HomeCan You Still Get Period Pains In Menopause

Can You Still Get Period Pains In Menopause

Menstrual Cramps After Menopause Is It Possible

Can Periods Restart After Menopause?

Menstrual cramps after menopause can mean many things. It can signify the presence of any of the following conditions:

1. You have not quite crossed over to menopause. If your period has stopped but has not yet stopped for a full year, its likely that your menstrual cramps are signifying that you will be having your menstruation in a few days.

2. You may have developed Endometriosis. It is a condition where tissue that should have grown in the uterus has found its way to your ovaries or some other part of your reproductive system.

Understanding menstrual cycle

3. Its possible your uterine fibroids are causing it. Most women get fibroids prior to menopause. Sometimes, when these swell and become painful and may even cause bleeding. Sexual intercourse may cause the pain and bleeding.

4. Cysts in your ovaries and uterine lining may be causing it. These may be early signs of cancer.

5. It may not have anything to do with your reproductive organs. Stomach infections, even food poisoning can cause menstrual cramp -like symptoms to develop.

Pelvic Pain During Menopause

by Amruta Inamdar | Jan 14, 2020 | Uncategorized

Change is the inevitable truth that nature teaches us! As we age, bodily changes may be very difficult to accept for some, especially if you are not well informed with how your body would change, creating possible pain during menopause. Our bodies go through cycles of change, and oftentimes, change can be both painful and scary. Staying informed and educated about these changes is empowering.

Puberty is openly discussed in school and we seem to be better educated with puberty, however, it is surprising to discover in the clinic, how misinformed women actually are when it comes down to menopause, which in turn leaves women suffering from pelvic pain during menopause.

Very often we start getting intrigued by the word menopause only when our inner clock starts calling its dues. We learn that our fertility starts to slow down, our periods get irregular and very often around the age of 50, the menstrual cycle slows down to its ultimate stop.

However, menopause can occur earlier for a variety of reasons, some of them could be hormonal, genetic predisposition, surgical, in the form of a hysterectomy and many more. It is important to know about menopause and what to expect so that we can seek medical advice and avail Pelvic PT services at the earliest if need be.

Through menopause, female bodies experience many changes, these changes can be associated with a variety of symptoms, often painful and sometimes puzzling.

Study Design And Population

The study population was derived from the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation , a multi-site, community-based, prospective observational cohort of 3,297 women. The primary aims of SWAN are to: 1) characterize the natural history of reproductive aging through the late postmenopause 2) evaluate the impact of reproductive aging on health outcomes clinically relevant to women in their 60s and 70s and 3) identify potential underlying mechanisms linking reproductive aging and health.

To be included in SWAN, women had to be between 42 and 52 years old in 1996-1997 and report at least 1 menstrual period within 3 months of the baseline study visit. Other inclusion criteria included: 1) intact uterus and at least 1 intact ovary and 2) no hormonal medications within 3 months of the baseline study visit. Each site recruited white women and one non-white ethnic/racial group . Follow-up visits occur approximately every year. Data up to and including follow-up visit 12 were available for this analysis. Written informed consent was obtained from all women. Study protocols and forms were approved by all SWAN site Institutional Review Boards.

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Your Libido Might Dip Thanks To Menopause

Its not universal, but some people with menopause report decreased libido, says Dr. Pizarro. Issue is, it’s tough for doctors to figure out how to combat a lowered sex drivethe cause isnt exactly easy to pinpoint. For decades, weve blamed loss of libido on a womans ovaries or hormones, says Libido is such a complicated thing that goes way beyond issues of the ovaries, uterus, and hormones, says Dr. Pizarro.

Beyond whatever mysterious physiological changes might affect someones libido at this life stage, adjusting to menopause’s physical changes might play a role. Adequate exercise helps make sure your blood is flowing properly, which is an essential part of getting wet during sex.

Pelvic Floor Muscle Dysfunction

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The pelvic floor is a group of muscles and other tissues that form a sling across the pelvis, which holds together the vagina, uterus, bladder, rectum, and other pelvic organs, according to the NLM. Just like any other part of your body, your pelvic floor can become weak or injured, particularly after pregnancy and childbirth, and cause symptoms such as pelvic pain, lower back pain, and the feeling of pelvic pressure or fullness that are akin to those during your period.

The standout difference from menstruation pain? If you can feel a bulge inside the vagina or, in more extreme cases, you can organs start to push out of the vaginal opening, per the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists , then you are probably dealing with pelvic floor muscular problems.

Other symptoms include pain during sex, burning feeling in the vagina and while peeing, leaking urine when you cough, laugh, or exercise, and leaking stool or hard time making it to the bathroom in time. To determine whats going on, ACOG says that your health care provide will typically conduct vaginal and rectal exams in which you may be asked to cough or strain to see if you leak.

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What To Expect From Periods After 40

Sonya Collins Brunilda Nazario, MD

Before your periods stop completely, your body makes the transition to menopause in a phase called perimenopause, which could last 2 to 10 years. During this time, when hormone levels fluctuate and eventually drop, all kinds of changes in your cycle are fair game.

