40-Somethings - Facing Menopause

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12-29-2012, 05:22 PM
I have not been told that I am starting menopause but I know it is coming. I am at the point where I am skipping months. It has only happened a couple of times so far but it is not comfortable. I looked forward to skipping but I had no idea that you still get the symptoms of TOM without the bother. I have been experiencing cramps even though I have only had cramps 2 or 3 times in my life (excluding contractions). I have the bloat and I feel like TOM can arrive at any time. Nobody told me this!

So, since I have felt miserable for the last couple of days I have given myself permission to go off plan. I don't really want to but it is easier to grab something easy than to stand at the stove. I can justify it all I want but in reality it would feel much better to come out of this with a # loss than a gain.

I need to get in control! It is 4:20pm and I have already eaten my calories for the day in junk. Waaahhhhhh! :(:dust:

12-29-2012, 08:18 PM
I'm in the same boat. I just had blood work done a couple weeks ago to see where I'm at but haven't gone back for the results. I'm supposed to go for an ultrasound and see a gynecologist in the near future too. I went 3 months with no period but same as you had the cramps etc. Then I had my period so heavy for 2 days I could hardly move.

This has all really had an effect on my weightloss as well. Not because I'm going off my plan but because I seem to spend most of the month bloated. Dr. is looking at that too. I try really hard not to use it as an excuse to go off plan because I have to believe that if I am eating write and exercising eventually I will see better results.

I don't know how old you are but I'm 45 and the Dr. says this is a bit early to be missing but also says that my weightloss could have something to do with it because when you lose weight it can mess up your estrogen.

Here's hoping you can get back on plan quickly!!

01-12-2013, 12:29 PM
I have been trying to figure all of this out and it seems info out there is jumbled at best. I was having horrible night sweats and flashes during the day. Also weight gain of 5 pounds in one day was so easy. I got the hcg drops and started the crazy 500 calorie day. didnt last on the 500 calories but had strange reaction to the hcg drops. Hot flashes, night sweats and mood issue all diappeared. Now doing 8 hour diet trying to eat well and taking hcg drops once a day just for menopause relied

01-13-2013, 11:52 PM
I know what you ladies mean. I'm 44 but I had a hysterectomy 8 years ago. I was left with one ovary so I haven't had to use any medication to give me estrogen. But you know.... I never had any signs of pms when I did get my period...now it seems I get the tender breasts, the bloating, the craving, and yes, I can even be down right Bchy. To top that all off I've been getting night sweats for the last 3 years.
My sister in law gave me a hint that seems to work (sometimes :( ) She told me to watch my carbs. She noticed that when she had to many carbs in a day, she'd have night sweats. I started to note that in my daily routines and found that I had less severe night sweats when I didn't eat as many carbs?
Any way... Keep going ImImportant... Your doing fantastic, don't let a couple of bad day's get you down. Regardless of what the scale says, just brush it off and keep going. You are worth it :)

01-14-2013, 01:31 AM
This is one reason I really want to find a doctor that I can afford! I don't have insurance & I haven't had a physical in probably 4 years! I worry!!! I'm 48 & seem to be starting the change. I, too, have missed periods & mine are usually as regular as the sunrising in the east. I have always had cramps, sometimes just irritating other times horrible! Cramps when I was in HS & college made me miss school at least 2-3 days a month...
I agree that there's not a lot of clear/accurate information out there in regards to menopause. I think it's probably because just like every woman's TOM their experience & on-set is different. Yup, I've had the mood swings (wish they counted as exercise!!!), power surges (hot flashes) & it just really has me wondering.
ImImportant...I missed my TOM for 3 months then WHAM! Back it came with a vengence! I was curled up in bed with cramps & bleeding heavier than I had in years. I wish it would just make up it's mind & go away. Personally, I'm ready for the end of TOMs...37 years is long enough. Too long actually. :(

01-22-2013, 08:56 AM
I'm only 48 but I went 4 years without TOM, but after moving to the city last month and started to drink cow's milk; I got my girly surprise this month.

01-22-2013, 11:23 AM
I'm only 48 but I went 4 years without TOM, but after moving to the city last month and started to drink cow's milk; I got my girly surprise this month.

Are you going to check in with the dr on that? It sounds pretty unusual. Not to say anything is wrong, but if it were me, I'd get checked. :hug:

01-24-2013, 01:22 PM
A menopause thread...just what I needed.

I'm 45, but started peri-menopause symptoms at 40. I thought it was too early but I read that while it's mostly hereditary, sometimes women without children can start early.

In 2010 I bled heavily for 42 days, and it upset me terribly, so I can relate to anyone who has that problem off and on, which I understand is to be expected.

I haven't had my cycle in 2 full months, and I'm actually hoping this is it. I read that it's not officially menopause until you go 12 months without having a cycle.

