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Old 06-25-2006, 03:41 PM   #1
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Possible perimenopause with depression at 33

Hello all. I'm new to this website, but have found it so helpful in the past couple of days I am left unable to express my gratitude.

During the past year I have been struggling with depression. I figured because I lead a very stressful and uncertain life (relocation, move, newly married, graduate school, new job, etc. in less than a year), I figured I had enough to induce a lack of motivation for just about everything. I have had to deal with significant weight gain, night sweats, hair loss (it has stopped for now), severe mood swings, fogginess, tremendous fatigue, depression of course, (I don't even want to talk about the non-existent sex drive, and I'm a newlywed!), etc. I thought I was going nuts, was just lazy or burnt out, or whatever. Now, thankfully, I'm finding out maybe I'm not!

A couple of weeks ago, I went for my annual exam. I expressed to my new doc that my new husband and I were talking about starting a family in December as graduation nears and the stress level wears off quite a bit. Since I am 33, she tested my hormone levels just as a precaution. I got my ten-year-old IUD removed and thought we were that much closer to getting pregnant. I was very excited.

Then, the phone call. My FSH levels revealed a potential problem with my fertility; they were at a 10.4, which I'm sure you know means borderline ovarian failure. However, it was taken during the 6th day of my period. We are scheduled to retest later next week. Then, to top it off, I had an abnormal pap and just recently went through my first colposcopy and biopsy. I am supposed to get the results tomorrow.

I guess the reason I'm writing is simply to find out whether some of you out there have experienced these symptoms of perimenopause at such a young age. They seem so severe, the depression is overwhelming and unrelenting. Can any of you tell me of any treatment, prescriptions that might work to help me get back to normal before I flunk out of school? I am seriously worried about my ability to see myself through this, particularly now that I have the added factor of possible infertility. I feel very blue and unsure of myself; no thoughts of suicide or anything quite that extreme at all, just a real lack of motivation for anything. Getting out of bed is difficult, not to mention writing papers and working and commuting and all the additional things that go along with graduate school.

Are these symptoms common, and if so, what can I do about them?

Please help

Last edited by gav_73; 06-25-2006 at 04:18 PM.

 
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Old 06-26-2006, 07:01 AM   #2
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Re: Possible perimenopause with depression at 33

I started having peri-menopause symptoms at 35. I am 51 now. My first problems were heart palpatations, depression and anxiety. Insomnia was a problem too. At the time I didn't even consider changing hormones. I had all the heart tests, of course everything normal. I cried at work all day, finally the doctor I worked for gave me Deseryl and Valium. This was 16 years ago, none of the newer anti-depression drugs were around. I became a zombie. Finally I started on Klonopin and felt normal again. I stayed on it for about 6 months then slowly stopped. I had felt pretty good for many years until last fall when all the problems rushed back in again, even adding a bunch of new ones. The heart palpatations never went away, but I am used to them by now. I don't know why some people start peri so early, maybe it's in our genes. Talk to your doctor about something to help. You may not need HRT yet, but a mild anti-anxiety or anti-depressive can make a world of difference. I can tell you truthfully I would have become suicidal without the Klonopin all those years ago. Hormones can really change your thinking and not always for the best. Good luck, Ann

 
Old 06-26-2006, 11:18 AM   #3
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Re: Possible perimenopause with depression at 33

Boy, ain't that the truth! I am supposed to go in for my second FSH test in about a week and I will be sure to ask the doctor about Klonopin or whatever else is out there. I have been just miserable, especially thinking that it's all in my head. I felt lazy, like a whiner, and my lack of interest and motivation has me really down in the dumps. I go completely off the rocker about a week before my period, but I've always had pretty bad PMS--just nothing like this. I am in constant fear that I am going to do something impulsive, like quit my job or quit school, which was a real concern last month. I know I'm driving my advisor crazy and I feel like such a baby. But, at least if this is the cause, I can at least quit worrying about my mental health so much and start focusing on treatment options (not that I don't need it anyway). But I just keep telling myself things like "suck it up" and beating myself up emotionally about losing control. I know it's a very stressful time, but the emotional ups and downs are starting to cause problems in my personal and professional life (at least, that is how I'm perceiving it).

