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Annual menstrual cycle

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  • Annual menstrual cycle

    I am 49 years old. I move had 2 cesareans and have 2 children. My body seemed to enter the peri-menopausal stage around age 42-44. My bloodwork continues to read that I’m not according to PCP. I stopped having periods about 4-5 years ago except once per year. It is always late January or in February.
    Is there any reasonable explanation why for each of the last 4 or 5 years, I go thru a very light cycle. It is not spotting. In fact, I have cramps and everything but only every 12 months or so. Very curious. PCP says “huh. Don’t worry about it”. I’m not worried but I find it perplexing. TIA

  • Are you using any type of birth control? Have you spoken with your gynecologist about this, rather than your primary care provider?

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    • Maybe it's just a sign that menopause is coming soon. It doesn't seem to bother you very much. I know you have to worry when it is abundant, but your case is special. Have you tried a second professional opinion ?

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      • Maybe it is related to the period products (pads, tampons, period underwear or menstrual cups) that you use when you have your period ?
        Last edited by jns; 01-31-2021, 01:40 PM. Reason: Advertising and outbound links are not allowed.

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        • I tend to not put a lot of stock into bloodwork, at least where hormones are concerned – I really believe (because I have seen it and had it happen to me) that just because something comes back in a "normal" range, it doesn't mean that everything is normal.

          For a while, my bloodwork came back saying that I was not entering menopause (tell that to my hot flashes and raging moods!) and it was incredibly frustrating. I don't have periods since I had a hysterectomy many years ago, but I have my ovaries and they started petering out. I knew it, I could tell; I know my body. It wasn't a figment of my imagination, but my bloodwork came back in "normal" ranges.

          (That said, one look at the graph of my past blood work and it was clear that my FSH had a really big spike. Imagine that.)

          Sometimes I think we need to rely more on what we feel, rather than what our bloodwork says. My thyroid doctor says the same thing to me all the time – your levels can look "fine" on the surface, but your body is going through something and you'll still feel those effects, even if your bloodwork says you're normal. From what you describe, it really sounds like menopause, or at least perimenopause.

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