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Menopausal Bleeding
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Menopausal Bleeding

Happy New Year! I just woke up this morning at had blood on my underwear. I am 42 years old and have been in menopause for 15 mos. My last menstrual period was October 5, 2005. Blood test revealed such (FSH serum: 57.5, LH serum: 29.7). I am scared to death after reading that this is abnormal and could be signs of cancer. I have regularly gone for pap smears, mammograms, doctor visits & all have been good. I am, however, hypothyroid & just now my thryoid levels are in the good normal range. I am wondering if this could be part of it. One major scare is that I have been belching (cancer?) alot in the past 4 mos. Doctors said it is GERD. Very bothersome belching too. I am so frightenend. Until now, I have had no signs of bleed or abnormal menopausal symptoms. Have you heard of this? Could it possibly just be normal hormonal imbalances or is it cancer? Please help me.

Also, before I noticed the blood, I had cramping just like a normal period & itching in the vagina like I used to get before normal periods. I actually thought that it was odd & felt like a period coming on. No back pain & NOT SEVERE cramping, just period cramping & feet aches - all the same as I got during menstruation. Thank you for your time!
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A. It is always scary when bleeding comes at the wrong time but it is more often benign than cancer. Call your doctor and set up an appointment to be checked. He/she will likely want to do a biopsy of the uterine lining; an office procedure that removes a small piece of tissue from the lining to be looked at under a microscope. They might also want to do an ultrasound of the uterine lining and the ovaries to be sure the lining is thin or to see if there is a polyp. Sometimes they also do a hysteroscopy which uses a thin telescope to look inside the uterus and see if there is anything abnormal. This can be done in the office or in the operating room, depending on the situation.

