If You Are Considering Getting Off Birth Control Pills
Its difficult for any practitioner to assess whats really happening to your hormones while youre on the Pill. So a conventional practitioner may simply pick an age , and move you then from BCPs directly to HRT.
This is a convenient way of keeping your appointment time to a minimum, but I dont think its good medicine. The major problem is that this denies your body the chance to progress naturally from one stage to the next, finding its own balance. The second problem is that you arent given full information about your choices and their consequences. And the third problem is that youre missing the great purpose of menopause reclaiming your life and your health.
Its true that dropping BCPs cold turkey after many years of use, for some women, can result in some very unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Your body has been trained to depend on the synthetic hormones and may be making fewer of its own. And despite the kind of muzzle the Pill puts on your endocrine system, its still trying to make the transition into menopause.
The bottom line is that BCPs can be a great choice for one woman and a poor choice for another and what was right for you in your 20s or 30s may not be appropriate in your 40s or 50s. The same caveat applies to HRT in menopause. Some conventional doctors brush over these issues for patients on the Pill. You dont have to be pushed from one pill to the next!
When Does Perimenopause Start
The average age of menopause is 51, and perimenopause symptoms typically begin about four years before your final period. Most women start to notice perimenopause symptoms in their 40s. But perimenopause can happen a little earlier or later, too. The best predictor of when your final period will be is the age at which your mother entered menopause .
When Does Menopause Usually Happen
Menopause happens when you have gone 12 months in a row without a period. The average age of menopause in the United States is 52. The range for women is usually between 45 and 58.2 One way to tell when you might go through menopause is the age your mother went through it.3
Menopause may happen earlier if you:
- Never had children. Pregnancy, especially more than one pregnancy, may delay menopause.4
- Smoke. Studies show smoking can cause you to start menopause up to two years earlier than women who dont smoke.5
Certain health problems can also cause you to start menopause earlier.
Menopause usually happens on its own. However, you may enter menopause earlier than you normally would if you have had chemotherapy or surgery to remove both ovaries. Learn more about early menopause on our Early or premature menopause page.
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No Period But Still Pms
Hi all you lovely ladies out there, hope your all doing as best as you can going the this crap called the menopause
Just a quick question, Iv been going through the menopause for over 4 years now, my last period was 9mths ago can any one say, do you still get the lows that we always use to get just before having a period ????
I dont get any other symptoms like saw boobs, stomac ach, when your due to start a period, just 3/4 days of that feeling of low mood again, is that normal to feel like its PMS with out the symptoms ??? Im on a strong dose of antidepressants at the moment that does work wonders, and I feel loads better then I use to do, just prob once a month my mood drops for a few days, then back to normal, just wondering if it possible that y your going through the menopause without the periods, you would still get low days as tho your just going start???
Any answer be great, big hug to all of you out there xx
0 likes, 6 replies
Posted 4 years ago
Yes, I still them every now and then even though I am seven years post menopausal. But not very often as I used to when I first stopped my period. I call it phantom PMS. Lol!
Are There Any Side
Vitamin supplements and complementary therapies to relieve the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome can cause side-effects for example, calcium supplements can cause indigestion.
With hormonal treatments, sometimes a woman can be sensitive to the hormone and experience side-effects such as nausea or breast tenderness.
Some women feel nauseated or drowsy when they first take selective serotonin receptor inhibitors but these side-effects usually settle. This medication can also affect .
Women should discuss any concerns about the treatment options or side-effects mentioned with their doctor.
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Getting Your Period Again Once Off The Pill
Every woman going off the Pill should consider her cycle when she makes decisions about other birth control methods. Importantly, the bleeding pattern you had while on the Pill does not predict what will occur when you go off.
If you stop taking birth control hormones and do not get a period, dont just assume youve entered menopause or that youre pregnant ! As I mentioned above, a woman can sometimes take several months to settle back into her natural hormonal rhythm.
If six months to a year goes by without a period, talk to your doctor about menopause and ask for an FSH test. If 18 months go by without a period and your blood test indicates menopause, it is safe to assume that you will not get pregnant. Until then, again, if you do not want to become pregnant, you should practice some form of birth control or abstinence.
What Is Perimenopause
Perimenopause has been variously defined, but experts generally agree that it begins with irregular menstrual cycles courtesy of declining ovarian function and ends a year after the last menstrual period.
Perimenopause varies greatly from one woman to the next. The average duration is three to four years, although it can last just a few months or extend as long as a decade. Some women feel buffeted by hot flashes and wiped out by heavy periods many have no bothersome symptoms. Periods may end more or less abruptly for some, while others may menstruate erratically for years. Fortunately, as knowledge about reproductive aging has grown, so have the options for treating some of its more distressing features.
