Peri-menopause symptoms but 'not menopausal yet' according to blood test

Posted , 4 users are following.

I'm so glad to have found this forum!

I'm 48 and have been peri-menopausal for about 5 years, and the symptoms have intensified over the past year - night sweats, mood 'disturbances', memory issues and generalised anxiety. I finally found a GP who actually listened and took me seriously, and we had a conversation about HRT. My fear around HRT is the possibility of depression as a side effect of progesterone - I have suffered very heavily from depression in the past, and will be on anti-depressant medication for life. 

However, my mood - which had been OK for the most part - is starting to suffer, and I'm having quite bad dips. These may last for a couple of hours or a couple of days or weeks, but they have a definite hormonal 'feel'. The GP sent me for a blood test to establish hormone levels, which has come back 'not menopausal yet' ... 

I have made another appointment with this GP, but does anyone know whether 'not menopausal yet' means I am ineligible for HRT?

And does anyone have any facts/info re. progesterone and depression?

Thanks for reading!


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8 Replies

  • Posted

    I had that fear as well and did go (very short term) on a patch HRT (both estrogen and progestin combo) and had very bad time. sad

    After switching doctors, I then found out I actually I had too much estrogen for my age(bloodwork and symptoms) so doctor had me use the progesterone cream. No issues with depression like the original combo patch and it really started improving my symptoms as I wasn't adding more unecessary estrogen.

    I am now on Prometrium pill (micronized progesterone which is a better match to our natural hormone) and it has been a Godsend. It's doing a better job of leveling out the abundance of the estrogen and I am able to sleep much more peacefully at night.

    I am (and this is big) not bothered by either mood swings or depression after 2 going in 3 months of 21 days on and 7 days off. My issues with the patch manifested immediately within 1st week.

    I know there are people who are advised by their docs not to use the cream or pill, but there are many of us who do benefit from using this sparingly. I would not dream of using any type of med without benefit of having a knowledgable physician guiding me.

    There is plenty of information out there but it's best that hopefully you have a physician or can find one that is well versed in this area (my original Gyn was not at all!) to help you decide if this is what you need and monitor your success with it.


    Annie xx

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    • Posted

      Hi Annie, I read your post with interest and would be pleased if you could share your experience with the combined HRT. I have been using an oestrogen patch all the time and a progesterone tablet for 12 days per month. Only been about a month but I have a feeling that my symptoms are worse when I use the oestrogen only. When I add in the progesterone things improve slightly. Is this what you experienced?
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    • Posted

      Hi Mooma,

      Yes, in hindsight having that combipatch on really made my symptom worse so quickly- I didn't last long on it because I couldn't tolerate it.

      It was only when my new doctor suggested using the progesterone cream only, after running labs and going over my symptoms, did it come together for me. The balance was out of whack. I didn't need more estrogen as the levels of progesterone were nil. I needed something to oppose the estrogen.

      We always will make some estrogen even when the ovaries quit, your adrenal glands also supply some estrogen, but not progesterone. 

      It was amazing how well I felt going on the cream. Night and day from the patch. I'll tell you, I was really apprehensive at first, after feeling so bad from the patch I was somewhat terrified but have learned this is what my body has needed for some time. I recently changed over to the pill form, in part, my insurance pays for it and I find that swallowing a pill a night a bit easier than rubbing in the cream and waiting for it soak it completely and worrying it would get on my night clothes.

      For me, this has been very helpful in leveling off some real uncomfortable symptoms. I actually hadn't even realized that my moods have leveled off and I am no where near the anxious and sad level that I used to be, until someone asked on this forum.  

      I think for many, it's the boost in estrogen that is needed, right now, for me it's the progesterone. Some benefit with both. Speak to your doctor about it and see what they may think about your symptoms and possible blood work to confirm it. Just reading how you are feeling I would trust that right there as it is showing you what actually makes you feel better. 

      I do hope things work out for you Mooma, please update me if you can.

      Annie xx

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    • Posted

      Thanks Annie, yes when starting the oestrogen it made me feel dizzy, sick, and my stiff muscles became worse, my neck was unbearably stiff and contributed further to my dizziness. When I added in the progesterone there was a marked improvement , although I'm guessing it was competing against the extra oestrogen from the patch so the improvement was not dramatic. I started Again on oestrogen only on Saturday with some trepidation and it began very badly , had to get up in the night to take painkillers for the stiffness in my neck and again the following night. yesterday I was due to change the patch but cut a little bit off to reduce the dose and felt a little better yesterday afternoon/ evening and again today. So to me it sounds like the oestrogen is the culprit. I will continue a few more days and see what happens before I ring the Dr. Thanks for your help. Xx
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    • Posted

      BINGO! Yes Mooma - it sure does sound like there might be too much estrogen in comparison to progesterone. That was one of my worst symptoms next to bloating! That can make us feel real lousy. Glad you will be phoning your doctor! I wish you all the best and hope you are feeling better soon.


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  • Posted

    Also, not menopausal simply means you are either still having periods or have had one within last 12 months but are on your way to becoming menopausal. And no, it doesn't mean you can't benefit from the use of HRTs. I am considered Perimenopausal as my last real cycle was 12/14 and I am using progesterone, which is an HRT, much like the low dose estrogen rings being dispesne for localized used in vagina and similar localized hormone supplements. They are all considered HRTs to a degree and are used during and after Perimenopause.
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  • Posted

    Hi annajane

    I am 46 and I have had bad mood swings crying yelling, palpitations I felt some of them today but not as much. I quit taking my zoloft due to the fact that I was having diarrhea, cramps and bad stomach pains, and palpitations on it. 

    I am thinking about a small dose of natural progesterone pill made out or yams or soy to help me relax and I am changing to a new thyroid doctor because I am thinking of natural thyroid t3 t4 combo because the synthetic pills make me sick to my stomach and natural is better not a lot of side effects. 

    Just talk to your doctor and see what he recomends

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  • Posted

    Thank you all for your kind replies - I wasn't expecting such warm words! I feel a lot more positive ... I'll be seeing my GP tomorrow evening and hopefully I'll be a bit clearer. Thanks again 😊
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