Your entire reality changes with your hormones. It's amazing how little in control we really are of our emotions when something like hormones go haywire. I'm am shocked by the change just a little change is making in my life. It's absolutely horrible.

Thank you so much for sharing. I will certainly ask her about treatment.

 
Old 06-28-2006, 02:24 PM   #4
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Re: Possible perimenopause with depression at 33

I started the same thing when I was 31. I am 37 now. I thought I had lost my mind . My FSH levels were unreal - like 50 something. I have not had a period since May 2004 and I am on zoloft for depression. My dh thinks that I am stressed because of my job and taking care of children, but I think a lot of my issues stem from chaotic hormones. A positive thing that happened was a spontaneous pregnancy with twins when I was 32. I wanted another child, and I got a bonus. I would definitely check the FSH level again and maybe talk to your doctor about medication that would help you to feel better. You are not the only one - there are not many of us, but the small population that this happens to can certainly empathize. Keep us posted.
Good luck -
SM

 
Old 06-28-2006, 08:33 PM   #5
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Re: Possible perimenopause with depression at 33

Gosh, that's great news about the twins--and with an FSH of 50 at 31? That's supposed to be full-blown menopause. WOW! Well, your story certainly makes me feel a lot better, even ashamed about my meager 10.4 level. But more importantly, I feel hopeful.

About the depression, I am receiving a similar response from work. They mean well when they tell me to stop stressing out or send literature on how to handle things better, and until this blood test, I thought I really was going crazy. Now, I realize that I'm not. It's not good news by any means to find out that you could possibly entering menopause so early, it does make me feel better about being sane. That's got to count for something, right?

Thank you again. I am certainly going to look into something for the depression. I need it!

 
Old 06-29-2006, 08:06 AM   #6
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Re: Possible perimenopause with depression at 33

My FSH fluctuated a lot that summer that I got pg. At one point, I was a 14 - this was about 2 weeks before I got pg. The pregnancy was obviously due to crazy hormones and everyone always asks if twins run in my family. I say no, just early menopause. Anyway, a fertility specialist told me 2 months before the pregnancy that I would absolutely never have another child without egg donation. I paid that woman $500.00 for her to completely devastate me. I would still like a refund. It was completely unexpected. I was definitely depressed for about 2 years before I realized that it was due to the menopause. After my girls were born, I got on zoloft and have used it ever since. I still feel crappy sometimes and I do experience meno symptoms on and off, but I think the med. really helps. Good luck on your next blood test and I hope the dr. finds something to help you with the depression. Early meno is really difficult to deal with, especially when no one your age can understand. Let us know how it goes.
Suzanne

 
Old 07-01-2006, 08:22 PM   #7
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Re: Possible perimenopause with depression at 33

Thank you so much. Your story has really calmed me quite a bit. And you're certainly right about the difficulty in finding others who understand. I have really found great solace in this message board, and I thank you all for that.

I am very busy with school right now, too, and that has helped a bit, I guess, although I HATE it It's finals time, and I can't think about much else. But, I have procrastinated so much that I only have myself to blame, that and an overwhelming lack of motivation due to depression. It makes everything so much more difficult, exponentially so.

I will keep you all posted as to the results of my next test. I thought I would have had it by now, but I'm still waiting to start. I hope it comes soon.

Thanks again.

 
Old 07-03-2006, 03:38 PM   #8
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Re: Possible perimenopause with depression at 33

Hi Everyone!

I am about to turn 37. I have about 20 of the main 35 symptoms of peri. I got my FSH levels checked during mid-cycle and they were not indicating for perimenopause. To be honest, I am devastated with the results. I feel in my heart and mind that I am in peri, but the blood test was not stating that. Family history is that my mother and maternal grandmother both had their last periods when they were 38. I feel better reading other people's dealings with peri because it lets me know I am not alone. Can anyone offer help with blood tests that are not in line with their symptoms?

