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  1. #1
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    Default Worsening PMS, spotting, heavy periods. Perimenopause

    Update in #35

    I'm about to turn 46. I've had heavy periods for the past few years, intermittent spotting in the week leading up to the start of my period (usually old, brown blood), and just recently worsening PMS (bloating, achy/heavy lower abdomen). Today I'm spotting and feel crampy and bloated like a whale and my period is due any day now. I'm also having bouts of restless sleep and night sweats (these seem to happen mid-cycle). Ugh, I'm over it already! But honestly I'm most bothered by the heavy bleeding (I can fill up a Diva cup in 1-2hrs all.day.long on days 2 and 3 of my period) and spotting. I mentioned the heavy bleeding 2 years ago to my OBGYN who put me on low dose BCP but I instantly gained 10lbs and after several months on it I just didn't like being on hormones again, having to take something daily at the same time, etc...when you don't need a BCP then it's such a pain to have to take one! I've read about using ibuprofen or acetaminophen to lessen bleeding and that works a tiny bit, but isn't a game changer. I HATE that for 1-2 days a month I cannot be out and about without a bathroom for more than an hour. Heck, at work I have to time bathroom trips strategically as sometimes I'm in a 2-3hr meeting. Forget sightseeing, concerts, outdoor activities like hiking or camping, or distance running (I run half marathons), etc when I'm starting my period. I dread my period each month.

    Any advice?
    Last edited by wendibird22; 01-22-2021 at 12:19 PM.
    Mom to two amazing DDs ('07 & '09) and a fur baby.

    Gluten free since Nov '11 after non-celiac gluten sensitive diagnosis. Have had great improvement or total elimination of: migraines, bloating/distention, heartburn, cystic acne, canker sores, bleeding gums, eczema on elbows, dry skin and scalp, muscle cramps, PMS, hair loss, heart palpitations, fatigue. I'm amazed.

  2. #2
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    I work in ultrasound so we see stuff like this a lot. My mom had ridiculous periods (like she couldn't even work some days, so bad) and had an ablation and it was life changing and awesome for her. BUT ablations are literally burning the lining where your endometrium grows (ie. the layer that gives you your period), soooooo sometimes it can cause other issues and there's not really a way to fix it if it causes issues other than a hysterectomy. It's definitely an option to talk over with your doctor. I do think that the majority of women that have it like it but I have seen them go bad and cause more issues. It's a pretty simple outpatient procedure and much less invasive than a hysterectomy.

    DD was born March 2019 via c-section and my uterus was definitely normal then. (And prior to that, we did IVF so know everything was clear from the hundreds of ultrasounds/tests). Octoberish of that year I started bleeding and would bleed randomly for weeks (like 3 days off, 5 days on, 5 days off, 8 days on, etc. sporadically for months...) at first I thought it was postpartum/breastfeeding crap/hormones, then we were busy, but it was still going on through January so I finally went in and saw my ob/gyn and had an ultrasound and a d &c- like they sometimes do for miscarriages, etc., they can also do for abnormal bleeding whatever and it's also a simple outpatient procedure. With the d&c my obgyn discovered I had somehow managed to grow a freaking polyp right in the middle of the lining so once that was removed (and tested benign), I am still beastfeeding but everything is pretty much normal. All that to say it's worth an ultrasound and possibly a d&c if anything looks abnormal from that. (In my case, my u/s the rads thought they saw a fibroid, I didn't think so but knew something was going on.)
    Angie

    Mom to
    DD- 9/09-9/09
    DS- 2011 DS2- 2012 DS3- 2015 DD-2019

  3. #3
    gatorsmom is online now Pink Diamond level (15,000+ posts)
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    I remember those days and I don’t miss them! I’m sorry you are going through this. If you don’t take an iron supplement, it is the time to start. Those heavy periods could catch up with you and cause anemia. I was able to control my bleeding at first by take 3 ibuprofen every 6 hours and starting as soon I felt the beginning of PMS. After a few years of that, I needed something stronger because I became so anemic I was falling asleep on the sofa at 4pm every day. When the ibuprofen stopped helping control the brooding, my doctor prescribed a low dose BCP for me. Here’s the thing- if you are using it to control your bleeding, you don’t have to take it at the exact same time very day for it to be effective. As long as you take it before you go to bed, it will still work. You would need to take it at the same time every day to prevent pregnancy. If that’s not a concern then taking it before you hit the hay is good enough to control the bleeding no matter what time that is.

