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 Wishes Granted
Joined: 3/6/2008
Msg: 26
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Menopause and The Aftermath of its Wake.Page 2 of 5    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
Wow.. we go through so many changes that are hard to accept and most of us experiencing the same type of hell. I actually fempathize with the men and family members who have to indure.

I remember my mother as well.. crazy as freakin loon at times and me 18 years old and taking a lot of the brunt of her mood swings.. Dad was a trooper though. I'm thankful my daughter was away at school for most of it .. her and I are still very close.

My ex partially blames our split on menopause but concedes it was because I didnt' have the patience to put up with his crap.

Those going through peri-menopause.. I suggest you read everything you can on the subject because peri is just the beginning.. the worst to come is after your last period.. at least it was for me. (and I suppose those around me as well)

For a hilarious view of 4 different women going through this.. I suggest you go see the play "Menopause Outloud".. A musical tribute. Funny as hell and all very true.

I've been out for the evening and I wanted to thank everyone for sharing. I hope more will contribute and help educate as well.
Joined: 4/14/2009
Msg: 27
Menopause and The Aftermath of its Wake.
Posted: 5/26/2009 8:26:27 PM
Menopause, mental anguish, menstrual cramps. Ever notice how all our problems begin with men? LOL!
I had a total hysterectomy at 22, went trough hell for years and now at the ripe old age of 45 it's like I'm going through it all again, yikes! Hot flashes, night sweats and mood swings are terrible. Sex drive, still strong as ever, vaginal dryness? No way. Crying spells and mood swings that have just destroyed a good friendship. Can't wait for this shit to be done with.
I never had cramps or pms but after I lost 2 babies and then had my 2 darlings the cramps and pms got worse after each pregnancy, the Dr. said that was normal so the menopause would be worse because of the surgery at such a young age.
I will warn you ladies and it came as a surprise to me that you can have tubal and ectopic pregnancies even if you have a partial hysterectomy. I first had all removed but one ovary and sure enough I had an ectopic pregnancy in the one ovary that was left and a woman I work with had her 5th baby during menopause.
Joined: 4/2/2009
Msg: 28
Menopause and The Aftermath of its Wake.
Posted: 5/26/2009 9:28:19 PM

My mother was 40 when I was born so she went through the "change" when I was still quite young, maybe less than 10 years old. She was not a pleasant person to be around, putting it mildly. "They" say it can last up to 10 years, so most of my childhood/teen years were during that time. I also heard stories of what my older sister went through. Neither of them got any medical treatment or anything! I resolved that I would look for whatever would help.

When I began, at about 45, I could deal with the hot flashes and night sweats, it was the horrible anxiety attacks that were almost debilitating. This was at the time that the medical community stopped the hormone treatments which I don't think I would have taken anyway. I ended up taking zoloft for the anxiety attacks and that lessened the other symptoms. Thank goodness it didn't affect my sex drive. :-)

It's awful to go through times when we are "prisoners" of our own bodies/hormones.
Joined: 7/30/2008
Msg: 29
Menopause and The Aftermath of its Wake.
Posted: 5/27/2009 6:41:59 AM
hmm.. Well the way I see it, esp in these hard economic times - I'm sort of a 'package deal' - ie: The heats' included with the rent! lol ..

That said .. Menopause is just another of the physical changes our bodies go through .. and hormones are influenced by diet and lifestyle - Way more than most of us give credit. A few years back I was put on "premarine" .. Did me more harm than good. Today - I do my best to watch what I eat and drink and have found That is the best route for me. Sure I have hot And cold flashes .. but for the most part my moods are level, 'I' have control of me and I don't have to worry about potential side effects from being guinea pigged by pharmaceutical companies. Speaking ONLY for me of course.

Puberty, PMS, Mid-life, Menopause .. blahblahblah .. We humans are packed with a variety of hormones and it isn't 'just' women who can be adversely affected by an imbalance (temporary or otherwise) .. I've met a few men who could use a little more (some a whole lot less) testosterone! lol ..

None of these changes have to be avoided and none of them 'need' be a "bad" thing. They are simply Natural changes that all our bodies go through at different stages. Accepting, embracing and educating ourselves make all that stuff a whole lot easier. .. I Know this to be true!

