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Author Topic: 45 and pretty lost  (Read 6389 times)

Maruuna

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45 and pretty lost
« on: December 15, 2023, 05:02:59 PM »

Hello everyone,

first of, I'm really glad I found this forum as honestly speaking, I am bit lost and frustrated concerning menopause and all things coming with it.

As for me, I'm 45, and until about 6 months ago, I had a super puctual natural cycle (I never took the pill, or well, I tried it for a few months when I was 23 but my  body didn't tolerate it very well). I also never had any other problems, 28-32 day cycle, normal to rather lighter bleeding, never any cramps, nothing.
I am slim and sporty, I don't smoke or drink, and I am altogether rather healthy. I don't even get colds when everyone around me is sniffling and coughing, I think the last time I had a cold was about 5 years ago.
So, that was that, until spring this year. So, suddenly my cycle went irregular. It was around 50 days nothing, then bleeding but with lots of mucous pieces in it. (do other women experience that too? My gyn said nothing to worry about (and my last checkup and ultrasound very totally fine) but it still irritates me seeing all these partly huge pieces...
Anyways, the next cycle was only 18 days...the one after normal with around 30, then again tow rather long ones over 45 days.
I know that's a normal sign of menopause but it came so sudden and with it (and that's my main problem) every month a new other symptom that comes and goes.

I don't even know where to start, one month it's tense breasts for 14 days, the next it's feeling constipated for no diet reason for two weeks, then it's suddenly gone again, then it's extreme mood swings with deep sadness or out of the blue anger. Then it's joint pains, then they are gone again. I also had slight nausea in every cycle for the first five days of the new cycle for no apparent reason. I was annoyed by all this but I could cope, also with the fact that my migraines ( I've been a heavy migrains sufferer since my late teens and it runs in the family... I mean severe migrain with attacks triggered by too much light on my eyes, which can cause stroke-like symptoms like half the head or tongue being paralysed apart from extreme head aches)  tend to come more often again compared to the past 20 years where I had it in check quite well and was down to maybe one rather light attack in 2 months, - now it's every month for 5-6 days and more severe again.

But last month yet another symptom appeared and again out of the blue. Of course I read about vaginal dryness but is it normal this happens so suddenly, like from one day to the other when I never had any issues in that direction? Since November I have a steady feeling of uncomfort, and it's not itching, it's more like a steady soft burning and it's rather on the outside than on the inside.  (nothing so actually see outside nowhere, no redness, no obvious dry skin, nothing) And, it's not just located in the front, that strange outside burning sensation goes from the front to the whole back if you know what I mean? Everything back and front feels like burning and dry and uncomfortable. Is that normal? Is it normal that it is not just the vaginal area but the rest too? (and also in the back, it's just the outside skin, no problems passing stool, no bleeding, no piles or anything, everything looks normal too).

And also this is not consistent, it's there for two weeks in a row really bothering me all day through, or in the gym especially. Then it's completey gone again for a week or even two, then it returns from one day to the other. Does anyone have any tips for me concerning this?
I have tried vaginal gels for moisture and they sooth it a little, also washing with only lukewarm water or just a special wahing gel for menopausal issues. It won't go away.
I guess I don't have to add that my libido has been down the drain too for  the past months and now as everything down there feels so uncomfortable and sore I can't even think of anything like a touch, let alone more.

I have another appointment with my gyn in January but would be grateful for some tips or just hearing that this all falls under 'normal' for menopausal symptoms.

Well so, that's me and what to know about me, I'd be glad to hear of others and their experiences - meanwhile, have a great evening wherever you are =)
« Last Edit: December 15, 2023, 05:53:14 PM by Maruuna »
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CLKD

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Re: 45 and pretty lost
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2023, 05:14:19 PM »

Hormones  ::)  :welcomemm:

As oestrogen waxes and wanes [the change], we can experience all kinds of symptoms. 

Firstly, get some vaginal atrophy treatment ASAP - if possible B4 C.mas/New Year.  U don't require blood tests or an exam., mayB ring the surgery to speak to the Nurse Practitioner.  Hopefully your GP will be au fait with atrophy!  Also, gynaecologists aren't always up2date with peri menopause, so checking his/her credentials on line to see if he/she has an interest in womens health.  Trawling on here with ideas to discuss at your next appt., as well as keeping a mood/food/syptom diary to chart progress may also be useful.


There are dedicated menopause clinics which have waiting lists, either private or NHS. 

I had constipation in the week leading up to periods.  Also, 10 mins B4 a bleed began, even if a period wasn't due, I would get 'the runs'  :o and have to dash!  Throughout my menstruating years I had heavy, clotty, painful periods: 10 days bleed, 10 days off.  I would move and clots would drop  >:(.  Sometimes I had to wear two pads in the day and sleep on a thick towel in the night.

