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Lenghty periods suddenly at age 51
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Lenghty periods suddenly at age 51

I am 51 year old.  For the past 8 years my cycle has been VERY regular, 26 - 28 days and my period lasts only 3-4 days.  All of a sudden in September my period lasted 11 days.  Then I went 36 days before I started again and now I am on my 13th day.  I had my yearly check up about 3 weeks ago.  My doctor told me if it kept this up I needed to have an ultrasound done, and to let her know if it did.  From the research  I have done I think it is hormones.  This month my period was not heavy the first day like it usually is, but it has been pretty steady, only getting a little lighter in the last few days, but still not to where I am only spotting.  With these problems do you think I need an ultrasound, or can I try hormone therapy first?  The main reason I say this is because I have a $3000 deductible, and I don't want to pay for something that is not necessary.  How many months should I let it do this before I contact my Doctor?  She didn't give me a time span.
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A. At age 51, you have been having regular periods longer than most.  It is therefore to be expected that at any time now your cycles will change and become irregular. So you are correct to think that hormonal changes are the most common reason. Probably you are correct.  However, it is not the only reason.  Many doctors will do an ultrasound before starting hormones or at least do an endometrial biopsy (check the lining of the uterus) before starting a person on hormones to eliminate some other cause.  Most of the time they come back normal but not always.

One can certainly try a course of hormones if the doctor is willing to prescribe them and see how things go over a period of time such as 3 or 4 months, or just do nothing for 3 to 4 months. Any deviation from normal beyond that time would likely trigger an ultrasound and/or an endometrial biopsy. If your doctor was able to do a really good pelvic exam and felt he/she could feel your anatomy well and it seemed normal, that might sway the decision to go with a short course of treatment or waiting before seeking a definitive diagnosis because  you have been so regular up until now.
Machelle M. Seibel, MD
4 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi there, I am having some of the same things. I am also 51. I am skipping some periods,( in fact have only had 5 periods so far this year) but then when I do get one, the cycle is weird. It is much lighter, but lasts longer...2 weeks sometimes. I have had an ultrasound and also an endometrial biopsy to rule out problems. All was fine, so my gyne said it is hormonal. Yours is likely hormonal too, but I don't think they will give you hormones to stop the bleeding unless they rule out ovarian cysts, polyps, endometrial hyperplasia, etc. You may have to succumb to the ultrasound. My doctor told me 3 irregular cycles in a row is enough to warrant further investigation.

Hudson
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Avatar_n_tn
I can sympathize with you so much, dear! I am 53 now, but I too, have been in your shoes....so to speak.
I had pretty irregular heavy periods at that time. So, I had to succumb to an ultrasound AND biopsy. I too, had a high deductible..1,000$, AND I am single. So, I had to pay the for the whole thing. The ultrasound was around 250$, and the biopsy was around 350$. Yes, it is expensive when YOU have to be responsible for paying the whole bill. (Makes you wonder why you have insurance in the first place)
    What I suggest to you is this. IF you are still bothered by this in the next few months, PLEASE - at least get an ultrasound done. I found out that the fibroids I had were causing much of my problems. I no longer have periods anymore. Now I am blessed with hot flashes and irregular heartbeats, irregular pounding sensations. I have been through alot, but I  am still here!! We are survivors. We are strong. You will get through this....probably within the year, I am guessing. I stopped having periods at around 52. I have been absent of a period now for about 1 and a half years. Good luck to you. More than likely, your problems are those raging hormones. I would BET on it. God bless.
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Avatar_n_tn
i'm at age 51
it has been for the last year my period is every two months and very light period sometimes it is only for two days

i have done my pap smear test before one month and every thing was normal
i  have fibroids in my vagina
but the doctor told me it is not urgent to remove the womb
now for the past 15 days i have  heavy bleeding with some patches with the bleeding
can you please explain to me why this is happening and i 'm having my period since the 13 th of this month but it started light and now fotr the past week it is heavy

i appreciate if you can help me with the explanation vcause i'm worriedc
than kyou
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