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    Menopause bomb
    goldenlove411 posted:
    WOW. I was so not prepared when my doctor just told me I was in menopause. 44 years old. Really? I thought this was supposed to happen in my late 40's early 50's.

    I was so sure it was my thyroid. He says that was fine and that my FSH was 90 which indicates menopause. I asked him about peri menopause, he just shrugged his shoulders and said you must have just breezed through it.

    I don't know where to begin and I am incredibly sad about all of this.

    He didn't spend much time with me, just stated that he was a firm believer in HRT and prescribed a pill and a patch for me to try because of my sleep disturbing hot flashes and mood swings and out the door he went. I didn't really expect a psychiatriac session but I was so alarmed, a little compassion would have been nice instead of the factual way he presented it.

    I came off the pill about a year and half ago and I had read that it might take awhile for your period to become regular. Well, it took awhile but I did start back, just not very regular. So with the warm feelings ( I don't drench in sweat like some people say), insomnia and mood swings and the crying at the drop of a hat, I went to the doctor.

    I am just so much in shock! I am afraid and bewildered and I am wondering if I will ever feel good again. Please someone help me understand this!
    Mary Jane Minkin, MD responded:
    Dear Goldenlove411,
    Welcome to the community; and I hope everyone here will help you not be so bewildered. Indeed, about 5% of all women are menopausal by age 45; so although it is certainly early, it is not unheard of. And you do want to be under the care of a healthcare provider with whom you can communicate. An excellent website for you to visit it, which is the website of the North American Menopause Society. It's got lots of information, and a listing of certified menopause practitioners throughout the country, so you can find someone near you. All that being said, I will encourage you to consider hormone therapy. There is very little risk, and a lot of upside to taking hormone therapy when you go through menopause this young. And there are lots of options for you. There are a couple of brands of patches that have both estrogen and progestin in them (very similar to the medications in birth control pills, but just a much smaller amount)-one you change once a week, one you change twice a week. There are also pills that contain both estrogen and progestin (you need the progestin to prevent over stimulation of your uterine lining from the estrogen.) You will probably feel much better on the estrogen-it's tough to start menopause in the heat of the summer. As far as the differentiation of peri to full menopause, until you go one full year without your period, you are still perimenopausal; but you certainly can initiate estrogen therapy now.
    You will feel good again! and it will be in the near future, not distant future!
    Good luck,
    Mary Jane
    goldenlove411 replied to Mary Jane Minkin, MD's response:
    Mary Jane,
    Thank you so much for taking the time to respond. I appreciate the encouraging news that I will feel better. After my doctor's appt. I felt so alone as none of my friends are going through this! I cried all the way home!

    My doctor prescribed a progesterone pill and Vivelle dot patch. I just started and I sure hope it kicks in soon.

    Should I consider an antidepressant? I have dealt with depression before and it really seems bad right now. Maybe I should just wait and see if the hormones help the feelings too.

    I don't know if my doctor was having a bad day or menopause is not his specialty but I am almost considering looking for another doctor.

    Again took a load off of my mind to read your comments! Bless you!
    Mary Jane Minkin, MD replied to goldenlove411's response:
    Dear goldenlove411,
    I would give the hormones a month or two to see how you feel. It is perfectly safe to take an antidepressant as well; but the hormonal intervention may do the trick. There are tons of estrogen receptors in the brain, and some studies have shown that estrogen can have properties similar to an antidepressant. If in a month or two you are still feeling depressed, it is fine to add an antidepressant.
    Hope you are feeling much better soon,
    Mary Jane

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    For more information, visit the North American Menopause Society website