Scan Anxiety - wonky periods, ultrasound fear

Posted , 10 users are following.

Hi - I am 45 and in January of this year I had a period that spotted at the end for over a week, hormone testing showed menopause, blood test six weeks later showed normal FSH levels.  So deduced the spotting was perimenopause.  I have had regular periods all year but they are different, sometimes heavy, sometimes spotting a lot before or after.  They just don't 'flow' the same. Cycle lengths also vary, from my previous normal of 25/26 to 21, 37, 24, 25 and a couple that were only 17/18 days apart. 

After the last short gap and a heavier flow, I got a bit worried and went to the GP to tell her, she said it is typical of perimenopause to see this pattern but also useful to check there aren't any structural reasons for irregular bleeding and to have a transvaginal ultrasound. I have this coming up this week.

I was fine about it until today and now I am a nervous wreck, worried out of my mind what they will find and just feel so vulnerable about the scan itself.

I am no good at gynae things, I have not had children and the whole thing brings up feelings of naievity and a sense 'there is something wrong with me'.  I know this is irrational because at the end of the day the Dr is just checking that perimenopause hormonal stuff is the cause and I should be relieved if it is and that will help but...........I can't stop worrying.

I have only had a transvaginal exam once, about 15 years ago, it wasn't pleasant, only because I was scared when the personal scanning told me she couldn't find an ovary, then she did, that they were healthy but I had a mass on my uterus which was a fibroid.  At the time I didn't know what that was all about and she wouldn't tell me - the DR then explained a week later that it was on the outside and nothing to worry about.  I have also had two burst ovarian cysts in my life and a cervical polyp which was removed a couple of years ago.

Basically anything unknown scares me and language and procedures that I feel I should understand, but I don't.  I have been reading about the higher chance of uterine cancer, ovarian cancer etc after mid 40's and scared myself wondering if the bleeding can be any of these and imagining that the scan will reveal 'bad' news and what will come next.  Basically I feel out of control with all the unknowns and am sure I am over anxious as the majority of scans don't reveal serious things.

The Dr mentioned the possibility of uterine polyps or fibroids, the first might need removing and the second they would leave as they tend to shrink after menopause.

Seriously, I need some logical thoughts to hold onto here, I am just terrified of bad news and the person saying or looking a certain way during the scan and either saying something or me thinking the worst etc.

I have had several traumatic events in my life where I thought all was well and it turned out not to be - not with me, but my family and realise that this has left a mark on me, thinking that this is generally what happens.  Bad news comes out of the blue when you think all is well and 'normal'.

Honestly the thought of the whole thing feels so alien to me, I am ready to avoid doing it - which I won't.  Can someone share with me how routine this is and perhaps if my bleeding pattern is anything to worry about because I really didn't think it was. It is still sort of cyclical but definately different.

Feeling so scared and also stupid.  How can I be a grown woman with these irrational fears sad

1 like, 29 replies

Report / Delete

29 Replies

Next
  • Posted

    Basically my periods freak me out these days as I don't know what normal is anymore - they sometimes gush but are not really heavy, the blood is thinner almost and then they stop sometimes and start again a day later.  Then there is the spotting, but it's never inbetween bleeds as it were.

    This is all a nightmare - the Dr did understand the anxiety associated with not knowing what was normal or not.  I guess things need to be checked to decide!  I so hope this is all over soon, it's causing havoc with stress.

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hi beetle I have been through this also. I am now 55 and have also been through this. Hopefully you can control this. Try not to worry hun I am sure it will stop soon😊xxx
    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    You poor thing. I hate these gone issues too and I have had 2 children. The period changes are normal for peri menopause including both spotting and very heavy periods. I suffered for years! with very heavy periods, a definite handicap when a teacher. Eventually I went to the doctor and was given some tablets to help with the heavy flow. It was magical and sorted this for me. I had not realised there was medical help. My mum had had a hysterectomy because of this and I was trying to avoid that. Things have obviously moved on.

    you are being brave by going for medical advise and investigation. Keep it up. You will be relieved in the end.

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I used to be in teaching but work for myself now, I can't imagine dealing with all this on a timetable as it were. My GP mentioned the possibility of progesterone if the bleeding issues turn out to be hormonal.
      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hi Beetle

    What you have described hear is just how i was before i hit proper menapause so dont worry. as for the  transvaginal exam well ive had two of these, granted i have had kids, you do not say if you are in a relationship or not, but say you have had one of these before, so next time should be easier, i found this just uncomfortable but not painfull in anyway and its soon over so just relax. Your doctor is just being thorough to rule out anything else which im 99% sure wont be anything except what doctor has already told you perimenapause.  

    Only natural to feel scared but your not in anyway stupid at all. Being a grown woman brings with it  the changes both phsyically and emotionally dont forget. I think what we have to contend with we allowed to feel  anxious and concerned, sure your be ok. let us know how it all goes

    Sue 

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Thank you for your understanding, these changes really are challenging.  Thinking back puberty was a pretty lonely time too - I didn't feel I could talk to my mum, so I didn't.  I am a private person, but I really have found writing here helps.