    A BCP isn’t even necessary if you can tolerate an iron supplement. I tried taking them and they caused me terrible constipation. I tried to replace the iron supplement with eating iron-rich food at every meal but that wasn’t providing me with enough iron, per my doctor. That’s when I started the BCP. I take mine every days with my Zyrtec and vitamin D. Besides controlling my bleeding, it has taken away my monthly mood swings. I don’t miss those AT ALL.

    As for the night sweats, I noticed they aren’t as bad when I eat a well-balanced diet and don’t over eat. Sugar and grease bring them on something terrible. If I can go to bed on an empty or not-full stomach, that helps prevent them. Keeping my weight under control has also helped with hot flashes. If you haven't started that yet, you might have that to look forward to also. I also noticed that my 40’s is when my skin, hair, eyes and more sensitive areas dried up. It helps to stay well-hydrated. Oh and my eyes started changing about 4 years ago. Bifocals are on my horizon according to my eye doctor. Hth and hope you can get to a place that’s comfortable.

    Eta- If you haven’t had an ultrasound to rule out other reasons for the bleeding, you should probably do that. Once you know that’s all clear, ask about solutions. My doctor created a list of solutions for my excessive bleeding that started with the least invasive (ibuprofen) that went up to the most invasive. Ablation and hysterectomy were last on the list. But there are definitely other things you can try.
    Last edited by gatorsmom; 01-04-2021 at 10:07 PM.
    "People are made for happiness. Rightly then, you thirst for happiness. Christ has the answer to this desire of yours. But he asks you to trust him." -St. John Paul II

  4. #4
    Corie's Avatar
    Corie is offline Pink Diamond level (15,000+ posts)
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    I had a hysterectomy in September 2019. BEST DECISION EVER!!! I'm so happy that I did it!!

    I don't have to worry about my period every again!!
    Corie

    "A smile is a curve that can set a lot of things straight."
    -fortune cookie

  5. #5
    mom2binsd is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    When was the last time you saw your OBGYN? At 46 you are so close to full on menopause something like a hysterectomy seems like a big deal. I would want to have an ultrasound or some other work up to see what else is going on.

  6. #6
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    essnce629 is online now Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    I think we're similar in that I've been dealing with super heavy periods since DS1 was born 17 years ago along with clotting, iron deficiency, anemia, and regular IV iron infusions. Just over a month ago I joined a FB group for women with heavy periods. The first day that I joined I saw several posts about the book, Period Repair Manual, and within 2 days I had it on my doorstep. I've only had 1 period so far, but after reading the chapters on heavy periods and it's connection with estrogen dominance, I started 2 of the supplements she recommends (turmeric and calcium d-glucarate). Let me tell you, after just 4 weeks my period was noticeably lighter and with way less clotting. I was amazed. Only one day did I actually have to wear pads, all the other days my period was normal enough to just wear my Thinx (normally I could bleed through them in a few minutes on my heavy day). I went for my annual physical 2 weeks ago and told the NP all about the book and she wrote it down to recommend to her patients who also struggle with heavy periods. She also has a chapter in the book about perimenopause and it's affect on sleeping, etc and what to do about it. Highly recommended. I'm excited to see what my next period is like (she talks about how it takes about 90 days to usually fix period issues).

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1975926773/
    Latia (Birth & Postpartum Doula and Infant Nanny)
    Conner 8/19/03 (My 1st home birthed water baby!)
    Parker 5/23/09 (My 2nd home birthed water baby!)

  7. #7
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    hillview is online now Blue Diamond level (20,000+ posts)
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    I recently got an iud and it has greatly decreased bleeding and cramps AND might be limiting my anemia.
    DS #1 Summer 05
    DS #2 Summer 07

  8. #8
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    Iím anemia with heavy periods. Itís been an ongoing issue for me since DS2 and I just turned 44. Ablation seems to be the most sense for me but Iím scared, Iím if Iím honest cuz I heard of stories how it just make things worse. Not better.

