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    Menopause at 36,37 now a year later and already post-menopausal
    Bridgettb32 posted:
    I'm writing this because I can't seem to get any clear answers from doctors, I don't have a regular doctor and any of the doctors I have seen regarding this have been so impersonal and uncaring, I'm just looking for some clear answers and if any of the symptoms I have been experiencing are concerning or just part of the menopausal cycle! Also for some support, as you can imagine, at 37 most people in my life have not yet reached menopause yet and are in shock that I am going through this at such a young age.

    I want to start at the beginning if that's o.k. In April 2015, I started experiencing very painful sex. Side note, my significant other and I have been trying to conceive since the beginning of the year. Concerned by the amount of pain I was experiencing, I went to the doctor, this was the first visit with this doctor, she suggested we do laparoscopic surgery to see what the issue was, before this procedure I had not had any peri-menopausal symptoms and had regular periods. During the surgery they found a certain type of small cysts wrapped around my fallopian tube (in 2009 I had an ectopic pregnancy in that fallopian tube) she said she got it all and my fallopian tubes looked good, she did not see any other issues that could cause painful sex and thought I should be able to conceive with time given my age (36 at the time). I had the surgery in July 2015 and right after that started having hot flashes, increased appitite, more severe depression (I have Breen with medication and therapy since I was 19), mood swings, and just felt different. I also had not had my period. I would joke, saying I was going through menopause, and wondered if it were possible but didn't think it was. I kept thinking I was just healing from the surgery. I also kept taking pregnancy tests thinking that's why I felt so odd. In November I finally had a period and my hot flashes and other symptoms had dissipated. Then in late December 2015, I found out I was pregnant, two days after that I started bleeding, and a week later found out I had an early miscarriage. This really devastated us, we had been trying for almost a year with quite a few set backs we felt like. My menopausal symptoms returned and I had not had another period by March. I was on state insurance at the time, and went to see a doctor, she drew my blood, I had to call several weeks later to find out the results, and over the phone this doctor told me my FSH level was 105 meaning I was slack dab in the middle of menopause, and having a child naturally was not a possibility at this point. Again extremely devastated, I started doing some reading and read some stories about women getting pregnant during peri-menopause and began to feel maybe there was some hope. I decided to purchase insurance through my work to hopefully find a doctor that would look into this a little more to find out what options I had. At this time I had finally had a period in April, and made an apt with the fertility clinic with Kaiser. This process made us feel like there was still a possibility. We went through the steps of taking an ovulation test. After 3 days of taking the test it said I was at peak ovulation! We were very excited, as I did not think I was ovulating at all and to have it say that less than a month after I had had my period for the first time in 6 months, we were again hopeful. Then I was supposed to take a series of more tests 3 days after my next period and I didn't have one. We of course thought it was because we were pregnant! I had also taken some other tests during this time, one of them indicating that I had in fact not ovulated and the test must have been false. Can you imagine the emotional roller coaster ride we had experienced and how this effected us? Hopeful, crushed, hopeful, crushed! So with this news the doctor put me on progesterone to induce a period (this is now May) so that she can get the remaining tests she needs, one being another FSH test.
    Bridgettb32 responded:
    I ran out of characters (lol I guess I'm a little too detailed)
    I would like to finish. The progesterone did not work so she put me on a month of birth control, this worked and by mid-july I had the results of the test indicating I was in post menopause! I had read so many things about how menopause can last so many years, and average is 6-10, and I went through it in a year??!!?? I did not get a follow up with my doctor after this and could not ask my bazillion questions, during this time I had lost my job and my insurance was canceled! I should mention that since late April and still I have had constant lower abdominal pain and lower back pain as I would normally just before my period. Along with this I just started experiencing really sore nipples and very painful sex as I had from the beginning. This (painful sex) had not gone away at all.

    My many questions are these;
    Are these symptoms and the frequencies of them normal?
    Could something have happened during the laparoscopic surgery to induce menopause?
    Is there anything I could take,natural, over the counter or prescription that would help with the painful sex, and is this just a part of menopause or should I look into any other issues?
    What other symptoms may I experience, so I know what to expect?
    Is that really odd that I went through menopause so quickly? Is there anything this could mean or does this just sometimes happen?
    Is there any hope that I will feel normal again?

    Thank you for taking the time to read and answer my questions, or share your own stories!

    Mary Jane Minkin, MD replied to Bridgettb32's response:
    Dear Bridgett,
    Hope I can help. Sorry to hear about what does indeed sound like premature ovarian insufficiency. About 1 % of women are menopausal by age 40, so alas it does happen. Now I am not at all sure you are fully menopausal; sounds like you are still perimenopausal, and it would be great to get you in to see a reproductive endocrinologist soon-there are still possibilities to help you conceive. You might check in with the nearest Planned Parenthood (I know that sounds strange-but they do a lot of regular gynecology, and they have sliding scales for fees)-and they may have a handle on local folks to help.
    I would doubt that the laparoscopic surgery had much to do with these issues-that should not have affected ovarian function.
    As far as the pain with intercourse: I am presuming the vagina is getting dry; an over the counter remedy called Replens can be very helpful. And if that doesn't do the job completely, vaginal estrogen should be very helpful. There are two creams available-you will need a prescription-but both could help; one is Premarin cream, the other is estrace cream.
    And I am also sending you to my new website:; please watch the menopause videos, and read some of the accompanying material-I hope it will be helpful for you.
    Good luck,
    Mary Jane

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