Prolonged bleeding in perimenopause

by Gibby
(UK)

I am a healthy 49 year old in the permimenopausal stage (ok I have slight hashimotos which I take thyroxine for and my creatiine levels in my kidneys are somewhat high, but otherwise really ok! :-)

I had a comparatively light 5 day period starting 5th August, (it is now 5th September) which then continued as spotting, then seemd to have a more normal period late August, then spotting again and now over the last few days extremely painful severe cramping, pain seemingly in both ovaries, with sore breasts, pain almost as as strong as labour pains - I am exhausted!

I am waiting for an ultrasound appointment to make sure there is nothing serious going on, but have been under some personal stress over the last three months and just feel that this is an estrogen dominance thing, hope I'm making sense here (I scored 72 in your quiz).

Now the question is - would it be safe to start the cream any time now as I have NO idea what is happening to my cycles now, how soon could it be delivered to the UK and how much is it? Considering I have not had the scan yet, would it be safe to take in any case to see if it helps? I started the gym not long ago and am even wondering if it is possible that the new exercises set something off.

The other question I have is possibly the main reason for my stress - an important week for me end of October where I want to be in a well as possible state (not bleeding to death!). Do you think the cream could do it's thing by then or would it be easier to opt for the progesterone only pill short term to help me with this? Can I combine both approaches? I was on the mini-pill when I was breastfeeding and got on really well with it - I am still unsure why the mini-pill should be any worse than the progesterone cream. I suppose I am looking for a magic wand to get better overnight - but most of all I want to be really well end of October.

Sorry for the novel 0 I never ran out of space! great :-)

Comments for Prolonged bleeding in perimenopause

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Sep 13, 2009
Prolonged bleeding in perimenopause
by: Wray

Hi Gibby. Your age and peri-menopause speaks volumes for the erratic cycle, the spotting, the cramps and sore breasts! It will become more erratic as menopause approaches. I don't believe it has anything to do with exercise either. The pill, whether mini or not, contains synthetic oestrogen and progestins, they come with many adverse side affects and to my mind are not worth taking, please see this web page.

You mention stress, this drops progesterone levels sharply, which only makes us feel worse! No amount of progesterone will help the irregular cycles, but it will help the pain and stress. It's a very calming hormone, as it activates the GABA receptor sites, GABA is our most calming neurotransmitter. You might consider taking the amino acid taurine, about 2000-4000mg/day. This is extremely calming too, also calms the heart, lowers cholesterol as it's an integral part of bile, is essential for stabilising blood sugar and more. As you say the pain was severe, I would suggest using about 200mg/day progesterone, I don't think you'll find a lower dose will help. You might care to read this page on peri-menopause.

Take care, Wray.

Sep 14, 2009
Update
by: Gibby

Thanks, Wray. Well, had my ultrasound scan and the technician immediately and confidently pointed to the culprit - a single fibroid, only 1.7 cm across, almost square in shape and in her mind causing the problem because of it's position. There are many women who start spotting with vigorous exercise regimes, and I still feel this set it off, as the fibroid itself is on its own and not particulary big, but perhaps the whole muscular system collaborated to stretch the uterus for the fibroid to be more of a problem. Also I had developped this OTT craving for liqorice, which I have since found out is estrogenic, so no more of that:-(.

After my first post I started flooding, soaking everything I could throw at it within half an hour, all day, all night, for days, rang the doc as the ulstrasound could not be done internally with that going on and he gave me tranexamic acid (a derivative of lysine) which stops bleeding - wonderful stuff, like a tap turned off within 2 hours. Took it for 4 days, went for the scan, the spotting came back slightly along with the cramping pain, but taking it VERY easy it has now stopped, for a whole two days! Doc on holiday until Monday 21st Sep (one week), and in the meantime I have to decide what to do. I started putting myself on an Agnus Castus regime (I am a qualified herbalist) 3 weeks ago to give it time to do its thing with my pituitary gland to encourage it to produce more progesterone by itself, am still in a quandary about the progestin only pill (no, no estrogens in there), or to stay with Agnus castus and the cream. I am absolutely paranoid about the flooding to start again, and like the idea of having much reduced bleeding in general and a contraceptive thrown in until the menopause is complete, but do appreciate the warnings about side effects I don't want either. I am not entirely certain about the effect of either progesterone, as I have a tendency to depression and some may find this hormone calming, but depression is another effect, too, so I have read anyhow.

So what to do? I still have not made up my mind yet. The bleeding is the worst effect of all and to stop that without surgery or side effects is to me the most important. Phew... thaks for giving me the chance to think out loud, and perhaps some bits in here will trigger some light bulb moments in others on here.

Mar 18, 2011
Advice need please
by: Anne

Got my period on 28th Feb and was what I thought was a normal period and the month before had been so light and only last 3 days I still have bleeding 3 weeks later mostly just spotting, but sometimes a bit more.

Throughout the whole time of bleeding I have had no pain or cramps or sore breasts at all, which I generally do. Went to the doctors Wednesday and she put me on the Pill for 5 days saying the bleeding will stop and supposely when i finish taking the last one I should get a normal period.

Well period hasn't stopped, which taking the pill, in fact got heavier I am getting other prememopause symptoms: weight gain, dryness of vagina and the hot flushes. So I am hoping this long nuisnace bleeding is just memopause keeping in, as anybody else experienced this.