More recently, the night sweats were so bad that I sought HRT (hormone replacement therapy), but the warnings and risks seem too high, I don't want to take them. Natural remedies haven't done anything.

I've been having hot flashes and other symptoms for the past 5 years, so I'm surprised to see 45 year olds who are surprised to start having symptoms! Welcome to my world! ha! ha!

Except for that one time with bleeding, I've not had anything too, too extreme (knock on wood), but the sleep disturbance due to body heat have become annoying. And this month, the emotional roller coaster is also pissing me off!

Don't you hate it when you start crying, and you know it's just the hormones messing with you, then you get really mad, but you are still crying?! Frustrating! This must be the adult version of a child's temper tantrum - blind frustration!

01-24-2013, 03:39 PM

I was told at 41 that I had begun peri. That was almost exactly one year ago(birthday present). My mom was 55 when she stopped and my sisters are 51 and 53 with little-to-no signs of even peri!! Guess I'm an overachiever!

Here's my current experience AND a lot of TMI....
Earlier this month I had ultrasounds and they found fibroids, cyst, thick lining. So - had to have an endometrial biopsy yesterday. It was quick, painless and easy. Thankfully I have kept detailed notes of the last 6 months and schedules going back almost 2 years and the dr could use that to assist in my diagnosis. He says that I have probably have had borderline PCOS my entire life but now with my aging hormones...it's finally manifested with horrific cramps, a heavy, heavy flow, irregular cycles that are closer and closer together and longer. Even though the results of biospy won't be back until Monday the dr is going to go ahead and schedule a hydrothermal ablation since it takes 1-2 months to get a surgery date. Also - just looking at the sample - he could tell that I wasn't a good "slougher". I had just finished my TOM but there was way too much still in my uterus. My body thought it was done, but really only did half the job. Apparently that's how the lining just keeps building up. He said my body was almost working. After ablation the best chance scenario: no period for 4-5 years. If it starts again after that long, he'll do another ablation and that should put me past meno age. Worst case: doesn't work and I am right where I am now...or look towards a hysterectomy. Or if results are not good on Monday - a hysterectomy first.

My other option was hormones 1-2 times a day until menopause. Basically for who knows how long. I'm not a big fan of HRT, so...opted for ablation. I figure I'm not using the lining anymore (already had my 2 kids). Better than more drugs every day!!
Unfortunately for the ablation I do have to take meds for 7 days to try and normalize my cycle and thin out the lining as much as possible prior to surgery. Yippee! When I filled my prescription the pharmacist informed me of all the possible side effects but all I heard was weight gain is a fairly common side effect of the HRT. When she said that I had an itsy bitsy panic moment. Thank goodness I only have to take 7 days worth! Or another 7 days the month after - depends on surgery date.

All of that to say: There doesn't seem to be a set norm for everyone BUT if it isn't normal for you - get it checked out!;)

01-24-2013, 05:49 PM
As I sit here with flushed cheeks, I read this thread.

My mother was completely through menopause at age 42. Her mother gave birth to my mother a month before her 42nd birthday, so hereditary or not to be having perimenopause starting at age 42? (I'm now 43).

Actually, symptoms (hot flashes) started when I was 39. But, I found out it was actually my thyroid. As soon as my thyroid was OK, the hot flashes stopped.

Fast forward 18 months and I miss my first period EVER except when I was pregnant. I too have been super, duper regular for nearly 30 years. It was convenient as that skipped period was during our European vacation - yay to no hassle that month.

Since then, my periods are anywhere from 4 weeks to 7 weeks apart. Even before then, signs of ovulation diminished. Am I even ovulating? Who knows.

What it really started to mess with was my weight loss pattern. I USED to have a regular pattern - hold steady 10 days, gain 4 days, hold steady for 4 days at a high weight and then WHOOSH for about 10 days - repeat. Now,who knows. Since our vacation, I hadn't been great with tracking as I wasn't doing well with eating... so who knows what it is now.

I "think" this month my body is gearing up to ovulate as I have been eating right and exercising daily and the scale has held steady - much like my patterns of yore, but who knows.

Add to that, my first skipped period came about 6 weeks after starting a new dosage of thyroid meds. 3 months after starting it and my hormone levels seemed ok, but is it OK for my body? Who knows!

So, I sit here with a red face and wonder if it's menopause or thyroid - either way, it's no fun!

01-24-2013, 05:54 PM
I am using a free period tracking app so that I can share any patterns with my doctor on my visit next year. I skipped one full month then it came like clockwork the following month and was pretty much the same as always. No heavy flow, no cramps, no extended stay.

01-24-2013, 07:00 PM
I'm not in menopause yet (I'm 37) but could be having a hysterectomy next month due to endometrial cancer. Trying to get pregnant with my first baby before the hysterectomy (please pray!).

