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How do I know? Menopause.

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  • How do I know? Menopause.

    I thought I was safe to go off birth control after a landmark birthday and no periods for a year. Then suddenly, the elevator scene from The Shining. This left me thinking it could have been disastrous, since a pregnancy is a no go at this point.

    I feel dumb not knowing this, but how do I gauge when the big change has set in and I don’t need birth control anymore?

  • Originally posted by Wednesday L.F. View Post
    ...but how do I gauge when the big change has set in and I don’t need birth control anymore?
    Interested in hearing more from others on this for my wife's benefit. Her tubes are tied, so BC is not an issue. It's the freaking hot flashes. She has had them in waves for seemingly 2yrs now. Her gyno put her on Progesterone and that helped slightly, so they upped the dosage. That worked great and the hot flashes diminished greatly. AND we did not even need lube during sex anymore. However, about 2 weeks ago the hot flashes returned with a vengeance and dry as the Sahara again during sex (that part easily fixed). Curious to hear other ladies experiences with the Menopause roller coaster.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Wednesday L.F. View Post
      I feel dumb not knowing this, but how do I gauge when the big change has set in and I don’t need birth control anymore?
      Oh man, this is a fun time. (Not. It’s really not.)

      If you can swing it, I would try to get in to see a doctor so they can test your FSH — or you can actually do one of those through the mail (not sure how much they cost). It might provide some insight into how much your body is still working reproductively after not being on birth control. (How long ago was it that you stopped taking BC?)

      Because technically, menopause is supposed to be "marked" by a year of no periods — but contraceptives can kind of make it hard to know when you’ve reached perimenopause or menopause (and apparently from what I read, women can still have a cycle while on BC even after menopause).

      But then, too, it can take a while for your body to readjust itself once you stop taking BC — so regular menstrual cycles can begin sometime later once your body’s own hormones take things over.

      Have you had other menopause symptoms?

      I’m in perimenopause, but my only way of “knowing” (outside of the FSH testing I asked my doctor to perform) is physical symptoms — I had a radical hysterectomy at 29 so I don’t have periods, but I still have my ovaries/hormones. (Or did… mostly.)

      Have you experienced hot flashes, trouble sleeping (like not being able to sleep, only sleeping for a few hours, or waking up in the middle of the night because you feel like you’re on fire), cold sweats/night sweats (or quite frankly, any time of day sweats), or really-not-like-you mood swings? (That last one is a bear. I’m pretty chill, but when those hit, I’m a B on wheels.)

      Have you felt any symptoms once BC was stopped? Because while on BC, menopause symptoms might not actually be present — even if it happened. And unfortunately, perimenopause can last for years if you're still in that stage. :/

      Comment


      • found a chart that shows at age 50, the chance of pregnancy is less than 1%

        for those in early 40s, would be careful
        I know several people who had unexpected babies when they were 40 or 41
        their other children were almost out of house & boom...
        starting all over again!

        Comment


        • This time of our life definitely needs guidance by and walking through it with your gynecologist. There are other things that could stop your period. Presuming that it's menopause could delay diagnosis of some other, more serious issues. As Alison is saying, your symptoms are an important piece of the puzzle, but checking those hormone levels is important.

          Menopause hit me hard, and all at once. My hormone levels dropped suddenly, and I was an absolute mess for many months. I hope you're having a fairly easy time of it!

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          • Thanks folks, all of that is very helpful.

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            • My gyne said you're in menopause when you haven't had a period for a full year. Being on birth control regulates your period and your hormones so it's a great option during perimenopause. It's all so frustrating because it seems like all you can do is do nothing and wait! Definitely get the hormonal blood tests and a vaginal ultrasound. That can sometimes give answers to why you might be bleeding.

              Comment


              • When my mom was going through menopause she would go for months and months without a period and then my sister and I would come home from college and she would suddenly get a period from all the extra hormones in the house. The female body is so trippy!

                Comment


                • Okay, I’ve become disenchanted with guessing and am going to get some blood work done this week. There really should be an at-home test for such things.

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                  • Home testing would be amazing. The blood tests are easy but you have to keep doing them which is really annoying!

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Wednesday L.F. View Post
                      I thought I was safe to go off birth control after a landmark birthday and no periods for a year. Then suddenly, the elevator scene from The Shining. This left me thinking it could have been disastrous, since a pregnancy is a no go at this point.

                      I feel dumb not knowing this, but how do I gauge when the big change has set in and I don’t need birth control anymore?
                      Mostly menopause starts in the age 45-55 years.

                      Comment

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