Perimenopause VS. Menopause…why would this ever get any better????????

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So I’ve read many of the books. I’ve lived on the forums. I’ve read hundreds and hundreds of reviews on Amazon.

If all of the symptoms we “Peri’s” are having are to do the levels of hormones fluctuating/dropping….then once they are done doing their little nightmare on our body during the Peri – what happens at Menopause??

If I get the menses all over the board on the calendar, hot flashes, body aches, fatigue, dry skin, mood swings, lethargy, depression, anxiety now for the first time at 49 years in Perimenopause – WHY is this going to stop at Menopause or SOMEDAY just because I’m done with my cycle? What changes at the SOMEDAY? My body decides it’s gotten used to it? It levels off?

I read conflicting data over and over about that question. Once you are in Menopause, some say you will always have to do hormones – others say you will always have to be taking something for the symptom that you are struggling with most. Oprah lasted all of 2 years in Peri feeling awful and finally did the BHRT.

I’ve been on the Peri Roller Coaster for about 3 years. I could handle most of the symptoms I was having until I experienced the depression, anxiety, and lethargy for the very first time in my life during my May 2018 cycle – I can’t do that one again!

 

I’ve reached out to about 20 friends/family – about 9 went on anti-depressants, 9 went on BHRT and 2 toughed it out. I guess I’m at the tough out stage but really leaning towards some BHRT.

 

You all inspire me SO much! Your perseverance gives me SO much strength. I am so thankful for this forum!

Just wondering if this “toughing it out” is any way of living? Like many of you have shared...I feel like I can't make any big plans as it seems I never know what I am going to feel like each week. Thanks for letting me vent. 

 

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  • Posted

    Hi Finny, Well, when your period is done for 12 months, peri hell is over and menopause begins.  Our ovaries are officially retired and estrogen is gone. Then, there’s post menopause, which can be horrible for some women once their estrogen is gone. Theoretically, were put on earth to make babies...once were done...were supposed to even out and enjoy our golden years. However, I think it todays world with stress, chemicals, processed foods, it is impossible for us to even out.  We are really getting screwed over too, because most drs are clueless and put us on antidepressant ( me included).  Heaven forbid we look into hormones...they do not understand perimenopause especially because we’re still having periods, so our treatment options are limited.  Poor women in menopause are having issues with treatment.  Just not enough awareness.  Women are suffering, but because hormone fluctuations cause anxiety.  They only zero in on that and throw ADs at us. My mom suffered for years in menopause, naturally...

    I am having physical symptoms of peri, started last year.  I am 41 now, and going through hell.  Tired, dizzy, anxiety. Had to stop working.  I do not even recognize myself.  I swear I would run naked through thorn bushes to be rid of this.  Great post and glad you vented today! 😊

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    • Posted

      Hi Lou - I hear you. I would run WITH you through the thorn bushes if it meant we could be done with this. confused 

      I am blessed that I can stay at home with my kids - I told my husband if I was still working I would have had to leave on disability for some of my months. When the fatigue/lethargy hits during my period - I can't get out of bed for about 3 days. My cycles started changing about 2 years ago. I've had all the tests for thyroid, blood work, CT scan - all of it because I just couldn't believe this Peri stuff could make me feel this bad. And when all of this started - IT ALL STARTED! It was like an immersion course: Hot flashes, night sweats, chin hairs, acne, crazy periods, vaginal dryness, dry hair, dry skin, fatigue, etc.

      April - current have brought on new symptoms I've never experienced before...muscle aches, joint pain, acid reflux, digestive issues, depression, anxiety, heart palps, congestion, ears plugged, tingling etc. I've tracked these symptoms each month since April and it's cyclical! I experience each one of these symptoms during the different weeks of my cycle...maybe 4 symptoms week 1, 3 symptoms week 2, etc. So I know that it is hormonal! Had no idea that hormones would do this.  This forum has been a comfort to me!

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    • Posted

      That’s how mine started too.  July 5, 2017. To be exact! Just had stopped 20 years of oral birth control use a couple of weeks prior. I was out to eat, then a crazy feeling came over me...thought I was having a stroke.  Never the same since.  I ran myself into terrible health anxiety.  Every other day either at the doctors, ER or getting tested for something.  I told the dr right away that I thought it was related to hormones because of stopping BCP.  Would they listen...NOPE!

