Hot Flashes, AKA, is this FINALLY menopause?

I’m fifty, and feel like I really deserve some menopause, but up until two months ago, my periods were running like a German train, so I wasn’t thinking it was even close by. Then I got three periods close together. I expected irregular periods to be less frequent, not more frequent, and I was also dealing with my mother being in hospice, and her death three weeks ago, so I’ve been under plenty of the kind of stress that can make your periods irregular.

Then I started to get these episodes of being kinda warm, but they were not at all what I expected hot flashes to be like. I thought you’d just be sitting there, then you’d suddenly be so unbearably hot you needed to jump into a cold shower.

This is more like thing that normally make me warm, like exertion, or sitting be a window in the summer, make me more uncomfortably warm than usual, but it isn’t unbearable, and passes pretty quickly. So I don’t know if those are nascent hot flashes, or just wishful thinking.

TMI ALERT: (men might not want to read on)

My breasts are a little tender. Both of them, so it’s not worrying me too much. If it were just one, I’d see a doctor. It’s nothing bad: on a scale of 1-10, where 10 is 1st trimester pregnancy, and 4 is how they felt when I had my first periods during puberty, this is about a 1.5.

If someone tells me this sounds like menopause, I’ll do a happy dance.

It sounds like what I went through for a little over a year before menopause finally hit. My doc said I was “pre-menopausal” and not to worry too much but just keep an eye on things. As it went on I started missing periods and the warm episodes became definite hot flashes. Doc told me until I went a good 5 - 6 months without a period, I wasn’t fully in menopause. So - sounds like your train is finally getting ready to leave the station - YAY! :smiley:


I feel so ridiculous when I buy pads. I just hope people think they are for my daughter.

BTW, what does a full-fledged hot flash feel like?

That is peri- menopausal symptoms you’re having…It is starting to happen. But don’t buy into the hype too much…It doesn’t have to be horrid…deal with the symptoms as they come about and it all gets better with time.

Two years ago (48yo) I began waking up a few nights a week soaked in sweat-- as in, wetter than running a marathon in the Sahara. The last year or so PMS has gotten really awful and I bleed like the proverbial pig.

My mom was still having a period at 65-freakin-yrs old and had a hysterectomy. Believe me, I ain’t gonna wait that long if the plumbing is still going.

I believe today’s approach is not to medicate for pedi-memo; at least that’s my doc’s outlook.

If I’m still having periods at 65, I’ll rip it out with my bare hands.

Yup, sounds like you’re in peri-menopause. It can go on for years.:slight_smile:

You’re not officially past menopause until you’ve gone a year without periods. I seem to remember mine becoming more frequent as well. Then less frequent. Then, eventually, nada.

I take an anti-depressant that has the side effect of masking pre- and post-menopausal symptoms. So while I got night sweats (just what they sound like) I don’t think I ever had a full-on hot flash. Just brief episodes of feeling like I ought to be able to heat the house.

Ok NOW men stop reading.

Horrible zombie apocalyptic type visions :eek:

65!! Jeez…I would die…that cannot be normal!

The Bell Curve says it’s not.

I’m 47, I have a fibroid that’s making my periods (which have been, up to now, almost non-events) horrible, my mother died of ovarian cancer, and I am so ready to rip everything out. The only saving grace is that my gyno just told me that yes, indeed, I CAN stay on the pill with no breaks for as long as my body lets me go without bleeding and thus put off periods indefinitely. Or until my body says “yep, let’s do it now.”

That said, I’m nervous about menopause for a couple reasons:

1 - the side effects sound icky. My mom complained of hot flashes and… other stuff (she was vague); that said, she had more period side-effects that me her whole life. Should I worry?

2 - I like sex. Will that change post-menopause or if I do just rip everything out with my bare hands one of these days (or, y’know, get it all removed surgically)? I’m not ready to give up that part of my life. I read different opinions of this and would very much like some first-hand reviews if anyone is up for it.

I’ve been having occasional hot flashes since last summer, but no menopause so far. I may not actually get there, since I just went to the doctor’s on Friday about my fibroid, which will be removed in the near future–whether just the fibroid or a hysterectomy, I don’t know yet. I won’t decide until after another appointment next week.

I’m 53.

My mom was another one of those ladies who was still having periods past 60: I remember that she was seeing doctors about it, when she finally stopped without medical intervention. We’ve been having a lot of phone conversations about these things lately, which will drive my dad out of the room after he tells Mom, “Tell her I said ‘Hi’.”

