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I had the menopause at 33. My periods just stopped and I thought I was pregnant, but after lots of tests a ultrasound scan showed that my ovaries had shrivled to nothing. It took a long time to come to a disgnoses because noone was looking for the menopause. Luckily I had 2 children, but I had recently divorced and wondered whether I would have wanted a child with a future partner. That choice was taken away from me. BTW my mother and her sister all had the menopause in their 50's, but my sister was 40. I worry for our daughters and tell them not to leave it too late.

Oh dear Tertia, I am sorry this is eating at you. I understand. I can offer two perspectives. When I was desperately trying to get pregnant for 3.5 years, from ages 33 through 37, and had all those "signs" of menopause/perimenopause, it freaked me out to no end. I *hated* that at such a young age I was showing those signs. I cursed my body and the horse it rode in on. I was devastated. Then later, at age 37, when we decided a term pregnancy was not in the cards for us and we were through fighting that battle, I told menopause it was welcome to come into my life. I am looking forward to not having to deal with a useless mothly cycle ever again. Bring it on. This month I had a 28-day cycle, WTF is up with that, in your words, "am practially fertile". I will be 40 this year.

I have no idea if it's what you're going through. Good for you for checking it out, at least you can know, I swear not knowing (anything medical-related) is the worst part.

I hope you have peace about it whatever the answer is.

Oh T. The dread is dreadful. For me the test is knowledge and knowledge is power but good grief who ever tested their estrogen. Who has a baseline to say - "at 20 it was up, at 30 it was down" or "moms was x at y age". I'll put my money on Dr H making sense of all the clutter in your head. x

Until you get the blood tests, you can't know for sure. So relax, if you were going to go into premature menopause, your last FSH would have been elevated, even slightly.
I'm voting for AD side effects, or summer without air conditioning, or heavy stress, which can all feel like menopause or low estrogen.

How do I know? I hit POF at 29, but it does not mean the end of fertility or eggs. The kid I had at age 31 is proof of that, and I've ovulated many many times since. Menopause isn't like an on/off switch, you can go back and forth for years before the good eggs run out. (I know some people do run out of eggs right away, just saying, it isn't always like that.)

Chin up, go get some blood tests and don't think about it until then. XX

I'm sorry you're facing this uncertainty. The universe truly does suck sometimes.

For what it's worth, many women can experience as much as 10 years of perimenopause, with gradually increasing symptoms, before actual menopause sets in. I hope that your symptoms are either side affects of the AD's (and that's not unlikely either) or "just" perimenopause.

Can't speak to the symptoms (I think I'm having my own. Maybe), but I just wanted to say - speaking for myself - as someone still without child, I do not think you're being ungrateful. Just because you were blessed enough to finally (!) have beautiful children, doesn't mean you don't have more love to share. And anyone who reads your blog knows how completely grateful you are for your babes; there's no doubt there.

Hi Teria, as previous posters have stated, I am really hoping this isn't menopause but rather something innocuous.

If it isn't menopause, then maybe the feelings you have now are a blessing? I remember the last time you mentioned more children you were a bit undecided one way or another. At least now you know what you want. In any case, I am hoping for the best for you.

There is such a thing as peri-menopause. It's the time leading up to when you actually go through it. I don't know what that means in terms of fertility, but you should know a few hot flashes don't mean you're finished! Its good that you are getting the test. Keep us posted.

As others have said hot flushes and sweating are a common AD side affect. Hope you're not obsessing.

Whether you're obsessing or not, I think this post says what I observe all the time: infertility never really goes away for a lot of us, even after we finally have the kids we fought so hard for. Many of us never really trust our bodies again, and there are lots of things that trigger the old feelings of hurt and betrayal. I think I'm done with having kids now that I've had my twins, but 2 of my SIL are pregnant, and watching their healthy, normal pregnancies up close has been very painful. I didn't expect this - I thought I was "over it", and I'm embarrased at how sensitive I am about their comments and assumptions. I'm sorry you're dealing with hard stuff too, and I hope that you'll soon be proven wrong about the hot flashes. Maybe they'll chalk it up to getting hot under the collar from all those toddler tantrums and say you need more wine!

Ugh- I'm sorry about that. I hope its not menopause. Question though- don't you have some frozen? Could you use them or are you hesitant to pursue active treatment?

