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Is this the beginning of the end of my child-bearing years?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
When I went of BC at 30 my cycles were very long, irregular and sometimes anov. It took us 2 1/2 years to get pg with ds2. I got pg with ds3 while ds2 was still breastfeeding. My cycles were still long and irregular, sometimes anov, but maybe not quite as long. I was 36 then. Now I'm 40. I'll be 41 in March. DS3 fully weaned in June. My cycles seemed to start getting shorter last year, though, while ds3 was still breastfeeding. They have gone from an average cd30-32 O when I was 30-33 to an average of cd17-20 now.

What gives? Does this indicate the beginning of menopause or peri-menopause? Is there anything else that could cause my cycles to become shorter and actually normal after years of having very abnormal cycles?
post #2 of 14
My doctor told me our cycles can change every so often for no reason. I wouldn't say you are menopause or premenopause. I would get an appointment with your OB/GYN to check your levels.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~AA~ View Post
I would get an appointment with your OB/GYN to check your levels.
Is that a normal thing to do periodically or when your cycles change or just if you are TTC?
post #4 of 14
Mainly if you are TTC, but also in general if you are worried.
All they do is take a few vials of blood on a certain day of your cycle.
If you are TTC I would get an appointment as soon as possible. Otherwise I am assuming you are probably fine & would just mention it at your next annual!
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~AA~ View Post
Mainly if you are TTC, but also in general if you are worried.
All they do is take a few vials of blood on a certain day of your cycle.
If you are TTC I would get an appointment as soon as possible. Otherwise I am assuming you are probably fine & would just mention it at your next annual!
Yeah, I know what the cd3 tests are. I've had them done before when I was TTC. I'm in this weird place where I am not avoiding/preventing but not actively TTC. I just had an appointment with an OB/GYN about miscarriage prevention. I don't know if I want to get any more tests done. It would be interesting to know what my levels are but I don't really need to know.
post #6 of 14
Ah well if you are fine with everything as is, I wouldn't worry about it. If you do decide to start actively TTC, then you could go get a test done.
Of course these short cycles could also be short-lived too.
post #7 of 14
I might chime in with "Who knows?"

My cycles were nuts before ds1 and I would frequently have to "jump start" cycles with progesterone. Before we ttc, the dr. said we would have a hard time conceiving on our own. Well, it took 6 months (not THAT long!). After I got my first period after his birth, I was like clockwork! The first time since I was a teenager . Why? Dunno. 4 yrs and another baby later, still regular. Just is.
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
alexsam ~ Are you close to menopause? One of the early symptoms of menopause is shorter cycles. That's why I'm worried about. My cycles did not become normal after I had any of my children. This basically didn't start until after I turned 40.
post #9 of 14
MarineWife -- If you've always had irregular cycles, you might have mild PCOS. In which case, often women find their cycles getting more normal as they grow older. In fact, us PCOS women may often be more fertile into our late 30s (and 40s I assume) than non-PCOS women. I don't think the original link is working, but here is the relevant quote.

"Miriam Hudecova and colleagues at Uppsala University in Sweden interviewed 91 women who were 35 or older and had been diagnosed with PCOS when younger. They found the women had undergone just as many pregnancies and borne as many babies, on average, as PCOS-free women of the same age...Hudecova also examined most of the women and found that the ovaries of the older women with PCOS showed signs of being more active, with better hormone levels and more eggs available, than those of control women of the same age"

Source: http://www.newscientist.com/article/...g-ovaries.html
post #10 of 14
Cycles also have a tendency to change after having babies; and in general, I'd consider more regular cycles a bonus of the post-baby changes, to balance the stretch marks and gray hairs. One easy rule-of-hand that I've heard is to ask your mother/grandmother when they went through menopause, and then subtract 10 years to estimate a rough start of perimenopause.
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maurine View Post
MarineWife -- If you've always had irregular cycles, you might have mild PCOS. In which case, often women find their cycles getting more normal as they grow older. In fact, us PCOS women may often be more fertile into our late 30s (and 40s I assume) than non-PCOS women.
Thanks. Yes, I was diagnosed with PCOS in 2003 and have read about that study. I've never been completely convinced, though. All my possible symptoms were borderline. The changes in my cycles had me thinking maybe I never had it. Guess it could be the age and PCOS thing instead. I think I'm going to ask my doc for a day 3 hormone level check just to see where things stand with my FSH level and my LH:FSH ratio.
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mosaic View Post
Cycles also have a tendency to change after having babies; and in general, I'd consider more regular cycles a bonus of the post-baby changes, to balance the stretch marks and gray hairs. One easy rule-of-hand that I've heard is to ask your mother/grandmother when they went through menopause, and then subtract 10 years to estimate a rough start of perimenopause.
Well, I guess it depends. If I'm not trying to get pregnant, longer cycles is nicer because less per year. However, if I'm trying to get pregnant shorter cycles give me more chances per year.

I can't ask my grandmother and my mom doesn't know when she started menopause. I've asked my mom when she started and she said she doesn't know because she had an IUD. I always thought menopause timing was genetic but someone told me recently that her doctor told her it wasn't.
post #13 of 14
it's not genetic, but it is somewhat related to menarche- in a weird way- if you started your periods at a younger age, you tend to hit menopause later. if you started later, you tend to hit it earlier. i dont know if this applies to you, but i got a luteal phase defect out of the blue when i was 33-ish, after i weaned #4.
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by karmab View Post
it's not genetic, but it is somewhat related to menarche- in a weird way- if you started your periods at a younger age, you tend to hit menopause later. if you started later, you tend to hit it earlier. i dont know if this applies to you, but i got a luteal phase defect out of the blue when i was 33-ish, after i weaned #4.
I read that before. That does seem backward, doesn't it? I don't know when I started menstruating. I think it was in middle school but that's as close as I can get.

My lp has mysteriously gotten consistently one day longer. It used to almost always be 12 days. I think twice in something like 6 years of charting I had a 14 day lp, never 13 days, though. For the last 6-12 months it has been consistently 13 days.

I have shorter overall cycles with a much earlier O but a longer lp. Very strange.
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