Posted , 8 users are following.
Hi ladies. It's been a while since I've been on here but just thought I'd post an update and hope it's useful for some of you. I remember being in my mid\late 40s and thinking the strange symptoms would never end but here I am at nearly 51 and I think I am over the hump. I'm not completely over it but I think I'm descending the other side of the mountain!
Apart from taking some natural remedies over the past few years, I've stayed away from HRT for my own reasons. I'm glad I have because I am now able to look back and see the stages of peri quite clearly and how it has affected me. I've had to take Lanzoprazole for constant heartburn but that's the only medication I've taken. Heartburn and IBS are common in peri, apparently due to hormones being located around the gut area. I haven't given up alcohol - I love wine - but I do eat healthily and have plenty of early nights.
I remember my first symptom in my late thirties - sex became uncomfortable because, overnight, my vagina felt like sandpaper. That's the only way I can describe it. That continued for about five years, and sometimes is still uncomfortable, but it is easier than it was. My periods became irregular a few years ago and my body temperature increased with manageable hot flushes for a few years. Then, about 2 months before my 50th birthday, the hot flushes came thick and fast and it was unbearable, I had to take something for it. Someone had recommended Black Cohosh which I found helped for a while but after a few months, I found I was developing a resistance to it so had to stop for a few weeks. I went back on it and was good again for a while.
Then at the end of last year, I had a 3 month break from periods and I felt like it was glimpse into what life is going to be like for me one day and how I'm going to feel. I felt great. No moods, no cramps, less heartburn; a few sweats every day but I could cope. I just generally felt lighter and content. I thought that was it. I thought I would soon find I hadn't had a period for a year (I keep track on my calendar) and so would officially be in menopause. But, alas, I came on just before Xmas last year and have had several periods at irregular intervals but no hot flushes. I felt like I did before peri, apart from my periods being so irregular. Then I stopped bleeding a few weeks ago and I feel like I'm not going to have a period for a while. My sex drive is low, I'm hot and having flushes again. I do still have to take the heartburn medication a few times a week but I feel like that has improved generally.
Like some of you on here, health anxiety has been a big problem for a number of years, but it has subsided in recent months. Around 45, I started googling everything, backwards and forwards to the doctors for a few years, until I went to the doctors last year and saw someone I hadn't seen before. She was in her 60s and I felt like I was talking to an aunt, or an old friend. Just lovely. After checking my boobs and telling me she couldn't find any lumps (the reason for the appointment) she looked at my records and saw my long list of doctors appointments and asked me why I'd had so many. I explained that I was worried about dying early, leaving my kids motherless etc. and the tears started flowing! Without being condescending or patronising, she suggested I was suffering from health anxiety and said it's a normal thing to go through at my age. But, she said, 'if you're not careful, it'll rob you of everything that's important', which I've never forgotten. She directed me to a leaflet on the subject on this very website. It has helped, although I think it's easier said than done when a woman's body is going through such changes.
So that's where I'm at. Hoping this time without a period is a long time, so that I'll know a whole year without is not far away!
6 likes, 7 replies