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    Includes Expert Content
    Am I Perimenopauseal
    tie1978 posted:
    For the last 2 and an half years I've been dealing with irregular periods (cycles as short as 25 days to as long as 89 days). Also, I started experiencing hot flashes and night sweats about 4 months ago. I did my own research by looking on this website and countless others and could not find a definite answer (some said perimenopause others said nothing). I did tell my gynecologist about my symptoms when I saw him last year. He had a blood time done to check my hormone levels and everything came back "normal"(I don't know how anything about my hormones can be normal when the bouncing around like a hyperactive child on a trampoline). Anyway, I can really use someone's help and expertise with this. I almost forgot to mention that I'm 35 years old.
    Mary Jane Minkin, MD responded:
    Dear tie1978,
    Good questions. It certainly could be perimenopause. Indeed in this time frame, hormone levels may be totally normal, but you still could be perimenopausal. You can wait till your next period, and check your blood FSH level on the third day of that cycle. That will give you at least a ball park of what is called "ovarian reserve" (a measure of how much reserve activity is residing in your ovaries.) There are other possibilities to explain what you are experiencing-for example, thyroid overactivity can present this way. (has your doc checked thyroid function tests?). The easiest way I think to get an answer would be if you are a good candidate for birth control pills (in good health, not a smoker)-your doc could start you on a month of birth control pills-and if you feel much better, it would likely explain that this is indeed perimenopause.
    Good luck,
    Mary Jane
    tie1978 replied to Mary Jane Minkin, MD's response:
    I just recently had blood work done and all the results come back "within normal limits." So, I know it's not my thyroid. As far as a FSH level test, I would like to try it to see where I am. Do you know where I could buy one? Are the birth control pills suppose to help with hot flashes? I don't know if I would benefit from them. I was on birth control pills about 7 years ago and could not remember to one everyday at the same time so I stopped taking them.
    Mary Jane Minkin, MD replied to tie1978's response:
    Dear tie1978,
    A couple of thoughts. Yes, birth control pills should help your hot flashes. If you do have trouble remembering birth control pills, the vaginal contraceptive ring (Nuva Ring) might be helpful, because you don't have to remember to take anything every day. As far as the FSH test, your doctor can authorize a blood test to be drawn at the lab (which is the most accurate test). There are over the counter tests available at the pharmacy (which are for checking urine levels); the First Response ovarian reserve test is a good one, and it will give you a result as "normal" (10 or less) or elevated (more than 10).
    Hope that's helpful,
    Mary Jane
    30somethingnow replied to Mary Jane Minkin, MD's response:
    I was told by my doctor at 28 that I was experiencing some premenopausal symptoms, I just turned 34 and it's like a switch went off. I have several hot flashes throughout the hands and feet are sweaty. I have acne, I am moody, I sweat much more than I ever used to, I haven't been able to go to sleep before 2am for the past two hair is thinning, my skin is drying...what do I do now?
    Mary Jane Minkin, MD replied to 30somethingnow's response:
    Dear 30somethingnow,
    Once you have ruled out other hormonal issues (like thyroid disorders which can mimic many of these symptoms) and it looks like perimenopause, you and your health care provider need to figure out the best way to get you some estrogen therapy. Birth control pills certainly are one way to do it; one can also do a combination of estrogen and progesterone as we do for menopausal women. You definitely should think about being on estrogen in some form or other. The health benefits for almost every 34 year old woman significantly outweigh the risks. If your health care provider isn't comfortable with dealing with premature menopause, you can find a local menopause provider at, the website of the North American Menopause Society.
    Good luck,
    Mary Jane

    Featuring Experts

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    For more information, visit the North American Menopause Society website