Only 2 cups of coffee in the a.m. OR I'm in for some temperature swings! .. and msg?? omg .. I "should" avoid msg .. I really 'should' .. BUT .. there are some things that I just Love to indulge in .. so I do so (occasionally) .. knowing full well I'll pay for it later .. people sit closer to me on cool winter/spring/fall evenings.. hehe .. so far I haven't charged anyone for the extra heat.. ;)

Hot flash = Power surge
Mood Swing = (either) Angelic or Demonic possession
Crying jags = just a nice sensitive moment .. hehe ..
Heart Palpitations = Breathe in (deep) .. let it out .. works every time..

"Most" of us come out the other side waaaaaaaaaay better than before. I'm much more comfortable in my own skin (even when it is heated) .. I am less likely to sweat the small stuff .. why double up?? lol ..

Anyway .. it really doesn't have to be 'that' bad .. Watch what you eat - get out and walk, fresh air is awesome! .. and Laugh Laugh Laugh - esp at your own self! Or just join me and laugh at me! (Today anyway) ..

Joined: 7/24/2007
Msg: 30
Menopause and The Aftermath of its Wake.
Posted: 5/27/2009 7:11:47 AM
My family medical history has alotta women who begin experiencing perimenopause or other 'female problems' in their 30s. Most of them had hysts by the time they reached 45. I was no exception. It started with light 'break thru' periods in mid-cycle. Those became more frequent until I was spotting more often than not. When the endometrial ablation hit the scene I seemed like a prime candidate so the doc tried it. He cautioned he wasn't sure whether I would have periods have the procedure or not. I didn't... for about a year... then it was back to the same ol' BS. Then he tried Deprovera injection. Again, worked for about a year. During all this my partner noted an increase in irritability during certain times of the month whether I was having periods or not. Then I get quite upset and indignant when he would point it out.

When I was in my late 30s I had a few episodes where it felt like the belch from h*** was building in my chest and throat. I thought the seeming increase in body temp at those times was attributable to lack of oxygen or something. A few times when I was driving I had to pull over to the shoulder, certain I was having a heart attack. The doc laughed when I described the symptoms and told me I was having a "classic, textbook hotflash." I tried Estroven and several other herbal remedies but none of it helped.

All together it took about 10 years and arguing with several doctors to finally have a hyst right before I turned 40, and I threw in bladder repair while I was at it. It is the greatest gift I ever gave to myself. I elect to use an HRT with testosterone. I may have to pluck a whisker now and then and it may put me at risk for other health problems, but I don't experience mood swings, hot flashes or night sweats so I'll die a very happy woman with a satisfying sex life.
Joined: 12/8/2007
Msg: 31
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Menopause and The Aftermath of its Wake.
Posted: 5/27/2009 7:12:32 AM
I'm a bit unusual but my story is that at 27 years old we (while married) tried to do in vitro fertilizaiton to get pregnant but I didn't make eggs. They tested my hormones and they were on the edge of bad. Like a normal 40 year old female's.

So I knew I would enter menopause early. Turns out my mom did as well.

In 2005 my cycles shortened by almost a week, which is the first sign of perimenopause. I also had the usual mood swings up and down, up and down. Went to dr and sure enough I was in perimenopause (he tested my fsh levels).

Because I was only 32, he put me on bcps (regular birth control pills). As he put it, it's normal for women my age to be on them still.

Plus you can get pregnant while in perimenopause. And this time is characterized by hormone levels that fluctuate adding estrogen would be like adding oxygen to a fire. Bad. The bcps regulated my levels.

We also started looking at my bones because to me, that was my biggest worry - osteoporosis due to the early age of losing estrogen.

I am 36 now and still on the bcps. I don't know if I"m in full menopause now or not since I"d have to go off the hormones to find out. The only other change I made was I went on an anti-depressant and anti-anxiety. My mild anxiety got worse when I was 33 for no apparent reason - but I suspect it was due ot the hormone issue. I am doing GREAT now though.

And luckily my libido has been awesome throughout it all! In fact, it's way better than before. Crazy better!

