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Old 12-06-2011, 05:10 PM   #1
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FSH/Menopause?

Maybe someone here can offer some advice, as my doctor doesn't seem to return calls.

I recently went to my Gyn as I missed 2 periods in a row and was concerned. (I'm 45 yrs old) She did some blood work which came back as follows:

FSH 47.0
Prog 1.0

She said that I'm "menopausal" which completely threw me for a loop, as I wasn't expecting it quite yet. (My mother and Aunts were in their 50's)

I've never had a hot flash in my life, or any of the other common menopause symptoms. I do currently have anxiety/depression issues since I am going through Xanax withdrawal. (It's been AWFUL)

I guess my question is....does this sound like menopause to you? I had asked my Gyn and she said that "tests don't lie." I just have a hard time believing that I'm menopausal with 2 missed periods and these blood work results. My body has been through the ringer this year with Xanax withdrawal and am wondering if perhaps that could've thrown off my FSH levels.

Any thoughts are appreciated.

 
Old 12-06-2011, 06:27 PM   #2
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Re: FSH/Menopause?

Doctors vary on this but generally anything over 34 or 35 is menopausal so...yes you are.
And actually, you have to go one year without any periods to be truly menopausal but are certainly on your way. Perhaps that's what has been causing the anxiety that required the Xanax. HRT may be a better choice and might help you get off the xanax.

 
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Old 12-07-2011, 12:07 PM   #3
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Re: FSH/Menopause?

Thanks for your reply.

So, technically I'm "menopausal" at this point, but will not "in" menopause until I've reached one year with no periods, correct? (Excuse my ignorance on the subject but this really wasn't something talked about when my mother's generation was going through it and I have no friends going through this at the moment)

From what I've gathered online, the worst of my symptoms should've been through peri, right? (I hope)

I can see how the symptoms could've increased my w/d from Xanax, but I've been weaning for a very long time now. (I took a low dose for FMS for over 10 years, hit tolerance (in hindsight) and my doctor increased me to 5 mgs which made me horribly ill and addicted for years) I did notice an increase in my anxiety levels for the past 6 months, though. My Psy and Gyn want me to continue my weaning process and see where I stand once I'm done.

I was just wondering if I truly was menopausal or if the extreme, life-altering stress could've caused a horrible hormonal imbalance, thus throwing off the FSH numbers.

Thanks again for your thoughts, they are appreciated.

 
Old 12-08-2011, 03:49 AM   #4
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Re: FSH/Menopause?

You are going thru menopause, yes. And you well may benefit from HRT once you get off the Xanax- though you can take both at the same time. In fact, it might take the "edge" off the withdrawal. Just something to discuss with your doctor.

And I would say that peri is worse than going thru menopause as it was for me - but I was on BCP in peri and switched to HRT without missing a beat....still on it as I don't want to back up and have 2 or 3 years - or more- of those same symptoms! Nope - no way.

 
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Old 12-08-2011, 09:06 AM   #5
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Re: FSH/Menopause?

I can't say that I blame you for not wanting to go back to the symptoms.

I'm having a hard time understanding when HRT is appropriate to be used. In my particular case, peri is behind me, (thus, most of the symptoms) so why would I go onto HRT at this time? My Gyn didn't offer the option, I guess I assumed that it was because I had a lot of cancer in the family.

I guess what I'm asking is: Is HRT used when the symptoms interfere with a decent quality of life? When does one stop taking it?

Thank you for your thoughts and advice.

 
Old 12-08-2011, 09:26 AM   #6
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Re: FSH/Menopause?

Yes, certain medical histories would preclude use of HRT. Any cancer that is estrogen dependent, for example.

One stays on HRT as long as one wants. It is my understanding from my doctor and what I have read that taking it only puts off the menopausal symptoms. In other words, should I quit taking it, those symptoms would return for up to 3 years or so. Also, whether or not one is sexually active is anther consideration as the vagina can lose its elasticity after menopause and make sexual relations at least uncomfortable if not impossible. Desire also wanes.

So it's a personal decision with each person. I would certainly discuss it with your physician.

 
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Old 12-17-2011, 07:53 PM   #7
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Re: FSH/Menopause?

I did talk to my Psy at my appt. this past week, as you suggested. (Actually, he brought up the topic before I had a chance to.

He seems to agree with you, some form of HRT would likely be beneficial for me until my w/d process is over, possibly even longer. He feels with the added anxiety/depression that it would just be too difficult on me at this time. (w/d combined with menopausal symptoms)

Fortunately, my period came last week (was a "normal" one) and has offered me a reprieve in my heightened symptoms for hopefully enough time to get in to see someone regarding HRT.

If you don't mind, I do have a few questions. (You seem quite knowledgeable on the subject) I know there's HRT and BHRT. Are the differences in the two extreme? I realize that one is synthetic and the other is plant based. (From what I've read) Also, what type of physician would I see for this? I assumed it would be my Gyn, but apparently, she's against any form of HRT. At this point, I'm at a loss for who to see regarding this.

Any help or insight that you could offer would be greatly appreciated, as I'm quite lost here.

 
Old 12-18-2011, 08:52 AM   #8
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Re: FSH/Menopause?

Many gynos are leary of offering HRT in any form as there is such a raging debate about it today. They just wait for you to ask for it. So, perhaps that's her policy. The only way to know is to ask.

Theorectically there are no differences in the way plant based or animal based HRT works. However, some people who are overly concerned about various estrogen based cancers or who have a high risk for them, are not candidates for either. Some people have a philosophical opposition to animal based HRT...just like vegans and others don't eat meat or animal products or whatever. Fine. Take whichever you are most comfortable with. Not all doctors are conversant in the plant based - or bio-identical - hormones and may have to refer you to someone who is if you would rather go that route. You could go talk with a compounding pharmacist about it if there is one in your area. They are very familiar with it.

I have no aversion to animal based HRT. I have no medical history that would cause a concern. Besides, I was on birth control pills, which are basically the same thing as HRT, on and off for decades. Why on earth would I back away from it now? Nope, don't you dare take away my "happy pills!" It would not be a pretty picture. Good luck as you reserach your options.

 
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Old 12-23-2011, 08:45 AM   #9
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Re: FSH/Menopause?

I did speak with my Gyn this past week and she offered me nothing, other than to "deal with it." (She's obviously hasn't a clue about w/d, let alone combined with menopausal symptoms) My general doctor however, did give me the name of a physician to see about my options and I have an appt. next week.

These current symptoms have impeded my Xanax tapering at this point and I can't stay at a standstill for very long. I've been doing a great deal of research this week and talk about conflicting information!

Thank you for your responses/advice.

 
Old 12-23-2011, 01:47 PM   #10
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Re: FSH/Menopause?

Well, I know there is a lot out there but I took birth control for decades, get my mammo's, paps, etc every year. not worried. Good luck to you!

 
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