Welcome to our Community!

KazKaz Posts: 461 mod
edited December 2018 in What's on your mind?
Hello!
We are very excited to introduce you to our new Menopause Community Forum. 
We are delighted  you’ve decided to join us! 
It would be great if together, we could make this space one of the main places for you to go to for support, or to pick up hints and tips for all things menopausal, from the people who understand the most - other menopausal and perimenopausal women! 
Whether it’s hot flushes, brain fog, sleepless nights, excessive bleeding, HRT or one of the many, MANY symptoms that we deal with every day, or perhaps it's just a friendly ear you need, we want you to feel free to share your experiences here. 
When you’re ready, we’d love you to introduce yourselves and tell us a little bit about you and why you’ve joined our community. You’ll be surrounded by women who are going through similar experiences, and you’ll be treated with kindness and respect. 
Ultimately, this is your space, and it’s important to have you help us build it into the resource that you need.
A reminder though, this should be a safe place for all of our users to visit, so please be mindful that surnames, email addresses, phone numbers and addresses should not be shared. 
Welcome to our community. 
We look forward to getting to know you all! 😊 


Comments

  • Martha2018Martha2018 Posts: 1
    Hi I've just joined as I've been told after having my bloods tested again that I am now menopausal.  I have 4 children eldest 18 and youngest 5.  I don't look my age (48) and I'm surrounded by younger women as I had my two younger children at 41 and 43.  I feel I'm going mad some days and just want to sleep.  I'm a confident woman normally but this has hit me so badly. x
  • KazKaz Posts: 461 mod
    Hi I've just joined as I've been told after having my bloods tested again that I am now menopausal.  I have 4 children eldest 18 and youngest 5.  I don't look my age (48) and I'm surrounded by younger women as I had my two younger children at 41 and 43.  I feel I'm going mad some days and just want to sleep.  I'm a confident woman normally but this has hit me so badly. x
    Hello Martha2018 
    Welcome along - it’s nice to have you here! You have my admiration! Menopausal with teenagers AND little folk! You’re a warrior! Although I’m sure that you feel anything but most days  :)
    I completely understand what you’re saying. All I want for Christmas is 12 hours uninterrupted sleep (actually more than two or three hours would be a bonus) and to feel more like the “old” me. Menopause just turns everything on its head. 
    That makes it seem like it’s all bad news, and it isn’t really. Since I’ve joined the forum and started to see what other women are dealing with, as strange as it may seem, it actually helps to know that I’m not on my own. In some ways that let’s me relax a bit about what’s happening to me, and everything is a bit easier to cope with. 
    I hope you enjoy spending some time with us. Please let us know if you have questions. And once again, a very warm welcome to you. Kaz  :)