And Keep In Mind That You Can Still Get Pregnant Even After The Menopause Process Starts

Because menopause is defined by not having a period for 12 months straight, when you’re perimenopausal, or transitioning towards menopause, your period may go MIA but then make a comeback at some point. Some people have breakthrough bleeding or periods in between, according to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. And while that doesnt necessarily mean that youve ovulated, it could mean that you have. And that means you could potentially get pregnant.

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How Long Does Perimenopause Last

The length of each stage of the menopause transition can vary for each individual. The average length of perimenopause is about four years. Some women may only be in this stage for a few months, while others will be in this transition phase for more than four years. If you have gone more than 12 months without having a period, you are no longer perimenopausal. However, if there are medications or medical conditions that may affect periods, it can be more difficult to know the specific stage of the menopause transition.

Can Periods Come Back After They Have Stopped

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This is another question which we are often asked. The answer is yes. Your hormones don’t fall nicely and neatly as you go through the menopause. You can have times where your hormones are falling, so you’ll get these particular symptoms I mentioned above. But then your oestrogen can start to go up again, so it can end up peaking to the point where it could trigger your periods to start back up again.

So, as I said before, there are quite a few different scenarios where this can happen.

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What Causes Uterine Cancer

Researchers are not sure of the exact cause of uterine cancer. Something happens to create changes in cells in the uterus. The mutated cells grow and multiply out of control, forming a mass called a tumor.

Certain risk factors can increase the chances youll develop uterine cancer. If youre at high risk, talk to your healthcare provider about steps you can take to protect your health.

What Is Hormone Therapy

During menopause, your body goes through major hormonal changes, decreasing the amount of hormones it makes particularly estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen and progesterone are produced by the ovaries. When your ovaries no longer make enough estrogen and progesterone, hormone therapy can be used as a supplement. Hormone therapy boosts your hormone levels and can help relieve some symptoms of menopause. Its also used as a preventative measure for osteoporosis.

There are two main types of hormone therapy:

  • Estrogen therapy : In this treatment, estrogen is taken alone. Its typically prescribed in a low dose and can be taken as a pill or patch. ET can also be given to you as a cream, vaginal ring, gel or spray. This type of treatment is used after a hysterectomy. Estrogen alone cant be used if a woman still has a uterus.
  • Estrogen Progesterone/Progestin Hormone Therapy : This treatment is also called combination therapy because it uses doses of estrogen and progesterone. Progesterone is available in its natural form, or also as a progestin . This type of hormone therapy is used if you still have your uterus.

Hormone therapy can relieve many of the symptoms of menopause, including:

  • Hot flashes and night sweats.
  • Vaginal dryness.

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An Introduction To Period Pain And Menopause

Most women experience period pain at some stage during their life. It can be a common symptom among menstruating women and part of PMS . However, as you approach the menopause, period pain may become worse again. One worrying symptom of the menopause is experiencing period pain, but having no periods. However disconcerting this may be, it is a common experience.

Period pain occurs when the muscles in the womb contract. This compresses the blood supply and reduces the level of oxygen in the tissues. This then causes you to experience pain in the lower abdomen, and sometimes in the back and thighs.

What Tests Will I Need To Diagnose Uterine Cancer

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Your provider may perform one or more tests to confirm a diagnosis of uterine cancer:

Lab tests:

  • CA-125 assay is a blood draw that measures CA-125, a protein. A certain amount of CA-125 can point to cancer in the body.

Imaging tests:

  • CT scans take a series of detailed pictures of the inside of the body.
  • MRI scans use radio waves and a powerful magnet to create images.
  • Transvaginal ultrasound inserts a special probe into the vagina to get pictures of the uterus.

Other tests:

  • Endometrial biopsy inserts a thin, flexible tube through the cervix and into the uterus. The provider removes a small amount of the endometrium.
  • Hysteroscopy inserts a hysteroscope, a long thin tube, through the vagina and cervix to reach the uterus. This narrow instrument with a light and camera provides detailed images of the uterus.
  • Dilation and curettage is a more complex procedure to remove uterine tissue. It takes place in the operating room.

If you had a D& C or biopsy to remove tissue samples, your provider then sends the sample to a lab. There, a pathologist looks at the tissue to confirm if theres cancer.

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How Will Menopause Affect Me

Symptoms of menopause may begin suddenly and be very noticeable, or they may be very mild at first. Symptoms may happen most of the time once they begin, or they may happen only once in a while. Some women notice changes in many areas. Some menopausal symptoms, such as moodiness, are similar to symptoms of premenstrual syndrome . Others may be new to you. For example:

  • Your menstrual periods may not come as regularly as before. They also might last longer or be shorter. You might skip some months. Periods might stop for a few months and then start up again.
  • Your periods might be heavier or lighter than before.
  • You might have hot flashes and problems sleeping.
  • You might experience mood swings or be irritable.
  • You might experience vaginal dryness. Sex may be uncomfortable or painful.
  • You may have less interest in sex. It may take longer for you to get aroused.

