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    Just started perimenopausal symptoms
    An_254625 posted:
    Hi Everyone,.
    I just joined this community because I am looking for support and answers.
    Just a brief history: I just started premenopausal symptoms approximately 2 months ago. I am experiencing many of the same symptoms as all of you. The hot flashes, the foggy thought, the sadness for no reason, irritability, irregular periods, the anxiety, the tremors. What has me the most concerned is the moodiness. I do feel like I am loosing my mind. I am sad a lot or have sad thoughts. I can't control them and just have to let the mood run its course. I hate it. It's getting to the point where I can't function while they are happening and it's happening a lot. I am currently unemployed, so I have no insurance to see a doctor. I am scared that I won't be able to hold a job when the sadness and anxiety starts.
    I started taking Black Cohosh Extract by Spring Valley. It is helping with symptoms a little. It's in the vitamin section at most stores. Any suggestions of other OTC things I can try until I can see a doctor? Thank You
    Mary Jane Minkin, MD responded:
    Dear An_254625,
    Black cohosh is a reasonable over the counter choice; if the brand you are using is working, great; if not, you might try Remifemin, imported from Germany (still over the counter here.) Another option is soy; getting some in your diet can be helpful; another over the counter product is I-cool, which has the same isoflavones (the sort of weak plant estrogens) which make soy helpful for some women. You may want to check in with your local planned parenthood; they do a lot of womens' health care, besides contraception, and they have a sliding scale for payment-so see if they can help you out with perimenopausal care.
    Good luck,
    Mary Jane
    An_254625 responded:
    Well, after having my iron levels drop severely to the point where 1 of the 3 levels the Dr's were watching didn't even register a point & HGB being as low as a 5 (12 being low) the doctors ran all kinds of tests. I pretty much bleed all of February. Even had 3 IVs of iron. They discovered I have ovary cysts and a tumor in my uterus. I am scheduled for a hysterectomy. They will be removing my uterus, cervix and the ovary that produces the cysts. They put me on Prozac to control mood swings and gave me a depo shot so I wont bleed anymore before surgery. This week is 1 of my usual period weeks and I am experiencing hot flashes, mood swings and I am not sleeping well. I hope the menopausal symptoms calm down and even go away after surgery.
    I found a job after my first post but I ended up losing my job in the process because I was still in my 90 days when my Dr's pulled me out of work. I just want to feel normal so I can get a job after surgery.
    Anon_6061 replied to An_254625's response:
    Having parts removed will likely worsen your menopausal symptoms. I can attest to that big time by experience!

    The most common uterine "tumors" are fibroids which can cause a lot of bleeding. Polyps are another possibility. What did your doctor tell you these are? Have any pharmaceutical treatments been tried to control the bleeding? There are hormonal and non-hormonal options as detailed here -

    If part of our "reproductive" system is removed, it can cause a cascade of problems compromising many aspects of our health and quality of life.

    There are surgeons out there who will remove just the uterine growths so you can keep your uterus and its non-reproductive functions (anatomical, skeletal, hormonal, sexual). And the ovaries are essential to lifelong health too as they produce hormones into a woman's 80's. Hysterectomy is grossly overused so you may need to doctor shop if you want to keep these vital organs.

    I had a hysterectomy and my life and health have suffered in many ways. I don't even look the same. I aged overnight and I have the hysterectomy figure and resulting spine, back, and hip pain which has gotten progressively worse the further out I get from surgery.

    Please research and make sure you are comfortable with what is being recommended. There are quite a few studies out there about the negative effects of hysterectomy.
    misbehavin1010 replied to An_254625's response:
    I went in for surgery May 1st. The surgeon went in & pulled out. She said a side of my uterus is adhered to a section of bowel. She also said, the right ovary, the one we thought was okay (The left one produces cysts) is worse than the left one. She wants to reschedule my surgery with the assistance of another surgeon who works with robotics & adhesions. They will be taking the right ovary now so I will have everything removed. The adhesion increases my chances of being opened up if they can't do it laparoscopic again. Plus it makes the surgery riskier in general now.
    I was suppose to meet with my Dr. this past Friday, the 9th, but she got called into an emergency. My appointment is now scheduled for Tuesday the 13th.
    The Prozac seems to be working well. I've had lighter hot flashes, less mood swings. However, late Friday night I started bleeding again. I am also taking oral iron daily. I hope she can reschedule my surgery soon. So tired of all of this.
    Anon_6061 replied to misbehavin1010's response:
    I'm sorry to hear they will be taking all your sex organs. Did your doctor explain why she can't remove just the cysts? I hope you fare better than I have. Mine were removed 8 years ago and I still grieve for my intact self and life before this event.

    Hope all goes well.
    An_254625 replied to misbehavin1010's response:
    Just an update: Surgery has been rescheduled for June 16th, with a specialist who deals with complicated female reproductive issues.
    Mary Jane Minkin, MD replied to An_254625's response:
    Dear An_254625,
    We all wish you good luck-best wishes for a speedy recovery.
    Mary Jane
    An_254625 responded:
    Well, I had surgery on Monday June 16th and I was home by Tuesday June 17th. It was able to be done laproscopically with no complications. The surgeon rechecked everything & lymph nodes and no cancer. I am sore and swollen but doing well. Finally on the road to recovery.
    Mary Jane Minkin, MD replied to An_254625's response:
    Dear An_254625,
    That's terrific that you are doing well, and you got excellent news, too. Thanks for the update, and I'm sure everyone wishes you well.
    Good luck,
    Mary Jane

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