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    What if you don't "test" as menopausal?
    Snomama posted:
    I have been tested twice in the past 3 years to see if I was menopausal. I have been having hot flashes and random cycles at best, it has been 5 months since my last one.

    So, exactly WHAT is going on? I *do* feel like I am hormonal as I have violent mood swings sometimes, NEVER had those before! I would like to know if there is something I can do about this? I am considering getting some hormone cream and seeing what happens w/that, can't hurt anything can it?

    Anyone got any answers?
    Mary Jane Minkin, MD responded:
    Dear Snomama,
    First of all, unfortunately in the perimenopause hormone tests can be misleading; your hormone levels are all over the place, and some days they may be normal, somedays abnormal (and they may have been capturing the normal days.) How old are you? If you are say 51, then this pattern is likely perimenopausal. If you are 34, then I'd be looking for other hormonal abnormalities, other than perimenopause. A very easy test is if you are indeed a good candidate for low dose birth control pill, if all of these symptoms are related to perimenopause, you should be basically better in a month. the problem with just adding estrogen is that on the days your ovaries are working, you are going to be getting their component plus the added estrogen; birth control pills "take over"-they shut down your ovaries, and then you can see what a fixed dose of estrogen feels like.
    If you do want to try an over the counter remedy for perimenopausal hot flashes, my recommendation would be to get some Remifemin, which is black cohosh. It is the most effective herbal supplement for hot flashes.
    And as usual, my recommendation would be to find, in this case, a good reproductive endocrinologist (not necessarily a menopause practitioner) who will be able to figure out your situation with you.
    Good luck,
    Mary Jane
    (to find a local endocrine expert, go to the website of the ASRM, or American Society of Reproductive Endocrinologists)

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    For more information, visit the North American Menopause Society website