As mentioned above, menopause does not start until you have gone without a period for an entire year. Prior to that, you are in peri-menopause.

Here is a fun list of 66 peri-menopause/menopause symptoms.

I went through about a year-and-a-half to two years where I would just randomly have one of the symptoms on that list for a few weeks, and then it would disappear, and a few weeks later another symptom would appear. Night sweats, insomnia, acne, facial hair, breast soreness, accidents/bruising, hot flashes, vaginal irritation, dizziness, tinnitus, abdominal bloating, palpitations, gastrointestinal distress…

I am finally in full menopause, and the symptoms have dissipated somewhat, although reading that list, I’m recognizing some things that I hadn’t really associated with menopause.

I hadn’t noticed that facial pallor/facial flushing one before. Just last week I wondered why my face had suddenly turned a whiter shade of pale.

I never felt like any of my symptoms were severe enough to require treatment. I just amused myself playing menopause bingo.

I had a surgical menopause at 50 for cancer reasons. The only thing that really bothered me were the hot flashes, and even they weren’t that bad. It was like a wave of intense heat, but not so bad that I sweated and would fade pretty quickly, like two minutes. I was most uncomfortable when they happened at night and I felt like the bedclothes were suffocating me. I took a soy supplement that made them disappear.

As for your second question, my sex life barely changed. The most noticeable was that I was drier so we became connoisseurs of lubes. Also, my vaginal tissue changed and was tighter so we had to make sure I was loosened up (toys and/or fingers), but I can’t say this was detrimental and neither would Mr. H. :smiley: Actually, the foreplay got better.

Everyone’s an individual and experiences are not all the same, so don’t panic from this, but … I hate to say it, but 2-3 years after menopause my sex drive practically vanished and arousal is more difficult. Once I’m back in the US for real, I’m DEFINITELY going to see if I can get some Flibanserin, since that seems to be at least partly helpful.

It hasn’t exactly affected my sex life, since my husband is patient and I persevere, going the “fake it til you make it” route. So I’m still wearing lingerie, making saucy remarks to my husband, and having about the same amount of sex as always. But my enjoyment is down a lot, and it sucks. :mad:

I’m only 45, and SO done with having periods.

I’m looking forward to menopause. Especially the hot flashes(yes, I know, I say that now) but I’m always cold. My body creating its own heat, no matter the temperature? Sounds wonderful.

I still get horrible cramps, bleed like I’ve been stabbed, and my boobs hurts 3 weeks out of every month. I still get pimples some months too. That’s not fun at my age.

A few years ago I had everything checked out because my periods had become pretty bad. The ultrasound had shown thickening of the uterine walls, so the did an internal test to make sure everything was fine, which it was. They suggested a few options, but really I just wanted to know things were ok. But ya, I’m done. Bring it on.

Menopause is such an individual thing, it’s hard to call any ‘rules’. For me it was periods getting further and further apart, and a few nights of chucking the doona off in the middle of winter (no sweats, crazy homicidal moods, or unusual facial-hair growth).

You’ll be OK…it might take a few months or a few years. Be just grateful for having lived long enough to experience menopause. :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Mine was surgically induced via a thyroidectomy. I was 47. Everything just stopped in its tracks after that. No hot flashes, nothing. However, my perimenopause started in earnest probably in my late 30s. My first clue was my period suddenly appearing all over the place, sometimes for a day, sometimes for a week. Can’t tell you how many “oops” incidents I’d had before it finally dawned on me to have something on me at all times. Hormonally I was a beast but otherwise the whole thing was uneventful.

But yes, physically, menopause brings on drier-than-the-Sahara stuff. Vaginal tissue becomes much thinner, too, so it makes things doubly painful. It also deadens one’s sex drive, thanks to plummeting hormones. If maintaining a sex life is important to you, you have to be very diligent combating it.

I’m easily chilled, always have been, and I love heat. But hot flashes don’t feel like stepping into pleasant heat, it’s a flush of heat that’s suddenly coming from under your skin (for me all over my body) and it’s distracting no matter what you’re doing. I barely slept 4 hours a night for nearly 3 months till I got on HRT, no matter how tired, drunk or medicated I was. And at work the distraction was even worse.

It would be great, in my mind, for men to read this thread and others like it so they can understand what our experiences are like and perhaps be supportive. Plenty of men think they’re supposed to icked out by period and menopause discussions b/c that’s how they’re told to respond. Any man who’s ever cleaned his own fished or hunted game animal is unlikely to be icked out by discussion like this on his own.