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Shippy's avatar

Question about Peri Menopause or Menopause.

Asked by Shippy (9857 points ) September 29th, 2012

I am 49 so I do expect by default to be at least Peri menopausal? I haven’t had any real symptoms that I can think of, although its hard to say since I have mood swings already. Physically the changes I have seen are, heavier periods, of late my cycle is a bit out, this time I bled much longer. I do have fibroids but I am not concerned regards them. I get “warm” on occasion when I should not, however, I do not think these are hot flashes as I believe these to be quite dramatic? I have recently started to take Menophase , which is a natural thing. Not sure though if that helps. Does any of this sound Peri or meno? what kinds of things can I expect?

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24 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

If you are still having periods, it’s Peri. http://www.webmd.com/menopause/tc/menopause-and-perimenopause-overview

Hot flashes range from a little warm tingling to the serious “I-have-to-go-outside-and-dance-in- the-snow-in-my-underwear-syndrome.”

Fybroids will shrink as your estrogen production also slows down.

Coloma's avatar

Technically a woman is not menopausal until she has not had a cycle for one entire year. Everything else is the peri phase.
I am 4 years done this month and completely stopped just before I turned 49. I will be 53 in Dec.

Every woman is different, I started my periods at 12 and was done at 49. My mother went on until her mid-50’s but she started menstruating much later, at age 16.
I have several female friends that are 52 and 54 that are still having cycles.
My peri-menopause began around age 43 and went on til I stopped.

First it was heavier bleeding and shorter cycles, then they became every other month for several years, then I would go 3–4 months and finally, no more.
I never experienced mood swings or depression, inspite of my doctor pushing HRT and telling me I would become depressed. Bah!
I had hot flashes and still get night sweats a few times a week, but otherwise I pretty much sailed through unscathed.

I do not miss anything about having periods.
I also found all the various remedies and supplements useless.

Shippy's avatar

@Coloma are the hot flashes as scary as they say? how did you deal with them? I am prone to panic so may have a panic attack.

chyna's avatar

I agree with @Coloma. The one small difference is that I found the HRT’s to be effective for hot flashes and night sweats. I used them for a year, but was afraid of their side effects, so I stopped them. The hot flashes and night sweats came back, but you figure out how to deal with it and eventually they go away.
I didn’t find the hot flashes scary, just annoying. They usually don’t last long, a few minutes maybe. You just fan yourself or stand in front of the refrigerator with the door open or go roll in the snow as @gailcalled recommends.

JLeslie's avatar

Are your periods closer together? A lot of women have that happen in peri. I do know some women who started getting PMS in their 40’s when they never had before had any problems. But, I also know many many women who sail through menopause and what surrounds it. It’s so individual. Being unusually warm can be from other hormones also, like a hyper thyroid, stress, and other things. Most women I know desrcibe hotflashes as coming from the inside out a like a sudden furnace, not just feeling hot in general.

Shippy's avatar

@JLeslie No, they have just become irregular? then one month they are light and quick, following heavy and long. This months period has been ten days.

JLeslie's avatar

@Shippy Meaning the bleeding is irregular, not the time in between periods?

I have a feeling it varies for everyone what happens as the hormones begin to change. I know my mom had heavy bleeding the last 10 years before she finally stopped getting her period. The periods came closer together and the heavy bleeding was mostly attributed to her fibroids. Then one month she skipped a period. Then she had 9 more months of periods, then she never had another period again. never had a flash.

My neighbor was irregular in all sorts of ways for almost a year. She was very frustrated. She also had been diagnosed with hypothyroid and both her parents died all within this year more or less, and it was really difficult for her.

My MIL had a hysterectomy in her 30’s, but when she went through menopause in her early 50’s her flashes were terrible, and she still flashes today in her 70’s if she does not take hormones.

Another friend of mine basically just stopped getting her period and had very bad flashes for 6 months and then everything calmed down and she is fine. She complains she has gained weight since menopause, or because she is older, she is not sure what to blame. She is still thin.

I have never heard the same story twice about menopause, but at the same time there are commonalities.

You can get a day 3 test, to see how your hormones are doing, but it isn’t like it really will matter what it says I don’t think. Day 3 is primarily used for analyzing a woman’s fertility. Many GYN’s don’t even know what it is, they just do basic hormone tests that show what range your hormones are in. For example a few years ago my day 3 showed I was moving outside of normal (meaning leaving my most fertile years) while a regular hormone test done on whatever day of the cycle I was on showed me as still young, fertile, and healthy. Reprodcutive endocrinologists use the day 3 test, pretty much no other doctor does from what I can tell.

janbb's avatar

I found hot flashes to be uncomfortable but certainly not terrifying or even debilitating. I know other friends have had much more discomfort than I did from them. For me the biggest problem was from fibroids which caused ridiculously heavy periods during peri-menopause. I did have two myomectomies which took care of that. I think it is safe to assume you are in peri-menopause but not to worry and too deal with each symptom as you need to. Each person’s body is different.