Also the nausea - yep!  Troublesome especially as cycles became up and down.  I would know where every bin was situated in all the shops I used regularly.  A bin in the car and one by the bed!

Some ladies find that 'sylc' or 'yes' moisturisers ease symptoms around vulva/vagina, I get on OK with KY Jelly.  AVOID replens.



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sheila99

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Re: 45 and pretty lost
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2023, 05:35:24 PM »

Welcome to the roller-coaster  :(. I hate to say it but it's all pretty normal.   A diary of symptoms and time if month can be useful and show any cyclical variations. Agree with the need for VA treatment, it will only get worse without it. Perhaps consider hrt too and discuss it at your appointment?
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Maruuna

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Re: 45 and pretty lost
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2023, 05:43:06 PM »

Hi CLKD,

thank you for the swift reply, and let me say I feel for you in retrospective hearing your symptoms were partly more severe than mine (struggling with mine a lot already).
I will go and check if I find specialists concerning the matter. Yet I have just found a new gym who has rather good reviews and recommendations but it's always a reality check thing going for the first appointment.

Hi Sheila99,

thanks for the warm welcome and comforting words! I will definitely discuss every option at my next appointment. I don't know that much yet about HRT yet, but I am a little hesitant concerning taking any hormones. When I was about 23 a gyn back then convinced me to take a mini pill... it totally whacked everything for me for the 5 months I had taken it. I had very heavy bleedings, panic attacks I never had before, the migraines went through the roof and and I had symptoms of a blood clot in my leg after four months... I had to go off it and everything went back to normal. Also my ped warned me because of the very fast blood clot symptoms and my migraines. As they are so heavy a have a higher risk of strokes anyway so I am a bit afraid of anything hormones as my body really didn't tolerate it at all back then Oo But I will speak with my gyn about it in January and hear the options
« Last Edit: December 15, 2023, 05:57:43 PM by Maruuna »
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CLKD

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Re: 45 and pretty lost
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2023, 07:42:38 PM »

Hi!  It was normal for me, Mum told me that a GP would suggest "Having a baby will solve your problems" ........ 'Feminax' was the drug which really eased those monthly pains.

I was advised by the National Association for Pre-menstrual Syndrome [NAPS] advised me to eat every 3 hours to help keep blood sugar levels even .... that's every 3 hours 24/7.  Took some getting used to  ::) but I tend to stick with the regime at times of stress.

I think that you need to make sure that your Gynae is aware of all your medical history and that he/she is menopause savvy.  Apparently - though our Surgery is keeping it quiet  ::) - one of our GPs has trained with Dr Newson regarding treatment women with appropriate menopause treaemtns . 

Let us know how you get on.  Local vaginal atrophy treatment is less invasive than other forms of 'replacement'.  It's designed to replace the oestrogen lost in the vulval area and plump up the tissues = less dry which eases itchiness.  There are also many ways of delivering HRT which will bypass some conditions and can be prescribed with women who have migraines. 
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sheila99

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Re: 45 and pretty lost
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2023, 09:57:58 AM »

I couldn't get on with a bcp either but hrt for me has been life changing. Perhaps do some reading on transdermal hrt as it doesn't carry a risk of blood clots.
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Cara999

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Re: 45 and pretty lost
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2023, 01:32:18 PM »

Welcome Maruuna 🥰 unfortunately all your symptoms point to vaginal atrophy, it can affect the whole area not just the vagina it can also come and go and appear suddenly. Get some local estrogen  and it will help. Sorry your struggling with other menopause symptoms too. Perhaps  you could discuss HRT with your GP xxx
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Maruuna

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Re: 45 and pretty lost
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2023, 11:49:54 PM »

@Sheila

thanks again, it's helpful for me to know there are options that migt be possible for me concerning the hrt!

@Cara

hi  :) thanks for telling me, it is at least a little comforting to know it can all happen to us, it just started so suddenly for me I still feel like an alien in my own body right now ::)
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Maruuna

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Re: 45 and pretty lost
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2024, 01:31:50 PM »

A little update:

I've been to two gyns meanwhile, one in January, the second one three days ago.
Both appointments were rather disappointing I'm afraid.