  • helalisohelaliso Posts: 1
    Hi,
    I’m Helen. I’ve been perimenopausal for 4 -5 years now. I’m managing the hot flashes with Sage supplements but the lack of sleep, brain fog and low low libido is getting me down- and my patient hubby of 5 years! 
    I had 3 miscarriages and no resulting children and IVF which caused a problem with me taking hormones so no HRT will help! 
    I have a stressful full on job as a Registered Nurse managing a nursing home. I need to be alert and on the ball but I need strong down time with my husband. 
    He wants me to go to my GP but I’m reluctant as I have been before. I’ve put on 2 stone which upsets me but diets don’t work! 
    Help!!!!!!
  • KazKaz Posts: 461 mod
    helaliso said:
    Hi,
    I’m Helen. I’ve been perimenopausal for 4 -5 years now. I’m managing the hot flashes with Sage supplements but the lack of sleep, brain fog and low low libido is getting me down- and my patient hubby of 5 years! 
    I had 3 miscarriages and no resulting children and IVF which caused a problem with me taking hormones so no HRT will help! 
    I have a stressful full on job as a Registered Nurse managing a nursing home. I need to be alert and on the ball but I need strong down time with my husband. 
    He wants me to go to my GP but I’m reluctant as I have been before. I’ve put on 2 stone which upsets me but diets don’t work! 
    Help!!!!!!
    Hi Helen. It’s good to have you here. Thanks for sharing your story. Lots of us will empathise with your sleep issues, and I’m sure if we could solve that, the rest would seem far more manageable. You’ve had a lot to deal with, and it seems really unfair that the menopause is adding more stress! I feel like you about going to my GP, which Is daft as that’s what they’re there for, but I chose to try various things to find out what worked for me. I wasn’t able to take HRT, and I didn’t want to be offered more anti depressants, so I did some digging and I find I manage by taking 5htp and magnesium. My mood has definitely improved, and slowly my sleep is improving. That in turn helps with my libido, and the brain fog seems less. If I could just crack the hot flushes it would be a bonus. I’ve stopped worrying about the weight gain. I figure that once everything is on more of an even keel, the weight will stabilise. I just try to move as much as I can - walk the dogs, gardening etc. I feel sorry for my husband. I’m sure there are lots of times that he just doesn’t understand why I get up in the middle of the night, or am never in the mood - but he says it helps that I keep telling him how I’m feeling, and what my symptoms are. I’ve even shown him some of the information on this website, and I think he finally gets that it’s a genuine problem and I’m not rejecting him. I used to do a similar job to you, and it was very much full on. I’m glad I don’t have that to deal with any more - and I completely understand how hard it is to stay focussed when you’re dealing with so many other things, and just aren’t feeling great. If you look around the site, there are lots of women taking lots of things to deal with various symptoms. I think the best thing I’ve got from being here is the knowledge that I’m not on my own, and a few hints from other women about what I can do about it.
    I am trying a new supplement to improve my sleep, and I’ve had a couple of nights with really good results. I’m going to give it a week or so before I suggest it because it’s quite expensive, and I want to be sure that it’s not just because I’m shattered that I’ve slept! If it’s still working after a week or so, I’ll let you know! K  :)
  • MistyMisty Posts: 1
    Hi, I am married to a wonderful man who is patient and kind. We have no children together but he has two and we see them regularly now they are adults. My babies are our two cats!  I am menopausal and have been according to the GP for many years. Having started periods at 11 I thought that they would be a thing of the past by now (I am 55 this year!). I have night sweats, horrendous mood swings, low libido, I am overweight and anxious which is worse in the car as a passenger. I have been prescribed an anti-depressant for the anxiety and it does take the edge off it but some days the anxiety makes me feel paranoid and fearful that something bad is going to happen. I too am a nurse but thankfully work from home in Occupational Health so I call patients via telephone. I am considering asking the GP whether hysterectomy is an option! 
    Any suggestions?  😺
  • KazKaz Posts: 461 mod
    edited January 27
    Misty said:
    Hi, I am married to a wonderful man who is patient and kind. We have no children together but he has two and we see them regularly now they are adults. My babies are our two cats!  I am menopausal and have been according to the GP for many years. Having started periods at 11 I thought that they would be a thing of the past by now (I am 55 this year!). I have night sweats, horrendous mood swings, low libido, I am overweight and anxious which is worse in the car as a passenger. I have been prescribed an anti-depressant for the anxiety and it does take the edge off it but some days the anxiety makes me feel paranoid and fearful that something bad is going to happen. I too am a nurse but thankfully work from home in Occupational Health so I call patients via telephone. I am considering asking the GP whether hysterectomy is an option! 
    Any suggestions?  😺
    Hello Misty!
    Welcome to our forum, and thanks so much for sharing your story with us.
    How brilliant to have the support of a lovely partner! It makes such a difference when you’re dealing with everything else!
    I understand everything that you say - and although I’m not currently taking anything for my anxiety, I do think it’s a close toss up between having it prescribed for me when I’m a passenger in the car, or for my poor husband or son who have to tolerate my erratic behaviour when I’m not driving!
    I use a mindfulness app regularly which I find really helps to shut out the noise in my head - and it’s exactly as your describe. Paranoia, fear, worries. It really helps me to spend ten or fifteen minutes a day just breathing and taking some space just to “be”. If you’d asked me a few months ago, I’d have said it was all mumbo jumbo nonsense,  but I’m really amazed at how well it helps to keep all my anxious thoughts at bay. There are lots of apps available and some are free, so for people on a budget, there are some decent options too. I use Headspace, though I also like Calm but there are lots to choose from.
    Do you take HRT or are you using any supplements to help with your symptoms?
    I don’t know that hysterectomy would stop all of your symptoms, but there’s definitely a conversation to be had with your GP about how you are feeling as a result of the symptoms, and how it’s impacting on your day to day life. I’m sure everyone is bored of me suggesting writing a list for your doctor to read, but I really think that it helps your GP to understand your concerns, and it helps you to get everything you need to say out in the open. I think it also shows the GP that you’ve thought about what you want to say, and it’s not just a routine appointment for a “moan”.
    I think the main thing to realise is that there are lots of us out there feeling exactly as you do right now. You’re not on your own, and it’s great that you’re talking about it with us.
    Again - a very warm welcome to the forum!
  • KazKaz Posts: 461 mod

