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Momof2Dogs posted:
Hello all. I'm 42 and have not had a period since Jan 15th. Prior to this, I have always had very regular periods. I understand that I could be in perimenopause but I did not expect my periods to just stop like this. I guess I figured that they would get a little wonky..miss one, get one, miss two, get a few, etc... Just not completely cease like it seems to have. Anyway, I have an appt with my gyn on Tuesday (4/23)...they would not see me till I missed 12 weeks (it will be 14 weeks next week).

I took a pg test about 3-4 weeks back, which was negative as I suspected because I did not havea an super easy time getting pregnant when I was in my 30's (I was tested at 38 with slightly elevated FSH) plus, I am fairly thin and was not noticing any bump or weight gain of any kind. But the nurse at my gyn pressed me to take a test, so I did.

The first two months of the missed period, I was experiencing heart palpitations through the day and hot flashes at night. Those have stopped. Now this week I have very sore nipples. Not the breast at all, just the nipples. From time to time I feel very crampy, but nothing happens.

This sounds like perimenopause, right? But why the complete absence of a period already? My mother didn't have this happen until she was in her 50's. I realize it can be different for everyone, but that is a pretty big difference.

Any insight would be helpful. I am also wondering what they might test me for when I go in next week? Hormone levels and maybe an ultrasound?

Thank you.
Mary Jane Minkin, MD responded:
Dear Momof2Dogs,
This certainly could be perimenopause, and in this situation, a blood level for FSH and estradiol could be helpful. However, until you go a full year without a period, you cannot say you are menopausal. About 1% of women are fully menopausal by age 40-you certainly are young, but indeed perimenopause is certainly possible here. What you are saying about the hot flashes being better and the nipples being sore, it certainly sounds like your ovaries are doing something now; so I'd make sure you still had tampons/pads in the house. As long as you are feeling fine, there isn't too much you need to do special-other than taking good care of yourself-eating and exercising properly, and making sure you take in about 1200 mg of calcium and 1000 units of vitamin D, to help keep your bones in good shape.
There are also many other potential causes of periods stopping, including many other hormonal issues related to the thyroid or pituitary gland. So if this doesn't look like perimenopause hormonally, you doctor will probably look at some other hormonal tests.
Good luck,
Mary Jane
Momof2Dogs replied to Mary Jane Minkin, MD's response:
Thank you very much for the reply. It is helpful to know some info going into my appointment. I just kinda hope I don't get a period before my Tuesday appt now. I really want to know what is going on!

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