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What Are The Longer
The frequency and severity of premenstrual syndrome varies from woman to woman and in each individual woman from month to month.
The greatest prevalence appears to be among women aged 30 to 50 but women can also experience a worsening of their symptoms around the time of their menopause . Also it is a common time for a woman to experience stress in her life, for example as children leave home and ageing parents become more dependent. Hormone replacement therapy can be used to treat symptoms due to the menopause and has a variable effect on symptoms experienced as part of premenstrual syndrome, which can occur during the perimenopausal period.
Premenstrual syndrome should resolve when the woman has passed her menopause as the woman no longer has a menstrual cycle with the associated cyclic release of steroid hormones from the ovary. Likewise, during pregnancy there will be no cyclical symptoms. However, women may experience similar symptoms such as abdominal bloating, breast tenderness and mood swings during pregnancy as levels of progesterone are high.
Menopause Can Have Mental And Emotional Effects Too
Most people dont like their period, but when it goes away you feel your age, Dr. Rowen tells SELF. For some people, the idea of losing their period can be psychologically distressing.And as we mentioned, your hormones, specifically estrogen and progesterone, change during menopause. And this change may cause feelings of anxiety and depression. Lower estrogen can also trigger hot flashes that make it difficult to sleep, leading to mood swings and anxiety. Coupled with any emotional distress from losing your period, and you understandably may not be in the mood to have sex. If you feel down for more than two weeks, you may be depressed and want to speak with a therapist, the Cleveland Clinic recommends. However, finding a therapist can be a long, and often stressful, process. . Generally, you will want to start by asking your insurance company for a list of providers. If you dont have insurance, websites like Open Path include therapists who offer reduced-fee sessions.
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Physical Symptoms Of Perimenopause Include So Much More Than Hot Flushes Night Sweats And Irregular Periods:
Vaginal dryness soreness, vulnerability to infections, pain during sex
Incontinence stress incontinence or urgency
Joint pain or general aches and pains
Cyclical breast pain
Digestive changes constipation or diarrhoea
Weight gain around the tummy
Headaches migraines before a period or at any time
If these symptoms are occurring alongside a change in periods, it is likely you are in perimenopause.
It’s also possible to still have regular periods and be in perimenopause, but there may be subtle changes such as a slightly shorter cycle maybe 24 days instead of 29 or heavier or lighter bleeding.
There is a huge variation in what women experience with their cycles: some women miss a period then have several more regular ones before missing another. This can continue, as Dr Currie says, ‘For many years. It’s a gradual transition.’
Hysterectomy With Ovaries Left Intact
People who have their ovaries intact, but without their uterus, won’t get their period anymore. They may, however, still experience premenstrual syndrome or premenstrual dysphoric disorder because the hormones made by the ovaries cause the body to continue to “cycle” monthly.
Occasionally, people whose ovaries were not removed during a hysterectomy experience hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. This is mostly due to the disturbance of the blood supply to the ovaries during surgery.
In addition, some people may undergo menopause a few years sooner than they normally would if they never underwent a hysterectomy .
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Can I Have An Orgasm After Menopause
Yes, you can still have an orgasm after menopause. An orgasm may feel hard to achieve once you have reached menopause, but there is no physical reason to prevent you from having an orgasm. Using lubricants and increasing foreplay can help with discomfort. Try to be open with your partner about your feelings and talk to them about what feels good.
Why Is Pms Worse During Perimenopause
The cycle changes that happen during perimenopause may be the root cause of your worst PMS symptomsand they can be quite surprising. As they age, many women expect their periods to grow less frequent until they stop altogether. But thats not always the case. You could experience shorter total cycles, which means your period might come more frequently and you experience more frequent PMS symptoms. You could skip a period altogether and then have an exceptionally heavy cycle. You could miss periods for three months straight and then have your cycle run like clockwork once again. All of these experiences could make PMS seem significantly worse than normal.
You may also experience new or aggravated menstruation-related symptoms due to heavier bleeding. Women experience heavier flow during perimenopause primarily due to changes in the reproductive organs: the ovaries produce fewer ovulations, but the uterus continues to produce the same amount of lining. If you are menstruating less frequently, your body will have built up a thicker lining by the time your period finally arrives, resulting in heavier flow. In fact, some women bleed so much that they become anemic. If youre concerned about heavy bleeding in addition to your severe PMS symptoms, consult a doctor immediately.
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How Often Do I Need To See My Doctor After Menopause
You should still see your healthcare provider for routine gynecological care even though you aren’t menstruating. This includes Pap tests, pelvic exams, breast exams and mammograms. You should continue to schedule annual wellness appointments. Since you are at an increased risk for osteoporosis, providers usually recommend bone density screenings as well. Talk to your healthcare provider to determine how often you should make check-up appointments based on your health history.