      I am not in a relationship right now, which is another concern for the procedure.  Oh goodness, can't wait until it's done.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Believe me ive written about some very personal things on hear that i wouldnt even discuss with anyone else its helps knowing your thread is being read by other sufferers and between us we can help and advice each other. Im so shocked to have read about what some of us are going through, not enough is being done to help many if us, probably the only sort that would understand  is a doctor or gyno who had been through it all herself. Think they should have menopausal clincs mayb e they do if in other countrys but not hear in the UK.  Just relax take deep breaths, its not  to bad and thats coming form me who winces at anyone touching me in the way of examinations in that area. Id rather have that done than a smear test. 

       

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    I have no advice for you as I am going thru similar to you without the investigations but I have had four children and all the exams etc that come with pregnancy and childbirth. 

    The reason I decided to respond is you seem so scared and stressed about it all, I wanted to offer you support and send you ((hugs)). Everyone here seems so helpful and caring, you are not alone, please keep us updated and if you just need to chat let me know smile

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Well first of all try not to worry these things are routine tests and your doctor is only probably sending you there to put your mind at rest.

    Yeah the periods do start doing strange things. From my early 40 mine became very light compared to what they were and went from always 7 sometimes 8 days to 5 and sometimes only 4.

    At this time I also went from tampons to towels as there was often so little flow that removing tampons became a tug of war.

    Then at about 47 ish maybe 48 I began to miss one here and there and the one after the miss would be heavier. Mine were not too bad for being at the right time eg. If I missed one the next came when expected.

    The months I missed I also got really hot the week they were due. My doctor did a blood test and said I was in peri.

    Then between age 50 to 51 I only had 3 or 4 periods. I had had none for six months after being 51 and was suffering some depression awful insomnia and feeling too hot all the time. I tried siberian ginseng. This started up my periods again I took it for about 4 months and although as I say my periods came back in a normal way it didn't help with the other symptoms at all. As soon asi stopped taking it my periods stopped and I didn't get another one.

    I was just generally too hot with 2 or 3 proper hot flushes per day.

    I got a lady magnate which worked well for the flushes and I think I felt maybe a little calmer but still with terrible insomnia.

    I also didn't want sex. I had always thought never mind if I don't want it I will never turn my husband down.

    Well how wrong was that? I didn't want to know, not only was the whole thing a chore but it was also so frustrating. With him trying to please me and me just wanting it over with. So sore and dry no matter how much lubrication we used.

    I had wanted to do the menopause naturally but it was the lack of enjoyment of sex that saw me at the doctors. I'm so glad I did I have had much improved sex life. I am sleeping much better. A few niggle aches and pains have improved.

    Hope this helps. Hope all is well with your investigations.

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Thank you - it does help to hear about other womens journey with things changing.  I am not sure I knew much about all this before - hot flashes and periods stopping was about it.
      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    TVUS are honesty nothing to worry about, and I speak as one who really hates speculums going in, with the ultrasound it's just a tiny probe, no stretching or anything.  They can see a lot from this simple technique.  The symptoms you describe are text book perimenopuase and are caused by a drop in progesterone, the first hormone to dip.  Your Dr is just being cautious, you are lucky to have one so thorough.
    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Thank you so much - I didn't mention that speculums are sometimes an issue for me, sometimes not.  Apparently I have a retroverted uterus and sometimes they cannot find the cervix!!  My GP did mention progesterone as a possibility if the scan shows no structural issues and therefore hormonal only.  I will feel so good if it's JUST hormones I have to deal with.  Fingers crossed that I am in the majority and that this is indeed the progesterone falling - I would not be surprised as I have had bereavements and other stresses in the last few years and I know that stress reduces progesterone - cortisol production needs it or something.  I suspect this is really what is going on.

      I am one of those people that if I have an explanation, I feel better about things.  I am glad to be reminded that the ultrasound probe isn't like a speculum - thanks smile

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hi Beetle, I am JUST like you, I have extreme anxiety around anything related to medical tests I had a chest xray and I freaked out,. I am with you and I have had numerous people in my life that did have cancer and other things and my dog died, I have considered therapy because I know there are tests that will need ot be done and I worry about how I am going to get through it. I dont want to be like my mother, she just does not get any tests done due to anxiety she is 74 and will not go for any tests because she cant deal with the anxiety.
    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I am totally with you on facing the fear of tests - I am tackling this now, because as you say I want to be comfortable with this for the future.  My mother never ever went to the doctor, she had no reason to really, saying that, she discovered very high blood pressure by chance, which did contribute to her death I think.  She had an brain bleed - out of nowhere.  I am actually having therapy at the moment which is related to the sudden death of both my parents and I guess with that comes challenging head on my fear of the unknown and also of actually investigating things to take care of myself.

      It's a bit contradictory isn't it - I'm with you all the way in your desire to overcome this as much as possible.  I feel very similar - torn between running and actually facing things.

      Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up