I just wanted to post that I am on progesterone and the first side effect all of my cancer doctors warned me 10x over was about the risk of weight gain taking this medicine (it's actually used in AIDS patients for them as an appetite stimulator to gain weight). The last thing I needed was to gain more weight at that point (I was already 328lbs).

I can proudly say that my 98lb weightloss has all been done while on this weight gain inducing drug. Granted I am on a medically supervised diet but I was thinking the supervised diet would just help me not gain, I never dreamed I'd lose a pound (or almost a hundred!).

I'm so scared of being in surgical menopause and probably won't be able to do HRT as my cancer is hormone dependent and I have family history of breast cancer.

01-25-2013, 12:14 PM
@elvis Don't be "afraid" of menopause, it's different for everyone, and if everyone suffered so much, you'd hear about it more. That's the way I look at it. I encounter plenty of women over 40 and 50 and I rarely hear about it, and the last 3 years, I'm usually the only one who wants to talk about it. Plus there are alot of natural therapies to try and one of them might work for you.

Even some people think that the food they eat makes a difference with symptoms, which could be! If you've lost almost 100 pounds, then you know how food can affect more than just your weight.

Good luck with the surgery, I've read where it's relatively quick and painless these days.

01-25-2013, 02:32 PM
Thank you, espressowhip. :) I hope the surgery is nothing too and I am hoping it can wait another 9 months.

I think I have just an overall lot of anxiety and fear of becoming an old woman to my husband sooner than later.

My oncologist is an amazing woman and she's been doing this for 30 years, I knew when I met her that she was the one for me. I know she will guide me in the right direction.

And I see her in 2 weeks, wait til she sees my weightloss!

01-25-2013, 03:07 PM
Elvislover - I faced secondary infertility (which I know is WAY different than primary infertility as I had a child). It's still hard - especially when you know there is a true timer ticking.

I truly hope that you can get what you are hoping for, but if it doesn't happen, I hope you can grieve in a way that doesn't punish you or your body. I'm sure the menopause part of it is bothering you much less than the baby part of it.

I had a "ticker" too. We had a deadline of when I could get pregnant due to finances... that pressure doesn't help, unfortunately.

01-25-2013, 03:19 PM
Thank you, Melissa. Your kind words mean a lot to me. I'm sorry you had to go through infertlity too; the clock ticks louder than thunder in my head...

I tried to plan for the "perfect" time in my life to have a baby and look where it got me ($ wise, house-wise, life-wise). So much for planning!

You are so right about the menopause and baby part of it. If I can have a baby and go home with him or her while I am starting menopause (my understanding is they'd do the hysterectomy at the time of birth), I'd be in heaven! Bring on the menopause! But I am afraid if I don't have the baby and have to just have the hysterectomy, I am going to be so empty inside.

I always took it for granted that I'd have a baby when I wanted to. And it's quite scary to take the risk of medicating myself for these 6 months to try and preserve my fertility but I made the commitment to myself to try and this way I hopefully can put any regrets behind me. I can't change my past and for that, I will always be sad. But God is good, I still have hope that I am healed and my next surgery will prove that.

People keep saying saving my life is most important part and that people do in fact die from my type of cancer but no one knows how it feels in my heart (not that I expect them to). My family and my inlaws and my doctors all said "get the hysterectomy, get the hysterectomy" but I just couldn't do it right away. (My doctor obviously was on board with trying to preserve my fertility but said February is it. Then we are playing with fire delaying anymore if the cancer doesn't show as "gone" with the meds.)

Sorry to go OT. It's just nice talking to ladies who know about menopause and infertility issues. None of my friends have gone through either and just don't understand. But I try to keep positive, my heart believes I can do anything I put my mind to. And losing this almost 100lbs is just an extra benefit for me, my body and hopefully my baby. :)

01-26-2013, 09:58 AM
I can't imagine wanting a baby so much, so I can't sympathize with that plight. I was never hungry for a child/children, so I'll count my blessings in that regard, and especially after reading how you feel about it. I love them and I have some very adorable and amazing ones in my life, but they aren't mine, and I'm content with that arrangement.

But... "old woman"? What about, "life begins at 40"? Or "Age is just a number"? I, personally, don't feel like an old woman at 45 and going through menopause, far from it! I know I'm older than a 25 year old, but I don't feel like an "old woman" just because of menopause. I'm glad to be my age, I love it! Except for maybe a few cosmetic issues (which I could easily remedy for under $300), I wouldn't want to be 25, or even 35 again!

What a difference a mindset can make! ha! ha! Getting older is awesome! :D

01-26-2013, 10:17 AM
Ooops...I didn't mean it the way I said it about old woman, I only meant it about me. I thought I was seeing my OB/GYN to have a baby (or 2 or 3!) in the next few years and will be in surgical menopause before the year is up regardless. (I have to have a total hysterectomy so ovaries and tubes are out and menopause will start before I leave the hospital.)