    Hello @Saba ,

    It's lovely to have you with us and to hear your menopause story.

    I agree with you - the lack of sleep has been one of the hardest things I've found to deal with. I feel as if I'm finally getting it under control, but it's been a long haul. Books keep me company through the night too!

    It sounds like you have your routine sorted - exercise, good food and supplements work really well. I remember when the children were small, I was a stickler for routine, but I find it works well for me now too! 😊

    I'm so glad you're enjoying the sleep course. I hope you've managed to pick up some helpful tips.

    Look forward to seeing more from you 😊

  • KazKaz Posts: 461 mod

    Hello @Mayday1

    Welcome to the forum.

    It’s great to have somewhere to go where folk just “get” whatever you’re going through!

    I’m fascinated with some of the things that women are prepared to share, and I’ve found this is a great way to keep things in perspective when I’m having one of those “off” days that we all get!

    I hope you find lots of things to help you here! 😊

  • Lor_123Lor_123 Posts: 1

    Hi

    I am married with two great kids 12 and 14.

    Im 38 and have been having symptoms of perimenopause for 2 years. My mum was the exact same and suffered for 10 years before being put on HRT.

    I’m so glad to have found this page. No one I know can relate to what I’m going through and my GP hasn’t been much help.

  • Debs2263Debs2263 Posts: 1

    Hello. I'm 56, had the merina(sp?) coil in for 5 years which was taken out in Feb. No periods now but occasional hot flushes, regular night sweats, low moods, aching joints (shoulders and legs) and not even sure if this is a menopausal symptom, aching feet so bad I struggle to walk first thing on a morning, occasional brain fog and have trouble staying asleep at night. Doctors always seem too busy to hear about anything more than one symptom at a consultation. Example of this was I had some slight bleeding after the coil removal and was also suffering from brain fog. Was told to make a second appointment for anything other than the bleed! Doesn't fill you with confidence. Oh and it was a female doctor!

    Hoping to find some solutions here.

  • KazKaz Posts: 461 mod

    Hello @Lor_123

    It's great to have you with us. Welcome!

    Sorry you're feeling unsupported by your GP. I know the feeling - and it's frustrating isn't it?

    Can I suggest that you ring your surgery and ask to see the person in the practice with the most menopause experience? It might not even be a GP - it could be a nurse practitioner. Whoever it is (and I hope they have at least one!), that's the person you need to go and chat to. If there is no one at your practice, you can ask to be referred to a menopause clinic if there is one in your area, or it may be worth ringing other local doctors surgeries to ask if they have a doctor with menopause experience or expertise. changing your practice might be a nuisance, but It's worth making the effort to find the support you need!

    Make a list of your symptoms, get yourself armed with as much knowledge as you can about the treatment you think you need. If it's HRT, we have lots of links on the forum with really helpful information for you. Don't be afraid to ask for what you want. If you want HRT - ask for it! You have a right to be given the treatment that's right for you, and you shouldn't be afraid to challenge someone who is reluctant to help.

    I wish I'd had access to all this information years ago!

    I'd love to hear how you get on! 😊

  • KazKaz Posts: 461 mod

    Hello @Debs2263

    Welcome to you!

    I really hope you find some solutions here too! I recognise your symptoms all too well (you could have been writing about me!) - and it somehow seems even worse when a female doctor doesn't give you the answers you need doesn't it?

    I've just replied to @Lor_123 , and I think that advice would be relevant for you too.

