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Thread: menopause or normal? PLease any BTDT? or advice?

  1. #1

    Default menopause or normal? PLease any BTDT? or advice?

    I have been nursing DC for almost 14 months now. I had my first PP period at about 6 weeks. I was horrified, as I was nursing exclusively, and nursing almost round the clock. But then I didn't get it again until about 12.5 months PP. But now I haven't gotten it since, and it has been over 6 weeks. I feel like I have been definitely getting more CM the past few months, but them just had just the one period which was very light and very short compared to my normal periods.
    I currently nurse probably 3-5x in a 24 hour period, most of it at night (she sleeps with us).
    I have recently been feeling some hot flushes at night and during the day. This started happening when I started thinking that perhaps I was going through menopause, so I wonder if the hot flushes happened because I was so anxious about the idea of menopause, or if they were truly hormone driven.
    I am soon to be 40, so I think it's a bit early for menopause, but a friend just told me she hadn't had a period in a year and she's 42. THat really made me panic. I am not ready for that.
    All this to say, is it normal to be this irregular as I have been slowly cutting day nursing ( I used to nurse in the morning and pump during the day). Or could I possibly be facing menopause?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,944

    Default Re: menopause or normal? PLease any BTDT? or advice?

    Welcome to the forum!

    What you're experiencing could be early menopause. I'd consider that unlikely, given your age and the fact that you're nursing and that your period has just returned. It could be a normal fluctuation of your fertile pattern related to breastfeeding- many moms find that their first few postpartum cycles are very different from their pre-baby norm, lasting longer or shorter than pre-baby, with flow that is heavier or lighter than pre-baby. And the average time until return of fertility in nursing moms is actually around 15.5 months, so you're probably worrying a little bit ahead of schedule. It could also be a result of hormonal contraception, if you happen to be using it- absent or scanty menses are one of hormonal birth control's most common side-effects. And you could even be pregnant- that's probably the most common explanation for absent menstrual periods!

    If I were you, my first course of action would be to take a pregnancy test. The second thing I would do would be to buy a copy of Toni Weschler's book "Taking Charge of Your Fertility" and use that to start charting things like basal body temperature, cervical mucus, and other fertility signs. This is great data to have to bring in to your midwife or gynecologist. And seeing the midwife or gynecologist is the third thing I would do, in your shoes. I'd want to do more than the standard "Pap smear and see you next year" visit. I'd want to discuss exactly what I had been seeing over the past year, show off my charts, and discuss the hot flashes and anxiety you say you've been experiencing. I personally would also insist on a test for thyroid function, since thyroid issues are extremely common in women after they have a baby and can cause everything you mention: anxiety, irregular or absent menses, and hot flashes (or, more generally, heat/cold intolerance). They also can cause a variety of other symptoms, so you might want to do a google search on "postpartum thyroiditis" and see if anything matches up.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,408

    Default Re: menopause or normal? PLease any BTDT? or advice?

    I agree with Mommal that if you're concerned I would suggest see your doctor. Only please do not allow your doctor to tell you to wean your child before you and your child are ready in order to "fix"what is going on. Without further testing there is no reason to think that this is not simply entirely normal. However I have to say that nothing you're describing sounds very alarming to me. The bleeding at six weeks could possibly have been the last of your pregnancy lochia. Having a little bit of bleeding around a year and then none For a couple of months could be a perfectly normal pattern when a mother is breast-feeding. Many mothers to not get their period Back until 18 months or later if they are nursing, and it is often not regular at first. As far as hot flashes goes, if these are relatively minor, flashes of warmth can occur naturally with breast-feeding and for other reasons as well. Diet or a sugar imbalance also cause these types of sensations in some people, as might anxiety as well.

    40 would be rather early for the onset of menopause. Do you have a family history that would make you suspect menopause at such an early age?

  4. #4

    Default Re: menopause or normal? PLease any BTDT? or advice?

    40 is early for menopause, but perfectly normal for perimenopause. I'm 43 and my cycles are still pretty regular, but I've been having hot flashes and night sweats for a few years now.

    That said, it could also just be the hormonal fluctuations from breastfeeding. It is certainly normal to not be having regular periods at 14 months postpartum.
    Karen
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Default Re: menopause or normal? PLease any BTDT? or advice?

    Agree with everyone else. It is quite normal to not be having periods at 14 months PP if you are still nursing 3-5X/day--even more so if that nursing is mostly occuring at night, since night nursing tends to suppress return to fertility the most. I am 32 and didn't get my cycles back until DS was almost 2 (he was still nursing 6-8x/day at that point). He's now nearly 2.5 and my cycles seem pretty regular. I wouldn't panic. Menopause at your age is not likely, although perimenopause is very possible.

    Are you concerned about the possibility of menopause because you want another baby? While I don't think it's likely that you're in menopause yet, ability to conceive diminishes years before actual menopause takes place, so if you want a second child, I wouldn't wait too long. There's a big difference fertility-wise between, say, being 39 compared to 41 or 42. Of course some women conceive without difficulty at 41 or 42 but if you really want another baby it's probably wise to try sooner than later. I hope I didn't offend you, I know it's a sensitive topic.

    If you're just upset about the possibility of menopause because you're not ready to be at that stage of your life yet, I completely understand. In that case, don't freak out, your irregular cycles are probably still related to nursing.
    First-time mama to Joshua, 10/29/11. 29 months and going strong! for 14 months; now finished with pump weaning!

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