I go in for my annual gyn appt in a few weeks, and am thinking of having her check my hormonses. I am only 31, but am wondering if I could be going into early menopause. I've been having serious night sweats and hot flashes. Only at night it seems, though. I am fairly sure it's not a mental thing. It started about 6 months or so ago, I'd guess. <P>So, what does it feel like to start "the change of life?" Anyone else know of anything that might cause the hot flashes? It's to the point I have to get up and go sleep on the couch so I don't keep the husband up (he's never asked me to go, I just feel bad because he gets up so early). Even then, I don't sleep any better becaues I am still hot.<P>Thoughts?
If the genesis of the problem were more recent, one might wonder if the summer hadn't something to do with it. However, this is going back 6 months...<P>Interestingly, I have had the same problem recently. So I went out and bought another duvet (eiderdown/quilt). A lighter one. Made little or no difference. Still had a few night sweats. However, I was staying in another house since then, a darker and cooler house, and had no problem. Also, I am currently on a fertility medication called Clomid which, as far as I understand, shuts off one's estrogen receptors, so that could be the reason. I hope it is. <P>If you have egg-white kind of cervical mucus around 14 days BEFORE your period, I don't think (although I'm no expert here) you are deficient in estrogen. You know, that transparent, stretchy, raw egg-whitish sort of cervical emission. Some women have it for a few days around their fertile period, other women don't seem to have it at all. My understanding (limited!) is that the higher the estrogen around mid-cycle, the greater the volume of egg-white mucus. You can check this by wiping before and after you urinate with toilet paper and checking the quality of mucus.<P>Night-sweats,for some, can be the first sign of perimenopause.<P>[This message has been edited by pinky (edited 04 August 2003).]<p>[This message has been edited by pinky (edited 04 August 2003).]
Thanks for the info, Pinky. Unfortunately, I don't have periods anymore--at least not in the regular sense--because I am continuous birth control pills to stop them (I had horrible PMS). I have very little discharge at all now, though there is still a little.<P>Like you, I've tried different sheets, covers, etc. Nothing helps. Doesn't seem to matter how cool we keep it in here via a/c. Going onto the couch doesn't really help, even though I sleep with nothing on. I do that largely so my husband can sleep.<P>It's definitely been happening since before summer. At least since early spring. I am just tired of not being able to sleep. Also, my skin has changed lately. I am getting a bit of acne now and again, which I haven't had since I was on Accutane several years ago. NOt a lot of acne, just occasionally, but definitely enough for me to note the change.<P>Good luck with the fertility treatments!!
This starts to get out of my knowledge base, but I think you'd want to test estrogens, and also FSH.<P>Just perhaps, the ovaries are shutting down prematurely, and producing less estrogen. This causes less SHBG production, thus more free T and thus more oily skin and acne. (I'm wary of this theory, because the oral BC should still keep SHBG levels high(er), and boost estrogen too.)<P>I think if you're just going into meno, the tests could very well be inconclusive.<P><BR>Best wishes,<BR>Greg<P>Also note, I am *not* a doctor, and this is not intended as medical advice - Please talk to your doctor about your concerns.<P><BR>[Note: This message has been edited by NEWSHE Moderator]<BR><p>[Note: This message has been edited by NEWSHE Moderator]
Hm...I've been on bc since I was about 15 for medical reasons (the continuous pills for well over 2 years now) and I've never had the hot flashes before. That said, I know side effects can change with time. I'll ask my practitioner about that when I go in. Do you think it's possible that I would get the night symptoms, with nothing else (morning sickeness, tenderness in breasts, etc.)?<p>[This message has been edited by dona (edited 04 August 2003).]
Do you have anxiety or are you taking antidepressants? Night sweats are seen in some people on antidepressants (Zoloft, Effexor, Paxil), as well as people who have chronic anxiety.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by dona:<BR><B>I go in for my annual gyn appt in a few weeks, and am thinking of having her check my hormonses. I am only 31, but am wondering if I could be going into early menopause. I've been having serious night sweats and hot flashes. Only at night it seems, though. I am fairly sure it's not a mental thing. It started about 6 months or so ago, I'd guess. <P>So, what does it feel like to start "the change of life?" Anyone else know of anything that might cause the hot flashes? It's to the point I have to get up and go sleep on the couch so I don't keep the husband up (he's never asked me to go, I just feel bad because he gets up so early). Even then, I don't sleep any better becaues I am still hot.<P>Thoughts?</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>
wren,<P>No to both the chronic anxiety and antidepressants. I did take 5-htp for quite some time, but haven't taken it for about 3 months now. Also, my symptoms aren't among it's side effects. <P>I also have fairly regular bouts of insomnia and joint pain. Both are symptoms of menopause, but in my case, I've also dealt with both most of my life (insomnia runs in the family, as does the joint disorder)...I just can't tell if they are getting worse. I suppose I should start keeping a journal.<P>Any other ideas? That was an excellent one.
