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Menopause Start?

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Old 01-13-2009, 03:09 PM   #1
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Menopause Start?

I'm hoping some here might be able to help me in these newly uncharted waters!

About 10 years ago when I was 38 I started what the doctor eventually called perimenopause. It was absolutely horrible: irregular, painful periods and migraine headaches lasting sometimes 2 1/2 - 3 weeks, irritability, moodiness, and other generally unsavory symptoms. I was started on birth control pills, which regulated my periods nicely, and eventually ended up on Topamax to help reduce the severity of the migraines and Zoloft to deal with irritability and moodiness. In other words, I've become a walking medicine cabinet!

I have recently undertaken a regime to try to get healthier by fitness walking and yoga, and by studying up on vitamins/mineral supplements. (in an effort to see if I might be able to eventually get off the meds!)

In general, my periods over the past couple of years have become lighter and shorter - to be expected at my age. (48) Last month was no exception. This month I had no period. None. I had what I felt like very light cramping as if my period might be starting, but nada. I also think I may have had the start of a migraine, but I can't be sure - I had also come down with a horrible cold the same week and had a terrible sinus headache, so it was a little hard to tell exactly where the pain was coming from.

So, my question is this: when going from perimenopause to menopause, do periods just...stop? I actually felt really, really good (for having a terrible cold, that is) - absolutely no bloating, no irritability or other minor PMS symptoms that I normally experience. Just cold symptoms. I do not have the typical symptoms of menopause: hot flashes, night sweats. But I am still taking birth control pills, so that might explain that. I do have my annual physical scheduled in a couple of weeks, but I thought I would ask here and get opinions from those who have "gone before."


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Old 01-13-2009, 03:30 PM   #2
liverpool sue
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Re: Menopause Start?

hello chele. you say your periods became lighter and shorter over the last couple of years and this is to be expected at your age - well, not in my experience. my periods became all over the place and the least of it was lighter and shorter, mainly they were longer and heavier. then a few normal ones, then a missed one, then bleeding none stop for 3-4 weeks, then nothing for a few months, then a 3 day one hardly worth wearing anything, then an awful one with huge clots, and so on and so on. and from what ladies on here have told, shorter and lighter doesn't necessarily mean you are nearer to full menopause.... but it may do. it takes us all differently.
i'm 56, and 3 years without a period. my very last period was totally normal, no bells and whistles, average bleeding and average length. so in my experience, yes, my periods just stopped.


Old 01-13-2009, 03:53 PM   #3
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Re: Menopause Start?

Thank you, Sue!

Before I went on the birth control pills about 7 years ago, I had 3 years of extremely heavy periods, lasting an average of 3 weeks that were accompanied by excruciating cramps and migraines. That's when the doctor told me I was in perimenopause and put me on birth control pills. So I have no idea what my periods would be like if I were to go off of birth control. I am so hoping this is the beginning!

Old 01-13-2009, 03:58 PM   #4
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Re: Menopause Start?

This is all very interesting. I am 44 and I am in perimenopause. For the past year my periods have become light and shorter. Lasting only 3 days instead of 5. They are real light. Once in awhile I will have clots. Yuck! But I hear that is normal. This month my period is not here yet. I have never missed one. I was always every 28 to 29 days my whole life. The last few months it has been like 24 to 26 days. So it being the 29th day almost overwith and no period I am wondering whats up?? I have had cramping and bloating. My breasts are tender. All the usual things. Hmmmmm....still waiting.
I think I am still a bit young to have them stop all together. But maybe not. Maybe there will be some skipped months.

Has anyone started skipping periods at 44?

Old 09-22-2009, 03:47 AM   #5
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Re: Menopause Start?

hi there

Up until 3 months ago, my cycle was as regular as clockwork. I lost my father in May and in June, moved house for the second time in 5 months! Stress!!! I live in Norway and am not registered with doc yet. Hopefully, someone will answer this one? My last period which was normal and lasted a normal time was June 2009. Since then, absolutely nothing! The downside is that I am getting all the monthly symptoms of a period coming on, mood swings, sweats, bloating and horrible cramps but no blood. Is this the start of the menopause or is skipping periods for several months part of the vicious peri-menopausal cycle. It's like entering unchartered waters and a bit like being pregnant again. No textbooks to tell you what is going on!
I was 50 in July so reckon I am bang on track for finishing soon???

P.s. I get the following symptoms regularly:-

Top of the list - sudden mood swings!
Hot flushes, night sweats, strange aches and pains, primarily, backache, knee pain, ankle pain, pelvic cramps, cravings, brain fog, feeling spaced out, distracted, irrational, and the list goes on. It would be great to speak to someone out there who can relate to this. I am Scottish, living with my family in southern Norway!

Old 09-22-2009, 04:52 PM   #6
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Re: Menopause Start?

I was on birth control and was skipping periods or having very very light ones in my 50's. I could tell my body just did not want to have a period. Talked with my gyno and she switched me to HRT and I've never had another period. Thank God!

Old 09-22-2009, 06:36 PM   #7
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Re: Menopause Start?


You sound just like me a few years ago! I'm 53 and I had my last period at 51 - which is the average age a woman goes into menopause. I had my first hot flash 6 months before my final period. Then I had 6 months of heavy periods, sometimes 2-3 weeks apart. I also had the headaches, hip bone pain, night sweats, cramps, brain fog. I had my final period July 2007, but I continue to have hot flashes. My doctor put me on Effexor for the hot flashes and it works somewhat. I need to increase the dose to get rid of them completely, but getting off Effexor is tough (I tried once-I felt like a zombie) so I've held off increasing it. So, what you're going through is totally normal. I'd recommend that you see a doctor (female, since they understand this better) soon. She can help you with medications to relieve some of the discomfort, and reassure you that you will survive!!

Last edited by mod-anon; 09-22-2009 at 10:17 PM. Reason: removed quote

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