Question for Other Middle-Aged Women


#1

I hope this isn’t too personal but I really need advice. I’ll be 47 next week and I wonder if I’m starting menopause. I’ve never been able to have children and have never had a regular monthly cycle so it’s hard to tell from that. I seem to be really emotional over trivial things - from anger to tears in seconds. I do have more stress than usual though as I just started graduate school to get my masters in education as I feel the Lord is calling me to teach. I also work full time. I’m stressed and confused. Any advice/thoughts will be appreciated.


#2

Onset of menopause at age 47 certainly is possible. (My mother was finished w/ menopause at 47, but that’s a bit on the early side.) I’m just 39 myself, and already getting some cycles that are just inside the parameter of normal (annoyingly so–I swear sometimes that one period is going to meet the next one for just one continuous event).

However, the stress of grad school + ft employment is equally likely to be the source of emotional hair-triggers.

A visit to your dr may well be in order.


#3

I’d recommend a complete check up at your Gyn if you haven’t had one in the last year and ask for the full battery of tests, bone density test, mammogram, etc. The doctor can look at your hormone levels to help you understand what’s going on. And now’s the perfect time to eat properly, rest, and exercise - - you know, all the things that seem to fall by the wayside when life gets stressful are more important than ever. And how could I forget prayer? Now’s also a perfect time to shift that into high gear.


#4

[quote=koda]I hope this isn’t too personal but I really need advice. I’ll be 47 next week and I wonder if I’m starting menopause. I’ve never been able to have children and have never had a regular monthly cycle so it’s hard to tell from that. I seem to be really emotional over trivial things - from anger to tears in seconds. I do have more stress than usual though as I just started graduate school to get my masters in education as I feel the Lord is calling me to teach. I also work full time. I’m stressed and confused. Any advice/thoughts will be appreciated.
[/quote]

Sounds like it to me! Your doctor can do a blood test which shows your hormone levels and if I remember correctly that’s how it was determined for me…about 12 years ago. It was hard to determine since I was widowed at 47, hence lots of tears, etc…


#5

The period of time leading up to actual menopause is called “perimenopause”. During this time you will begin to see gradual changes in your cycle/body.
Periods will become irregular and you may experience hot flashes, skin dryness, emotional flucuations and a host of other symptoms.
True menopause is determined when you have not had a menstrual cycle in 12 months.
Given that you do not have them regularly and you are definitely having symptoms that could indicate you are in peri-menopause, I’d go to my gyn. and ask for a hormone screen to test ALL your hormone levels and see at just what point you are in.
There IS help too!
God Bless!


#6

Thank you all. I really appreciate your insight. Sometimes it’s just nice to know you’re not alone. :slight_smile:


#7

[quote=koda]Thank you all. I really appreciate your insight. Sometimes it’s just nice to know you’re not alone. :slight_smile:
[/quote]

Honey, not only are you not alone…you are becoming part of a CLUB…get the full blown check up and on the way home buy a beautiful red hat with TONS of sequins…


#8

[quote=koda]Thank you all. I really appreciate your insight. Sometimes it’s just nice to know you’re not alone. :slight_smile:
[/quote]

Alone? Never! :smiley:

There is a very informative website regarding all aspects of menopause/peri-menopause. I find it very helpful. There’s a message board where other women post and you really feel you are “not alone” when you read how so many others are going through the same things.
Here is the link:
power-surge.com/


#9

[quote=koda]I hope this isn’t too personal but I really need advice. I’ll be 47 next week and I wonder if I’m starting menopause. I’ve never been able to have children and have never had a regular monthly cycle so it’s hard to tell from that. I seem to be really emotional over trivial things - from anger to tears in seconds. I do have more stress than usual though as I just started graduate school to get my masters in education as I feel the Lord is calling me to teach. I also work full time. I’m stressed and confused. Any advice/thoughts will be appreciated.
[/quote]

As others have said, “welcome to the club”. LOL. It is just SO common for women to be SO emotional, blowing things out of proportion one minute, and sane as ever and nurturing the next. This is the nature of women for ya.~ I tend to be very overly passionate, (my artistic nature) and then can fall very readily into major anxiety and just a state of being so completely and utterly “overwhelmed” the next, especially with the demands of a family. I must say though, my husband is so understanding in this way. He gives me hour back rubs and will even rub my sore feet for a long time–bless him. :o Know “koda” this is just so normal. At at 47, there will be ebbs and flows. Just hang with them. Get to know when you just need to go out to dinner instead of fix it, when you “need” to go be pampered, when your hubby can give you the most TLC possible, this is how God made you and all us women. :smiley: Are you married? It is OK to be down and overly emotional, at times. Don’t ever think for a minute that we must all be bionic.! Be always UP and raring to go. This just wouldn’t be natural. Whether you’re married or not friend, cut yourself some slack. It’s marvelous you’re pursuing a career! Go for it–but realize it’s OK some days to be down-----ride with it–and before you know it–you’ll be on the up side of the wave~~~~~:D
God Bless~~


#10

[quote=koda]I hope this isn’t too personal but I really need advice. I’ll be 47 next week and I wonder if I’m starting menopause. I’ve never been able to have children and have never had a regular monthly cycle so it’s hard to tell from that. I seem to be really emotional over trivial things - from anger to tears in seconds. I do have more stress than usual though as I just started graduate school to get my masters in education as I feel the Lord is calling me to teach. I also work full time. I’m stressed and confused. Any advice/thoughts will be appreciated.
[/quote]

I understand your feelings! I am 52 and reached menopause just before 47. I also was unable to have children. Because there is a worldview that the young are the ones who matter it can be upsetting in itself to reach menopause—especially before 50. Worse is when you realize those chances, no matter how unlikely, of having a baby are over. There is a real grieving process here.