      I too am horrible around my period, which is every 21 days now...and practically bedridden on my period.   They last few have been light and only a couple days long...but the physical exhaustion and dizziness is ridiculous. Crazy hormones.   Unfortunately, the lexapro cannot take that away.  It does help with the in between times.  Before, I would continue “laying around”...days turn to weeks, then months...then crying over everything...borderline depression.  I have little ones, a husband and pets that depend on me.  I realuzed that doing nothing was getting me nowhere.can see how some people can get caught up, it’s a viscous circle.  Ideally, I want to be off the AD, but there is risk with everything, at this time, I think the AD may be my best option.  My mom had hot flashes and terrible anger issues. Thank goodness, I am not like that... I would never want my kids to deal with what I had to.  Guess we all have to suffer somehow.  Hopefully, you find some relief...if only for a day or 2 😊

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    • Posted

      So funny how you remember the exact date all hell broke loose! So do I! It was March 12, 2012. I woke up that morning and pretty much fell out of bed. Got up and started walking sideways...had to use the wall for support and nothing was ever the same after.
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    • Posted

      I know, I can’t even remember if I brushed my teeth.  I’m sure I’ll be telling my future grandkids about the day granny “lost her mind” 🤣

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  • Posted

    Just curious...are your friends getting the bad fatigue, etc too...or mostly hit flashes.  Everyone I know complains about hot flashes and weight gain.  While I’m  half dead most days 😜

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    • Posted

      My one friend started Lexapro and said that it really helped with her flat feeling and anxiety. She is also 49 and was incredibly humbled as she had never experienced depression before hitting Peri at 49. She just assumed you get out and go for a walk and quit complaining. She said after a few months she just couldn't go on like that. Unfortunately she also has the fatigue that is not lifting. Mine seems to go in waves. I can feel like myself for 3-4 months and then a fatigue wave hits me along with a lot of symptoms. I've not been consistent on tracking this but have now started since April. 

      My other friends do the over the counter progesterone. I've been reading a lot on all of it. I'm not opposed to anti-depressants or BHRT. I am realizing now that until you've experienced Peri - you really don't know what you'd consider until it hits you. 

      Oh how I WISH it was just a hot flash here and there. That's all my mom had! rolleyes

       

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  • Posted

    I read all kinds of conflicting things as well. Not sure what to expect in the end of this. I have been in Peri for over 8 years with no end in sight. I am toughing it out. I figure my body has to go through it anyway so I may as well do it while young enough to deal with it better. The anxiety and depression stage lasted many years for me. I think part of it is due to a marriage I was never really happy with. I am hoping that as my marriage improves it will get better for me. I also think being in a town away from family ties has also played a role along with other stressors. My plate has been full...and I think for most of us who suffer it also is.

    I have read a lot about HRT and BHRT and still hear the same complaints as with those who are going the natural route or simply toughing it out. So I really have not come to any conclusions lol...and I am not willing to take the health risk at this point.

    It is hard! The anxiety state kept me housebound for 6 years. It is...as you state...the hardest symptom. Mine has been gone now for over a year, thank goodness. My complaints these days are fatigue and brainfog for the most part. And moods.

    I am almost 49. I hope it is over soon. I find when I am up...life is wonderful...but then those intrusive thoughts creep in and affect every part of me all over again. I am really starting to think that peri has more to do with our emotional state before we enter these years...but I could be wrong.

    Lately my interest is in fixing my emotional core self...eating well...and learning to love myself. And leaving those who don't in the dust. Lol

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    • Posted

      I agree with the mindset before we enter peri.  I do believe that if we had childhood stress and adult  stress...it explodes in peri and physically takes its toll.  I was always a nervous kid.  My son is disabled, and I’ve been stressed for years, but hid it well.  I love your last line...I am the same now, I do not converse with fake or emotionally draining divas.  All set!  😀

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    • Posted

      I had childhood stress as well...I was a preachers eldest child and the expectations were unreal...not only that, but I was taught that we were in the 'last days' and Christians were going to be killed and then severely judged by God. I never thought I was going to make it to adulthood.. And I thought I wiukd eventually be murdered. Quite traumatizing for a small girl who just wanted to dream about a ffuture with prince charming.

      Then as an adult...i also had a son with disabilities. Or very poor social skills with a touch of a delusional disorder. He was dangerous and I had to give him up at 14 after he had been charged a few times. He was a danger to my younger two. He self medicated and toomk to a very sad life on the streets. I saw him for the first time in 8 years last week and my heart was broken all over again. He is not doing well. He is HIV positive....shooting crystal daily and he has no concept of reality left. I grieved him once years ago. I knew I had to let him go back then...and now I am greiving him all over this week. Life is tough...and I have to stay tougher.