I think the way to know if one is menopausal is to test one's FSH and estrogen levels, as Greg pointed out. Menopause occurs, I think, when one's reserve of eggs runs out. As the ovarian supply diminishes, one's FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) levels increase in a frantic effort to force out more eggs. In menopause, eggs no longer there so FSH levels are at a record high.<P>As one's estrogen levels decline, one's testosterone levels may become more dominant, which may explain the acne...?<P>Perhaps you should consider getting off the birth control pills?
Pinky, thanks for the info! I do plan on having my hormones tested when I go in for my annual in early Sept.(this is already on my chart--my doc is very good about these things).<P>Unf, stopping bc isn't an option for me. At least, not unless my doc tells me to and we can find some good alternatives. I don't take oc's for birth control purposes (since my husband and I don't have sex, this is incidental), but for other medical reasons. Last time we talked about it, there weren't a lot of other options. Of course, that was about 3 years ago, so perhaps something has come up since then. Why do you think stopping bc might have a positive effect (I am not well-versed in this area)? I have heard of some women being put on bc's as their HRT, but it must not be working for me--at least, not at this dose?<P>
Why stop taking BCP? I just wondered whether the disadvantages outweighed the advantages at this stage. Also, if the reason your taking BCP has to do with having painful periods, for which (I think) BCP are sometimes recommended, perhaps if you are truly menopausal, then the initial reason for taking BCP may no longer apply.<P>Perhaps (just throwing out an idea here: I have this perhaps erroneous presumption that menopause always = dry vagina)it is the case that if your vagina is dry that the reason for your night-sweats has to do with low estrogent. If your vagina is not dry, then the reason for your night-sweats could be something else.<P>
Pinky,<P>Nope, I am not taking BCP for painful periods. I have been on them since I was 15 to help control what was then really nasty anemia, uncontrollable and irregular periods that kept me out of school for days at a time, and cysts that were present at the same time. My anemia is much more under control now, but I have developed a few other issues, too, and require the ovarian suppression of hormonal contraception if at all possible. I could live without it, but life would likely be a lot more unpleasant. I take it also for nasty PMS (severe headaches, bloating and joint pain), but could probably get one of the newer meds for that if I went off BCP for some reason.<P>I am not sure if my vagina is dry or not, actually. I don't have much discharge, but haven't since I was fairly young (teens). It doesn't feel dry from day-to-day. By "dry vagina" does that mean during sexual activity, or all the time? I seem wet enough when I masturbate (a fairly irregular occurance since I lost my drive a while back), but definitely not the Niagra Falls it used to be--for which I am almost grateful. Does anyone know if a dryness of the vagina always goes with menopause?<P>As you suggested, I did some research on perimenopausal. Having read more on the topic, it seems that perhaps I am "perimenopausal," meaning I am just entering menopause, rather than actually menopausal. <P>Is there anyone else here who's been perimenopausal at a young age (I am 31)?<P>Thank you for your help with this, Pinky!<BR>
As I understand it menopause is 12 months without a period and perimenapause are the symptoms leading up to that. In Uzzi Reiss' book is states than men and woman rich thier hormonally peak at around 25 and then it is a slow decline after that. It becomes more drastic in the 40's and 50's so that when most people notice the "aging process". Here's a link to transcripts to the Bermans' show on menopause.<P><A HREF="www.newshe.com/menopause1.shtml" TARGET=_blank>www.newshe.com/menopause1.shtml</A><P>
Just as an update for those who are interested, I am perimenopausal, it seems. I've been meaning to post this for a few weeks, but just hadn't gotten around to it. Anyway, my gyn wants me to continue my current phytoestrogen regimine (using foods instead of traditional HRT), and she'll retest in about 2 months. Given my history and family history, she wasn't all that suprised; but, she said she was suprised that my levels were as low as they are given I am on the birth control pill. Some changes will likely be made to that (I can't go off of it for other medical reasons, unless it becomes a serious health risk) on my next visit. Probably the patch. As of right now, I've seen some changes--fewer night sweats, less hot flashes, etc. They're still there, but not every night, so I am at least getting some sleep. My moods, says the hubby, are also improving, and my energy is slowly seeming to crawl back up.<P>I am not sure if that latter is due to the phytoestrogen therapy, or the testosterone therapy. I am only on t-cream twice a week at this point. Doc did say my levels were lower than she'd like them for bone maintenance since I have such issues with bones and joints already and can't afford any premature deterioration, so she wants to keep me on test 2% cream until she retests in two months, at which point we'll re-evaluate that dosage. My libido has been, it seems, returning a bit. So far, though, it hasn't been a problem as it's not been a dramatic increase and it's just meant more snuggling for the DH. It's not strong enough that lack of sex bothers me, it's just seeming that I am more interested in intimate physical contact. We've made a point of doing that anyway (hugging, kissing, naked snuggling, etc.), so it's just been more so. DH is happy about it, too. <P>That's the update
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