Doctor says I still have PMS not perimenopause--are they mutually exclusive?

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So I went to the GYN today for my brain fog, mood swings, and low energy. The brain fog and fatigue are the worst. There are times when I fear for my job because I can't remember where I am, what I did, or what I promised to do.

She looked at my period tracker app and said "you still haven't missed a period. You have no hot flashes or night sweats. You're in for a long haul. This is still PMS."

I am 52.

She prescribed the Nuvaring birth control transdermal which I am fine with using. It's low dose, so lower risk of side effects. I can start after my next period.

My question is--are PMS and peri mutually exclusive things?

I've had PMS--cramps, bloating, moods--since the 80's. But that PMS has never been like it's been the last 4-5 years. My brain fog and fatigue are so bad around my period I don't drive, I take sick days, and I can barely care for myself.

Do you ladies have an understanding of PMS and peri as more of a venn diagram where issues overlap?

I guess I am just looking for some kind of progress towards the end of this nightmare!

Any insights would be much appreciated! Love you!

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7 Replies

  • Posted

    You're 52, yes, you are perimeno. Soooo annoying when doctors say this. My endocrinologist said that to me and he said that I wasn't even close to meno even though I was spotting, skipping, etc.. periods.

    In the end, he was kind of right because I'm still getting the random period a few years later, but he wasn't right about not being in peri. I started having night sweats probably 15 years ago, so I think I've been in peri a very long time.

    You know your body, and you know what PMS feels like. Sounds like peri to me!

    Hope the hrt helps you, keep us updated.


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    • Posted

      Thanks, Suzanne. That really helps to hear!

      Of course I want to see a good provider who knows what she's talking about. But I also want her to be completely wrong about this!

      I think we need to coin a word/phrase that combines the two states--PMS and perimeno. Because I think that's what's going on. Something besides "the 9th ring of hell with Virgil." In Latin it would be dominus uteri--uterus boss.

      Thanks so much for helping! I was feeling really overwhelmed today at the thought of being 19 forever.

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  • Posted

    You are in peri what doctor would tell you that you arent when your 52 really!!! did u get hormones checked at all?? in 49 and im estrogen dominant and inhave symptoms that i never had my whole life and even endo told me that im peri just bu my age!!!

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    • Posted

      I did have a whole blood panel done. Everything came back normal. Which was both a relief and a problem. I wanted my FSH to show that I was getting closer to peri. As far as I can tell, it did not. I think that's why the GYN felt OK giving me a the same birth control I used in my 30's.

      I don't have hot flashes and I've never missed a single period. The latest I've been is 13 days. I think that's why she said I've got a long way to go.

      I think this is some kind of horrible variation of Schroedinger's cat where I am simultaneously PMS and perimeno.

      This is kind of a nightmare. I'm going to collect my pension and go to Boots to buy tampons.

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  • Posted

    Hi,. I new somthing was changing with me when my PMS was lasting longer and I started getting symptoms I never had b4 with PMS. My periods have always been as regular as clockwork though up until a few years ago when they started lasting longer from 4-7 days to 10 days. My doc went by my age and symptoms he said the test wasnt very reliable as in peri your hormones are that up and down its not very reliable. I may have been in peri now for 8 years as I was 43 when I just felt different and had the PMS changes and all over itching, now at 51 my periods seem to be changing I missed a month last month and am overdue this month but have had brown spitting for 4 days and now nothing but boob pain has come back and horrid lower back pain for the last week so this rollercoaster just isnt ending. I was on HRT fir 3 months called Livial/Tibolone but didnt feel any different and gave me painful fingers so stoppedlast year so Im taking nothing atm. Just wish docs were more helpful and clued up about peri more as mine are useless so ive given up with them. Hope you feel better soon and sorry I couldnt be of more help xx

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    • Posted

      This was helpful, Sarah. I think it echoes what Suzanne said above--that PMS is different in perimenopause and the two are not mutually exclusive.

      My period came today. My GYN offered a "cycling" dose of prozac for me. I said no when everything was fine in her office on Monday. Today I left a weepy message begging for it. 😃 So I'll see if that helps too.

      I'm going to start using the Nuvaring as she prescribed this Sunday. I'll let you know if that works!

      Thanks for your kindness. It means the world to me.

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  • Posted

    Aww thats ok maddy, its what were all here for to support each other through this horrible time 😀 This forum has been more helpful and supportive than my docs. Yes definitely keep me updated about how you get on with the prozac, I tryed Sertraline awhile back when my anxiety was through the roof but 2 days in and I couldnt stand the side effects but everyone is different AD help some but not others, I just take a Lorazapam when things get really bad but only now and again in emergencys as benzos are addictive.

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