The first gyn (both were women around 50 by the way), was cold, had a harsh tone, didn't even listen to what I say (I said that due to my problems I had bought lactic acid gel and moisture gel, and she answered back 'and how long did you take this antifungal cream?',and there were several such situations. She verbally doubted that all my symptoms have anything to do with beginning of the menopause, or perimenopause as I said. The examination itself was awful too, she was rough, and pressed so hard on my lower tummy that I made a pain sound. She then said in a very unfriendly way' well, the next time you go to the toilet before the appointment,right?' like scolding a little child. (I did pee when I was at home - which was like an hour before because the practice is an hour drive away, but well...)...She then started again about doubting it has anything to do with menopause (even with my suddenly totally irregular cycles, and I am 45) and said she would want to check my thyroid. I told her my thyroid was checked in detail 5 months ago, and there was nothing - she didn't care and kept saying she wants to check it again. I left the appointment without any real help, and the feeling I had to justify coming to that appointment because she simply doubted it all has to do with menopause.

Ok, I thought one bad appointment can happen, so I made a new appointment with another gyn. A practice that particularly advertisese at their website that they are specialsts for menopause an 'also take the soul and mental aspects of this time in life serious' bla bla.

So that appointment was three days ago and it was even worse than the first. I again tried to explain the many symptoms I have and even straightforward asked about the options of HRT or whatever there is as I just know (and feel all the time) that I have severe hormonal imbalace and fluctuations and they also severly impact my daily life as well as my private life.
So this second woman didn't know anything about perimenopausal symptoms other than the three 'hot flashes, sleep disturbance, mood swings'. She didn't even ask about my cycle or anything. No offer to check on anything, and when I said that I am also very unhappy with the fact that exactly since these imbalances and cycle length differences started I have gained around 0.8 stone, while I am eating healthy, controling calories, doing exercise, even reduced my calorie intake even further down compared to the past 15 years where I easily kept my weight (was 10 stone for the past 20 years, now all of a sudden it's 11 stone, there is lots of water stored at certain times in the cycles) and she just told me to 'have more serenity' Oo

When I told her that I simply don't have 'more serenity' when I steadily feel unwell in my own body and my clothes don't fit all of a sudden after I could wear them for 20 years, she started attacking my husband, saying 'it's him, isn't it? He is telling you you weigh too much!' I was totally taken aback saying no, it's even the opposite, he is totally supportive and steadily tells me I look fine, but the point is I don't FEEL fine like that, it's me, not him'.

She then said, well, she can't do anything about this, as it's also 'family dispostion' and there is 'nothing one could do about that'
When I tried again and said that these extra pounds of water appear and partly disappear in different phases ofthe cycle she then even said, 'but it's not just water, it's also fat!' Oo
I said again, that I know how I feel and my body feels with 0.8 stone less, when I'm sporty and fit, and I know how I look then and how good and normal I feel then. She replied: 'well, at your weight, with 0.8 stone more or less, it doesn't really make a difference does it?' I'm still having a hard time believing she just said that to me.

So I went out of this second appointment even more dispapointed and actually feel quite distressed now as I have no idea what to do. Shall I go into anoreixia mode (was there 20 years ago, don't want to do that) because doctors just don'tcare to help me and even insult me?

Or am I wrong even asking about HRT with 45 and in perimenonpause?
« Last Edit: March 01, 2024, 01:38:08 PM by Maruuna »
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sheila99

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Re: 45 and pretty lost
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2024, 02:16:00 PM »

I'm so sorry you're not getting anywhere. Where are you based? Just wondered if anyone could suggest a knowledgeable clinic. In the UK gynaes are usually ignorant about menopause but there are menopause clinics in most areas if your gp can't help. It seems to me you need to see someone who knows what they're talking about.
 The weight may not be entirely hormonal as our metabolism tends to slow down around this age too. Agree it's frustrating though, I had no trouble keeping the weight off when I was younger but now I have to watch what I eat.
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DottyD68

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Re: 45 and pretty lost
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2024, 06:07:54 PM »

Hi Maruuna,

Sorry to hear you are having such a rough time. I can relate to some of your experiences and especially the alien comment. I am now 55 but mid 40's LOTS of wild and not so wonderful symptoms started appearing and disappearing then reappearing. I was very fit and healthy at the time (working as a personal trainer) and probably in the best physical shape of my life.

I repeatedly went to GPs with these varied symptoms and not one of them were put down to peri-menopause. Looking back they all were peri-menopausal but (ignorantly) I didn't have a clue what was going on. I was offered ADs which I did not accept. When I was having a smear test at 47 I spoke to the very down-to-earth Sister and explained what was going on and how I felt. Without hesitation she said "You're going through the menopause". It was a total revelation to me and at the time helped me think that I wasn't going mad. I battled on taking every supplement going, doing meditation, having acupuncture etc etc in an attempt to manage the symptoms myself bit it was a constant rollercoaster. I eventually cracked when I was 52 and asked a female GP if I could have HRT. She said No. Her decision was based on the fact that, despite having a list of symptoms as long as my arm, I was still having periods (not as regular as previously but she said they were "regular") and I was not having hot flushes (I was having night sweats).  She said I was "categorically not perimenopausal". I could not believe my ears.

