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Perimenopause Symptoms/Treatments?

By September 14, 2010 - 9:33pm
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Hello. My name is Simone and I am 20 years old. Last month, I was diagnosed with Premature Ovarian Failure i.e. Perimenopause. I was prescribed a low dose of a HRT supplement that I take once a day, every day. I have only been taking it for a month now, but I am still having horrible symptoms. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions/treatments for better dealing with these symptoms. Symptoms include: hot flashes/night sweats; insomnia/fatigue; depression (been getting worse lately); mood swings, etc. Any help would be greatly appreciated! I am new to this whole thing and I am not sure what I should be doing/not doing or what would be more helpful. I wanted to get more information together before I went to my Dr. for solutions. Thank you so much!

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HERWriter Guide

Hi Simone

Thank you for your post and for finding EmpowHER. I'm sorry that you are dealing with perimenopause at such a young age, I know that the symptoms can be very hard to deal with, although your symptoms almost sound like you are actually in menopause.

If you are getting little relief from hot flashes, there are some natural steps you can take - sleeping with little on, using cotton sheets and other 'breathable' materials (for your pillows etc) and utilizing a fan or air conditioning.

For feeling down, you can consider yoga, meditation or talk therapy - something you may need since you are probably feeling quite alone in all this.

I'm going to refer you to our menopausal page since so many of your symptoms are the same as those seen in actual menopause. Treatments for these symptoms include

HRT is available as tablets, gels, skin patches, vaginal rings, vaginal tablets, injections, and pellets inserted into the skin.

There are a number of possible risks associated with HRT . Some of these include cancer ( endometrial , breast , ovarian ), heart disease, gallstones , and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). *¹

A high intake of phytoestrogens (or plant estrogens) may help menopausal women. They may reduce the risk for diseases associated with estrogen. Phytoestrogens are found in soybeans, black cohosh , *³rhubarb extract (a supplement), *² whole grains, legumes, tempeh, and flax seed. They are also found in concentration in capsule form.

Healthful Diet
A healthful diet during menopause can improve a woman's sense of well-being. It may also reduce the risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, and certain cancers. The diet should be low in fat and high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, calcium , and vitamin D .

Limit Caffeine and Alcohol
Cutting back on caffeine and alcohol may reduce symptoms of anxiety, insomnia, and loss of calcium.

Quit Smoking
Giving up smoking can reduce the risk of early menopause, heart disease, and osteoporosis.

Regular Exercise
Regular exercise may reduce hot flashes. Weight-bearing exercises such as walking, climbing stairs, and resistance exercises such as lifting weights help strengthen bones and decrease the risk of osteoporosis.

Stress Management
Stress management may help ease tension, anxiety, and possibly other menopausal symptoms. Deep breathing, massage, warm baths, and quiet music are examples of relaxation techniques.

Over-the-Counter Products
Moisturizers and lubricants are used to help vaginal dryness.

Nonhormonal Medications for Hot Flashes
■Certaion blood pressure medicines (taken in lower doses)
◦Examples include: clonidine (Catapres), methyldopa (Aldomet)
■Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
◦Examples include: fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), venlafaxine (Effexor), desvenlafaxine (Pristiq) * 4
◦Note: SSRIs and SNRIs should not be used if you are taking tamoxifen , a medication to reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence.

You can read a lot more on our menopausal page here: http://www.empowher.com/condition/menopause and feel free to join our Menopause Group here: http://www.empowher.com/groups/menopause

I'd also like to put you in touch with Daisy Network where your concerns are shared by other young women just like you. It's a British organization but I think it will you and it also has chat rooms for young women. No-one wants to feel alone : http://www.daisynetwork.org.uk/

If you're on Facebook, you can find them there too. There, you'll have tons of peer support: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Daisy-Network/13091214851

For an encouraging article for women (who want children) with your condition, click here: http://www.empowher.com/infertility-fertility/content/new-hope-infertile-young-women

I'd suggest you talk to your doctor soon about your feelings of depression. It's not unusual for a young woman to feel this way but some treatment now will be far better than waiting for these feelings to deepen to a stage where you feel completely lost. Will you do that? When is your next doctor appointment?


September 15, 2010 - 11:55am
(reply to Susan Cody)

I really appreciate your helpful reply! I am definitely going to talk to my doctor about my bouts of depression. My next doctors appointment is two months away (November). It is a check up appointment to see how my HRT is going, how I am responding to it, etc. -Simone

September 16, 2010 - 12:53am
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