Due ot my age, I will probably stay on hormones as long as I can. No history of breast cancer in my family, but I do have family history of osteoporosis. In my mom and her parents. I'm scared to death of having brittle bones. I take calcium, drink a lot of milk, and "walk" which is bone building exercise (b/c it's weight bearing)

Incidentally, my blood pressure and cholesterol have also gone up in the last few years. Coincidence? I don't know.

Perimenopause at 32 is unusual, but then again most women don't know the signs to look for it an dmost women don't know they have a poor ovarian reserve unless they do fertility treatments. I'm just glad I had my son at 30 because my baby making days are gone. (I adopted my daughter before him)
Joined: 12/29/2008
Msg: 32
Menopause and The Aftermath of its Wake.
Posted: 5/27/2009 7:13:41 AM
My PMS has turned to PMDD, where I am experiencing extreme emotions around "that time". It's beginning to affect those around me. I just call it pre-menopause. I dread even thinking what will happen 10 yrs from now.

I couldn't tell with my mother cause she's always been mean, worse when she drinks.
 Wishes Granted
Joined: 3/6/2008
Msg: 33
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Menopause and The Aftermath of its Wake.
Posted: 5/27/2009 11:05:37 AM

I dread even thinking what will happen 10 yrs from now.
Read all you can about what's going to happen.. most of it has been relayed here and will be experienced to one degree or another. Cham. is lucky.. she (and a few others) seem to have transitioned without too much emotional/physical upheaval. (congrats :0)

I think men would benefit (in general) by being prepared to deal with women in this stage of their lives. Knowledge is power!

Many have mentioned anxiety.. I had my first anxiety attack as well.. but thankfully they've stopped as well.. Total years from first hot flash until most all sypmtoms disappearing was about 10 years. :0( from around 40-50)
Joined: 12/21/2008
Msg: 34
Menopause and The Aftermath of its Wake.
Posted: 5/27/2009 12:22:07 PM
HMMMMMmmmmm...I count my self very lucky.

As a young girl I heard all the tales of horror regarding the passage throughMP. I am here to say that MP was one of the best times of my life. I did not have to be shackled up on the iron rings in the sub-terrainian bowels of a medieval insane asylum after all!!

At times though I still need my little hand held paper japanese fan!

Joined: 2/14/2006
Msg: 35
Menopause and The Aftermath of its Wake.
Posted: 5/27/2009 1:39:27 PM
I really wasn't experiencing any problems other than menstrual periods being somewhat irregular and becoming more widely spaced. Dr did routine blood testing as part of annual physical, informed me that I was indeed in menopause and without my even asking, handed me samples of HRT pills and a scrip for more of the same. I threw it all away when I got home, went to the local health food store and bought a black cohosh based product.( I have a philosophical objection to the production of Premarin products. I would never discourage anyone who needs them from using the product but it was my personal decision to find another alternative)
I have not experienced the hormonal symptoms to any significance, but we are monitoring my bone and heart health, and I am taking other vitamins , minerals and dietary supplements to address any potential issues. Were it to become necessary to do HRT to prevent heart disease or serious osteoporosis, I would do so.
When I first was going into menopause, combined with not having a steady outlet( my husband passed away before that) my libido went into hyper drive.Fortunately I got thru that without any lasting ill effects(this is where FwB can be a blessing!) Now it seems to have stabilized,and for the time being, I think I'm better served by that. Should I find myself in a meaningful relationship and suffering from diminished libido, you damn betcha I'd be finding a solution, not sitting there wringing my hands and letting it wreck my love life.