    I struggled for a long time feeling exactly like you, so I would really recommend that you try again. It really shouldn't be as difficult as it seems to be to get appropriate treatment for our menopause symptoms, and as much as I hate to keep saying it, we have to arm ourselves with the knowledge we need to be able to argue our cases for the treatment we need.

    Let us know if we can help in any way! 😊

  • BessBess Posts: 9

    Hi

    I am 56 years old, married (just about) wonderful man but with no understanding of what happens to a woman who is going through menopause☹ we have 3 adult children, oldest is in Australia, 2 daughter's living with us and we are foster carers to a young boy, so understand the other lady about age difference, all the younger mothers, 30 somethings, running around and full of life, sleep deprivation low libido, marriage totally on the rocks means I am definitely not running around!! Anyway, had other health issues, flexor muscle not working and trying to repair nerve damage to femoral and sciatic.

    Delighted to have found this forum great to off load and everyone gets what we are ranting about. 😏

    Many thanks

  • KazKaz Posts: 461 mod

    Oh hello again @Bess - I've just replied to you elsewhere on the forum!

    So all I'll say here is WELCOME!

    Nice to have you with us 😊

  • TreeHuggerTreeHugger Posts: 2
    Hello, really pleased to have found this site. Been experiencing sleeping problems and emotional extremes of late, periods now very short. Usually a very positive person, so knocked for six by it and pretty demotivated. Really trying to be the best parent/work person I can be. I understand GP tests don’t always pick up being perimenopausal (any thoughts on this welcome). Have been taking supplements and have now made an appt for anti-depressants, which I’m not sure will resolve things in terms of the emotional waves! Looking forward to hearing about things that have worked for other people! 

    Thanks! 
  • KazKaz Posts: 461 mod
    Hello, really pleased to have found this site. Been experiencing sleeping problems and emotional extremes of late, periods now very short. Usually a very positive person, so knocked for six by it and pretty demotivated. Really trying to be the best parent/work person I can be. I understand GP tests don’t always pick up being perimenopausal (any thoughts on this welcome). Have been taking supplements and have now made an appt for anti-depressants, which I’m not sure will resolve things in terms of the emotional waves! Looking forward to hearing about things that have worked for other people! 

    Thanks! 
    Hello @TreeHugger

    Love the name! 😊 Welcome to the forum!

    Oh it's tricky isn't it? Knowing what to do for the best.... I've certainly experienced all the symptoms you're describing. 

    Sleep problems were one of the worst symptoms for me to cope with. I always feel that if you at least get a decent night's sleep, you can cope with your day. I used to get by on 2-3 hours a night, for a very long time, and it was excruciating. I'm on HRT finally, and I use the Clarity app (mindfulness) to help me get to sleep and stay asleep. The results have been transformative for me.

    You are right. Blood tests can be unhelpful. If you're over 45, you won't be offered a routine blood test - a menopause diagnosis will be based on symptoms. If you're under 45, some GPs may offer to do a series of 4 blood tests over a longer period to get a better idea. It's really down to the GP.

    Have you ever completed a symptoms tracker? I find it a really good tool to complete and take along to the GP. It makes you think about what's happening to you, and it gives your GP a really clear idea of what you're dealing with. It's also very apparent that the symptoms are menopause related when they're all together on the one page!

    This is one of the really good ones!
     https://menopausesupport.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/MENOPAUSE-SYMPTOM-CHECKER.docx

    As far as anti depressants go, I'm attaching an interesting article you might find useful. I'm certainly not against using them. I've had occasion to use them in the past, and if I felt the need I would do so again, but some menopause experts including Dr Louise Newson, caution against the use of anti depressants to treat low mood, anxiety  and other psychological symptoms when the culprit is not depression at all, rather symptoms caused by the reduction of oestrogen in your system.  (Your symptoms tracker may give you enough evidence that HRT would be more useful to you than anti depressants if that's something that you might consider)

    Anti depressants can be used to treat some menopause symptoms for women who are unable to have HRT, but it's certainly a conversation that needs some careful thought.

    Recently I had a spell of awful low mood, unbearable mood swings, and crying for no reason. I asked for an increase in my HRT, and explained to my GP that it was different from the diagnosis of depression I'd previously had. This wasn't a permanent fixture, rather it came out of nowhere, and disappeared again before coming back again. Depression is a fairly constant beast. An increase in my HRT took care of these symptoms fairly rapidly. 

