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    the change help
    jahguide72 posted:
    I am 41 haven't had a period in 4 months, was having horrible hot flashes they stopped now my nipples are very sore and warm to touch and get very hard, oh and I did a pregnancy test two months ago and it was negative?? Am I going through the change
    Mary Jane Minkin, MD responded:
    Dear jahguide72,
    Although you are quite young, it sounds that way; 5% of women are menopausal by age 45. What happens in perimenopause is that sometimes your ovaries aren't working (so you're getting the hot flashes) then they wake up with a "hurrah" and so you've got lots of estrogen and sore nipples. It can be difficult to definitively diagnose perimenopause-your blood levels of estrogen now may well be totally normal, as might your FSH level be (the pituitary hormone that goads the ovary into doing something.) But if you wait until you get some more hot flashes, the FSH rates to be a bit higher, and the estrogen lower. Of course there are other explanations for these symptoms as well, if it turns out that menopause isn't the culprit.
    If these symptoms are disturbing, you could try low dose birth control pills, as long as you are a good pill candidate (a healthy non smoker, basically)-they will keep your hormone levels steady.
    Good luck,
    Mary Jane

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