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Includes Expert Content
New to Menopause
lolanap posted:
I'm 56 and have not had a period since July of this year. I was wondering what is a normal progression. Most of my friends have had hysterectomies so I haven't been able to have a discussion about what is "normal".

For about the last 8 or 9 years I have charted my cycles and have had very regular periods. Within the last couple years I would have some headaches a day or so before my period. I almost always experienced breast tenderness a week or so before my period also. After my period in July I started getting some symptoms that I hadn't before. I started having hot flashes during August and September, they have now subsided. I also started feeling bloated and have difficulty losing weight when I started a weight loss program at the end of July. Just this past week I started having very sore nipples which I never experienced before.

I'm looking to some answers as to what to expect with menopause. I know every woman is different but was wondering if most women just stop having periods or do they stop and start before finally ending for good. I have been trying to read all I can about menopause and would like to hear other women's experiences. Thanks.
Mary Jane Minkin, MD responded:
Dear lolanap,
And as to these comments: everything you are describing sounds very common for perimenopausal women; alas predicting what symptoms will come, and go, is difficult. But do read about everyone's experiences, and you'll get an excellent idea,
Good luck,
Mary Jane

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For more information, visit the North American Menopause Society website