I'm so sorry T ...

I just wanted to say that I'm still waiting, still battling infertility, but I don't think you're ungrateful. One thing I've learned from this hideous, unfair roller coaster is that you get to feel whatever you feel, and that's yours to own. F*ck anyone that thinks you're not entitled to feel what you do.

Take care, and know we love you.

Oh Tertia. I don't knwo if this helps, or not...but, years ago, I started having hot flashes and the shakes. Shaking so bad I couldn't hold anything in my hand- so hot I would flush and break out in a sweat. I was about 25 when this started. Then came the irregular periods. 25 days, 21, 18, 14, 10- then gradually everything just became a constant light flow. THAT finally amde me go to the dr. And I was pretty freaked, at the time. What was wrong with my wasa crappy thyroid- i've been on meds ever since. I still get the occasional hot flashes and shakes-usually around my period. But my hormone levels were, and are, fine. Hormone levels can fluctuate-and that can cause the symptoms you feel, even if you're not perimenopausal, or menopausal. I'll continue to think positive thoughts.

Your post prompted me to call my mother and ask when she started menopause. I was shocked to find out that she was 39....I'll be 39 in 2 months time! I'm freaking out here.

Also, my grandmother was in her early 40s, and my great-grandmother was 39. I think that means that there is a very good chance I will see the end of menses much sooner than I thought. Ugh!

P.S. I wonder if my recent need to start on ADs (which have worked fabulously, thank goodness) is a sign of impending menopause. Hmmm...

Your post prompted me to call my mother and ask when she started menopause. I was shocked to find out that she was 39....I'll be 39 in 2 months time! I'm freaking out here.

Also, my grandmother was in her early 40s, and my great-grandmother was 39. I think that means that there is a very good chance I will see the end of menses much sooner than I thought. Ugh!

P.S. I wonder if my recent need to start on ADs (which have worked fabulously, thank goodness) is a sign of impending menopause. Hmmm...

I was diagnosed with high FSH at age 31 and am now 35 and am now doing IVF cycle #7. Going to retrieval with 1 follicle! When I was 32 I had 8! I have gradually accepted that, yes, I am having hot flashes and that I have other signs of low estrogen. It has made me feel old. I think that the major reason for that is the pharmaceutical industry's hard work to associate menopause with negative but difficult to measure symptoms (irritability, wrinkles, low sex drive, depression) in order to get more women to go on hormone therapy.

I feel for you - because I have obsessed over this issue for 4 years now. But in 4 years I have seen no evidence that women with early menopause are doomed to a less healthy or less meaningful life than women with late menopause. Yes they have more osteoporosis and vaginal dryness and are bothered by hot flashes more. But all these things are fairly easily treatable when you are ready to deal with them. And women with early menopause are at lower risk of breast cancer. So there are upsides, too.

Having the door shut on your fertility too soon is traumatic - and will be a life theme for anyone who experiences it. But research has shown that most women who experience this, and almost all of those who have at least one child, in older age report that their lives have been meaningful and fulfilling and happy.

Life is chaotic - nothing is absolute. There is a recent article in Human Reproduction of a 57 year old postmenopausal women who had a documented spontaneous ovulatory cycle. So there is always potential for a miracle. And I have an 18 month old one. And luckily I have had a few other miracles on my life - so I have a neuronal circuit, a little cognitive whisper, that another is always possible.

However, my hot flashes seem to fry that circuit every time :)

Sorry to hijack this thread but I wanted agree with others that your symptoms could be something other than menopause.

But to continue on my other topic. I am annoyed by the fact that aging and menopause are always linked together in the media and the scientific literature.

The following quote is from Nanette Santoro - an RE and leading researcher in early menopause and in changes in hormones with age. It drives me crazy that early menopause is often referred to as "early ovarian aging". No one refers to hypothyroidism as "early thyroid aging" or prostate hyperplasia as "early prostate aging" or diabetes as "early insulin receptor aging". It is the only common disorder (1/10 women) that is referred to this way and it perpetuates a stereotype that in my opinion is damaging to women.

