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    Includes Expert Content
    Late Menopause
    smstreet posted:
    I am a 57 year old female. In 2004 I thought I was going into menopause, but then my Mother died and I had what I thought was a period due to stress. Ever since then when I get stressed I have a period. The stress and the periods have gone from several days to spotting just once and a while and now back to several days at a time ( light flow). Is this "late menopause"? Is 57 too old to have a period or spotting? The longer (2 or 3 days) periods include mild cramps sometimes and warm liquids calm them down.
    Thank You
    Mary Jane Minkin, MD responded:
    Dear smstreet,
    57 is not old at all! (for all things!)
    Although the average age at menopause is 51, my definition of normal is 35-60; I have numbers of patients going through menopause at age 57.
    The major question I always ask (both here, and asking myself regarding any of my patients) is "Is there a possibility this bleeding pattern is related to something out of the ordinary in my patient's lining of her uterus, or is this clearly a perimenopausal pattern?" If I have any questions, I will do either an ultrasound to check on the lining of the uterus, or a sampling-a biopsy-of the lining of the uterus. The significant majority of the time, the answer is that the lining is fine-and the bleeding is just related to "fluctuating hormones." Actually, having cramps would be a good sign to me, to indicate it's more likely related to perimenopause. But do record your bleeding patterns, and discuss them with your health care provider.
    Good luck,
    Mary Jane
    greenlevel1 replied to Mary Jane Minkin, MD's response:
    Hi Dr. Minkin,
    I'm smstreet, I just forgot my password and had to get a new account (got locked out). Thank you so much.
    I have an appointment this Wed. May 18, 2011 with my Dr. and now I'm not too afraid to tell her about everything. I grew up in a culture where you only went to the doctor when you were sick. So even just going is emotionally an admission that something is wrong. But now I know that does not have to be the case. I'm a little embarrassed that being a women I know so little about menopause and the stages of it. BUT I am so very graceful Dr. Minkin, for you and this site.
    Thank you so very, very much.
    smstreet (aka greenlevel1)
    Mary Jane Minkin, MD replied to greenlevel1's response:
    Dear smstreet,
    Thanks so much for your kind words. I hope you have an excellent visit with your new doctor-and don't be afraid to discuss everything with her. And of course, you know you can always write in here, and share your questions and experiences-
    Best of luck to you,
    Mary Jane

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    For more information, visit the North American Menopause Society website