August 17, 2008,
S.J. asks from Evanston, IL on August 15, 2008
Am I Going Thru Menopause Already????
I am 38 years old. About a year ago, my cycle started to change and than I missed a period, had a normal couple of periods, missed a period........now I have missed 2. My physician did say I may be experiencing early menopause which really upsets me as we were planning to have one more baby. I haven't done any research about this yet as I just haven't wanted to think about it. But now I am. I am looking for advice from other mom's who have gone thru early menopause. This may sound silly, but has it ever reversed??? I really want to have another baby. Of course I am going to talk to my physician. She is totally awesome and has been my doctor since I was 18 and is also my son's doctor. Any and all information you all can share with me will be GREATLY appreciated! I am just starting looking into this, so I know absolutely nothing.
So What Happened?™
I haven't seem my doctor yet...and of course, my current menses started, like the day after I sent you all my request. I am taking notes on the experiences you shared with me so I do this the right way. I am kind of a nervous ninny by nature and think up all kinds of horrible scenarios on my own. THANK GOODNESS!!!! for mamasource so I can get out of my head!!! Thanks to you all, I will keep you posted.
L.D. answers from Chicago on August 16, 2008
Hi! I'm 36 and was recently concerned about the same thing, only I kind of had the reverse problem. I wasn't skipping periods, but instead I was occasionally getting 2 in one month. Doesn't that sound like fun?! I, too, have been trying to conceive baby #2 and was concerned that a hormonal balance due to early menopause was to blame for why it hadn't happened yet.
My doctor recommended putting me through a month of "fertility monitoring". Essentially, they monitor every step of your menstrual cycle with blood tests and ultrasounds to determine exactly what is going on. My first set of tests consisted of 5 vials of blood being taken, which checked every single hormone in my body. These tests are used as a baseline for comparison against future tests. Certain hormone levels should increase or decrease, depending on where you are in your cycle. I then returned the following week for another set of tests and to begin the ultrasounds. The ultrasounds checked my ovaries and follicle development. I went in every other day for about a week for this portion of the tracking.
Because I had been trying to conceive, my doctor recommended that we use this monitoring as a way to also determine my fertile period. The hormone levels in your blood coupled with the follicle development noted in the ultrasounds will pinpoint this time. When the ultrasounds picked up ripened follicles and the blood tests supported that I was about to ovulate, he perscribed a shot of Ovidrel, which forces the follicle to rupture. Essentially, this guarantees ovulation. I was then put on progesterone supplements for the remainder of the cycle just to take out any guesswork. Well, I am happy to report that I am now 5 weeks pregnant! Not only did the monitoring identify my fertile period, but my doctor's intervention with the Ovidrel and progesterone may have given my body that extra push it needed for me to conceive.
If you are at all concerned about your cycle and what it is doing, I highly recommend a month of this monitoring. Even if you don't want to conceive just yet, you'll at least know what all of your hormones are doing - just skip the Ovidrel and progesterone. My doctor said that this monitoring would indeed reveal whether I was pre-menopausal, so it was worth it just to know what the heck was going on in there. It was great peace of mind. And if you are ready to conceive baby #2 right now, then let me assure you - this works!!!
Good luck with everything! Keep us posted on how you are doing : )
1 mom found this helpful
L.B. answers from Chicago on August 15, 2008
A couple years ago I thought I had started menopause so my doctor recommended a blood test that proved negative. Stress & heavy exercise are just a couple factors that can affect the regularity of periods. Also menopause is actually a gradual process & I just met a mom who thought she was in menopause & had a child at 43. Since you are aware of the benefits of alternative health practices you may already know of the mind/body connection & how our thoughts can change our body chemistry. If you find yourself thinking a negative/fearful thought about your fertility replace it with a positive thought. My favorite book for using affirmations is Louise Hay's YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE.
N.G. answers from Chicago on August 16, 2008
It may be worth reading some of the articles at www.womentowomen.com . I'm 36 and having some hormonal problems as well, especially low progesterone. I did do hormonal saliva testing but read that a blood test can find it too (usually covered by insurance). If your estrogen to progesterone ratio is out of balance it causes many problems.
I have a 2 yr old and 1 yr old and found it is harder on the body having babies later, as sometimes hormones don't bounce back easily. Also try reading "The Schwarzbein Principle", by Diana Schwarzbein, MD.
J.E. answers from Chicago on August 17, 2008
yes definitely could be early menopause or they can call it pof premature ovarian failure. You could see if metformin can help you ovulate if your insulin is high and shutting down yoru ovaries. you could use fertility drugs to make you more viable eggs to be able to conceive but if you are really thinking about another child I would not waste time. Not sayign the clock is ticking but this is the circle of life.
J.P. answers from Chicago on August 16, 2008
You have received some good advice from the other mamas about what to do to see if it is just an imbalance of some kind - and, hopefully, you are not in early menopause. However, I did want to respond as a woman who went through early menopause. I first started having irregular periods in my late 30s - I was told it was stress. When I was 41 I finally found a doctor who ran tests and told me that I was in full blown menopause. I didn't have most of the typical symptoms - other than irregular periods and weight gain. By 44 I was post menopausal. It did hit me a little hard because I felt so young (and still am!!). I chose not to go the hormone replacement route because my family has a history of breast cancer. One good thing is that now when so many of my friends are going through menopause, I'm so glad it's over with! Anyway, if it is the early stages of menopause, it is not all that unusual. As far as having another baby, it is possible to get pregnant as long as you are ovulating (still having periods) but that would be something you need to discuss with your doctor. I have a friend who was 45 and had very irregular periods but still managed to get pregnant (with no fertility assistance). You are considered post menopausal when you have not had a period for 12 months - and, no, I don't believe it is reversable (probably will be some day). Good luck!
K.M. answers from Chicago on August 15, 2008
The only way to determine is by a saliva test to see what your level of progesterone is. When our hormones are out of balance, many things can happen. Dr. John Lee, a pioneer in balancing women's horomones with bio-identical progesterone cream, has many books and one entitle "What your doctor may not tell you about menopause" and others. This is a natural way to get you balanced again and hopefully, if not truly menopause, will get your cycle back on track to get pregnant. I have some great information to pass along to you if you would like to give me your email address. Many women have been helped with this natural way and it appears that you are into alternative and healthier ways to approach your health. I am a health and wellness consultant and would be happy to provide you with information to review and a source for bio-identical natural progesterone cream. I look forward to hearing from you. Take care of yourself and I do believe in good vitamins as well. What you put in and on your body determines your long term health. I am happy to provide you with what I can. Wishing you the best!