I will be 58 in about six weeks. It has only been in the last year that I have had irregular periods - about 3 weeks apart, lasting 4 days, not heavy. The problem is that once the period has ended, I start experiencing really uncomfortable PMS symptoms (water retention, mood swings, aches and pains, etc.). So, for the last year, I have not had many good days. I feel like a bit of a freak too, as all of my friends are well through menopause.
I believe I am finally what is called peri menopause, and after there are no periods for a year, I will have gone through menopause. I am worried that this is happening so late. I am also worried about how long I will stay in this state, which is difficult to deal with. Is there anything that can be done to bring about an end to periods in someone my age? Should it be done? Are these actual periods? I find it hard to believe I have any eggs left.
Any suggestions for easing the PMS symptoms? It is driving me nuts.
Thank you Dr. Minkin for reassuring me that this is not that abnormal. And thanks to all the ladies that told me they are my age or older and are in the same situation. I really appreciate that as I know no one else that is like me. My mother and grandmother both had hysterectomies in their early 40's for fibroids. I have no sisters and I did not know my father's mother, but she had six boys (my father being the youngest).
The one disconcerting thing I read was that menopause after the age of 55 carries greater risk of ovarian, breast, and uterine cancer. As to your suggestions - yes I exercise vigorously five times a week, sometimes twice a day (I play a lot of tennis). I don't play very well when I am experiencing PMS symptoms. This may seem trite, but it's just another motivating reason to solve this problem.
As far as supplements go, I use to take evening primrose oil and flax seed oil regularly in my 40's for PMS, and it did help somewhat, but after age 50 it seemed to make my symptoms worse, so I cut it out. I am by no means a medical authority, but through some reading, and in an effort to curb the symptoms I have come to the conclusion that I am low in progesterone. This has left the estrogen in my body unopposed, so I have been I trying to eat sources of protein that are hormone free and avoid Phytoestrogenoods food sources. I have started taking vitamins B complex, and C and supplements Zinc, and Magnesium. I have also started a very mild progesterone cream and I am following the instructions for its use. What use to happen was that after my period stopped I would begin PMS symptoms that really made me feel as if I were in the early stages of pregnancy (swollen sore breasts, bloating, general feeling of malaise). It has been four days now (I started the cream on the 12th day of my cycle) and I have to say I do not feel the pregnant/PMS symptoms yet, which is already an improvement. This is experimental, but I don't think what I am doing will cause any harm, so I feel it is worth a shot.
I see my OB GYN doc in a couple of months and if this does not work, I will discuss it with her. She has told me I have fibroids, but they have not caused any debilitating symptoms like heavy continuous flow or bad cramps. I do want to avoid having a hysterectomy. It seems Anon_6061 was not too happy with the results. Surgery seems like much too drastic a measure. Anon_6061, to answer your question about looking and feeling younger - people that have no stake in flattering me have generally guessed my age to be about six or seven years younger than it actually is. I am also still able to run around on a tennis court with pretty good speed and agility, although I am a little more achy than I use to be. I don't know if this is genetic, or related to late onset menopause.
Anon_6061, why do you think your hysterectomy was needless?View Thread
Too bad no one answered this. You are probably not around anymore, or have found a solution. Estrogen dominance does not seem to come up here for some reason. There are two very good books. One is by Dr. John Lee - What your doctor might not tell you about menopause, and the other is by Ann Louise Gittleman - Before the Change. They talk about low progesterone to estrogen ratio causing the symptoms you are having. Gittleman has a "Peri Zapper" regimen many have found helpful. I am about to give it a try as I am getting nowhere with conventional medicine.View Thread