Nearly 51 - nearly over it (I think!)

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!

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7 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Lara I'm also 51 and have had every symptom going I missed two periods in February and march and thought it was the end of them but no they are back heavy and painful I too have health anxiety which I know is another symptom it is a hard journey for sure I seem to get more colds now aswell could This be due to been run down thank you for your post hopefully there is a light at the end of the tunnel 😊😘

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  • Posted

    Thank you for sharing. Sitting here this morning reading your post and it helps me greatly. smile
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  • Posted

    This so reassuring to read, ESPECIALLY the bit about health anxiety. I can't tell you how great it is to hear that my constant worrying is not solely my own freakish problem, that others do (unfortunately) also feel like this. I used to be so carefree, then one day in my late 30s I fainted... So began nagging fears about many different illnesses at different times. I have had a BCC removed recently, but nothing else. Now in my early 40s I still have frequent ups and downs, but I'm sort of used to them. I never imagined perimenopause could be like this. I'm certain that's what I'm in, although this last six weeks is the first time ever, really, that I've had irregular periods.

    Thank you so much for sharing 😐

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  • Posted

    Could you direct me to the health leaflet you mention in your post?

    Thank you

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  • Posted

    Thanks for sharing this. I'm 50 and was unable to take HRT so have just dealt with the perimenopause naturally. I thought I was coping well to start with with just the odd hot flush but started getting other strange symptoms like dizziness, mood swings, palpitations, burning mouth syndrome, total exhaustion, joint pains, etc and felt really anxious all the time. I also have M.E. which I've realised now has similar symptoms to the menopause so it was hard to tell what was actually wrong with me half the time. Last year I felt at rock bottom but this year I'm actually starting to feel a bit more normal again. I've started doing yoga again and improved my diet increasing magnesium, potassium and protein and cutting out more sugary things (apart from dark chocolate and raisins - my nightly treat!). It's now coming up to 2 years since my last period and I'm really hopeful I've come through the worst of it. I still get some symptoms but not all the time and not nearly as bad as before. I also used CBT techniques on myself to get things into perspective.

    ?It sounds like you have also come through the worst of it so there is hope for everyone that we will all feel vaguely normal again at some point!!!

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  • Posted


    I too have health anxiety and it has got worse during peri-menopause. Please can you direct me the leaflet you read?

    Thanks xx

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  • Posted

    Hi Larasmile

    It's awesome that you found a Dr that cares. Women should not settle with someone who does not listen and offer help to us during this time.

    I'm a little further along. A year and 7 months no period and in full blown menopause.

    I was hoping once in menopause it would be better...just the opposite. Peri is like an advertisement, a warning of things to come..

    I do believe with changing our eating habits, exercising, pampering and taking time for us it helps in the long run.

    Wishing you luck!

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