To all the women who reported that either their mother's, or their own menopause experiences were nothing short of hellish, where were your doctors!?
If your symptoms were damaging your relationships and your work, you would have been more than justified to seek medical strategies, and if your dr or your family took the attitude that it was all part of the suffering that a woman deserves,why did you buy into that BS?
If you were a skier, and you fell and broke a leg, would you just "tough it out" because broken legs are part of a skiers life? of course not! I fail to see where severe menopause symptoms( hot flashes,emotional instability, loss of libido, significant fatigue, anxiety, or memory/focus problems) are any different than a skier who happens to break her leg. YOU GET HELP. IF YOUR OWN DOCTOR DISMISSES YOUR ISSUES,FIND ONE WHO DOESN'T.
I'm sorry, but those who report that menopause destroyed their marriage/partner relationship,why did the 2 of you let that happen?? Please understand my heart goes out to those who simply could not find effective treatment. But for those who just let it happen, and I'm talking to the MEN too, because you were ashamed or embarrassed to discuss the issues and seek help, I just don't GET it. Granted, severe menopausal symptoms probably never killed anybody(at least not directly) but if the issue was f*cking up your life to no end,you would have been more than justified to seek treatment for the symptoms.
Cindy O
Cindy O
Joined: 4/10/2009
Msg: 37
Menopause and The Aftermath of its Wake.
Posted: 5/27/2009 2:21:26 PM
Oprah recently did a show on bioidentical hormone replacement therapy ... her guests were the information highway on the ground breaking work in this area... She did not have Dr. Schwarzbein on .. who is the leading expert on insulin and hormone controls.... read Suzanne Somers books as well .. she is an expert lay person in this field and a spokesperson making issue about health and hormones forefront in the media..

I agree with the experts in this field that hormone replacement therapy with bioidentical replacement should be a free option for all women who need it .... this is becoming increasingly prevalent in our society and it is organically and metabolically based. Alleviating symptoms and feeling okay is not only helpful but offers a balanced endocrin system .. bonus is you age much healthier ...

Bottom line is to get the proper blood work done to find out where your levels are then explore the options and deciding what you want to do.
 Wishes Granted
Joined: 3/6/2008
Msg: 38
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Menopause and The Aftermath of its Wake.
Posted: 5/27/2009 2:28:57 PM
I can't speak for anyone else, but in my case.. I would be putting myself in danger of breast cancer if I was to take hormone replacement therapy.. My mother and my aunt on my dad's side both had breast cancer that was estrogene related so It was on Both sides of the family. He told me the risk was too great and temporarily put me on Paxil which did nothing for me except delay my ability to orgasm.. it didn't affect my libido though so I found that where I was once quite easily able to "finish" I now became extremely hard to get off.. Who the "f" wants THAT?

Natural remedies (such as black cohash) did nothing to aleviate any symptoms.???

Edit: The Dr. also later warned me to read labels for products with natural producing estrogen (such a soy milk) because even too much of that could lead to tumours associated to estrogen)

As a side note: My father who has prostate cancer is now taking hormone shots to halt the spread of his cancer and he was warned to expect hot flashes and the possible growth of his breasts.. So far, he's having the hot flashes and says "now I really know what your mother went through" He's also been quite emotional.. but that could be do to the psychological aspect of knowing he has cancer?????
Joined: 7/24/2007
Msg: 39
Menopause and The Aftermath of its Wake.
Posted: 5/27/2009 2:52:47 PM
While I agree with your sentiment I think you're being a lil' harsh (without having all the info) about seeking and insisting on getting help.
First, in today's insurance/medical climate, many cannot just run from doctor to doctor until they find one they feel truly listens and responds appropriate to their complaints/concerns.
Top that off with what seems to be an over abundance of doctors who don't keep themselves informed or just don't give a rip. After all, it isn't impacting THEIR personal lives and they're getting their money upfront so there's no true incentive to do the best they can by their patients.
Personally, I went to (or shall I say thru? LOL!) several doctors, and I still didn't get any satisfaction (beyond temporary relief) until my husband b****ed to HIS doctor about my mood swings and the decline of our sex life and then that doctor called my doctor. It really pi**ed me off too. LOL! Imagine: If I bled to death from always having a period, that was acceptable to them I guess, but God forbid my husband should suffer a decrease in frequency of sex.
Joined: 7/17/2008
Msg: 40
Menopause and The Aftermath of its Wake.
Posted: 5/27/2009 5:36:41 PM
The worst part of going through menopause was the anxiety attacks. I bargained with God plenty; send me hot flashes instead! I tried the usual route of prescription meds, with so-so results. The last was Zoloft. It caused a horrible rash which progressed all over my body. After I stopped that drug and things calmed down, I tried various herbs with little or no results. Finally, I just toughed it out and one fine day the anxiety just vanished.