Thanks...it has been a bad day for me.
pbjmom

 
Old 07-04-2006, 07:15 PM   #9
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Re: Possible perimenopause with depression at 33

Hi pbjmom (I like your user name )

Like you, I have been experiencing many of the peri symptoms and I am extremely confused by what it all means. Even though I had the FSH test done and it was elevated, I still don't know if it really is since it was taken at the end of my cycle rather than in the middle. I am scheduled to retake it in a few days.

But I am very conflicted as to how I will react to the results. My husband and I are planning to get pregnant soon and we have no children. Then, I got these results, which could or could not mean premature ovarian failure. However, even though I am young, she had me tested because I had so many of the symptoms like you do, and asked her what could be wrong with me. I had even mentioned to some friends that my symptoms actually seemed like menopause, although I had no idea how close I really was to an accurate diagnosis at the time.

I don't know what I will do next if this isn't the cause of all of my current symptoms. Sometimes I feel like I'm going crazy. I've gained over 25 pounds in a year, I have no motivation, I often sweat at night and turn the air conditioner down so low that my husband has to sleep in a different room, I'm depressed, I burst into tears at the slightest inconvenience, etc. It's simply awful, and I've been searching desperately for an answer and treatment for my emotional issues. It's very difficult. It would be even more awful if the results were true, but at least it would explain a lot and I would know that I'm not going mad.

I will let you know what happens with my results. I plan to ask my doctor for some type of treatment regardless, either through her or through a psychiatrist. I'm only 33, young like most of the ladies on here, and it is difficult to get any definitive answers. But I have heard that it is not unusual for FSH levels to fluctuate from month to month. It could be possible that when you were tested you were in a low month. I don't know, but I do know how you're feeling.

Maybe you can ask for a retest?

Good luck and keep us posted.

Last edited by gav_73; 07-04-2006 at 07:23 PM.

 
Old 07-05-2006, 09:59 AM   #10
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Re: Possible perimenopause with depression at 33

Thanks, Gav!

My username comes from my kids initials! Didn't know I could make a sandwich out of their names.

I so appreciate you replying. I feel like I am in a whirlwind of emotions and confusion. Having support from other women helps in many ways. My husband is very supportive and helpful, but a girl needs a girl when it comes to this.

I have a friend who is a top gyn here. I am going to go see her in two weeks. My insurance doesn't cover her practice, but she doesn't care. I had a surgery two years ago to remove polyps and found no endometreosis (sp?). A fibroid was removed as well. It didn't help the bleeding issues at all. I have been discussing other options with my gyn and getting a second opinion from my friend/gyn. I now wonder if I need to do other surgeries if I am in fact peri...what would be the point? I have the majority of symptoms of peri so I have to go with that and not blood tests.

Maybe it would help me mentally to know if it is peri. I have been put on Zoloft which hasn't kicked in yet, but I am trying to see the light at the end of the tunnel. On top of all that, I have a bad shoulder and trying to get that fixed as well. It causes a lot of pain except when I lay down or sleep. Cortisone shot didn't help that much, so onto the next step.

I just wish I didn't have all this at the ripe ol age of 37. I really hope that this all passes real soon and I can get back my life.

Thanks again for listening and replying Gav! Please post back when you can and let me know how you are doing. Good luck on getting pregnant!
Take care
pbjmom

 
Old 07-05-2006, 10:29 AM   #11
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Re: Possible perimenopause with depression at 33

No problem! I really enjoy talking to you guys on here. I get a lot out of it as do most of us. I just recently also had an abnormal pap, the results of both this and the FSH tests within one week! I had a colposcopy and biopsy that confirmed mild pre-cancerous cervical dysplasia. Until then, I had always had normal paps. My insurance won't cover treatment for mild dysplasia, so we're going to wait it out and see what happens with that. Now, it's on to this...