    See attached https://www.menopausedoctor.co.uk/menopause/menopause-and-depression


    https://d2931px9t312xa.cloudfront.net/menopausedoctor/files/information/298/telegraph%20Helen%20Fitzgerald%20May%202019.pdf

    I've certainly tried a lot of supplements over the years. I had almost 15 years of symptoms before I finally got a prescription for HRT. Some worked, and some didn't - and it's very hard to recommend. What worked for me, might not work for you and vice versa. 
    If you have a read through the forum, you'll see some of the things that we've all tried to help with our symptoms, and don't forget you also have access to our experts via their expert discussion threads. 

    Ask any questions you like! We're happy to answer! And we're delighted to have you with us on the forum. 😊


  • HD213HD213 Posts: 4
    edited July 23
    Hello!  I am SO happy to have found this community! I am 43, and had a complete hysterectomy/bso after nearly 10 yrs of perimenopause, pcos, endometriosis, etc...  I am a wife, mother of an 11-yr-old, and a Pilates Instructor for Seniors.  I live in Middle Tennessee, USA-near Nashville.

    My surgery was just this past March, and all of it is kinda kicking my butt!  Brain fog, night sweats, hot flushes (just really just hot all the time), mood swings, bloating/weight gain, sleep issues (on top of fibromyalgia)...

    I am doing pellet HRT-just 5 weeks into the first insertion.  They do seem to help a little, but I can NOT focus!  Things I used to be SO interested in or passionate about have just changed!  Ugh.  I am also a certified nutrition specialist, so am always researching supplements and dietary requirements.

    Just came home from a 2-week 3,000 mile road trip vacation where we spent 3 nights in hotels, 5 nights at my parents’ house, and 4 nights camping in different locations.  I’m WIPED out!!  

    I’m really looking forward to learning as much about what the next couple of months will look like as possible.  Never even thought that I would be going through menopause during summer!  Oops!  

    Thank you for creating this forum!  :-)
    -Heather
  • KazKaz Posts: 461 mod
    HD213 said:
    Hello!  I am SO happy to have found this community! I am 43, and had a complete hysterectomy/bso after nearly 10 yrs of perimenopause, pcos, endometriosis, etc...  I am a wife, mother of an 11-yr-old, and a Pilates Instructor for Seniors.  I live in Middle Tennessee, USA-near Nashville.

    My surgery was just this past March, and all of it is kinda kicking my butt!  Brain fog, night sweats, hot flushes (just really just hot all the time), mood swings, bloating/weight gain, sleep issues (on top of fibromyalgia)...

    I am doing pellet HRT-just 5 weeks into the first insertion.  They do seem to help a little, but I can NOT focus!  Things I used to be SO interested in or passionate about have just changed!  Ugh.  I am also a certified nutrition specialist, so am always researching supplements and dietary requirements.

    Just came home from a 2-week 3,000 mile road trip vacation where we spent 3 nights in hotels, 5 nights at my parents’ house, and 4 nights camping in different locations.  I’m WIPED out!!  

    I’m really looking forward to learning as much about what the next couple of months will look like as possible.  Never even thought that I would be going through menopause during summer!  Oops!  

    Thank you for creating this forum!  :-)
    -Heather
    Hello @HD213,

    A very warm welcome to you. I'm wiped out just reading your post!

    I know what you mean - it's strange how your focus changes, and it's awful to feel as if you're losing interest in your own life! Menopause symptoms + summer = 🔥🔥

    I'm not familiar with pellet HRT - it's not something that's widely used in the UK. It can be, but it's rare. I guess like every HRT, you should be feeling some benefit after 5 weeks, but it will probably take 2-3 months to feel real effects, and up to 6 months for it to have settled properly in your system. I had some initial side effects with my HRT  - some bloating, some breast tenderness and PMT-like symptoms, but that settled after 6-8 weeks, and I've been feeling great since then.

    There are lots of things you can try to help with your symptoms. I guess my best advice would be to grab a drink, and take a while to read through some of the posts on the forum. There's lots of information about all sorts of issues - if you need to know something, just ask!