Coloma's avatar

Two weeks ago the weather cooled down and so I put my favorite winter blanket on my bed.
Now, it has shot back up to the low 90’s this last week with nightly lows only around 60–62.
Last night I had a night sweat attack. OMG!

No panic, just your whole body lights up like a roman candle. I flung the covers off at 3a.m. and got up and drank ice water.
I almost went out and got in my cold hot tub. haha
I also always keep a frozen washcloth in my freezer, feels so good on your neck and forehead during a combustible moment. lol

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Thank you for asking this question. We are the same age, and my body is starting to change as well.

@gailcalled Thank you for that link. It was insightful to read.

@Coloma The day that you become depressed will be like an alarm going off. Thank you for mentioning HRTs. I just did a bit of reading about it. Since it has been proven that HRT can lead to breast cancer, I will avoid it. The disease caused my grandmother’s death.

@chyna Thank you for some additional tips in dealing with night sweats.

@Shippy The night sweats aren’t bad, as long as you know to expect them. It’s just a matter of getting used to waking up soaked to the bone and realizing that it is just another short stage in your life. As @janbb says, they aren’t scary; just uncomfortable. Like many things in life, you learn to deal with it. Someone, just please tell us that it is only temporary.

For me, the scariest part is assuming it might all be over and then discovering I’m pregnant at the age of 50+. :)

Coloma's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer Yes, I have read that a womans risk of accidental pregnancy in peri- menopause rivals that of a teenager again, what with the wacky and irregular cycles.
I told the man I was dating for 2 years at that time he had nothing to fear. If I turned up pregnant there would be no need for any discussion, he would be totally off the hook as I would just tie a boulder around my neck and jump off the nearest bridge. lol

gailcalled's avatar

I got very hot and damp, but it was only in the upper chest, neck and head and I always had 30–40 ” premonition before it hit. It lasted several minutes. At concerts I was always folding my program into a paper fan and batting away.

And I never had the drenching night sweats.

I started menstruating at 12½ and had my last (short) period a month after my 57th birthday. What a relief to have it end. A few minutes of being overheated was far more preferable than the uncomfortable peri-men. periods.

Coloma's avatar

@gailcalled 57? You were a prolific specimen of womanhood.
You could have easily had, oooh, about 18 children, piece of cake. lol

gailcalled's avatar

@Coloma:

Given that I worked with 16,17, and 18 year-olds for over twelve years, I often felt as thought I did have a very, very large family.

Not unsurprisingly, teen-agers who are rebelling against their parents (which is what all healthy teens should be doing are looking) for a surrogate mother or father. I fit the bill; I listened well, i liked them, I served hot Earl Grey tea on demand, and I didn’t have to clean their rooms at the end of the day.

My kids, as teens, were sneaky, secretive and devious with me (also as it should have been).

gailcalled's avatar

edit;;(... should be doing) are looking…

Kardamom's avatar

Hot flashes aren’t scary, they’re just annoying. Especially when the weather is in the high 90’s and low 100’s like it has been here for the last 8 weeks (and me with no AC). And like @gailcalled said, for some reason they’re only from the chest upwards. So your boobs, upper arms, neck and head will get warm, like you’re standing in front of a heater, or that feeling you get when you are sunburned. I usually just go and get a damp cloth. My cycle is still completely normal at age 49. Soy milk seems to alleviate the hot flashes to a good degree. Sometimes I just forget to buy some, because the hot flashes only bother me when they’re happening. Otherwise I never think about them at all. They can last a few seconds to five minutes at a time. I haven’t suffered any mood swings, but I also never have had PMS. Some of my female relatives and friends had PMS really bad and others didn’t have it at all.

GracieT's avatar

I’m only 42, and I don’t have normal periods. I never have. When I asked my doctor if my having 2 periods or no periods a month and worse than
they’ve been in decades
cramps meant that I’m actually
in Menopause now and not
PeriMenopause any more, she told me that I may be getting close I was NOT in Menopause until I have had six months of absolutely no bleeding. The things I mentioned plus the hot flashes I’ve started having may mean I’m close, but still not fully in.

Shippy's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer Thank you for your answers, I was so taken aback to hear your good news! I think that is fantastic, how is it going for you?

Kardamom's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer I think she took your phrase For me, the scariest part is assuming it might all be over and then discovering I’m pregnant at the age of 50+. :) to mean that you actually discovered you were pregnant, when you actually meant that you would be scared to think that it was over when you might be pregnant. LOL

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Gracious! If that is true, then please forgive the lack of clarity on my part, @Shippy. I am not pregnant.

Shippy's avatar

@Kardamom correct! @Pied_Pfeffer well it’s a new age now you know, so you never know!!

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Kardamom True. My sisters and a SIL each had a child in their early 40’s. It wasn’t the first though. The thought of becoming a first time parent at the age of 50 is not for me.

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