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What do I call this?
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Paladin9 posted:
I have always been one to have very harsh cycles. From age 12 on I bled like a stuck hog and had huge clots, extremely sore breasts and cramps. My cycles were also like clockwork (21-24 days)-NEVER late unless I was pregnant or had surgery.

I have just turned 52 last week and it took 5 weeks for my cycle to show up! At least I guess it's my cycle because it has gone on for at least 6 days. It is so light that I don't need a pad or liner. It sits at the vaginal opening waiting to be wiped off when I use the bathroom. Another strange side to it is that I have been cramping for at least 3 weeks before it showed up. I also had what looked like dark red "dirt" or a "grainy" apprearance in the toilet. Are these clots?

What is this? A normal cycle for someone my age in peri-menopause?

Or, is this considered to be spotting?
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Mary Jane Minkin, MD responded:
Dear Paladin9,
I would suspect that this is the beginning of perimenopause; unfortunately, it is impossible to predict what will happen to periods from this point-what happens in menopause first, in general, is that ovulation activity slows down; so that we don't make as much progesterone when we ovulate; and progesterone is the real "policeman" of the lining of the uterus. It is always a good idea to check in with your health care provider if disconcerting changes in your cycle persist, to rule out other causes of the disruption in cycle activity. If this change is indeed related to perimenopausal activity, one option to regulate things is something like a low dose birth control pills, if you are a good pill candidate (healthy, non smoker); but as long as nothing is amiss with your exam, and these changes don't bother you, you don't have to do anything.
Good luck,
Mary Jane
 
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Paladin9 replied to Mary Jane Minkin, MD's response:
Thanks. I just had my pap and mammogram. All clear. However It has been ten days and I am still wiping my cycle away. Low dose birth control is not an option due to my BP.

I just want to know if I should call this spotting or a period.
 
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Mary Jane Minkin, MD replied to Paladin9's response:
Dear Paladin9,
Not clear what to call it; but I think the physiology is the same; the beginning of the perimenopause, and that you didn't ovulate well this month, and didn't make a lot of progesterone to regulate the flow. If you are still spotting, I would consider a course of an oral progestin, like Norethindrone-one pill a day for 10 days, to help clean things out. If the bleeding has stopped at this point, then I'd just keep track of the bleeding, and let your health care provider know,
Good luck,
Mary Jane
 
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Paladin9 replied to Mary Jane Minkin, MD's response:
I cannot take Progestin. I did this once and ended up in the hospital with little white bumps all over me. I cannot take black cohosh either as it breaks me out in a rash.

I have finally stopped and it took 11 days. I do keep a calendar and this is something I have done for years. I highly suggest every woman do this.


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