    Remember we have experts on hand too - just post on their discussion threads for an answer from them.

    As far as help with sleeping - I use a mindfulness app called Clarity. There are other available, but this one is designed for women, by women, and I really love the results. I sleep, and it also helps with anxiety. I've even tried it to help reduce my flushes and it sounds crazy, but that works too! Perhaps that's worth a try to help?

    We are delighted to have you with us - hope you find some useful tips! 😊


  • TreeHuggerTreeHugger Posts: 2
    Kaz said:
    Hello, really pleased to have found this site. Been experiencing sleeping problems and emotional extremes of late, periods now very short. Usually a very positive person, so knocked for six by it and pretty demotivated. Really trying to be the best parent/work person I can be. I understand GP tests don’t always pick up being perimenopausal (any thoughts on this welcome). Have been taking supplements and have now made an appt for anti-depressants, which I’m not sure will resolve things in terms of the emotional waves! Looking forward to hearing about things that have worked for other people! 

    Thanks! 
    Hello @TreeHugger

    Love the name! 😊 Welcome to the forum!

    Oh it's tricky isn't it? Knowing what to do for the best.... I've certainly experienced all the symptoms you're describing. 

    Sleep problems were one of the worst symptoms for me to cope with. I always feel that if you at least get a decent night's sleep, you can cope with your day. I used to get by on 2-3 hours a night, for a very long time, and it was excruciating. I'm on HRT finally, and I use the Clarity app (mindfulness) to help me get to sleep and stay asleep. The results have been transformative for me.

    You are right. Blood tests can be unhelpful. If you're over 45, you won't be offered a routine blood test - a menopause diagnosis will be based on symptoms. If you're under 45, some GPs may offer to do a series of 4 blood tests over a longer period to get a better idea. It's really down to the GP.

    Have you ever completed a symptoms tracker? I find it a really good tool to complete and take along to the GP. It makes you think about what's happening to you, and it gives your GP a really clear idea of what you're dealing with. It's also very apparent that the symptoms are menopause related when they're all together on the one page!

    This is one of the really good ones!
     https://menopausesupport.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/MENOPAUSE-SYMPTOM-CHECKER.docx

    As far as anti depressants go, I'm attaching an interesting article you might find useful. I'm certainly not against using them. I've had occasion to use them in the past, and if I felt the need I would do so again, but some menopause experts including Dr Louise Newson, caution against the use of anti depressants to treat low mood, anxiety  and other psychological symptoms when the culprit is not depression at all, rather symptoms caused by the reduction of oestrogen in your system.  (Your symptoms tracker may give you enough evidence that HRT would be more useful to you than anti depressants if that's something that you might consider)

    Anti depressants can be used to treat some menopause symptoms for women who are unable to have HRT, but it's certainly a conversation that needs some careful thought.

    Recently I had a spell of awful low mood, unbearable mood swings, and crying for no reason. I asked for an increase in my HRT, and explained to my GP that it was different from the diagnosis of depression I'd previously had. This wasn't a permanent fixture, rather it came out of nowhere, and disappeared again before coming back again. Depression is a fairly constant beast. An increase in my HRT took care of these symptoms fairly rapidly. 

    See attached https://www.menopausedoctor.co.uk/menopause/menopause-and-depression


    https://d2931px9t312xa.cloudfront.net/menopausedoctor/files/information/298/telegraph%20Helen%20Fitzgerald%20May%202019.pdf

    I've certainly tried a lot of supplements over the years. I had almost 15 years of symptoms before I finally got a prescription for HRT. Some worked, and some didn't - and it's very hard to recommend. What worked for me, might not work for you and vice versa. 
    If you have a read through the forum, you'll see some of the things that we've all tried to help with our symptoms, and don't forget you also have access to our experts via their expert discussion threads. 

    Ask any questions you like! We're happy to answer! And we're delighted to have you with us on the forum. 😊


    Hi Kaz

    Thanks so much for taking the time to give such a detailed reply - all of this information is really useful, the tracker is a great resource (I will complete and take this to the doc) and also the information on anti-depressants. So pleased to have discovered this forum and I’m really grateful for what you shared, thanks so much x 
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