Hello, I am 46 years old. For the past 6 months or so my periods have been irregular. Some months my period is every 19, then 33 days, then 46 days, etc. Last month it was 46 days now I have started at 15 days. The flow itself has been normal and lasted 4-5 days. Should I be concerned or can I wait for my pap in May (last pap was May 2008, and last ultrasound August 2007) to talk to my Dr. I do seem to have some insomnia and sweating at night as well. Thank You Sue
Sounds like peri-menopause to me. I was just starting to go through that...then I got pregnant.lol
Hope this helps.
Perimenopause causes some subtle — and some not-so-subtle — changes in your body. Some things you might experience include:
Menstrual irregularity. As ovulation becomes more erratic, the intervals between periods may be longer or shorter, your flow may be scanty to profuse, and you may skip some periods.
Hot flashes and sleep problems. About 65 to 75 percent of women experience hot flashes during perimenopause. Their intensity, duration and frequency vary. Sleep problems are often due to hot flashes or night sweats, but sometimes sleep becomes erratic even without them.
Mood changes. Some women experience mood swings, irritability or depression during perimenopause, but the cause of these symptoms may be sleep disruption or other menopausal symptoms rather than the hormonal changes of menopause.
Vaginal and bladder problems. When estrogen levels diminish, your vaginal tissues may lose lubrication and elasticity, making intercourse painful. Low estrogen levels may also leave you more vulnerable to urinary or vaginal infections. Loss of tissue tone may contribute to urinary incontinence.
Decreasing fertility. As ovulation becomes irregular, your ability to conceive decreases. However, as long as you're having periods, pregnancy remains a possibility. If that's not what you want, use birth control until you've had no periods for 12 months.
Changes in sexual function. During perimenopause, sexual arousal and desire may change. But for most women who had satisfactory sexual intimacy before menopause, this will continue through perimenopause and beyond.
Loss of bone. With declining estrogen levels, you start to lose bone more quickly than you replace it, increasing your risk of osteoporosis.
Changing cholesterol levels. Declining estrogen levels may lead to unfavorable changes in your blood cholesterol levels, including an increase in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol — the "bad" cholesterol — which contributes to an increased risk of heart disease. At the same time, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol — the "good" cholesterol — decreases in many women as they age, which also increases the risk of heart disease.
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