    Having that said, since Iíve started IF consistently, my overall load have felt lighter. I still deal with day 2 & 3 of heavy periods though but once Iím on day 4 itís much more manageable. Taking BC helped me, low dose type where you donít have to remember to take it exact time like gator mom said. However, Iím off it cuz it was just a PITA to deal with 10 pounds +/-, so Iím not sure whatís next. I need to go back to my ob and talk about serious options, all this to say Iíve no idea how to help you but completely sympathize with you!!!!

    Oh stopping coffee helped me too! TMI but I used to have loose bowels and poor movements. Coffee was just too much of a natural laxative for me, cutting way down on it and donít drink coffee during my active period days helps to stave off the bloating and fatigue.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Mummy to DS1-6/11 and DS2-1/14

  9. #9
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    wendibird22 - not a lot of advice but lots of socially distanced hugs I'm right there with you. I'm 48 and recently realized I can map the change in my period to an annual work event that always seems to coincide. 2 years ago -> bursting into tears at the opening "sizzle/celebratory reel" of all we had done (it was a stressful year). Last year, for the first time in my life, bleeding through at an non work event the weekend before the annual work thing. It was such a terrible moment, I'm hoping the poor lighting, lots of alcohol and me being short kept folks from noticing as I made my way out of there. This year I was so sick during the virtual version of the event that I got a covid test! Once my period came 2 days later I felt like a million dollars. But the bleeding, omg. I worked remote before the pandemic and right now I can't imagine going up to the office during my period. I bought some thinx during the summer sale mentioned here for sleeping when I didn't want to use the cup and this fall bought more started using them as backup for my diva cup and still had an issue. I just bought several more pairs and am wondering how many years exactly am I going to get out of these, but I'm at my wits end. I was researching different cups and even wondering if I should just be doing tampons. I did have an ultrasound some years ago post kids before the heavy periods really started but when I was fighting just a bad stomach a lot of the time. I think I posted about it here it still comes and goes and I think it's likely related to perimenopause, even though I can't find a explanation.


    Thank you for the is rec essnce629 - Now I do remember now that my NP did recommend tumeric during my annual but it was all so rushed. She also suggested general 'clean diet' recs, but somehow I remember that you might already be gluten free wendibird22? I might try IF this time around, DualvansMommy's. I wish I had the list she had written down, but honest to god she wrote it on the back of a wrapped maxi pad and at some point in a moment of pandemic office purging i tossed it, when I had asked her I was really asking about depression and well, I started therapy but it's good to remember potential supplement options.

    My annual is coming up and I am trying to figure out what questions to ask so this thread is helpful.
    ~ Dawn
    Our little monkey (4/2011) & his early holiday present 12/12

  10. #10
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    essnce629 is online now Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by echoesofspring View Post
    Thank you for the is rec essnce629 - Now I do remember now that my NP did recommend tumeric during my annual but it was all so rushed. She also suggested general 'clean diet' recs, but somehow I remember that you might already be gluten free wendibird22? I might try IF this time around, DualvansMommy's. I wish I had the list she had written down, but honest to god she wrote it on the back of a wrapped maxi pad and at some point in a moment of pandemic office purging i tossed it, when I had asked her I was really asking about depression and well, I started therapy but it's good to remember potential supplement options.
    I've been intermittent fasting for exactly one year now on a 19:5 schedule but it's done nothing to ease my heavy periods. In the Period Repair Manual she recommends going dairy-free if you have heavy periods. She explains that the turmeric works because it reduces inflammation and prostaglandins, thereby reducing menstrual flow in a way similar to ibuprofen. She recommends gluten-free for those that have endometriosis (which I don't). She also recommends reducing alcohol consumption, but I already don't drink. For the turmeric, I take 2 capsules of Thorne Research Meriva 500-SF a day, and 1 capsule of Thorne Research Calcium D-Glucarate a day (only 500mg right now but I may increase to her suggested 1000mg/day dose depending on my next period).
    Latia (Birth & Postpartum Doula and Infant Nanny)
    Conner 8/19/03 (My 1st home birthed water baby!)
    Parker 5/23/09 (My 2nd home birthed water baby!)

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