Mar 26, 2011
Update
by: Wray

Hi Gibby I have absolutely no idea how I missed your response and can only apologise. Licorice does have oestrogenic effects. Plus it reduces testosterone levels, causes hypertension, and has antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, laxative, and soothing properties. As Fibroids are stimulated by oestrogen it would be best avoided. As you know agnus castus has been used for many problems which women suffer from, PMS, mastalgia, menstrual irregularities, fibrocystic breasts, increasing lactation and more. It can also reduce prolactin levels, which in turn can cause luteal phase dysfunction, with subsequent problems in embryo implantation. But because it has a mild oestrogenic action, levels of 17 beta-oestradiol can increase. One study found mild ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome occurred in the luteal phase, see here, here, here, here, here and here. I'm very interested you were given tranexamic acid, I've not heard any woman say their doctor considered it. I'm curious if lysine would do the same, the molecular structure is very different. Women are always given a
Contraceptive to stop the bleeding, which of course comes with many adverse side effects. I would hope the info on this page would convince you not to use the progestin. But then I'm so late in my reply I have no idea how you have got on. Once again many apologies. Take care Wray

Mar 26, 2011
Advice need please
by: Wray

Hi Anne It does appear you are now in Peri-menopause, a very difficult time, with periods coming and going when they wish, sometimes flooding, sometimes spotting. A Contraceptive is the last thing you need. It will not help with the symptoms you are experiencing, but progesterone will. It can't help regulate the cycle now, but certainly helps in making this phase as bearable as can be. If you should consider it, I recommend 100-200mg/day, anything less merely stimulates oestrogen, leading to more Oestrogen Dominance than you already have. I've found hot flushes stop or are dramatically reduced on 400mg/day for 4-5 days. Then the amount should be reduced very slowly till the optimum is found. Putting some progesterone cream in the vagina does help the dryness too. The weight gain is caused by excess oestrogen and possibly testosterone. Both these hormones cause Insulin Resistance. Please have a vitamin D test done. A lack of this nutrient can lead to weight gain and IR. For more info please see the Vitamin D council and GrassrootsHealth websites. This is an excellent video to watch too, see here. Take care Wray

Oct 05, 2011
advice needed
by: Anonymous

Dear Wray; Please can you advise me on your recommendation to someone else on taking "the amino acid taurine, about 2000-4000mg/day". I think I need this now. I wrote to you before; i use natural progesterone cream and it has helped a lot; I've never stopped using it. I had no period for eight months and suddenly the flooding is back; I wake up with a lot of stress and can hear my heart racing; I have a lot of stress in my life genrerally now and also working hard; long difficult hours. Have not been eating right either. I would like to know how to avoid this racing heart. I am 51.
L (linda)

Thank you and God bless you!


Oct 06, 2011
advice needed
by: Wray

Hi L Are you using enough progesterone? I've found 400mg/day or more is needed to stop flooding. Stress drops progesterone levels, so more is always needed during any stressful time. It can always be reduced back down again when the stress has passed. You are at the tail end of Peri-menopause, which I found an impossibly difficult time. Luckily I found progesterone before doing myself in! Taurine is wonderful for the heart, there's more in the heart than all the other aminos combined. It's an osmolyte, meaning it facilitates the entry and exit of the electrolytes. It's often a lack of one, or excess of another, that causes heart problems. I suggest you start on 1000mg/day and work up. I take it daily and will never be without. It's much cheaper if you can find a powder, it doesn't taste too bad. It's also a very calming neurotransmitter too, so will help the stress you feel. You might like to read these papers on the heart here and here. And these on anxiety here and here. Interestingly, taurine is also a potent activator of GABA receptors, much as progesterone is. Please try to eat well, I know you'll get only benefit from it. See our page on Nutrition for some ideas. And please consider increasing the amount of progesterone too. I feel you need to take high dose supplements too, no one can work long hard hours and not feel stress, or get run down. No amount of good food will supply all your needs, take a look at this page hereto see the supplements I suggest. Did I ask you previously to have a vitamin D test done? Please do if not, it's such a vital nutrient, and most of us have too low a level. For more info on testing etc see theVitamin D Council, GrassrootsHealth Birmingham Hospital and Vitamin D Links websites. Bless you too! Take care Wray

Oct 30, 2012
perimenopause and heavy bleeding
by: Anonymous

I had heavy flooding periods for over 7 years. No fibroids and doctors said it was perimenopause and gave me hormones to take. After excessive vomiting for about a month and still heavy bleeding, I gave up on that. I just put up with the bleeding.One month I got a cold sore about the same time as my period, I took 2- 500 mg each of Lysine. It slowed the bleeding to a trickle. I still had cramping though. I started eating fatty fish, eating sweet potatoes and taking co q 10. As long as remember to do this, my periods aren't too bad

Nov 01, 2012
perimenopause and heavy bleeding
by: Wray

Hi there Thanks for the tips, it's most interesting. I've not heard lysine helping with heavy bleeding, but taurine is usually low, see here. And NAC (N-acetyl cystiene) does help too, as it inhibits the MMP's which cause the lining to breakdown. There's more info about these on our Menstruation page. Take care Wray

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