Try to relax until you find out for sure. It will most likely not be cancer. But you need to go in and find out to be sure.
Machelle M. Seibel, MD
17 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi EspritLibre, Happy New Year to you!  In regards to Gerd. I was diagnosed with that in October after a having an endoscopy. The doctor prescribed protonix which worked very well. It took a week or so before I started feel better.  The belching was a real pain and embarrasing. Not sure what meds your doctor put you on, I tried two others before I found the right one for me.  i'm sure you'll feel relief very soon. I'm 45/f and i'm waiting for menopause to happen. I'm starting to notice my periods are not as normal as they use to be. They use to last about 4 days now I'm up to 7 and my cycle was exact every 28 days, now it's starting early. I'm assuming this is the start of things to come.  Good luck to you.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi & thanks for the nice comments.  Your doctor put you on Protonix for belching?  That's what my doctor put me on & it certainly helps when I take it, but I don't take it.  I read somewhere that Protonix interferes with absorption of the thyroid med, so I was panicking in regards to that since I had such a difficult time getting my numbers in order.  As for the menopause symptoms I am so frightening I don't know what to do.  The bleeding I mean.  I sure do hope and pray that it really is just my thyroid allowing the ovaries to work again - or a bit at a time, but I don't know.  I made an appt. with my gyno for tomorrow at 12:30pm so we'll see.  Please wish me luck - PRAYERS ARE WELCOME!!!!  It truly feels like a period to me, but I don't know.  Pretty heavy bleeding though.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi! yes my doctor put me on protonix for the constant belching I had. It got so bad that I was pounding on my chest to try and release them. I was only on the protonix for 8 weeks and I dont need to take it anymore.  I'm not sure how it affects the thyroid meds, but so many drugs interact with others that it may be possible.  I'm not expert but it sure sounds like to me that your having a normal period with the cramps and all the symptons.  when I got my period early last month I had cramps and sore breasts the day before and was confused why I was feeling this way, then low and behold i got it a week early. I send you prayers and well wishes that everything will turn out alright for you.  keep us posted so we know how your doing.
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Avatar_n_tn
I can't tell you just how happy it makes me to know that there are girls (people) who care. I am happily married, but live away from my family & have no sisters. Dad is alive, have one brother & my husband - no kids - so when I go through all of this, it's so frightening to not be able to ask my Mom if she went through it too. That would certainly help!  I hope & pray that you are right about the period. All my research on the internet states that it is definitely possible for FSH levels to be affected by thryoid hormone levels, & that I could've been "tricked" into thinking I was in full blown menopause due to my thyroid levels not being normal.  I must shower now - doc appt at 12:30.  Very nervous. Will fill you in later...
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi, hope everything went well for you yesterday. It's so scary as we get older we go through so many changes. never feel your alone out there, there's always someone to lend an ear and possibly someone that may have had the same problem that can give some guidance. wish you all the best, hope all is well.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks again for all of the kind thoughts.  The gyno was a new dr. - the normal one I see was on vacation, so that added a bit of stress too.  I had never met him before & when I got there he looked like a family friend of mine - that is a very uncomfortable situation to be in when you're lying in "that position" (LOL), but he did the pelvic exam/ovaries etc. & said in front of my husband that he can almost guarantee no cancer, but that is why he's sending me to get a "transvaginal ultrasound" next week (soonest hospital could get me in!!) on Friday the 12th.  Anyway, he said it is possible, but I got the impression unlikely, that it could be thyroid related and reversed.  With my FSH as high as it was (59.7), evidently that is menopause & not really a situation for reversal, however, he wants me to go and give blood to retest for the FSH anyway, so I'll do that as well.  He tried to do an endometrial biopsy on me & I was completely tightened up!  I didn't care for his attitude when I asked him if it would hurt ("yes it will hurt!"). I know that honesty is crucial, but there is such a thing as tact, & by staring in my eyes, not smiling & saying that, certainly put me in a frightening spot, so I really tensed up.  Well, needless to say, he couldn't get my cervix dialated - PLUS, WE MUST REMEMBER THAT I'VE NEVER HAD A CHILD. I DON'T CARE WHAT ANYONE SAYS, THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE IN HOW YOU HANDLE A WOMENS' EXAM IN THAT SITUATION.  I was not used to a cervix dialation cramping thing.  I'm not being a baby, I was afraid.  So, anyway, I don't know anything more than I did yesterday.  I hope and pray that it is just a surge of hormones - stress or thyroid that did this and nothing else.  I forgot to say when I posted the question, but three days before the bleeding, my husband & I got into one of the biggest fights of our married life so far.  I mean extremely stressful fight & long sleepless night, then lo & behold, bleeding a few days later!!!  So, on top of the thyroid levels now in order, add the stress to it......please keep me in your thoughts.  I so appreciate it.  Thank you again & I will keep you posted as well.
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm so sorry to hear abour your doctor visit.  Bed side manner is so crucial to have as a doctor.  its very important for the doctor to be honest, but to have some compassion is also very important.  I haven't had children either and I have to agree that we would be different then women that did have children when i comes to certain procedures and exams.  Stress can cause so many changes in our bodies especially our health. Hopefully your bleeding is only contributed to this and everything will be ok. Let us know the results of your blood work and test. Try and do something fun over the weekend that you really enjoy to relieve some stress. keep us informed.  Lisa
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks again....boy we are becoming "friends" - thanks!!  Yes, I intend to do something fun this weekend.  My husband has been very ill too - flu type cold so for the past two weeks he's been working, then sleeping & same with the weekends, so it's been difficult to do anything which of course allows for my mind to work overtime just sitting here thinking.....anyway, we'll hang out tonight and play domino's.  I'm heading out to give my blood tests today so wish me luck!!  Thanks again!!
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Avatar_n_tn
one can never have too many friends!!  Lots of luck to you, keep us posted on your results. Hope all goes well.
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Avatar_f_tn
If you don't mind me asking what are your thyroid levels and ranges?

I have thyroid disease (hashitoxicosis) and can tell you thyroid imbalance can do a job on periods.

