Menopause - wish it were over!

Menopause was very confusing for me, and still is, because my doctor never explained how it worked. Even now, my obgyn calls me "post-menopausal," even though I am very obviously still in the throws of menopause.

I initially went in to see an obgyn for abnormal bleeding. There was no rhyme or reason to my bleeding - it would occur off and on at various times and for weeks at at a time. One time I bled for nearly a month. Another doctor recently (an endocrinologist) verified that I am "menopausal," not "Post-menopausal." So now that I know I am still menopausal, that helps me to accept what I cannot change and deal with it. My obgyn says I have uterous hyperplasia and prescribed Provera, which my insurance recognizes only generics, so I have taken medroxyprogesterone for over 3 years now. I have gone through the worst time of my whole life, with not only aches and pains, eye trouble, acne, itchy skin, tender legs and hurting feet, not to mention total exhaustion and sleeplessness, but also being overheated most of the time, and bleeding intermittently.

The doctor kept giving me ultrasounds and biopsies and a D & C which showed "striping," which I learned was a terrible thing. The biopsies were very painful and I did not want to endure any more D & Cs. I was at the end of my rope about 6 months ago when I screamed out in pain at the time of biopsy and it hurt for two days. The other day I asked the doctor if I can stop the progesterone, since I had begun thyroid treatment (Synthroid) and hoped that possibly that would take care of my problem. He said I could, so now I am wondering if I should just stop or should I withdraw gradually? (I forgot to ask him - actually, don't think I should have to, but that's another issue!) That (discontinuing progesterone) is the reason I am reading up on it, but have not found the answer yet. Anyway, the progesterone did help my bleeding to stop, but that may have been an artificial fix and if it starts up again after I stop the progesterone, the doc says he will have to start all over again.

I don't understand why I couldn't just start taking the progesterone again on my own if I need to. Maybe someone there can help? I am really worried now because my insurance is changing and they will be charging me for every little thing and I may not be able to afford the close monitoring I had these past 3 years. By the way, my mother says her periods just stopped and she never had any signs of menopause. I am making up for her, to say the least! I started menstruation at 12 and am just now in menopause at age 61. So go figure!

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Oct 31, 2010
- wish it were over!
by: Wray

Hi there It appears your doctors have confused you about two issues. One is menopause, this is nothing more than the ovaries stop functioning, no viable eggs are left, and no bleeding occurs. Generally it's advised to wait 12 months before deciding if we are in menopause. For more info please see our page on Menopause. The years before this are now called peri-menopause, they can start 5-10 years prior, and are the generally far worse than the post menopause years. Bleeding can be erratic and from light to flooding. Mood is far worse too, plus a host of other symptoms, for more info please see our page on Peri-menopause. The other confusion is the term progesterone, doctors use this interchangeably with progestins, the synthetic progesterone. MPA is a progestin, it is not progesterone. It can have severe adverse side effects, as you've experienced. It also increases the chance of breast cancer, please see our page on HRT. You can use progesterone on your own, but a progestin needs a prescription. And you can just stop it, you might get withdrawal symptoms, but these are a small price to pay for coming off it. Progesterone does stop heavy bleeding, but it can't make cycles regular again once in peri-menopause. It's best to use it daily, through the bleeding, as there's no way of following the cycle. The two links I've given above explain how to use progesterone, and how much too. If you should consider using it, please read this page first on Oestrogen Dominance, this can occur and is disconcerting if it does. I've found between 100-200mg/day is needed, to overcome any oestrogen dominance it's best to use the high amount initially. Take care Wray

Oct 31, 2010
Wish Menopause was over
by: Anonymous

I know what you mean, my mother and my sister never had any problems or symptoms of menopause, on the other hand I was plagued with them. I was 51 and the most average age when I went through menopause. Provera is not natural progesterone (I used to be on it also). You don't need a prescription to buy natural progesterone cream, I have used it for a year now myself and have completely gotten rid of my menopause symptoms. For the first year I used 100 mg of natural progesterone each day, and now I can use 40 mg per day with no problems.

Nov 03, 2010
Wish Menopause was over
by: Wray

Hi there I'm so pleased the progesterone helped you. Stress can cause severe peri-menopause symptoms, maybe you had more stress than your mother or sister? Stress drops progesterone levels so symptoms come back, so always use more if stressed. You might be interested ot learn that progesterone is also beneficial for ageing, please see here, here, here and here. Take care Wray

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