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What is the difference between perimenopause and the menopause? How do you avoid weight gain? Does the menopause magnet work? And ye gods, tell us how to get a good night's sleep! Luckily Gransnet has put together the most useful tips for navigating those muddy menopausal waters. Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you have any medical concerns do consult your GP.

So once you have done with the menopause what happens?

(11 Posts)
OrmIrian Thu 29-Oct-09 14:00:49

I have been having perimenopausal symptoms for the last few years. Weird cycle, mood swings, hot flushes. Went to te GP last year and was given citalopram as she thought hte depression/anxiety was an issue in itself. All my tests came back showing nothing but she admitted that it was hard to get blood tests showing anything clear due to constant fluctuations. She also thought I was a bit young - since talked to mum who said she was quite early too.

But.... as it will be happening over the next decade or so at some point, what should I expect? I am already looking quite old facially although I keep myself relatively slim and fit. Am I going to put on loads of weight quite soon, age a lot more, get more tired...what?

Anyone been through it and come out the otherside? How did it leave you feeling (and looking)?

And how risky is HRT?


OrmIrian Thu 29-Oct-09 20:37:56

Please! Tell me the worst. I confess to being a bit sad about the whole thing.

Dumbledoresgirl Thu 29-Oct-09 20:42:38

Orm, I can't give you first hand experience as I am only about the same age as you I think, but I have been thinking about the menopause a lot lately as my periods make me feel so ill and I would really like them to stop! Not how I thought I would regard the menopause but there you go.

Anyway, I feel horribly ill a lot of the time and have talked to my mother about this and she said she actually felt she had a completely new lease of life when she turned about 50 (roughly the time she went through the menopause). She said her 40s was an awful time - just as they are being for me - but everything turned rosy afterwards. So, here's hoping and I hope this reassures you a bit.

Dumbledoresgirl Thu 29-Oct-09 20:45:02

Oh and wow, you have a lovely figure!

Hassled Thu 29-Oct-09 20:46:15

I'm holding out for the subscription to Saga Magazine which will arrive to herald the news that the worse is over. I reckon it's automatic - Saga just know.

I'm in the same boat - lots of perimenopausal symptom but a bit young, really. And everything I've read is so conflicting - HRT was like manna from heaven a few years ago but now people need to be a bit wary (I don't understand why), and some women seem to just breeze through the menopause while others have a hell of a time, and again I don't understand why.

I have noticed that when I put on weight it is a hell of a lot harder to shift these days. And yes, I get very very tired by things I just would have managed 5 years ago. I've started to have the odd hot flush, but it passes quickly and doesn't seem to happen very often.

SweetestThing Thu 29-Oct-09 20:47:15

Hi OrmIrian

I went through the menopause a couple of years ago and I have to say I was really, really lucky as I had virtually no symptoms apart from very occasional hot flushes and night sweats. I spoke to my GP when I realised what was going on and he said that as I was coping fine, he didn't think there was any need for HRT etc.

I must admit, I feel fine. I do lots of weight-bearing exercise like running and walking/climbing to keep my bones healthy and apart from that, I don't really do anything different to what I did before - I just don't have the faff of monthly periods! I don't feel that I am any less of a woman or anything like that. I didn't put on weight, my skin didn't suddenly lose its elasticity overnight, I don't get any more tired than I used to, so it doesn't feel much different to me, really.

Mine was a fairly early menopause (46/47).

Hope this helps.

hormonstersnomore Thu 29-Oct-09 21:24:56

I was very young (38/40) but I expected it, as most of the women in my family had experienced an early menopause. I had no hot flushes or night sweats but took HRT to help prevent osteoporosis for 10 years with no problems. The only reason I've gained weight is I'm a lot less active & eat a lot! I don't really feel any different except I get tired more easily, but I'm not getting any younger. I get quite annoyed when any & every symptom is attributed to the menopause just because a woman is of a 'certain age'.

ThingOneofYourNightmares Thu 29-Oct-09 21:38:30

Mine was at forty, due to cancer treatment. The cancer and the treatment have taken quite a toll on my body but I don't think the toll of the menopause itself has been too bad. My skin is no longer luminous and peachy, but then I had been very lucky to keep such nice skin for so long anyway.

I think you have to make more effort to keep fit and keep the weight down. You are more easily prone to extra weight around the tummy. Keep up those core muscles grin.

OrmIrian Fri 30-Oct-09 07:53:24

Thankyou all.

That is generally reassuring. I am happy with the thought of gradual ageing (good thing really as there is f* all I could do about it grin) but I have this horrible feeling that it would suddenly accelerate. Mum had a really bad time - and did seem to age quite quickly but looking back I think that was just because I left home fairly soon so I guess the changes seemed more drastic. Also she didn't really take care of herself sad - I plan to be nicer to myself.

ATM I am busy enough dealing with the perimenopause.....

dumbledoresgirl - thanks for the compliment but there is a reason I cut my head off in that photo grin Wasn't prepared to show MN my lines and baggy eyes!

purplepeony Sat 31-Oct-09 20:54:47

Calm down.

I went through the meno at 53- missed a couple of periods and had some short cycles running up to it, but no flooding or anything traumatic-all pretty smooth.

Got mild hot flushes in the months when I wasn't having periods then they started again once my periods had stopped.

I have now been on HRT for a year and feel great. Got on well with the first type I took- it's a gel not tablets. Still a size 10 - just- and feel no different.

I see a gynae who is especially interested in the meno and he is great. If you are in London or the south I can give you his name. My gynae reckons up to 5 years HRT is okay so I will cross that bridge as and when, if not before.

One word of advice- a lot of exercise really helps- I walk etc 3 miles daily if I can. Some research shows that it is as effective as HRT. I asked for HRT as my sleep patterns changed- felt wide awake as soon as I got into bed and kept waking all night.

Read asmuch as you can about it all and keep positive!

agedknees Sun 01-Nov-09 16:20:15

I had earlyish menopause at age 42. I had about 6 years of hot flushes, night sweats etc. But I was also diagnosed with diabetes at the same time which has many similar symptoms so maybe menopause might have been a bit easier without the diabetes. Who knows?

I did put on weight. Again that might have been the diabetes.

There is a really good site called menopause matters - google it, it is a UK site. You will get loads of good info on there.

Good luck. There is light at the end of the tunnel. And no more periods, pms etc. Yippee.

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