"We've got to get off the ovary and estrogen as being the whole reason for aging in women," she said. "There has been intense focus on those issues, yet menopause and aging must be disentangled as two different processes. Over time, we've begun thinking of estrogen as the WD-40 for aging endocrine systems, but if you haven't taken care of the rest of the machinery, throwing a little estrogen on it isn't going to do much."

Just a thought, but have you had your thyroid levels checked? My money's on your being slightly hyperthyroid.

Sorry- just realised I'm reiterating what others have said. Hyperthryoid would also explain your fabulously skinny bum. (cow!)

Weve talke about it before, but, my IVF was cancelled because of FSH levels of a post-menopausal woman, when I was 33. Since then, I've had hot flashes, night sweats, poor concentration, and all the other benefits of a "lazy ovary". It pissed me off so much that my dr. said my ovary was just acting a little lazy, but the IVF probably wouldn't work. I've come to accept it now, although it doesn't make me happy.

There's no evidence to prove it, but I wonder if fertility treatments cause an early menopausal-tendency. Of maybe, the fact that we're prone to early menopause is the same reason that we're infertile.

But you know as well as anyone not to jump the gun until you've gone through all the tests. One positive note : it's not nearly so bad as going through fertility stuff.

I very seriously doubt that you are entering menopause at your age, with your mother not going through menopause until she was in her 50's, and with normal FSH in the past. For most women, menopause is a gradual process that takes years. Perimenopause can be a ten year leadup to menopause. I'm definitely going through perimenopause, but I'm 43. My cycles are getting shorter and heavier, and so is my middle. Eventually, my cycles will probably get longer and more erratic, and then they'll stop. I expect the process to take quite a few more years.

It would be unlikely that you would be entering menopause so suddenly and dramatically that you would be having hot flashes.

I had hot flashes when I took anti-depressants. They were weird and disconcerting. I would vote that that is what it is, in the absence of any other symptoms of menopause, or any other indication that you would go through premature menopause.

My mom went through menopause young, I remember I was a freshman in college, so that would have made her 43. But I think it started a couple years before that. Sorry, because I know you don't want to hear that! :(

I am sorry that you don't feel "normal." It's odd, but for me? The whole biological details part of being female just never mattered very much to me, with one exception: I cared a lot about getting my period when I was 13. That was definitely a big deal. But that's the last time I've thought about whether I'm a "normal" woman, biologically speaking. I've never thought I was "unnatural" or "unwomanly" because I've never had kids . . . I've never worried about whether I *could* have a pregnancy if I wanted one . . . But maybe when I hit menopause it'll be a big major life change, like getting my period, and I will be completely obsessed about whether I'm doing it right. And come to think of it, if I'd had a pregnancy, no doubt I'd have been completely obsessed about where my fertility & pregnancy fell on the bell curve and whether I was "normal." Anyway, Tertia, I'm sorry you're freaking out about this and I'm sorry you're so tense that you're scared to go to the doctor. I know what that's like and it's a total drag. I'm hoping that it all works out beautifully for you.

I have PCOS and anovulatory cycles and your symptoms may very well be glucose intolerance. I have them too, even when I am not pregnant (and I currently am, so no menopause). You should definitely get a glucose test and try not to worry. Also, did you consider side effect from ADs? Hang in there.

My mom went through menopause at 37. Her mother went through it at 35. Both of her sisters went through it before 40.

Fingers crossed for non-menopausal test results!

Hon, easier for me to say, but try not to worry too much until you have some solid answers. I can tell from the other posts that it could be any number of things.

Hot flashes are not the absolute for menopause. My mom never had a hot flash her entire life and only the absence of her period was indication of menopause for her (it was either that or pregnancy, but at 58 that would have been amazing, especially with my "clipped" daddy!).

Hang in there. let us know what is going on with you. You have lots of great people thinking about you!

I'm really old, 54. I had my twins at 40 and slid from there right into perimenopause. I never really got back into my normal range because with PCOS there isn't ever normal. But like other people have said, Perimenopause lasts for a very long time, much longer than you think. For example, I was positive that I had finally finished with peri and had moved into full fledged menopause when I hadn't had any bleeding at all for a full year. And then I got a period last month. What a freaking joke! So I'm back in peri, and that means it's 14 freaking years that I've been dealing with this.

