Wierd Bleeding

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?"

Wierd Bleeding

Postby tonita » Sun Oct 17, 2004 7:54 am

Hello, I am new to this board and am finding it very informative and also comforting. I will be 45 years old and my periods are starting to get funky. For the last year or so they have been fairly regular but with alot of clotting and heavy bleeding for a few days. Last month I was a week late then 3 weeks later I began to have light, brown spotting for a week and then it turned red but is fairly light. I have mild cramping also. I'm thinking this is the beginning of the big M but still am nervous. I also experience that awful fatigue, anxiety, messed up moods.....................
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Postby drjudy » Sun Oct 17, 2004 10:20 am

Hi Tonita,

Welcome to the world of perimenopause, defined by "funky periods" that indicate your ovaries are no longer regularly responding to the messages from the pituitary gland at the base of your brain.

When you don't ovulate, and your ovaries are digging deep to come up with a egg follicle that works well enough to respond to the hormonal cues from above, you don't go through the orderly events that define a normal menstrual cycle.

Ordinarily, estrogen levels start to rise shortly after your period begins as you get ready to ovulate in the next cycle. These rising levels ultimately stop the menstrual flow. The estrogen causes your uterine lining to heal over and begin to thicken. If you ovulate, the ruptured egg follicle turns into a little progesterone producing factory. Rising levels of progesterone in the last half of the cycle change the uterine lining into a smooth functional tissue ready for a fertilized egg. If fertilization does not occur, both progesterone and estrogen levels drop off, causing a period to occur and the whole thing starts over.

If you don't ovulate, but continue to produce estrogen as occurs in early to mid-perimenopause, the uterine lining becomes thicker and thicker under the influence of high levels of estrogen, and the period then is heavy, clotty, and painful. The rest of you feels bloated and irritable before these periods begin, a feeling that may or may not go away with the menstrual flow. If your estrogen levels are sluggish to rise in the next cycle, the period is not only heavy but goes on and on and on.

Early perimenopause is absolutely the worst part of the transition in my opinion. The symptoms tend to come and go; funky periods for awhile interspersed with normal periods or no periods at all. Nothing makes it perfect, but the use of low-dose birth control pills or progesterone in the last half of the cycle can be helpful in controlling this hormonal mess.

What you are feeling is entirely normal, but entirely unpleasant. You should check in with your doctor about possible solutions.

Best wishes,
Judy
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