Other possible changes are not as noticeable. For example, you might begin to lose bone density because you have less estrogen. This can lead to osteoporosis, a condition that causes bones to become weak and break easily. Changing estrogen levels can also raise cholesterol levels and increase your risk for heart disease and stroke.

Talk to your doctor about possible for your menopause symptoms if they bother you.

What Are The Hormonal Changes During Menopause

The traditional changes we think of as “menopause” happen when the ovaries no longer produce high levels of hormones. The ovaries are the reproductive glands that store eggs and release them into the fallopian tubes. They also produce the female hormones estrogen and progesterone as well as testosterone. Together, estrogen and progesterone control menstruation. Estrogen also influences how the body uses calcium and maintains cholesterol levels in the blood.

As menopause nears, the ovaries no longer release eggs into the fallopian tubes, and youll have your last menstrual cycle.

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So What Kind Of Symptoms Are You Likely To Get

Most women will find their symptoms to be very similar to the ones they had before they started menopause. But, sometimes, they can be exaggerated and they can even be worse than they were before, which is not a nice situation to be in.

So, you might find that you get cramping, which tends to be the most common symptom. You can get the bloating. You can get the sugar cravings. You can get the breast tenderness, the irritability, the bad mood, the anger.

You might find that you get constipated, and you might find that you just feel really uncomfortable and heavy in this particular area.

What Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider

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If youve received a uterine cancer diagnosis, ask your provider:

  • What is the cancers stage?
  • What treatment options will be best for me?
  • Will I need more than one treatment?
  • Are there clinical trials I can take part in?
  • Whats the goal of treatment?
  • What can I expect after treatment?
  • Will cancer come back?
  • Am I at high risk for other cancers?

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Can Menopause Cause Depression

Your body goes through a lot of changes during menopause. There are extreme shifts in your hormone levels, you may not be sleeping well because of hot flashes and you may be experiencing mood swings. Anxiety and fear could also be at play during this time. All of these factors can lead to depression.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of depression, talk to your healthcare provider. During your conversation, your provider will tell you about different types of treatment and check to make sure there isnt another medical condition causing your depression. Thyroid problems can sometimes be the cause of depression.

What Else Does An Endometrial Cancer Diagnosis Show

If healthcare providers diagnose endometrial cancer, they also need to determine the type. The type helps the care team figure out the best treatment:

  • Type 1 endometrial cancers are less aggressive. They usually dont spread to other tissues quickly.
  • Type 2 endometrial cancers are more aggressive. Theyre more likely to spread outside of the uterus and need stronger treatment.

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Specialist Answers On Menopausal Cramps And Thickened Uterine Lining

Q1. I am 55 and have been menopausal for four years now. A few months ago, I started having pain that feels exactly like menstrual cramps. It’s getting more frequent. Is this still related to menopause, or something else? Is it normal to feel cramps? I haven’t had any diarrhea.

If by saying menopausal you mean that you havent had a period for four years, then it is not normal to be having pains like menstrual cramps unless, of course, you are on hormone therapy. Without estrogen, your female pelvic organs sort of go into hibernation. Once they are in this quiescent state, they should not cause any symptoms.

You mention diarrhea, and you are correct that a likely source of cramps in a postmenopausal woman is her gastrointestinal tract. You should see a doctor and have this evaluated. In the meantime, keep a diary of what activities and foods might provoke your cramps.

Q2. I have been told that it is very common for postmenopausal women to have a thickened uterine lining. Can you tell me the measurements of this thickening and what they mean? How high does the scale go?

Pam, Rhode Island

In postmenopausal women, the lining of the uterus should really be no thicker than 4 to 5 millimeters. If you are truly postmenopausal and not on hormone therapy which can thicken the uterine lining and your measurement is above 4 to 5 mm, your doctor may want to investigate further.

Learn more in the Everyday Health Menopause Center.

What Are The Long

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There are several conditions that you could be at a higher risk of after menopause. Your risk for any condition depends on many things like your family history, your health before menopause and lifestyle factors . Two conditions that affect your health after menopause are osteoporosis and coronary artery disease.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis, a “brittle-bone” disease, occurs when the inside of bones become less dense, making them more fragile and likely to fracture. Estrogen plays an important role in preserving bone mass. Estrogen signals cells in the bones to stop breaking down.

Women lose an average of 25% of their bone mass from the time of menopause to age 60. This is largely because of the loss of estrogen. Over time, this loss of bone can lead to bone fractures. Your healthcare provider may want to test the strength of your bones over time. Bone mineral density testing, also called bone densitometry, is a quick way to see how much calcium you have in certain parts of your bones. The test is used to detectosteoporosis and osteopenia. Osteopenia is a disease where bone density is decreased and this can be a precursor to later osteoporosis.

If you have osteoporosis or osteopenia, your treatment options could include estrogen therapy.

Coronary artery disease

  • The loss of estrogen .
  • Increased blood pressure.
  • A decrease in physical activity.
  • Bad habits from your past catching up with you .

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