If you can, find yourself a doctor who specializes in bioidentical plant hormones and use them instead of horse hormones. Like another poster, I have a strong philosophical opposition to using anything like that. Poor horses.

Now things have leveled out and it's great! No anxiety, no mood swings, great sex drive - who could ask for more? Well, maybe Harrison Ford stopping by....
Joined: 2/14/2006
Msg: 41
Menopause and The Aftermath of its Wake.
Posted: 5/27/2009 7:34:25 PM
I don't want to imply that I do not recognize that for some women, any form of HRT is unwise, it's not those women I was referencing. Nor is it the women who genuinely find themselves with unsympathetic doctors and limited options. But we aren't talking about just "hot flashes and mood swings" here, because hormone deficiencies/imbalances can also put your bone and heart health at risk.
The doctor who automatically handed me the samples of HRT product and Rx for more of same didn't utter a peep about hot flashes, mood swings or anxiety, he spoke of bone and heart health. If your doctor doesn't give a rat's ass about heart disease and osteoporosis, you seriously need a new doctor!
The women I'm speaking of are the ones who simply accepted that suffering a hellish menopause was part of their lot in life, those who were too "embarrassed" to discuss their symptoms with a health professional, or who accepted being dismissed with a pat on the head and a "there there, all women are miserable when they go thru the 'change of life'. (Personally, I would be in a big hurry to LOSE a doctor that used such a tired and outdated epheumism for menopause). Those are the women I speak of.
It's 2009, folks. I know it was a woman who committed the first sin, but I think by now it would make sense to STOP punishing them,or, as women, to stop allowing ourselves to BE punished by indifferent medical providers.
If there are medical issues that make actual HRT of any kind unwise, I for one would rather see a woman at least TRY to treat whatever symptoms she can by any other feasible means,rather than just let menopause issues make a shambles of her life. That's the part I don't get.
Cindy O
 U make it entertaining
Joined: 7/17/2009
Msg: 42
Menopause and The Aftermath of its Wake.
Posted: 7/20/2009 5:58:13 PM

I think men would benefit (in general) by being prepared to deal with women in this stage of their lives. Knowledge is power!

Perfectly said Wishes Granted!

I started when I was 38, same as my mother. So it holds true that it is hereditary. I am now 51 and still suffer from hot flashes. I try to keep it under control with EstrAval (from Melaleuca). It contains dried black cohosh extract, dried soy extract, and dried dong quai extract’, which works wonders. A couple of months ago I thought I was over everything so I stopped taking it. OMG…not good. Everything came back full force. So, I am back on.

At 40 I went to a specialist and started HRT replacement. I was on it for 5 years, and it was a wonderful feeling to behave rationally, ALL THE TIME! Unfortunately, at my daughter’s request (they state that you should not be on HRT for more that 5 years, due to the high risk of cancer outlined above) I went off the pills.

My cycle returned (what kind of cruel joke is that?), along with every other nasty symptom. So, for the last 6 years I have been going through it with EstrAval, and hiding when one of my cycles decides to show it’s ugly head. For the last 3 weeks I have been engorging myself with chocolate…seems like this always happens prior to a cycle. I ended up gaining 7 pounds, and then my brain ceased to function.

I am so fortunate that my 18 year old son fully understands what his mother is going through. He will be a blessing to his partner when that time comes. He brings me flowers from my garden, gives me a hug, tells me everything will be ok, and tries so hard to make me laugh at myself.

How has this affected my present relationship? I met an absolutely wonderful gentleman. Out of the blue I started another cycle. The crying, mood swings and total inability to express my feelings were horrible. I believe I even yelled at the poor man. I am so embarrassed. I tried to explain my improper behaviour, but how do you explain that? I don’t believe he has ever experienced this with any of his previous relationships.

He was very blunt, stated that “you said what you said , end of story”. I am very uncomfortable with just letting this lie. I have tried to reopen the conversation, however to no avail. I truly believe that if this relationship is to move forward, (which I would like it too), he needs to understand that there are times when I have difficulty functioning cognitively. I can’t hide forever. Thirteen years is a damn long time to be going through this…God has to be kind and have it end sometime soon.

