Must be beginning the change, yet test kit says no

For those of you who are just beginning this wonderful process, here we can narrow down the symptoms and ask questions like "am I starting perimenopause?"

Must be beginning the change, yet test kit says no

Postby pause » Sun Jun 26, 2005 7:35 pm

My cycle has always been very predictable: 28 - 30 days between periods, a few days of PMS symptoms, including dull achy cramps followed by a couple of days of heavy flooding, the second day being the worst, then a lighter day, followed by a couple of days of nothing, to the point it would seem to be over. Then wham! Another day of heavy bleeding with sharp cramps that felt like a biopsy. Then it would be over for a month.

Since the beginning of this year, my cycle has changed. I've had a couple of periods like I described above, but I've skipped months as well.

I'm now at about 60 days since my last period. For almost a solid month I've been having the dull, achy cramps that always preceeded my period, so I go through every day prepared, if you know what I mean.

I took the Estrovan test to determine if I'm in menopause. I used first morning urine, as recommended.

The test is supposed to show two lines. The first line should always be dark. If you're in menopause, the second line should be equally dark. If the second line doesn't appear or is light, it's considered a negative test result.

I took the test and got the very light second line, but I know my body and it's not behaving normally, and I'm at that age (47).

I am having what I call senior moments -- total forgetfulness to the point sometimes of not remembering what I was doing five minutes ago. I am forgetting words that I've always known. They come to me eventually, but I do have difficulty having access to certain words as I need them.

I'm feeling the fluttering in my heart, which I understand is also a symptom, as well as lightheadedness and morning headaches.

What can I expect? Does the period just end, or is there usually a year or more of a very irregular period before it goes away completely?

Thanks.
pause
 
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Postby drjudy » Mon Jun 27, 2005 8:09 pm

You are certainly in perimenopause according to your symptoms. The Estroven test measures FSH, which can vary widely during this phase. With your "just about to get my period" feeling, you may actually be just about to get your period with rather high estrogen levels and low FSH. This test is more accurate in full-blown menopause, but who needs a test then when a total lack of periods indicates that you are there?

Perimenopause can go on for awhile, although if you are skipping periods, you may be down to the last year. But it's never the same place twice, so don't be alarmed by the variation in cycles and symptoms. If, however, the bleeding is quite heavy or prolonged, you should consult your doctor about strategies to improve your day to day health and well-being.

Best wishes,
Judy
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Postby pause » Mon Jun 27, 2005 10:23 pm

Thanks Doc Judy.

I plan to visit my gyn next month and will definitely discuss this with him then.

I knew it has to be menopause, but it's nice to have it confirmed.

I have to say I'm totally surprised that the forgetfulness/mental fogginess is a symptom of menopause. I've always been a bit absent minded, but the past few years have been so much worse.

I honestly have had secret fears that I might have early Alzheimer's disease. Thank God I found this site and read the wonderfully funny posts by other women describing thier adventures in losing their minds to menopause. I laughed so hard, but not because I was laughing at them. Because it reminded me so much of me!! Also because there's a certain amount of relief in discovering that what I've been going through is perfectly normal.

Thanks again.
pause
 
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Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2005 7:16 pm

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