I apologize if I offended anyone, I would never ever do that.

p.s. I had a dream last night I had a beautiful baby boy about 9 months old in my arms. Talk about wishing for a dream to come true!

01-26-2013, 11:50 AM
elvisLover I hope your dream comes true!

epressoWhip if you haven't gone through surgical menopause, and especially in your 30s as ElvisLover is facing, you are fortunate to be speaking from a position of no experience. It's not all about attitude. There are physical realities that you are fortunate not to know.

01-27-2013, 10:06 AM
Elvislover. No offense taken here. I hope are well and I hope your dreams come true!

Espresso whip, 40s are the new 30s. We are fortunate to have more fulfilled lives and more choices than other generations. It wasn't too long ago that the choice to not have children would have been frowned upon. Heck, it wasn't too long ago that you wouldn't be able to prevent a pregnancy.

Newleaf123 tell me about it. I have 7 uterine fibroids that make my uterus the size of a 4-month pregnancy. My doctor suggests a hysterectomy but I don't want to be flung into menopause, even at 46. Elvislover's emotions are understandable and age is not the only factor.

01-27-2013, 01:18 PM
When I went for my annual exam in December, my doctor told me I might not go through menopause for another decade! Ten more years of periods? I am 43 now. Yikes!

I don't see 40s being the new 30s, or new 20s, but I do look forward to menopause being a rebirth of my childhood. Don't you remember the days of being a little girl, before you had to worry about PMS and TOM? Of course, I didn't appreciate it at the time - but when those days come around again - you better believe I'm going to enjoy them like a young girl! I find that TOM inhibits and interferes with my life in ways that I just accept because I have to. For example, I try to time my vacations so that they don't occur during TOM, my family just went to a water park and I didn't even get into my bathing suit because TOM was in full force along with painful cramps, wedding anniversaries have been devoid of "romance" because of TOM was raging - the list goes on. I won't miss any of it! Men don't know how easy they have it in the hormone departments. Periods are like a sick joke.

I know there will come a day when our grand daughters or great grand daughters won't have to deal with periods - I am sure there will be a symptom free form of contraceptive (better than what is on the market now) that will eliminate periods altogether. That's probably when we will see true equality and women really soaring to their full potential, unencumbered by menstruation - much the way birth control allowed women more control over their lives and reproductive options.

Anyway, I look forward to being like a "girl" again, as long as I don't regress too far back to need diapers once more! :)

01-27-2013, 02:40 PM
Guacamole. I know some people see the statement as age denial but 40 is the new 30 for me has less to do with actual age than milestones. Women are getting married later, having children (or not) later and reaching career milestones in their 40s that were typically seen in the 30s due to medical advances and more choice and opportunity.

I wouldn't mind going without the TOM but I guess I have had it better than some. I only experienced cramps a couple of times in my life and my TOM only lasts 3-4 days with day 2 being heaviest. In my early 20's I experienced hot flashes over a period of a couple of years. I could be in an air conditioned room and break out into a sweat. It was unpredictable and uncomfortable so I would like to delay that experience.

I know a couple of normal weight completely healthy women who throughout their lives never had TOM without the help of their doctors.

01-27-2013, 05:59 PM
I think it depends upon the life you have led. I was old before my time. I met my husband at 19, got married at 23, and had 3 kids by 29 ( more kids came in my 30s). I remember working in an office of 30 something's in my 20s and they all seemed so much younger than me. They were single, spending their paycheck on themselves, footloose and fancy free.
I was bogged down in diapers and bills and running home after work to relieve the babysitter. I guess I have felt old for quite awhile, so 40 feels like 40 to me.

As far as hot flashes, I am sure I will complain in the moment, but it is but a hump to jump over to the other side. Once the change is complete, things settle down and you are in the clear. None of my grandmothers had hot flashes in their later years. It is temporary.

01-28-2013, 12:12 AM
I've been on the roller coaster for about five years now, and fer as i'm concerned, I'm sick of the men-o-pause, and I cannot wait for men-o-stop! My 20s were painful, but that stopped after having children. Thank goodness! I'm really not having such a bad time of it. 5/6 days scrunched into 2/3 days has its advantages and disadvantages, but that is getting better as well. Like you Guac, I had my share of early responsibilities--nieces/nephews and much older parents and in-laws. Just one thing after another. I too an looking forward to "girly-ness" again, and also crotchety old age where I can speak my mind!

gonna go exercise with my hula hoop now!

01-28-2013, 03:59 PM
Hi all,

I decided to close this thread as it got so far away from my initial post about facing menopause. We all have different experiences and expectations w/r/t menopause. There is no right or wrong to how any individual experiences the changes that occur within their body.

Good luck with everything elvislover324!

Best to you all!