Hi @NurseMandie: Menopause sucks… no 2 ways about it… early or late (I am very late in the game at my age)
I started on the roller coaster in my late 40s.
Some of what you described has certainly happened to me… started with my cycles going from being 28 days (32 at the most) which they had been forever… down to 25, 26, or 27… with the occasional one back on track for 28 to 32.
Then I skipped the occasional skipped period, having NEVER missed one in my life unless I was pregnant.
And then I went thru awhile where they were closer together… like 2x a month close. That really sucked. And that alternated with again the occasional normal one like I had had the majority of my life.
Then I went thru a phase where the cycles lengthened out to 45 to 50+ days. Only when they came, they were like my BFF who is older said… Niagara Falls. It was like they were making up for lost time… 10, 12, 14, 16 days long. That was no fun either.
That is when I went from taking just my regular vitamins and adding an iron supplement (lol, of course that caused another PITA… literally… they call it IRON for a reason you know)
Then I went back to my old regular self… for almost a whole year.
And then after a particularly awful cycle… everything stopped. It has been 6 months now… and Aunty Flo hasn’t come to visit !!
I’ve had a few GFs tell me that is how it all ended for them, one day, it was just over and done. And a some other GFs have told me just when they thought it was all over (8, 9, 10 months) … it showed up again. I am hoping for the former not latter.
On top of all that… I of course had the other nuisance symptoms that you described:
I just feel like my whole body is falling apart right now. And I know that stress can cause a missed period but I’m not really stressed right now, but then hearing I might be going through early menopause is stressing me out. Normally I have spotting at least 1 day before my period arrives, I’ve been diligently waiting to see spotting and I have nothing. I have no other symptoms to suggest my period is on its way. No food cravings that I normally get, no bloating, no cramping etc.
And the famous night sweats… got those right around the time I turned 50, and they were accompanied as you say by the feeling that my whole body was falling apart. Altho I’m not sure if that “feeling” was because I was going thru perimenopause, OR if it was because I turned 50… it does seem that the Warranty on our body expires once you hit 50… all sorts of crap seems to begin to wear out / go wrong !!
Mr TTR says I have been a champ thru all this… he says he expected far worse. Lol
I am not excessively moody … I’d say my mood is about the same as always… I’m a pretty even keeled girl. So he hasn’t had to put up with the crap of me bitchin & naggin mood swings etc. That so many other couples seem to face.
And our sex life is still great… we don’t seem to have any issues there (like many stories I’ve read)
I would say tho that there are 3 things that have effected me the most…
1- My sleep pattern. I just don’t sleep like I used to. Even when I don’t have night sweats (those things come and go… have em for a few months… they disappear, they come back etc). I seem to have 3 settings these days… Wide Awake, Fast Asleep, and Tired. None of them are all that I’d like them to be. They say this is hormonal.
This particularly drives Mr TTR crazy, as he liked it much better when I was on a normal schedule. I try to sleep when he does, but it doesn’t always work. He is kind tho, when I can sleep he leaves me be.
2- Weight Gain. I’ve put on some weight in the last few years… I’ve always been a yo-yo girl in this regard my whole life (like Oprah). But the real thing with going thru Menopause is it is almost impossible to take off. Your metabolism changes / slows down and no matter what you do it is hard to kick it back into gear. They say this is hormonal.
4- Hot Flashes. In the last year, I now get Hot Flashes in the daytime. They are as interesting as every woman has ever said they’d be. One minute you are burning up and peeling off clothes like crazy, the next you are piling it all back on. They are a nuisance more than anything else. Again they say this is hormonal. And the not so great news, I know many many older women (60s & 70s) who tell me this symptom goes on for what seems like forever… some of them still get Hot Flashes on occasion.
Personally, I don’t do any medical intervention for my symptoms. They are apparently all normal. I am not one to take a lot of drugs anyhow… and I have read too many bad things about hormonal replacement therapy for my liking. I try to do right by myself in other ways… particularly in what I eat.
I realize I probably haven’t addressed your main concerns… of going thru perimenopause early… but maybe I’ve given you some reassurance that you are not alone (we all get there eventually)
If you want to chat, you can always send me a PM
Hope this helps,
(( HUGS ))