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    Six months no period
    Ruth50 posted:
    I had had no period for five months and am now on my second period this month. It is like my old ones, heavy with dragging lower back and abdominal pain.
    I recently had a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound due to a painful lump which proved to be an enlarged duct.
    Are these things related somehow?
    This period is at five days and counting. The first one I had this month lasted around five days.
    Mary Jane Minkin, MD responded:
    Dear Ruth50,
    Indeed, the frequent periods are just the flip side of the skipping of the periods; in perimenopause, ovulation slows down considerably, and when you ovulate, you make progesterone which I describe to folks as the policeman of the lining of the uterus. (The head of obgyn at the Univ. of Colorado describes progesterone as the "lawnmower" of the lining of the uterus.) As far as the breast changes, women can experience hormonal surges; somedays their ovaries make no estrogen, and sometimes they surge out large amounts which could stimulate the breast tissue.
    One option that can be very helpful here, if you are in good health and a non smoker, would be a low dose birth control pill; they have lots of progesterone in them (the policeman!) and they will level out hormonal surges-so if these symptoms are bothersome, you could speak with your health care provider about a low dose pill.
    Good luck,
    Mary Jane
    Ruth50 replied to Mary Jane Minkin, MD's response:
    Thank you for you reply. I had been on a low dose pill for a few years due to heavy periods, but stopped last summer to see where I was re: menopause. I still have a prescription but should probably see a doctor first before going back on it right?
    Mary Jane Minkin, MD replied to Ruth50's response:
    Dear Ruth,
    You could call your doctor and check in with him or her; they may say fine, just go back on the pill, or they may want to have you visit with them first. So give them a call, and see how they'd like to proceed.
    Good luck,
    Mary Jane

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    For more information, visit the North American Menopause Society website