buy hey- she's an adult- she needs to take control of her own life. Show her this site?

DevilwearsPrada Thu 12-Jun-08 21:22:07

Thanks for the reply GND, my mum is allergic to computers lol. She's scared of them. grin It's convincing her thats she worth the hassle of going to the docs as her self esteem is at an all time low. I will try and get her to go, the coil is a good option I never though of that. Thanks.

ChristieF Tue 28-Jul-09 15:09:49

She needs to go to the doctor. Try to get receptionists to recommend the most sympathic woman doctor. HRT can also act as a contraceptive. I'm in the process of getting hrt now at 48. You need to have blood test to confirm menopause as symptoms very similar to thyroid problems. Hope I'll have prescription tomorrow. It took me over a year to get around to seeing doc after speaking to nurse. Had awful symptoms for 4 years and can't take much more. Some sorts of hrt can stop periods my doc says. Get her to the doctor.

mrsmerryweather Sun 02-Aug-09 07:57:53

"""HRT can also act as a contraceptive""" shock

oh no it can't!

You might control your bleeding with HRT but you will still ovulate and can become pregnant- make sure you really understand what is going on with your body and HRT!

mablemurple Sun 02-Aug-09 08:13:21

Hi DWP, can I recommend the book Menopause for Dummies? I'm reading this right now (I'm 50 and my last period was months ago) and it is very informative. Your mum's heavy periods and moodiness could be due to perimenopause symptoms, but there can be other reasons, as a previous poster said. Either way, she should definitely see the doctor - they will take her seriously.

ABetaDad Sun 02-Aug-09 08:14:24

* DevilwearsPrada/ChristieF* - I hope you (and others) will not mind me joining the thread. I think my DW is suffering from this problem. She is 45 and has been getting massively heavy periods for the last couple of years. She has only one ovary and I think she is going into menopause.

Can I ask what other symptoms you had as DW is losing weight quickly, very tired and has intense mood shifts. It is making her feel rotten generally. Also can you tell me what the HRT does and what effect it has and any side effects. What are the alternatives?

I would like DW to go and see the GP but I would like to know a bit more before I talk to her. The problem is that she had ovarian cancer about ten years ago so I this she is ignoring the issue because she is very frightened.

mablemurple Sun 02-Aug-09 10:58:58

ABetaDad - heavy periods, tiredness and mood swings are certainly symptoms of perimenopause. Without wishing to cause you undue concern, given your dw's medical history I would be a bit worried about the weight loss, but I have no medical knowledge or experience of ovarian cancer myself. I can understand her reluctance to go to the doctor, but I think she really needs to. Can I recommend the Menopause for Dummies book to you/your wife as well (I'm not the publisher, honest!). I'm only up to chapter 4 so haven't got to the hrt bit, but it does seem to cover everything very thoroughly.
Sorry if this reply is not very useful, but I didn't want your post to go unanswered.

juuule Sun 02-Aug-09 11:06:32

Abetadad, I second that your dw needs to see a doctor. It is more usual to put weight on around menopause than it is to lose it, although I'm sure there are exceptions. I'm not sure that hrt would be recommended with a history of ovarian cancer.

OurLadyOfPerpetualSupper Sun 02-Aug-09 11:22:52

A friend of mine swears by this.

I haven't got around to trying it yet, but the site is worth a read for anyone who wants to avoid HRT.

Agree that anyone with 'history' should see their doctor first, though.

ABetaDad Sun 02-Aug-09 12:57:20

Thank you all for your replies. DW says she still thinks about having cancer every day.

The loss of weight is not huge but she has metioned it several times in the last month and I need to broach the subject very carefully in the right context as I do not cause her undue concern.

I will look at the book reference. That will be very helpful as a starting point.

Sayyesmummy Sun 02-Aug-09 13:01:24

Weight loss can def be a symptom of menopause. Quite dramatic for a few months apparently

mrsmerryweather Sun 02-Aug-09 13:05:11

Another good book is this:
www.amazon.co.uk/Your-Change-Choice-Integrated-Menopause/dp/0340828862/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=124921 4537&sr=8-2
excellent mix of conventional gynae stuff and more alternative.

Brilliant top of the tree" gynae who knows his stuff .

I am sorry to hear about your DWs cancer- does she still have/need to have check ups? when she had cancer did they remove her ovary/ovaries? If they did, then she should have been assessed for/given HRT then as if she had her ovaries removed it would have plunged her straight into menopause.

There's a lot of info missing from your post and we can't help unless we know all the facts.

mrsmerryweather Sun 02-Aug-09 13:07:43

Abeta just re-read your post again and see she has 1 ovary.

Given her history, she should ask for referral to a gynae and at least be checked over.

Not wanting to alram you, but heavy periods and weight loss after already having had cancer are symptoms that need checking out, sooner rather than later.

ABetaDad Sun 02-Aug-09 19:11:36

mrsmerryweather - yes she stil has CA125 cancer marker blood test every 6 months alng with ultrasound. She has fibroids and several water filled cysts on her one remaining ovary that comlicate matters.

She has dropped 3 dress sizes from 14 down to 10 in about 18 months. Her heavy periods seem to have corresponded with that drop in weight.

I need to talk to her but I do think it is menopause rather than something worse as her CA125/ ultrasound tests are stable.

I assume someone with one ovary will enter menopause earlier than someone with two. Although I recall she was told that her remaining ovary would to a large extent compensate the one she had removed.

Thank you for your reply and the book link.

Sayyesmummy/juuule - not sure wether menopause leads to weight loss or gain. I guess it can go either way

mablemurple Sun 02-Aug-09 21:10:18

ABD - from the Dummies book: "You don't need to do anything about fibroids unless they cause symptoms such as pain, pressure or increased bleeding. If you develop these symptoms, see your gp."
Also: "If you have only one ovary removed, you may go through a normal, natural menopause if the other ovary continue to work properly. One ovary can produce ...enough hormones to keep your body in good shape..."" So your dw would not necessarily have an earlier menopause than typical.
hth

ABetaDad Sun 02-Aug-09 23:13:05

mablemurple - thanks for the extracts.

That was my undersanding on fibroids and yes the other ovary does seem to take over the missing one it seems.

She definitely needs this looking into - probably a good time would be when she goes for her next 6 monthh check.

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