So in a long-winded way I'm trying to say that you are not alone. But don't give up as you know your own body. Try to find a GP who will listen to you and is aware of the far-reaching symptoms of the menopause. HRT is not the magic bullet for everyone but it can help alleviate many symptoms. It frequently needs tweaking as your own hormone levels changed.

Unfortunately this is a new phase of life that many of us have to try and manage as best as possible and get used to.

In terms of the weight gain this is another challenge. Although I'm not as active as I used to be, I am still very active for a 55 year old, but I have not been able to get on top of my extra layer of "bubble-wrap" that has appeared around my trunk. I hate it. I feel embarrassed that people think I have "let myself go". Nothing seems to address it - fewer calories, fasting, more exercise - so I have reluctantly reached the position of not beating myself up too much. I still haven't given up hope of regaining a more toned stomach at some point but I no longer let it stress me out. It was just yet another thing to get me down. As long as I am exercising and eating sensibly I am trying to be kind to myself.

Hope this helps in someway. It can be a very lonely time but this forum has been a huge support.

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Maruuna

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Re: 45 and pretty lost
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2024, 10:18:06 PM »

@sheila99

thanks for your supportive words. I am not even based in the UK at the moment due to my hubbies profession, so since last year I am located in Switzerland. (and although every survey steadily claims that Switzerland has the 'best healthcare system in the world' I would meanwhile disagree I guess...)
Yes sure, I know metabolism gets slower, that happened since I was around 35 already, I had to do more exercise, watch even more closely about a balanced diet etc...and it was managable. But what happens now and has happened since last autumn all of a sudden  feels completely different to me. Even thet texture of my skin feels completely different, it's just not the same thing as a slower metabolism, that's why I'm sure it's these rather extreme hormonal fluctuations.

But thanks again, I am really positively surprised about how friendly and understanding the members of this forum are - that alone is a big help for me right now!
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Maruuna

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Re: 45 and pretty lost
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2024, 10:42:27 PM »

@DottyD68

thank you so much for your posting, it really helped me to read this today.
You put it in such fitting words, and I see that I will probably need some staying power until I'll find a gyn who actually knows about more than the three 'known culprit' symptoms
that simply not every woman has, and also about the probably 50 other partly debilitating symptoms  that can occur on and off which most gyns obviously don't know about.

I see you experienced similar situations where you can just stand there in utter disbelief, and yes, feeling either wronged because someone else is steadily telling you that what you feel is wrong and what you expericence doesn't exist in your age group, or even doubting yourself at some point while you are still right.

Thank you for your words concering the weight issue, and it's quite similar with me, I've been slim-sporty and fit to superfit over the past 20 years, I am used to myself being and feeling like that, I mean the whole body feeling,  and now this changed like overnight, and it's this bubble wrap you described I can't get used to, at least yet, I just can't, for me it's like looking into the mirror and thinking 'that's not me'. I know of course it's just some few pounds in my case and I am still considered slim, and I also know if I would have any severe illness, yes, then the body can completely change into many directions and you have to cope. But I am healthy, I am still sporty and fit and eat a super healthy balanced diet etc, and still that new stuff is there around my waist and hips and my clothes don't fit anymore, just some inches, but they are uncomfortable now and I can't wear them, it bugs me so much.

And yes, you also hit it with saying it bothers me that people see me and might just think I let myself go and became a little chubby compared to before. It bothers me a lot and right now causes a feeling of deep unhappiness because I can't find a way to tackle this myself (which I am generally used to in every aspect of life) without turning to unhelathy measures,  - which I don't want to do.
I know it's worth so much I have a very supportive, loving husband (who actually likes that it's a little more now), but it doesn't help because I dislike myself so much looking like this, it almost feels alien because it happened so suddenly. I'm trying to be kind to myself but when those destructive mood swings set in, I just can't manage being kind, I do get upset instead. =/

Still, thanks so much for those warm and understanding words, I at least feel understood that alone helps me a lot! :-*
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DottyD68

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Re: 45 and pretty lost
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2024, 11:33:56 AM »

Glad to be of some help. I have been helped greatly by some of the ladies on this forum over the years. The wise words of "It's called The Change for a reason" always ring in my ears  ;)

Look after yourself x
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Cassie

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Re: 45 and pretty lost
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2024, 10:31:12 AM »

Welcome please try to get some oestrogel its a rub on HRT and considered much safer. You will have to also ask for some progesterone like Utrogestan you can use this vaginally for 12 days a month. It really changed my life, 45 is young to be without these hormones. Hope you can find a sympathetic Dr that understands.
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