Perimenopause already?! - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-11-2008, 02:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have been feeling "off" for about 6 months and have been to my doctor 3 times for symptoms such as major mood swings, bladder infections (urgency to go all the time-- but did not turn out to be infections after all), irregular periods (sometimes very late, sometimes heavy, most of the time very light and short), hair thinning, sleep problems, sweating at night, gaining weight very easily when I've been thin my whole life, no sex drive at all lately, etc etc. I had a few pregnancy scares but never turned out to be pregnant, just very late or a weird period.

She did blood tests including thryoid all of which were normal. (Low ferritin but not anemic, so I started on an iron supplement). I started on an antidepressant about 6 or so months ago, which is helping a lot. I have struggled with depression/mood swings my whole life but it was starting to get beyond my control, like having PMS all the time. She just switched me to one that has fewer sexual side effects, so hopefully that will help. But even before I started on the med I had a very low libido the last year or so. The Detrol LA samples are helping with the urinary problem so far. She finally told me that she thought I had started perimenopause.

It makes sense now, and I agree with her suspicions that this is probably what's going on (thank goodness I don't want any more kids).

She suggested I think about a low dose of birth control pills to postpone this process until the normal age, to reduce premature bone loss. What do you think about this? Any other advice from those who have been there?

7yo: "Mom,I know which man is on a quarter and which on is on a nickel. They both have ponytails, but one man has a collar and the other man is naked. The naked man was our first president."
 
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Old 03-11-2008, 03:50 PM
 
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I had my last period at 40. That was pretty early. i was having weird symptoms like you for about 3 years previous to that but my docter did'nt suggest perimenopause so I did'nt know what was happening to me.
After my last period I went on premarin for a very short period of time as I had lots of breakthrough bleeding which to me defeated the whole point of menopause so I stopped. Good thing too as later it was found to be detrimental in many ways.
How I got through the hot flashes, night sweats and weight gain was excersise. I learned to love it and it made me feel better in so many ways.
It even helped my libido!
Also I started a vitamen regiman and eating plenty of fresh veggies, fish, fruit and drinking herbal tea and plenty of water.
It took about 2 years for the nightsweats to go and the hot flashes.
Today at 54, I feel even tempered, confident and healthy except for a couple of glitches here and there.
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Old 03-11-2008, 04:10 PM
 
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I missed in the original post how old you are, but my grandmother was done by 40 and my mom was done by 41 so I'm expecting early menopause myself. Neither of them took any hormone replacement to my knowledge.
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Old 03-11-2008, 04:26 PM
 
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Hello,
Yes, it could be that is what is happening with you.

I actually have Premature Ovarian Failure (this is meno before age 40). I was diagnosed at 33, but by the time I had my blood levels taken I was totally in the postmeno range, not in perimeno. I think I was in perimeno in my late 20's, but didn't know what it was. I had many of the same symptoms as you describe--hairloss, depression, low libido, bladder issues and period issues. It wasn't until I hadn't had a period for 5 months and then started having INTENSE hotflashes that I went to the doctor, and one blood test was enough to confirm it for me--but I didn't want to believe it or accept it. I went to a few specialists at UCSF just to confirm it, and I finally had to accept it when the diagnosis and test were the same.

I tried going on BCP's, but they made me feel really anxious and weird. I had been on them when I was much younger (before I was married) and did okay with them, but I found I could no longer tolerate them. I am now on a very low dose of HRT--1 mg. of Estrace (bio-identical estrogen), 100 mgs of Prometrium (natural progesterone). I worry about the long term effects of these (especially in light of the recent WHO studies, and have thought of going off lately. I already have significant bone loss (almost to osteoperosis), and if I do go off I will have to go right on a menopausal bone building drug like Fasomax or Boniva.

Here is some information on Premature Ovarian Failure:

http://www.drdonnica.com/guests/00006208.htm

You can read about the symptoms there. Have you had your FSH, LH and Estrogen levels taken? If yes, what are the levels? I use to be a moderator at www.earlymenopause.com and know quite a bit about it.

I tried Detrol LA as well (because I get this thing where I feel like I have to pee all night occasionally, and I won't be able to sleep) but found it made me feel depressed. Do you notice that? I only took it for a few weeks, and just didn't like the way it made me feel.

Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.

Take care,
Lisa
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Old 03-11-2008, 06:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for replying! I have to still see my OB/GYN/Midwife about this and will ask about calcium. Thanks for the advice about exercise. I should try to be more regular about doing that for lots of good reasons. I too find that it lifts my mood and I lose weight faster.

7yo: "Mom,I know which man is on a quarter and which on is on a nickel. They both have ponytails, but one man has a collar and the other man is naked. The naked man was our first president."
 
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