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Avatar_n_tn
Hi!  Yeah, I was wondering that myself.  I am very proactive in my thyroid blood work, recently all of the numbers have been VERY GOOD - TSH .51 & FT4 1.08 so that is what I am hoping too.  I was hoping that my "menopause" was caused from the thyroid being bad, & now that it is working via Synthroid, that maybe all is getting back to normal.  It's been difficult for me to find anything like that on the internet though.  Tomorrow I go to my endocrinologist & will inquire about it.  YUK FOR THE GETTING WEIGHED THOUGH.  I WONDER IF I CAN REFUSE TO GET WEIGHED.  Last time I went, this "girl" that worked there & her friends were making a GAME out of guessing people's weight & they guessed mine - IN FRONT OF ME - 10 lbs HEAVIER than I actually was.  Now who doesn't think that's so wrong?????? I mean, we are in an endocrinologists office where thyroid/diabetes/nutrition & weight are issues.....if you're going to be a jerk and guess someone's weight (COMPLETELY UNPROFESSIONAL AS FAR AS I'M CONCERNED ANYWAY), the least you could do is guess lighter don't you think???? I probably should've told the doctor at that time, but I was just so shocked at it.  Well, after 8 mos of thyroid issues & "menopause' & no smoking, I KNOW THAT I'VE GAINED SOME WEIGHT even though I exercise & am fit & healthy (cholesterol/bp etc.), so I am just horrified at the prospect.  It's not vanity, I just am fighting an uphill battle with 20lb weights on my shoulders running against the wind (LOL - it seems that way though)
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Avatar_f_tn
You need to report the staff who is playing weighted games.  How horrible!  I think I would have walked out but then again if your endo's office is like mine walking out would have only made your life more difficult.

Pitituary issues impact periods too as well as smoking and I'd imagine you quiting has had an impact on you as well.  I hope your doctor can figure it out.  

I have some issues of my own regarding period, however I'm waiting for my period to cese due to my mom's stopping at 43 (my age) but mine has just gotten heavier although shorter in time. With all this heavy bleeding I am now Ferritin deficient as well and in misery trying to rebuild that. I was always told by my gyno that my period irrigularities were related to my thyroid issues and instability of tests.  Now 2 years post op for a TT and totally level thyroid tests my issues are still around so this Friday I see a new Gyno to try and sort thngs out.  If she says anything that might benefit your situation I'll let you know.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for your support.  Yeah, I think today I'm going to try to "refuse" to get weighed, & when the doctor asks why I'll tell him.  I don't know why I am so worried about it, but I am.  I think in this society weight plays such an important issue on how we as individuals are perceived - although it really shouldn't I know, but nevertheless it does.  When I was overweight (8 yrs ago), I got treated bad.  Now, it may have been my attitude, I don't know, but still after I lost tons of weight, I had men open doors for me, women want to hang out just many different things.  I am so scared, can you believe it???? I also know that they need to have my weight in order to follow up with my care, but today I am only going for an ultra sound on my nodules.  This doctor hasn't even been monitoring my blood levels so .....plus, I'm SURE that it is my right to refuse any treatment (ie weigh-ins etc.) that I choose.  They may not like it, but I can do it.  It just looks stupid when you say, No I don't want to get weighed today.  Please think of me & wish me luck.....Thank you!!
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi!  First of all, I worried needlesly because all I did was say I don't want to get weighed and the nurse say "okay" with no trouble.  However, I did weigh myself earlier & GAINED 17 lbs. in 6 mos.  Oh my God!!  I am frightened at that pace & am trying everything in my power to lose it now....in a healthy way of course.  

Anyway, I get my transvaginal ultrasound on Friday & am really worried although my good news is that my FSH levels came back the other day showing that I actually did have a period.  It fluctuated due to the thryoid disorder.  My levels were 8.5 well within the normal range of a menstruating woman.  Now back to the birth control methods (LOL).  Dr. feels it would be wise to still check with the ultrasound since I am 42 and hadn't had a period in over 1 yr.

Please wish me luck ....Friday at 10am easter time.

I'll fill you in.

Hugs!
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Avatar_f_tn
I figured it was thyroid levels.  

"transvaginal ultrasound "

WOW! Does that sound fun.  Have you ever had one?  I did when I was pregnant. They are not too bad and do not hurt like when you have a pap smeer.  Think of it as a non vibrating dildo with a camera on it.

I see my new gyno Friday as well and will probably have one too.  We need to figure out my extremely heavy period issues which we cannot blame on the old thyroid anymore.

Be sure and tell us how it goes.
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm hormonally imbalanced!

I'm done fighting and need relief so I'm beginning a pill pack at my next period.

I think this is the beginning of my "change" and I need relief.  My marriage took a beating with the thyroid imbalance and now this so hopefully it will be better.
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