You will get over all of that. It takes a little while but I can assure you that you do come to grips with your age and childlessness. I’m not saying you ever like it, but you do accept it. In fact, that constant “am I pregnant this month” stress goes away and that helps to relax you a bit.

As far as the other feelings, go to your doctor. I took hormones for 5 years. I’m being taken off them now and the hot flashes are back with a vengeance! You will find hormones will stabilize how you feel and you will be able to come off them once the hormonal storm is over.

I wish you well. You are not alone.

Gloria


#11

As everyone else has said, a visit to your doctor is in order!

I’m 50 and in perimenopause, which was confirmed by my doctor after several symptoms converged and I just about killed my husband (just joking!). The mood swings were the worst – but now I am taking Remifemin (black cohosh, available over the counter) which has really worked for me. (Ask your doctor first.)

Welcome to the club!

'thann


#12

if you’re 47 you are probably in peri-menopause, and the real thing hits anywhere in the next 10 years, good advice above, see your gyn. this time is one of great creativity and empowerment for a lot of life changes, as you have discovered, like going back to school, new career. Just be aware of 2 things, you MUST take care of your health NOW, don’t wait until metabolic syndrome gives way to full blown diabetes, or low bone density becomes osteoporosis and cripples you. next, like moods and hormone levels, your energy level can vary greatly from day to day until you think you are bi-polar, you enroll in college, start selling real estate and start stencilling the dining room walls all in the same week and then wonder why you are exhausted.

take time to thing, plan, and pray about major life changes and new projects and new directions, make sure the change is leading to a goal, one that is in line with your spiritual goals as well. don’t do things out of a vague feeling of dissatisfaction with your current life, home, marriage, job etc. Time for a retreat and spirituality health check, too. make a retreat, spiritual exercises is great. whatever you do don’t do anything crazy re: your marriage. Great spiritual advice from the masters, which applies to the rest of life: never make big changes or decisions when you are in a state of “melancholy” or depression.

remifemin is great just make sure your doc knows you are taking it, be careful about soy supplements.

I also went to grad school at that age which was a good thing, and led to good things, but I mistook my family’s encouragement for a sign that they would actually help and support me. The same demands will still go on and you still have to do your basic job of housewife, that never goes away.


#13

koda,
Didn’t you know that middle aged has actually been moved to 60? :wink:


#14

don’t take artificial hormones-increases cancer risk. Natural progesterone cream or natural hormones might help.

I become very irritable in my pre-menopause. I am sometimes bitter about it. I hate everyone and everything, especially my family and Michigan.


#15

Sounds exactly like me. :wink:


#16

I’m in my early 40s, my periods are like clockwork, and I’m going through the same thing. I’m chalking it up to the fact that I just can’t burn the candle at both ends like I used to.

This doesn’t mean that I can eliminate much in the way of duties, but I can cut myself slack and remind myself that, like stretching before running, it is now true that eating right, exercising, and getting enough rest aren’t things that I can safely ignore anymore. When I do, I pay for it… pretty much every time. I get irritable, worn out, lose my focus, feel like devouring the refrigerator, the whole works.

If this was something that stuck with me, my symptoms would qualify as a mild clinical depression. As it is, it is something I do to myself periodically. Keep your body happy, it will return the favor. If you’ve tried that, or if you feel that your symptoms are more severe, a more thorough exam is in order. Otherwise, it will probably hold until your annual exam. (You do faithfully have your annual exams, right? ;))


#17

[quote=carol marie]koda,
Didn’t you know that middle aged has actually been moved to 60? :wink:
[/quote]

Oh goody then I’m just a little over middle age!:bounce:


#18

[quote=carol marie]koda,
Didn’t you know that middle aged has actually been moved to 60? :wink:
[/quote]

Oooh, if “middle-aged” is at 60, does that mean we get to live to be 120? :bounce:


#19

[quote=ReginaNova]Oooh, if “middle-aged” is at 60, does that mean we get to live to be 120? :bounce:
[/quote]

No, it means that all except 4 or 5 souls out of 6 billion of us will die before our time.
When the end draws near, everyone’s surprised, except the Good Lord and maybe Old Scratch.


#20

Did anyone mention night sweats and hot flashes? I’m 47 and I was peri-menopausal since about 43. My first symptoms were night sweats. I’d wake up soaking wet in my jammies. Even now I get them and have even made my whole pillow damp! Hot flashes for me were never very severe.

The mood swings… :rolleyes: Oh…my…goodness. Looking back, I suppose I can say my sudden urges to lash out might be associated with menopause. That sure would be nice! :smiley:

I have decided that I will not take hormone replacement therapy. This is a personal choice and not for everyone. If I grow a mustache I supposed I’ll learn to enjoy periodic trips to a salon for a good waxing!


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.