I still haven't started my period. On the day I had my abnormal pap and first FSH test, I also had my ten-year-old IUD removed (planning for pregnancy). Since then my periods have been really light and only last a couple of days, when before they lasted like 2 flippin' weeks and heavy! But are the recent lighter periods because of the IUD removal or peri? I am contantly in a state of limbo, waiting for my body to give me some answers. It's always like that, isn't it?

I will definitely let you know what happens. I thought for sure by now I woud have started and taken my second FSH test. But all I've had are the symptoms of starting (more weight gain, sore breasts, PMS, etc.) but no period. This really stinks because I'm going out of town next week for a week. I will totally miss the test if I start down there. Boy!

Please let me know what your friend thinks about your symptoms. I am going to ask about Zoloft, a lot of women seem to like it, and Klonopin, which another lady recommended on here for her symptoms, and it seems to have really helped her. Whatever the medication, I know I just need some RELIEF!!!

Keep me posted!

 
Old 01-01-2007, 04:21 PM   #12
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Re: Possible perimenopause with depression at 33

Wow! Your experience is just like mine! I was starting to think that I was loosing my mind too! I started having the hair loss, loss of libido, anxiety and depression at 34. I am now 37 and after forcing my internist to run hormonal tests have found that I am in premature menopause. My FSH was 35.7 and my estradiol was 16. The endocrinologist I took the test to says that I will not be able to have another child. However, my gynecologist says that it can't be menopause because I am having a period every month!? I am so happy that I found this message board! I have felt so horribly alone with my symptoms for so long. My husband is horribly unsupportive. For years he kept telling me I needed a psychiatrist. I saw a top one in DC who after a year said it was definitely physical! But I couldn't get my internist to listen to me! I actually had to bring in a list of the blood tests I wanted down and make him run them. I have been feeling so depressed about starting yet another new year feeling horrible but today I found this site! I am so greatful. I have really needed to hear from other woman going through exactly the same thing that I am.

 
Old 01-02-2007, 09:40 AM   #13
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Re: Possible perimenopause with depression at 33

Quote:
Originally Posted by gav_73



Then, the phone call. My FSH levels revealed a potential problem with my fertility; they were at a 10.4, which I'm sure you know means borderline ovarian failure. However, it was taken during the 6th day of my period. We are scheduled to retest later next week. Then, to top it off, I had an abnormal pap and just recently went through my first colposcopy and biopsy. I am supposed to get the results tomorrow.
Hi:

I'm not sure why your gyn's office would tell you that you have borderline ovarian failure with an FSH test that was done on the 6th day. FSH tests to determine whether your ovaries are still producing eggs needs to be done on day 3 to be at all accurate. Also, this only tests quantity, not quality of eggs. An FSH of 10.4 on day 6 could well have been only 7.5 on day 3 which would still make you an excellent candidate for pregnancy. I wouldn't panic at all until you actually get the results of an FSH for day 3 testing and remember, that anything under 12 means you are still viable. Your gyn's office should have just told you that they got inconclusive results and that you need to be retested on day 3 of your cycle.

Also, FSH testing can fluctuate highly from one month to the next. Stress, poor diet, too little or too much exercise...these can all affect your FSH levels. It sounds like you've had a lot happening in the last year and are heavily stressed by school etc. Before you start panicking too much, work on getting some of the stress out of your life, try to get some exercise in, start getting some healthy Omega 3's (which can help with depression) into your diet and you could well see a perfectly normal FSH on your next 3 day test.

I would make sure you do a followup on the abnormal pap cells although it could just be due to shedding from the removal of your IUD.

If you do get a poor FSH on your day 3 testing, ask for a Clomid Challenge test which will give a more accurate idea of both quantity and quality of your eggs.

Don't give up. Remember, it takes only one good egg to get pregnant.

 
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