I do have the hot flashes and the nuttiness, and all the other indicators. The Effexor helps the craziness, which can get really bad, and sleeping with a fan helps the hot flashes.

Get some blood tests. You're probably just in the very beginning stages, if at all. Don't panic. Plenty of post menopausal women go on to get pregnant. Look at that woman who had twins at 67. It can happen!

I started menopause about 36. The Dr put me on HRT, and discussed birth control, they make you really fertile! Possibly a good thing? Your Dr will answer these questions.

Don't worry too much for now. I get those hot flashes too, have been ever since I had our daughter in March '05. Yet I was pregnant again 9 months later, had our son in October '06 - and got my hot flashes back with the onset of the first cycle after that, roundabout Christmas. There seems to be no particular reason for them; my hormone status is just fine. (I'm 38 as well, b.t.w.)

I was 43 when i did my IVF and already peri-menopausal. I was only producing 0-4 follies/mo. when the "average" gal produces 8-10 at the same age on her own. I was only given a 10% chance of success with IVF b/c of this (from CCRM, one of the top clinics in the world for getting women over 40 PG).
Evan and Samantha turned 2 last week.
There is still hope.
But, i would get on it a.s.a.p. if i were you and you are experiencing the slow down.

Unfortunately I can't say when my mom or any of the women on her side of the family went through menopause without saying - it was because they had hysterectomies. All by or before age 35.

Mom was diagnosed with Stein-Leventhal (what they used to call PCOS back when they REALLY didn't know much about it) when she tried to get pg with my siblings in the early 80s. My aunts look like classic 'cysters so it's easy to think that probably contributed.

What I really want to say is I understand why you would feel betrayed by your body, and I am so sorry. I think ending your childbearing is painful sometimes even if you've decided you don't want more, but to feel like there's an end to the possibility must be even more difficult.

Hang in there until you know for sure, ok.

just chiming in as someone with diagnosed with high fsh (actually tested borderline which means between 10-15, under 10 is normal) at 36. lots of women can still get pg in that range. lots can't. but regardless, it's not menopause and it's not even perimenopause according to my RE. i was also told that it didn't mean i would go through menopause earlier than the average age. everyone's body is different and the ovaries slow down at different rates. i still get regular cycles 26-28 days and ovulate. i'm a bit touchy about this high fsh rap as it's not as black and white as many often think. i have a friend who at 31 tested at 11 and after 4 years was never able to get pg. another woman might be 40 with an 11 and get pg on her first ivf. total crapshoot.

Haven't read the other comments, but thyroid problems are common after childbirth and can cause hot flashes.

I have every menopausal symptom in the book. There are like 10 of them and I have them all in spades. My RE is perplexed because I've had 4 FSH tests and all are within the normal range: highest was 8. His conclusion is that maybe I'm just more sensitive to the gradual decline in estrogen that occurs with age than most women are. I also read that thin women are more likely to get hot flashes than women with more body fat.

I'd get my thyroid and FSH both checked. Good luck.

Oh, and I forgot to say that I had two biological children after my menopausal symptoms started at around age 35: the first one naturally and the second one through IVF. I don't have the symptoms now, but it's because I'm on the pill.

I am 41 (I am a single parent of 2 children, 17 and 12) and just found out I am post menopausal. I started having hot flashes a few weeks after I went off birth control(boyfriend breakup). Quick background on that, he wants kids. He is a medical professional and as soon as I was displaying menopausal symptoms, he explained how important it is for him to have a family and said he needed to move on from our relationship (he is 45-no kids). As if that was not devasting enough, three months later I found out he was right. Menopause! I hate him. At first, I thought it was a result of going off the birth control, but after 3 months w/o a period, I requested the blood tests. It showed my FSH at 77.77. Very high. Has anyone bounced back from FSH this high! I am so devastated. I did not want to tell anyone, but I told my friend. I almost wish I hadn't because now I feel I don't want her feeling sorry for me. I want to retract my statement and tell her it was a false alarm. Plus, I am single now....I am supposed to be at my sexual peak. Now what? Who will want to have a relationship with a menopausal 41 year old who will lose interest in sex? I have felt so sad, I got a phone number for a therapist. Me....a therapist! I feel so lonely, lost......I feel like I have suddenly been replaced by a stranger. Who am I?

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