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tan253's avatar

Periods changing now in my 40s?

Asked by tan253 (2678points) 5 days ago from iPhone

Hi all,
So I’ve turned 43 and these last two cycles my periods have almost been non existant. I’m going to discuss with Dr too but I’ve recently had an ultrasound of whole pelvic area and that was clear and my last Pap smear was fine – two years ago.
I’m getting period pains as such but only the very starting of my period and then nothing. Anyone else experienced this as age and hormonal changes set in? I just feel I’m too young…. share with me your bleeding or non bleeding stories in your 40s! Thank you.

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35 Answers

Inspired_2write's avatar

Could be many things, here is a link for perimenopause symptoms.

https://www.webmd.com/menopause/guide/guide-perimenopause#1
Here it states that its not unusual to begin while in your 40’s year of age.
Other sympotoms point to more serious issues but treatable.

Kardamom's avatar

Peri-menopause for me started about exactly your age. That went on for 10 years, until the periods stopped.

The only symptoms/complaints I had, and still have, are hot flashes (that used to come many times day and night for about 5 years, but now I don’t get the hot flashes, but I’m always way too warm) and insomnia. Oddly, I never got the sweats along with the hot flashes. It just felt like someone had turned the heat up about 20 degrees, on my face and neck. Now I just feel like it’s perpetually 10 degrees warmer than everybody else says it is.

tan253's avatar

funny as I’ve been having periods of being really hot but not having a fever, but when I’m hot no-one else is hot and it’s almost a weird ‘why is it so hot all of a sudden!’ type situation. I’ve actually got mild bleeding this period where last time I didn’t even need to use anything!!

janbb's avatar

Without being a medical doctor, I would gues you’re in peri-menopause.

tan253's avatar

But… I’m too young!!!
MY mum however had a hysterectomy at 36 so I guess I could be, I have no idea what age my Mum would have normally gone through menopause and I guess you follow your Mum… I was kinda hoping I might have another baby! ( don’t judge!)
I’m young!

tan253's avatar

All those peri menopausal symptoms sound like me, however I did get blood tests done and all my blood tests suggested I wasn’t going through this but that was a year ago – I might get some more done… just to check. But ALL the symptoms of peri menopause are mine. ALL of them!
Is it weird to feel sad like you’re giving up some of what makes you a ‘woman’

Hot flashes
Breast tenderness
Worse premenstrual syndrome
Lower sex drive
Fatigue
Irregular periods
Vaginal dryness; discomfort during sex
Urine leakage when coughing or sneezing
Urinary urgency (an urgent need to urinate more frequently)
Mood swings
Trouble sleeping

JLeslie's avatar

It’s a little early for menopause, but it could be starting. Did your mom stop menstruating young?

Let them run some blood tests.

janbb's avatar

@JLeslie She said above that her mom had a hysterectomy at 36 so that – I mean when her mom’s periods stopped – wouldn’t be possible to know.

JLeslie's avatar

^^I missed it. I’m guessing she had her ovaries removed too, or an easy menopause. My MIL had a hysterectomy in her late 30’s, but didn’t go through “menopause” until age 50. She has had hot flashes ever since the 50 mark, and she’s 82.

I get “menopause symptoms” when my thyroid is too fast, but it didn’t affect my periods, but some women it does.

I think she’s likely starting early menopause though, just like everyone else is guessing.

canidmajor's avatar

I’m glad you’re going to the doctor soon. Not to be an alarmist, but what I thought was peri menopause at 45 was cancer. It’s 20 years later, and I’m still walking around, but best to check ASAP.

JLeslie's avatar

43 is getting old to try to have a baby by the way, even for women who go through menopause at 50. By 43 the egg reserve is getting quite low. A typical cycle for a 25 year old there might be 12 follicles in an ovary day 3, and then 1 egg pops out for a regular cycle. By age 43 there would be 2–4 follicles and one egg pops, and hopefully there are no genetic problems, but the risk gets higher. I’m just talking averages for an average woman with an average menstruated cycle lasting until 50.

There of course are 43 year olds who get pregnant and have perfectly healthy babies the odds just shift quite a bit after 40 to even get pregnant without some medical intervention.

tan253's avatar

Yeah I know it’s getting older, just saying that having that option is always nice. @canidmajor what cancer did you have?
My last pap smear was 2 years ago and was fine, and I got an ultra sound on my woman parts 4 months ago so I’m assuming if there was anything ‘growing’ it would have been seen. But yes we can only guess, I’m just seeing if what i’m going through is ‘uncommon,’ that’s all!

canidmajor's avatar

You’re probably fine. My cancer was cervical, and in the earlier stages it mimicked peri menopause, with a lot of the symptoms you described. But if you’ve been checked so recently, 4 months, I’m sure it’s not that. :-)

I didn’t start to be concerned til the pain got extreme because the tumor got big enough to press on nerves.

tan253's avatar

My Mum had cervical cancer so I regularly get my smears like clock work – she had HPV, however my cousin has had cervical cancer and my Aunty – so a fairly strong genetic link in my family and it could be that, but I’m sure an ultra sound would detect that also. Seriously weird though, I have really bad period pains and no to little period! boo! :(

canidmajor's avatar

Ugh. If you’re comfortable with it, please let us know that you’re OK.

tan253's avatar

Yeah I’ve already booked a Drs appointment, I’m sure she will say it’s just hormonal but I’ll get bloods to check it all as well and tests for grave disease etc, I’m a hypochondriac so I need all possibilities tested!

tan253's avatar

Now I“m worried they have missed cervical cancer! it can happen, can a transvaginal ultra sound show cervical cancer?

