Q: When to call the doctor? AND is excessive sweating due to perimenopause?
I'm 47, have been on BC pills continuously since age 20, with the exception of two planned pregnancies/nursing. Currently on Seasonique (which is my miracle pill!). I took the last active pill in the 91-day pack last week, Wednesday, and took the first inert pill on Thursday. Typically my period starts within 3-4 days of taking the inert pill. Today is the 7th day. No period yet. First time this has happened. I'm not pregnant and I'm assuming this is part of the beginning of menopause? Is there any need to call my doctor? Or just wait and see if I skip another one in three months? ALSO - I have excessive sweating, which started when I was taking Cymbalta several years ago. I thought the Cymbalta caused the sweating, so (w/ doctor's okay) I stopped taking it. But the sweating continued. I'm hot ALL the time and I sweat everywhere on my body. It's especially bothersome on my head, face and neck. Getting ready in the morning is torturous in summer months. My hair gets so wet I can't keep it styled and it takes a good 45 minutes in the car for my hair to dry from the A/C. I sweat every night, nightgown wet with sweat. I sleep with a pillow between me and DH to keep from feeling his body heat. This sweating is not what I would call a hot "flash" since it's ALL the time. So is this probably due to (peri)menopause also? And is there any cure? (I meant cure for the sweating, not the perimenopause!!!)
Well, it sounds like it's "Welcome to Perimenopause." Birth control pills often mask the oncoming menopause and stopping of periods because of their overpowering actions on the ovaries. Hormone testing by blood will not necessarily accurately reflect where your levels are since the hormones changes every day and day to day for quite a long time past the last period (and, of course, we don't know if this is your last period or you are just starting to slow down). I question whether the constant heat is a perimenopausal symptom because the estrogen in the bcp should be plenty to control hot flashes. Your doctor may want to check your thyroid hormones. Hot flashes, along with a number of other symptoms similar to perimenopause, are caused by low thyroid which is very commonly diagnosed in women in their 40s. It's important to have this diagnosed and treated if it is the problem because, left untreated, it can cause other serious issues.
To get informed and ready for the changes ahead, I recommend you read Christiane Northrup's The Wisdom of Menopause, Elizabeth Vliet's It's My Ovaries, Stupid or
Suzanne Sommers' The Sexy Years.
Good luck to you,
I would go to the doctor and have your hormone levels checked. Sounds to me like you are in peri-menopause. BC pills actually take over the function of the ovaries. So if you are not on your pill right now and you have not started a period, chances are you have started the lovely journey into menopause. Of course menopause is not having a period for 1 full year, but, again, if your pill is supplying your hormones, in lieu of the ovaries and you are waiting for your period...which has yet to come...chances are all of that sweating too is caused from lack of hormones and peri-menopause. Might be time to go to the doc and have that hormone panel done, as well as talk about hormone replacement if the sweating is 24/7.
I've been post-menpause for 1-1/2 years after the removal of my ovaries at 48 yos. I am now 50 and am still reeling from the loss of hormones.
For excessive sweating due to perimenopause and any other sweating condition, CoolWickingPJs.com has moisture wicking sleepwear, moisture wicking bedding, wool mattress pads that wick moisture and other neat products that help you stay dry and cool.
I had a complete hysterectomy 10 years ago and that really messes up your hormones! I tried their menopause pajamas and they really work. So it's great to get the word out to your girlfriends that there is relief.
Some other resources that might prove helpful to you are:
- "The No-Nonsense Guide to Menopause" by Barbara Seaman and Laura Eldridge
- "Menopause in an Hour" by Dr. Tara Allmen. (I wrote a sharepost about my interview with Dr. Allmen, which will give you additional information.)
Take care and keep asking questions!
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