How Do You Know You’re In Postmenopause
Your healthcare provider will be able to tell you if you’re in postmenopause based on your symptoms and how long it’s been since your last menstrual period. In some cases, your healthcare provider will take a blood sample and check your hormone levels to confirm you’ve gone through menopause. Remember, you’re not considered to be through menopause until it’s been over one year since youve had a period.
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The Choice To Use Birth Control Is Yours
We want our readers to have the best, most up-to-date information so they can make decisions that work well for them.
Whether you choose to stay on the Pill or to come off it, supporting your body through optimal nutrition and lifestyle should be high on your list. The better you treat yourself while on the Pill, the easier your transition will be when you do inevitably come off it. Plus, you will already have the positive health measures in place to help you overcome hormonal imbalance symptoms in perimenopause and beyond.
Cibula, D., et al. 2010. Hormonal contraception and risk of cancer. Hum. Reprod. Update, 16 , 631650. URL : http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20543200 .
Figueiredo, J., et al. 2010. Oral contraceptives and postmenopausal hormones and risk of contralateral breast cancer among BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers and noncarriers: The WECARE Study. Breast Cancer Res. Treat., 120 , 175183. URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2835545/?tool=pubmed .
Rosenberg, L., et al. 2009. A case-control study of oral contraceptive use and incident breast cancer. Am. J. Epidemiol., 169 , 473479. URL: http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/169/4/473.long .
Lee, E., et al. 2007. Effect of reproductive factors and oral contraceptives on breast cancer risk in BRCA1/2 mutation carriers and noncarriers: Results from a population-based study. Cancer Epidemiol. Biomarkers Prev., 17 , 31703178. URL: http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/17/11/3170.long .
What Is Premenstrual Syndrome
Woman pressing her abdomen to relieve cramps due to premenstrual syndrome.
Most women experience some symptoms in the days leading up to their monthly period . Each womans symptoms are different and can vary month to month. If these symptoms, which can manifest as physical, behavioural and , recur and are severe enough to impact on the womans daily life they are defined as premenstrual syndrome. Symptoms usually disappear or significantly decrease by the end of menstruation. More severe PMS is known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder .
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Should I Continue Using Birth Control During The Transition To Menopause
Yes. You can still get pregnant during perimenopause, the transition to menopause, even if you miss your period for a month or a few months. During perimenopause you may still ovulate, or release an egg, on some months.
But it is impossible to know for sure when you will ovulate. If you dont want to get pregnant, you should continue to use birth control until one full year after your last period. Talk to your doctor about your birth control needs. Learn more about different birth control methods.
You cant get pregnant after menopause, but anyone who has sex can get sexually transmitted infections . If you are not in a monogamous relationship in which you and your partner have sex with each other and no one else, protect yourself by using a male condom or dental dam correctly every time you have vaginal, oral, or anal sex. After menopause you may be more likely to get an STI from sex without a condom. Vaginal dryness or irritation is more common after menopause and can cause small cuts or tears during sex, exposing you to STIs.
What Is Premature Menopause
Menopause, when it occurs between the ages of 45 and 55, is considered “natural” and is a normal part of aging. But, some people can experience menopause early, either as a result of surgical intervention or damage to the ovaries . Menopause that occurs before the age of 45 is called early menopause. Menopause that occurs at 40 or younger is considered premature menopause. When there this no medical or surgical cause for premature menopause it’s called primary ovarian insufficiency.
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How Are Cramps After Menopause Diagnosed
If you have cramps after menopause, make an appointment with your primary care doctor or OB-GYN so you can find out whats causing them. Your doctor may do a pelvic exam to look at your uterus to see if there are any physical problems.
You might also need imaging tests to look inside your body at your uterus or ovaries. These tests can include:
- a CT scan
- an MRI scan
- a hysterosonography and hysteroscopy, which involve placing a salt and water solution, or saline, into your uterus so the doctor can examine it more easily
- an ultrasound, which uses sound waves to create pictures of the inside of your body
If your doctor suspects you have cancer, you may need to have a procedure to remove a piece of tissue from your uterus or ovaries. This is called a biopsy. A specialist called a pathologist will look at the tissue under a microscope to determine if its cancerous.
What Hormonal Changes Happen During Menopause
The traditional changes we think of as “menopause” happen when your 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 your body uses calcium and maintains cholesterol levels in the blood.
As menopause nears, your ovaries no longer release eggs into the fallopian tubes, and youll have your last menstrual cycle.
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