JLeslie's avatar

Hopefully @canidmajor comes back, but as far as I know, ultrasound wouldn’t be used to detect cervical cancer, I don’t think it would show in the beginning stages. It would find a tumor I think if the cancer was farther along. Ultrasound is used for uterine and ovarian cancer diagnosis I think in conjunction with other tests.

I wouldn’t jump to cancer, I know you tend to be a hypochondriac so that’s probably difficult for you.

When is your doctor’s appointment?

tan253's avatar

Tuesday, I thought I’d wait for a couple of days just in case my period kick starts back to normality! I did have a smear two years ago but I just read that cancer can be missed so that’s not helping!

JLeslie's avatar

Try not to worry. I really don’t think it’s cancer, and luckily your appointment is in a couple of days and you can get it ruled out.

canidmajor's avatar

I’m back, @JLeslie, and I was citing my personal experience,
I’m not sure why you mentioned me.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I’m 46 and very regular still. I would definately get it checked out. I was told that your mom and aunts early menopause are signs you may have early menopause.

JLeslie's avatar

@canidmajor I thought you could comment on whether they used an ultrasound to do any of the diagnostics.

canidmajor's avatar

@JLeslie Ah. No, by the time I went in the tumor was obvious from just a look. It was an advanced stage by the time I was diagnosed. I’d hate to see anybody have to go through such an obviously preventable ordeal. With a history of cervical cancer in her family, I’m sure @tan253 is diligent about checking for any abnormalities.

JLeslie's avatar

@canidmajor It doesn’t sound like they treat her as high risk. Her last Pap smear was 2 years ago, so it sounds like they are following that new rule of less frequent Pap smears. I’m not fond of the new rule to test less often. For some reason our country freaked out screaming when it was suggested to check for breast cancer less often, but when they changed the paper smear rules it went by without barely a mention.

I am a firm believer that having the bad strain of HPV is the most important factor, rather than genetics when it comes to cervical cancer, but I do think probably everything counts to some extent.

canidmajor's avatar

Well, I am assuming she has the sense to request a pap now that it’s been brought up.

Inspired_2write's avatar

Just a note on urine leakage symptoms….one cause to check is that pressure on the bladder wall can result in this.
Fibroid’s are abnormal growths that develop in or on a woman’s uterus. Sometimes these tumors become quite large and cause severe abdominal pain and heavy periods. In other cases, they cause no signs or symptoms at all. The growths are typically benign, or NONcancerous. The cause of fibroid’s is unknown.
link: https://www.healthline.com/health/uterine-fibroids

JLeslie's avatar

Fibroids would be seen on ultrasound. She just had one done.

Inspired_2write's avatar

@JLeslie This messege is also for those that are viewing and have similar problems.

JLeslie's avatar

^^Fair enough. Now, they know from my answer how fibroids are detected.

tan253's avatar

Well it appears I may have overreacted as this morning I have awoken to a full wonderful period. Seems last month was a glitch in the matrix. However – I will get a smear and take the advice of jleslie I think and actually get them every year instead of two years. I think it’s because I got them every year for 15 years that they told me I could wait 2 years this time around. But still, a good wake up call. But boy does it feel good to have a proper period! I’m going to miss it when it goes! Thank you so mich everyone x

tan253's avatar

And I agree – my mum has HPV and I’ve been tested for it and don’t have it… but I think that accounts more for cervical cancer than genetics – however when 3 woman in a family have had it – it’s worth the extra attention.

janbb's avatar

@tan253 You’ll be surprised how little you’ll miss it when it goes but I’m glad it’s not yet for you since you’re not ready!

tedibear's avatar

40 is not too young for peri-menopause. It’s on the young end of the spectrum, but not unusual.

Fibroids do not always show up on an ultrasound. I had three ultrasounds when I was having issues, none of them showing fibroids. I had a hysterectomy, and my uterus was almost double the weight of what is considered average. This was due to fibroids.

@tan253, I’m glad you’re taking care of your health and paying attention to your potential risk factors. I will say that I’m with @janbb – you will be surprised how much you don’t miss having a period when that time does come.

Kardamom's avatar

My peri-menopause started at age 43, and my periods stopped at age 53. It’s pretty much the norm to start peri, and go for a long time like that before actual menopause kicks in. I don’t miss having periods or the ability to bear children one bit.

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