Firstly I'd like to thank Informed for starting this discussion. Whatever month/year you've found your way to this thread I'm sure you'll find it helpful. I think most of us ladies in our late 40's onwards probably assumed most our symptoms were down to peri menopause? I know any of the gp's here in the UK did!
I'm now 50 and found out through blood tests for slightly irregular periods + hot flushes from about 45 I was peri menopausal. So both my gp surgery and I thought 'ok, Yeh that makes sense'. They saw no complications.
However soon after that my periods started to be more spaced out and heavier. By now I'm 47 more blood tests revealed I was definitely fast approaching the menopause. I opted for No hormone replacement btw. 2013 I had my first transvaginal ultrasound revealing 8mm endometrium thickness plus 2 fibroids. No other significant findings. Again my surgery explained heavy bleeding is totally normal with fibroids. Yet again I thought, ho hum they seemed to explain the cramps/heavy bleeding and small black clots. (Until now I'd always worn tampons so never really noticed clots as such). As the months went on and my periods became more spasmodic/heavy/larger clots/flooding I had my 2nd ultrasound. Transvaginal again revealing 16mm endometrial thickness (it's now 2015). Oddly only 1 fibroid could be seen but I understand 'gas/wind' can obscure the sonographers view.
Yet again my surgery order blood tests revealing I was indeed in the menopause. No further action/intervention was offered othe than a hor mine pI'll to take to stop the bleering with in a coutlet of days. They explained it was not HRT and is used by brides who want period free honeymoon sex!! Again I felt that made sense after all they had scanned the uterus and took bloods they seemed happy.
I think I went for approx 8 months with no period? Sorry to be vague but up until this point I was constantly told this is all normal for a woman of my age and fibroids! Christmas eve brought the gift of a monster bleed. I thought...ok it's the stress of Christmas and I've got fibroids. My gp's weren't concerned they even told me ovaries can actually wake up and cause bleeding again for some unfortunate women. I thought it was just unlucky. Through out 2016 my periods were heavy, painful and spasmodic. Back again to gp. I was prescribed tranxemic acid this time if I wanted the bleeding to stop. I never took this. By now I'm getting fed up with all the bleeding. A 3rd ultrasound (external only) revealed a thickness of 17mm and a bulky uterus.....still no action from my surgery was taken. A few months go by and I'm back again at my surgery still bleeding. It's now August 2016 and this time I see a young male gp who I had not seen before. He looks over my previous scan results and he's immediately printing out my urgent 2 week gynecologist referal while explaining he feels I have uterine cancer symptoms???? Seriously. My first appointment with them produced a failed pap smear + biopsy due to cervical stenosis - ouch. 2nd appointment was with an oncology surgeon who explained ANY thickness over 5mm is highly suspicious at my age/months of non bleeding to any bleeding.
4th TV ultrasound plus GA hysteroscopy with biopsy and a lump removed from vaginal wall 10 days ago.
So to sum up - you're only reading this because you're A. Worried about your symptoms or B. Looking for reassurance what you're going through can't be cancer?
As you can see from my experience you simply can't afford to brush aside your gut feelings like I allowed myself too. Please be the brave person you can be and go armed to your gp armed with knowledge of uterine cancer and ask questions and don't get fobbed off with 'this is normal' because misdiagnosed cancer benefits no one least of all you of course x