As I am still coming out of my fog, are there any suggestions? What would you do?
Menopause and The Aftermath of its Wake.
Posted: 7/20/2009 6:35:45 PM
Just wanted to say thanks for the thread!
I have an appointment with my Dr. on Thursday,and now I'm much more informed.
I'm guessing the HRT's may be out of the question,due to a history of breast cancer in the family.
 Wishes Granted
Joined: 3/6/2008
Msg: 44
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Menopause and The Aftermath of its Wake.
Posted: 7/20/2009 8:11:07 PM
I can empathize UMIE.. Ask your Dr. about temporarily going on a mild anti-depressant.. Of note.. you're not fully in menopause until you haven't had a cycle for one full year.. so if you stopped, and then started again, get that checked out if you haven't already. Meditation helps as does having friends with a great sense of humour :0)

@ Leafslady: Make sure you tell him about the history in your family. Some doctors don't think to ask. My doctor only knew because he's treated our family for years (since I was 13)

Glad the thread is worthwhile and helpful.. Now, what can we do about those Leafs
Menopause and The Aftermath of its Wake.
Posted: 7/20/2009 8:13:18 PM
I think the Leafs need some HRT..."Hockey Re-training Therapy".
 Wishes Granted
Joined: 3/6/2008
Msg: 46
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Menopause and The Aftermath of its Wake.
Posted: 7/20/2009 8:17:51 PM
^^^ good one. They usually miss three periods .. so you may be right :0)

Joined: 7/15/2009
Msg: 47
Menopause and The Aftermath of its Wake.
Posted: 7/20/2009 9:15:13 PM
I guess I'm pre-menopausal since I still get my period....but I can definately tell I'm in the transition phase.
My energy level has dropped substancially, and for the first time in my life I couldn't give a rats a$$ about having a man in my life. I've been single for a couple years now and I'm feeling quite content about it. The thought of entering into a new relationship seems like too much friggin work. I'd rather chill with my dog and my friends.

Do you think this is a natural female phenomina at 51 ?

Hopefully I will get my "mojo" back in the near future....but right now I justify my singlehood and celibacy by thinking I'm saving some poor sap from dealing with my hormonal mood swings.
Joined: 1/23/2008
Msg: 48
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Menopause and The Aftermath of its Wake.
Posted: 7/20/2009 9:27:56 PM
I went into menopause at 42, caused by chemotherapy treatment (breast cancer), so I cant have HRT either. Im 45 now. I still get 'power surges' at night and dont sleep well, apart from that Im doing fairly well.

I can get just a little short tempered, however I've learnt to bite my tongue and reflect on the situation for a day or two, then I'll bring it up if it was actually worthwhile. I do alot of walking away rather than sharing my personal 'explosion' with those I love. I think thats a better option.

Friends do tell me that sometimes I'll give them 'The Look' and being the understanding souls they are, they will back off a bit. Have had no libido problems.... YAY....
 Miss W
Joined: 12/4/2006
Msg: 49
Menopause and The Aftermath of its Wake.
Posted: 7/20/2009 9:39:48 PM
I have been told that my hysterectomy 2 years ago has made me calmer, "kinder and gentler". Aside from an occasional feeling of a bit too much warmth, which passes quickly...and not enough sleep, I feel fabulous and sad that there is no one in my region who is doable....sigh.
 Lil Brooker
Joined: 6/17/2008
Msg: 50
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Menopause and The Aftermath of its Wake.
Posted: 7/20/2009 9:50:32 PM
At 54, I went on HRT's and I will die on them. Talk about sleep deprivation! I woke up constantly throughout the night alternating between a fever of heat and cold sweats from having thrown the covers off. I was barely functional in the day from lack of sleep. And depressed! The daytime hotflashes were miserable and made being in social company embarassing.

I have two cousins who treated their menopause successfully with a ton of natural and very expensive ingredients.

I don't understand why it hit me so hard. My Mother sailed through menopause and I assumed I would, too.
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