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    • Posted

      There are no words strong enough to express what you have gone through emotionally.   Nobody will ever understand unless they’ve walked a mile in your shoes.  I am sorry about your son.  Drugs are a disease.  They always say they have to hit rock bottom, but for some that is death.  My brother went out of his mind on meth one day and that was the end for him.  I had to deliver the bad news to my mom.  I’ll never forget her reaction. Thank you for sharing your story.  You keep strong.  💪

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    • Posted

      Hi Indifferent - Yes, I too have read that the BHRT has some complaints, too. And yet I've talked to friends who've said it worked wonders for them. I am on the fence. I ordered some Progesterone and Estriol Cream and it's sitting in my nightstand drawer and likely will be for months unless I get to a really rough patch again.

      For me a really hard one is just not having the stamina or the Zest for life I had (yes, of course the hot flashes, night sweats, chin hairs (LOL) and the rest of it is annoying, too!). I keep thinking...is this the energy I am supposed to have at 49? My symptoms seem to come in waves. So I've had 3 really tough "waves" in the last 2 years. That's not to say that I have been operating at 100% - far from it. I think the Peri has been slow and insidious and I didn't notice the change instantly - it was almost like many things became "normal" for me. Yet when I looked at pictures the other day from just a few years ago  -  I couldn't remember feeling as good as I remembered feeling in the old pics. My hair is like...what happened to me? 

      So sorry to hear about your anxiety. I have so much compassion towards others while going through this time. I am SO thankful to hear yours has been gone for over a year. That is a GIFT! I get a taste of it off and on for about the same week each month. It's awful. My life and home life is very good - so for me - all of this is a confirmation of the havoc that Hormone changes bring. It is humbling!

      I'm thankful to share in the journey with others. Yes...leave the ones who don't in the dust. 

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    • Posted

      I am so sorry to hear about what happened with your brother. As a sibling that must have devastated you. Meth is definitely an ugly drug. I see the effects also. Why someone would even try it the first time I don't understand.

      My daughter was with me when I saw my son last week. She was determined to see him. Now she is also sorry she did. He made her very afraid...and she also has to get over that encounter. She says he makes her abusive ex boyfriend look like a walk in the park.

      But life has to go on for the rest of us. And yes...I know that rock bottom for him Will most likely be death. I have been prepared for that day the police knock on my door for years. And to be honest...I will be relieved that this painful and pityful life is finally over for him. And I will feel guilty for feeling that way. But no one can understand the torture that must be his on a daily basis. As his mom I can feel it...sense it...and only pray for him.

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  • Posted

    I crashed at 41 complete madness lost my mind ! I had no idea it was Peri and thought it was PTSD due to a bad accident . Maybe a bit of both. It took months and months to level out maybe even years. Eventually I did but never got over the panic anxiety. Learned to live with it. 

    Now 10 years later complete insanity again but with a debilitating fatigue . How I’m getting through each day I do not know. 

    I’m trying BHRT but it’s making me feel weird ..... I wake up nervous on it . 

    It’s all too much and very stressful. I’d say if you can get on BHRT and it agrees with you then do it ! For me it’s been a rollercoaster ... first estrogen and progesterone patch but progesterone made me feel strange . Now estrogen only ... just want to feel like myself 😪

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    • Posted

      Hi Lori - I want you to feel like yourself, too. I've been following along on your journey and am waiting for you to share that you've noticed SOME little improvements SLOWLY but SURELY while trying the BHRT!  

      I'm still in the research phase as I'm thinking of just starting with those Bio-Estriol creams they sell online and that were recommended in a few of the books I've read. So like you, starting with the Estrogen first  (although mine would be the cream and yours is the patch) - very small amount as I'm so sensitive to medicines and supplements. Then if that goes well, slowly introducing the progesterone cream. 

      I should be getting my Saliva results within the next few days and am considering the FSH blood test. Did you do these tests (sorry if you have that info in a prior post already)? 

      I crashed at 49 in May/June - feel like I'm starting to feel like myself again - not 100% but SO much better than I was...although today marks the longest I've gone without a period since my Peri started 3 years ago. Maybe my hormones did a Huge finale performance and crashed? I don't know. I want to be proactive as I do not want to face that few months again!

      Thanks for the updates to the group, Lori - we are cheering you on! Your tenacity inspires me and keeps me going!

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